For those who disagree with any statement below, I respect you more than you know. I do not pretend I know anything at all, but I am trying to understand why that is. And if you can contradict anything I am saying I implore you to do so! It would only help me understand what's going on better, all I ask is that respect is returned. If you don't like reading, feel free to skip to the end where I make three suggestions that I think NEED to happen and happen soon. Again, this is a personal perception. We may even find common ground to work with. Thank you for your time and consideration!
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It's difficult to distinguish any shade of truth nowadays. It really just seems futile at times. Irrelevant. Trivial. Even if a real UFO was actually filmed, people would likely dismiss it off as CGI effects anyway. Everything can be debunked, contradicted or tossed in the crazy pile and then forgotten amidst the 24-hour news-cycle. These loopholes can get people so twisted up that they just say, fuck it: "I'll just try to be happy. I'll take my nine to five, and do what I love in my spare time." Some may succeed in that and more power to them. Many have found crippling debt as of late with no options left. I suppose it's a matter of perception, really. One thing is becoming increasingly stark, however: There are more and more people everyday opposing the status-quo because...well, they have nothing left to loose. But hey, If it's not broke don't fix it. If your comfortable, there's no need. This is a Democratic society built upon the Capitalistic foundation of competition. Anyone can be anyone if they put in the work. That is, before they get laid off, buried in debt, foreclosed upon, screwed by interest rates, misrepresented with their taxes, and misrepresented by their representatives.
I love and cherish the idea that The United States of America stands for. I admire, cherish, and respect our soldiers and representatives that truly fight on behalf of all of us for a better future. However, I would like to apologize on behalf of my ancestors to all the native people that were removed from their land and put on reservations in the process of this country's formation. I would also like to apologize to every person who was enslaved at the dawn of this nation during that process as well. I have no control over the past, but I have learned from it the best way I know how. Additionally, I would also like to apologize to the people of the future who may look back on this time, fucked, because of how comfortable we all got for a few moments.
Periodically, there comes a point where a redress of grievances is not only necessary, but the only option left. Still, how do you boycott CEOs of corporations that have infiltrated every aspect of our lives and employ so many people? No one wants to hurt the honest people out there just trying to make a living. For instance, say you'd like to boycott the CEO's of the General Electric Corporation. Inadvertently, you'd also be boycotting: The History Channel, Lifetime, NBC, The Weather Channel, etc.--and no one wants that, right? Say, you'd like to boycott Wal-mart...what would you replace it with? My first assumption would be to replace it with locally owned, grown, and created products. However, how would you sustain metropolises that have to support millions of people with finite resources? Even then, Wal-mart is a publicly owned company with--you guessed it: the public as its shareholders. Boycotting appears to be a two steps backward one step forward deal today. And nobody likes a hypocrite, so I can't earnestly commit to boycotting any corporate entity because it likely controls Apple as a subsidiary. I'd then have to revert to a typewriter and mailing out letters. Shit, isn't the postal service going out of business too?
It appears that boycotting anything in this day and age is a rather tricky thing. If you've ever heard of the "seven sisters," no further explanation is needed. In my study of economics in college, one word I would use to describe it is: frustration. Miles of data that paint quite the inverted picture many people [including myself] can barely understand. But of course, that is somewhat intentional.
More unnerving in my study, is the subject of actual real wage increases of the middle class over the last 50 years. You may think your making more now compared to someone in 1950, but that is a misconception caused by inflation and the movement of a decimal. A cup of coffee might have cost 5 cents in 1920, 50 cents in 1960, and $1.00 in 1990. Today, any Starbucks drink is well over $2. The point is, real wages haven't really increased, they have simply adjusted to inflation. Even then, inflation-adjusted wages are still falling behind and have been identified by many different studies. Herein lies one of the most important issues for our society. The median pay for an American CEO was $2,436,000 in 1989 and $10,775,000 by 2000. From 1979 to 2000, even before the most recent Bush-caused recession, after more than two decades the American worker's average wages increased on average only 11.5 cents per hour per year! Consider the links below to get a better understanding of the point being made here.
Real Wage Stagnation Vs. CEO Prosperity.
