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Occupy Wall St.

The geographical "Wall Street" is a symbol -- like Madison Avenue is for advertising. As such, the occupation of Wall Street is itself symbolic. It's an open question for me as to how much the protestors know about the institution (finance capital) that they're ostensibly protesting against. Besides some cliches ("the banksters control everything"), I doubt there's much genuine knowledge.
 
Sean Richards, 21, a junior studying environmental health at Illinois State University in Normal, said he had dropped out of college on Friday and had taken a train to Chicago to demonstrate against oil companies. Mr. Richards said he did not plan to go back to school and would continue sleeping on the street for “as long as it takes.” “We’re sending corporations a powerful message that we know what they’re doing,” he said. “For people, we’re sending the message that we have to unite as one front.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/us/anti-wall-street-protests-spread-to-other-cities.html?hp[/COLOR]
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Sean Richards, 21, a junior studying environmental health at Illinois State University in Normal, said he had dropped out of college on Friday and had taken a train to Chicago to demonstrate against oil companies. Mr. Richards said he did not plan to go back to school and would continue sleeping on the street for “as long as it takes.” “We’re sending corporations a powerful message that we know what they’re doing,” he said. “For people, we’re sending the message that we have to unite as one front.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/us/anti-wall-street-protests-spread-to-other-cities.html?hp[/COLOR]

demonstrate what against oil companies?

It sounds to me like somebody who didn't want to keep going to school and found a very, very easy way out.
 
Some of us in this forum come from many areas of sciences. I am assuming that a majority of people commenting in this forum come from mathematics, computer science and physics backgrounds. All science fields. I am also assuming that you guys have MSc. and Ph'D's under your name. Most of us departed from the pursuit of truth in pursuit of wealth. We left our science fields in order to accumulate wealth, lots of it. Business has changed in America and in some parts of the world. We are afraid to admit it but most of us in our fields do nothing really. We juggle numbers, stack numbers and see trends in them. Instead of pursuing a career where we can teach, explore new ways to see the world we have gone down the road of no return. Our love for science has been shot down by our allure for wealth. I ask most of you in this forum, can you leave your 'quant' jobs in pursuit of truth? We are experts in our fields, I absolutely agree. We have published papers and have earned recognition for our hard work. These protestors do not protest our corporations, they protest our ideologies.

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. "

-Carl Sagan.
 
Most of us departed from the pursuit of truth in pursuit of wealth. We left our science fields in order to accumulate wealth, lots of it. Business has changed in America and in some parts of the world. We are afraid to admit it but most of us in our fields do nothing really. We juggle numbers, stack numbers and see trends in them. Instead of pursuing a career where we can teach, explore new ways to see the world we have gone down the road of no return. Our love for science has been shot down by our allure for wealth. I ask most of you in this forum, can you leave your 'quant' jobs in pursuit of truth? We are experts in our fields, I absolutely agree. We have published papers and have earned recognition for our hard work. These protestors do not protest our corporations, they protest our ideologies.

That's not quite correct. People with advanced credentials in math and physics have a genuine taste for their subjects -- that taste is a sine qua non for earning the credentials. The problem is there are no jobs in their areas -- it's a desert out there for mathematicians and physicists, has been for decades. So they've had to drift to quant jobs. In general they're too intelligent to be possessed of a love for lucre. They just need to make a living. It's their way of compromising with a rotten system, one not of their choosing.
 
In the USA, the poor do not have to pay ANY federal taxes. The poor get free medical through medicaid, they get section 8, free K-12, low cost state schools, need based admission to private schools, food stamps, on and on. They are also privileged enough to be born in America. We have extended unemployment for over two years, spent nearly a trillion on stimulus, what more should we do?

All you hear are cries that we should bring jobs home. I suppose that taking a job from a Chinese person is warranted. I mean this is their first shot at moving up the income ladder. Americans, who live in the greatest (or one of the greatest nations) with free education, infrastructure, laws, stability, with every advantage we have, WE deserve these simple jobs that we have been doing for a long time now.

The lack of global ethics is pathetic. It is like someone taking candy from a baby because they want it all. God forbid Americans allowed developing nations to move along the industrialization process, just like we did, and increase their middle class.

How many years have people been hearing that you need an education or a trade? I am almost 30 and have heard it ever since I was a kid. College is not easy. Learning a skill is not easy. Having a nice life IS NOT EASY. This national sense of entitlement has really ruined the core of this country.

As far as I am concerned I am more than happy to see jobs go overseas, to the people who truly deserve them. We've had these jobs for a long time now and knew they were going away. Time to let other people make a life and a living. Those who failed to heed warning I simply shake my head at them.
 
Also, these people talk about being anti corporate for all people, yet fail to realize the corporations employ a large amount of Americans. These evil banks are provide financing for companies, large and small, which in turn creates jobs and wealth. If the banking system collapsed the poor and middle class would be suffering a lot more then they are now, that is for sure.

Oh well. The ignorance of the youth.
 
Looks like they ARE creating jobs...

«Brian Phillips, a 25-year-old Google consultant and field journalist from Washington state, arrived in New York only a few days ago and has already become the communications director for the protest. Like many others, he gave up his former civil life to participate in the movement. “I was a community director in my home state, managing a four million dollar complex,” Phillips told IPS. “I quit my job, I… hitchhiked all the way over here and I am here to stay and help these guys.”
http://www.dedefensa.org/article-l_automne_americain_souffle_sur_wall_street_03_10_2011.html

"I actually quit my job and got a one-way ticket here for the protests. I just felt like in a lot ways this was the last hope for some type of real change."
http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news...rests-occupy-wall-street-demonstrations-grow/

“It’s not just corporate people,” said 22-year-old Alex Krales. “A lot of us feel that it is our duty to make money all the time and completely ignore any other needs we have in life. I just quit my full-time job that had literally sucked away my soul because I felt like I needed to make money.”
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/03/politics/occupy-wall-street/

Sean Richards, 21, a junior studying environmental health at Illinois State University in Normal, said he dropped out of college on Friday and took a train to Chicago to demonstrate against oil companies.
He said he would continue sleeping on the street for “as long as it takes.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/us/anti-wall-street-protests-spread-to-other-cities.html
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
I think I disagree with BBW that these people are "confused", I think each individual is not confused but that the media give the impression that this is a coherent group.

