The Occupy Wall Street Movement
What began as a small protest in New York City about Americans' frustration with Wall Street and big corporations is now spreading across the country. Meanwhile, Republican leaders like House Majority Leader Cantor and right-wing media are downplaying and deriding the #Occupy protestors.
Americans from all walks of life are demanding that our leaders represent all of us, not just the richest 1%.
Connect: Americans are beyond frustrated with politicians who pander to Wall Street and big corporations while so many American families are struggling.
Define: The Occupy Wall Street Movement is made up of Americans from all walks of life - from unemployed people to airline pilots - who've had enough of not being heard.
Explain: Corporations and Wall Street CEOs caused our financial crisis, but they're making record profits and bonuses while paying lower taxes than they have in generations.
Illustrate: But working families and millions of Americans who can't find decent jobs are falling behind. The divide between the richest and the poorest Americans is about as bad as in Rwanda and Serbia.
Values: Our leaders should represent all of us, not just the richest 1%.
- It's pretty obvious what these protests are about. Wall Street and big corporations are raking in record profits instead of hiring people. Millions of Americans are struggling while the richest 1% is doing better than ever. That's why these protests started on Wall Street, not Main or Broadway.
- It's not the protestors' job to write legislation - that's the job our leaders should be doing, and the protestors are out there to remind them of that.
- Our leaders should make no mistake about the message: they need to do their jobs by taking back control of our economy from Wall Street so the rest of America can have decent jobs, too.
- Capitalism rewards hard work. Today's economy punishes hard-working Americans laid off through no fault of their own and rewards corporations that pay lobbyists to get politicians to bend the rules.
- When we're all contributing to our economy and we're all sharing in the gains, that's capitalism at its best. But right now, 1% of America is doing better than ever while working families and millions of Americans who can't find decent jobs are falling behind.
- What's American is speaking out for what we believe in. These are peaceful protests. This is democracy. It doesn't get more American than that.
- Politicians sworn to uphold the Constitution ought to remember the part about the right to peaceably assemble, even when it's their Wall Street donors being protested.
- These protestors are Americans who are tired of not being listened to. They don't take orders from anyone but themselves.
- Actually, it's the Tea Party that owes its rise to political consultants and the Koch Brothers, who spent millions funding candidates and marches, and vow to spend hundreds of millions more in the next election.
- It's true that these protests aren't like the Tea Party - the Wall Street protestors actually want our government to do its job, instead of making it impossible for our government to do anything.
NEED TO KNOW
- Americans see the protestors in better light than the Tea Party and Republicans in Congress.
- Millionaires and billionaires are raking in higher incomes and skyrocketing bonuses and corporations are raking in all-time high profits. At the same time, they're paying lower taxes than ever.
- CEO pay is now about 5 times higher than it was in 1980, but average earnings for rank-and-file workers are still roughly the same. Have CEOs become 5 times better since then?
- 27 major national polls show that Americans believe we need to raise taxes, including a recent poll that shows 70 percent want to end tax giveaways to millionaires.
- While our economy actually grew the last couple of years, working people didn't feel the gains because nearly all of the economic growth went to pad corporate profits instead of increasing American workers' incomes.
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Posted in - Economy - Corporate Corruption