Another issue I am increasingly concerned with is money in politics. The annual salary for the Legislative branch has increased from $96,600-$98,400 in 1990 to $174,000 in 2011. This does not take into account the bonuses our representatives receive or the under-the-table corporate incentives they are bought for. "With 1992 as a base year, productivity for the working class was at 82.2% in 1979. It grew to 94.2% by 1989 and 116.6% by the year 2000. In the past year, it has exploded, to over 120%. That's nearly a 40% increase over 25 years!" With the information above to consider, the immediate connection coming to mind is that less people are doing more work for an unchanging salary. Furthermore, I'm not sure if you would agree...but in my opinion the productivity of our Legislature does not seem to be increasing, if it is even productive to start with. Try filibustering at your job and see what happens.
It seems we're all stuck between a rock and a hard place. Grievances are so intertwined but without a real focus because well, there is a lot of shit hitting the fan. Where do you start? For those Occupying Wall Street and LA, that's as good a place as any. Still, those that have necessary priorities, obligations, and responsibilities to take care of still need some kind of outlet--a direction at least. Something they can do to aid this dire situation. Not everyone has lost everything, yet. And to those who have, my hopes and thoughts are with you. The first step is always, organization. A deliberation and a focus of priorities and a time-frame of necessary and critical goals for immediate action. For me, in my opinion, three immediate actions need to take place. However, my grievances range into the triple digits...got to have priorities though.
1] Initiate Legislative term limits and wage caps that are only adjustable to inflation.
To dismantle corporate connections in the legislative branch and the consistent threat of corruption. Apparently, Check's and Balances need to be checked and balanced too. To take monetary incentive out of representing the country. To adjust Legislative wages that match actual productivity...joking [kind of]. To get fresh ideas?
2] Increase taxes on Incomes that cumulatively surpass 7 digits and Redesign corporate structure into democratic workplaces.
Now, I understand that 10% of a 7-digit income is larger than 10% of any given middle class income, but the fuckers already got billions of dollars in bailouts with our tax money and continue to lay off the middle class! Deal with it. Try giving up that 5th car, maybe? And if you try cutting social security and medicare nets, you'll have to deal with the 60s and 70s era protestors again plus the unemployed youth--bad idea. Plus, you can't tax people who can't afford groceries...although that is an ingenious form of population control you assholes. The workplace and its workers need accountability and protection. And I'm not talking about the life-insurance policies companies take out in your name--making money off of you if you die. I'm talking about a system where every voice is heard and has a vote. This idea has been proven successful. Even with running an entire nation! Follow this link for more information: http://www.startupnation.com/series/104/9121/5-advantages-democratic-wor...
3] Create an additional Bill of Rights for the 21st century through compiling priorities and voting upon them with 100% of The United State's citizens involved in the process.
The only mesmerizing aspect of the Google fueled Republicans debate was the way in which it was conducted--A wonderful formula to work from. Our founding fathers could not have foreseen shit going down like this. FDR almost did it but unfortunately passed away before it could happen. Things change, democracy needs to adapt before it all goes to crap...more than it already has.
That is all, for now.
Pass this message on any way you can. Discuss current events. Debate. Bounce ideas around. Change does not come quickly. And change is not a given just because a new president takes office, as all of us have witnessed. This country is a reflection of its citizen's priorities. Figure out what yours are and demand action. I understand that there are a flurry of challenges in front of us, but at least we'll have something productive to do in our lifetime besides watching shitty reality shows. I love you all, unconditionally. If you disagree with anything I have stated here, I respect you even more. It is your right and your responsibility to question everything. Perception is unique. Understanding fluctuates. Common goals can be achieved through compromise and perseverance. I know change is scary, but doing nothing is just idly wasting the days until you die--the most terrifying change we will all experience at some point. So, let's make a kind of heaven here that we can all experience. And leave the unknowable result of our day-to-day struggles for when the time comes. We might even be a bit more prepared then. Take care, everyone!
The most important thing to do now, is to educate yourself and become more aware of what's going on and what's at stake. Below are an assortment of links I found particularly empowering and informative. Please, feel free to share!
The three-page legislative proposal for the Stimulus Package, Check out "sec.  Review":
What The Stimulus Package is/did [Quantitative Easing]:
Where the bailout money is/went:
Recent Unemployment figures:
Detailed information on Legislative wages:
Health care costs:
Most democratic workplaces:
A Step In The Right Direction:
What happens sometimes when you peacefully protest...:
Much Needed Inspiration [the speech] :
Satire of Class Warfare on The Daily Show:
President Bush Bloopers:
Republicans Bash The EPA:
Hazardous Sites Across The Country [Why we need the EPA although it could use a reform]: