Dear Occupy Wall
Street: You're the 'Mega-Event of the Century'
Michael Bloomberg is whining about disbanding the camp because the protest
could negatively affect tourism. Furthermore, he says, Wall Street ensures
jobs. Has anyone ever seen a more ridiculous and pathetic whiner? … For whom
does such charity on Wall Street create and secure jobs?! The obsession of
financial markets with profits has destroyed jobs - or have I gone completely
Protesters shout slogans at a rally in the financial district east of Manila, Philippines, Oct. 21. At the event, called in support of the wave of protests around the globe known as 'Occupy Wall Street,' protesters singled out the country's three big oil companies as 'greedy for profit.'
My whole life, I have heard
the rags-to-riches story. In America, if you want it enough you can make it!
Today you’re selling hot dogs out of a cart, but tomorrow you could be the
owner of a hot dog chain with locations all over the world. You failed out of
school, but somehow still, you may be paid a salary with a few ones and zeros,
and not only could you become the owner of a computer company, but you might
sit at the table with world leaders who will beg you to support their election
If you make it there, you can
make it anywhere. Folks, people and readers around the world: For the last few
weeks, the American dream has been at risk. Nation-building tale number one: namely,
that it is your talent that will determine whether you will live well. If, as
has happened in New York, thousands of people join a movement called “Occupy
Wall Street,” then folks, people and readers around the world - this is the
mega-event of the century!
The anti-Wall Street movement
is encamped at Zuccotti Park to block the access of employees to "their floor."
It began in September with a few hundred people, and their numbers have been
growing. Last week there were 12,000 people in the streets of New York. They demand
a more equitable distribution of assets and losses. People are united in their
resentment of state power kowtowing to the financial markets, to yields, and to
its own weakness.
Instead of fare dodging on
the ICE (Inter-City
Express) to Frankfurt and camping out at the heart of the financial
district, we here in Germany have so far only been able to channel our
discontent on talk shows through a few brave members of the opposition. Other
nations, however, are once again showing us how to make the government nervous.
Only a few weeks ago, New
York Mayor Mike Bloomberg wasn't taking the protests seriously. But now that
even celebrities like Susan
Moore, Alec Baldwin
are having cups of tea at the Zucotti encampment - and that Nobel Prize-winning
economist Joe Stiglitz
has asserted that the inequality among the population is more structural than
individual, Bloomberg is whining about disbanding the camp because the protest
could negatively affect tourism. Furthermore, says Bloomberg, Wall Street ensures
jobs. Has anyone ever seen a more ridiculous and pathetic whiner?
He needs to explain yet again:
For whom does such charity on Wall Street create and secure jobs?! The obsession
of financial markets with profits has destroyed jobs - or have I gone
Incidentally, demands in
Germany for a minimum wage, transaction taxes, and a fairer system of taxation,
higher taxes for corporations and a sustainable energy policy can no longer be
quashed on the grounds that it would be futile to pass legislation on the
federal level. The truth is that people all over the world have the same
demands. They want to support themselves with their work and know that their
capital has been distributed fairly and effectively. They are demanding that
everywhere, including today in Frankfurt.