First thing you need to understand is that protesting is fun, there's dressing up, hanging out, a bit of shouting, enough danger to be exciting but not enough to really feel fear and of course the chance to impress people of a compatible sexuality.
OK, the last bit was politically correct, it's to impress girls.

Second thing is that these are mostly upper middle class events with parental income far above the media. Also just look at the pictures of crowds and compare them to the ethnic demographics of the locality. Yep, it's well fed middle class white kids, or put it another way the kids that you people will be having...

The reason BBW sees confusion is that these people are the children of Tea party types, they are unhappy with "the way things are". For Tea partiers it is coloured immigration and having to pay taxes, for their kids it is that they don't really have the input into political decision they believe their social status deserves, if poor people really were coherently angry then then they'd crush the NYPD like bugs. They would move quickly because of an economic fact that the media (and you people) have missed...

What sort of person can spend a couple weeks protesting ?
Do they have jobs ?
Do they need jobs ?
One of my godchildren is making some crap movie with his friends, it's political, at least we think so. But like his friends he comes from a family that can afford to subsidise this and maybe one day he'll be the next Spielberg...
I couldn't have done this:
Let's be clear here. I grew up poor, if we'd have been actually angry about shit and if we'd actually shared the same target that shit would have been burned to the ground, we wouldn't have had a street party, which is what the Wall Street preppies are about. We were the majority, indeed the nature of US society is that the majority have below average incomes. If they were ever really provoked, they'd outnumber law enforcement big time, then hurry back to their jobs because they need the cash.

So we are talking about the politics of parties. They are against shit because it feels good to shout this and as above it impresses young girls

They're not stupid, at least not all of them ?
They want to have fun and want someone else to sort out the mess and if you talk to them they each have something that they care about and often actually grasp the issues within it. But the problem is that no one cares, they reach their early 20s and discover that no one will ever read their book, Britney Spears will never sleep with them and that to express their ideas in economics requires a grasp of maths they will never attain. It's worse for these middle class types because they had the opportunities, so there's anger there.

Note how almost no work goes into producing actual solutions, just "awareness raising".
I'm a student of bonus systems, and it's clear to me that they need optimising big time, but of course optimisation begs the question of what we want more or less of. By American standards I'm a "liberal", since I can read long words and count above ten and don't think black people are a different, inferior species and I find it interesting that no one from what one might as well call the "left" has any idea about bonus systems even to the level of basic economics. The best discussions I've had which include quite harsh conditions for bankers come from the right.
 

mfegrad

CMU MSCF Alum
The reason BBW sees confusion is that these people are the children of Tea party types, they are unhappy with "the way things are". For Tea partiers it is coloured immigration and having to pay taxes,

the above characterization is pretty much dead wrong, although you seem to have bought the media line.
 
I think I disagree with BBW that these people are "confused" ...

The reason BBW sees confusion ...

Not me, pal. You're citing someone else. I do say that many of these protestors don't have a clear idea of who and what they're protesting against other than a vague and inchoate idea that "Wall Street" is responsible for their malaise. Their position is, however, becoming clearer and more well-defined by the day.
 
Interesting essay by Ted Rall:

People are protesting first, then organizing, then coming up with demands. They have no other choice. With no organized Left in the U.S., disaffected people are being forced to build resistance from the ground up.

Who can blame young adults for rejecting the system? The political issue people care most about--jobs and the economy--prompts no real action from the political elite. Even their lip service is half-assed. Liberals know "green jobs" can't replace 14 million lost jobs; conservatives aren't stupid enough to think tax cuts for the rich will help them pay this month's bills.

The politicians' only real action is counterproductive; austerity and bank bailouts that hurt the economy. Is the government evil or incompetent? Does it matter?

...

The troubles of young adults get no play in Washington. Pundits don't bother to debate issues that concerns people in their 20s and 30s. Recent college graduates, staggering under soaring student loan debt, are getting crushed by 80 percent unemployment--and no one even pretends to care.

Un- and underemployment, the insanity of a job market that requires kids to take out mortgage-sized loans to attend college just to be considered for a low-paid entry-level gig in a cube farm, the financial and emotional toll of disintegrating families, and our fear that the natural world was being destroyed left many of my peers feeling resentful and left out--like arriving at a party after the last beer was gone.

The debts of today's Gen Yers are bigger ($26,000 in average student loans, up from $10,000 in 1985). Their incomes are smaller. Their sense of betrayal, having gone all in for Obama, is deeper.
 

DanM

Math Student
The government has played a significant role in the US economy for decades upon decades. It's amusing to me that given its track record, people who aren't "happy with the system" (a system in which government intervention is rampant) think that more government intervention is required to solve the problem(s).

Why do "wealthy corporate executives" even have the opportunity to influence decision-making on a large scale? It's because they have the resources to influence (through lobbying) a bloated government whose power has increased dramatically (and unconstitutionally) over the years in every sector of the economy. As long as the government's role in the economy is not decreased (not eliminated, obviously, as I do not support anarchy) neither will the ability of corporate executives to influence decisions that affect the lives of all those people protesting, and of everyone for that matter, disappear.
 
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