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Opposing Viewpoints: Occupy Wall Street

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Pro:

To those who act like the Occupy Wall Street movement is just child’s play and will blow over: you’re most likely part of the “1%” as protestors are calling it. For the rest of us, the “99%,” there is no denying that there is a serious problem when such a small part of our nation holds the country’s wealth, while the rest of us are slowly sinking further and further into debt and all type of economic woes. It’s possible that demonstrators aren’t going about the issue perfectly, and don’t have the most organized message, but isn’t our country based on fighting for your rights and the pursuit of happiness? The protests are doing exactly what they are meant to be doing – stirring the pot by creating a dialogue. Without discussion, there will never be any amount of change. These demonstrators are opening up the rest of the public’s eyes to the serious issues our economy has been and, will continue to face.

Maybe the demonstrations won’t lead to any administrative actions. But what they already have done, and will continue to do, is educate the public of the financial inequalities our nation is facing and lead citizens to ask necessary questions. Why is it that so many students are coming out of college with hundreds of thousands of dollar of debt, only to find that there are no well-paying jobs available on the market? Why it is the Wall Street financial bankers are rolling in cash while most of the public can barely make ends meet?

Yes, demonstrators have not established an official plan for change or a unified message, but the overall message of economic unhappiness is clear. In order for plans to be made, there has to be a movement and encouragement behind it. This is the first real Internet-age fueled demonstration that has been seen in our nation. While the president and Congress have done nothing to solve our economic problems, the people have decided to do what they can: use their First Amendment rights to protest for change.

Demonstrators are fighting a system that promotes the interests of large corporations over the welfare of the common citizen. Continuous bailouts and inflation have left our nation’s taxpayers drained, while big companies are rewarded for their mistakes. The collusion between big business and the government has left the lower and middle classes with no power to defend themselves. “Occupiers” feel that the quality of American life has been tarnished by this cozy relationship between the two, and the greed of wealthy investment bankers, who carelessly handed out loans.

The movement is creating a web of communication between the many, many people who are being affected by our country’s staggering economy. It is a means of providing the public with hope for change. The movement is more than just a protest; it’s the start of a cultural revolution. Americans have not been involved in their government and have taken for granted their right to vote and their role as citizens of a democracy for too long. It’s about time Americans use their rights to fight for something that affects us all – the 99% of us at least.

Katherine Kulpa, Editor in Chief

 Con:

I have not really been following the Occupy Wall Street movement, but from what I have learned about it, it is a reasonable cause that has been spoiled by its means.
Protesting, which I understand to be the main method of the Occupy Wall Street movement, has been a form of free speech throughout history. Although free speech is essential to ensuring the strength of a republic such as the United States, there is a proper time, place and format for such speech, lest chaos consume society. There are other ways these people could express their frustration with the economy without engaging in such an extreme form of protesting that is leading to arrests and not helping their cause.
Some of these people have been taking their protesting to a level that actually works against them. Defecating in the streets, for example, is inappropriate. It doesn’t matter what they are protesting, people still need to respect each other – and that includes others’ property.
What could people do instead that would still have an impact? Facilitating and participating in discussions through social media and petitioning legislature to pass or fail certain bills are both excellent options.
Also, when there are so many people suffering from various problems throughout the nation, what are these people doing just protesting? Shouldn’t they be out actively helping to solve the problems through humanitarian work?
There are plenty of non-profit agencies that are in need of assistance from any person, and people with such enthusiasm for what they think would be justice would be a perfect match for a role helping others through more effective, peaceful actions. They could contribute to society through both influencing government directly through petitioning and making a more concrete impact through volunteering.
Mary Stroka, Editor-in-chief

 

 

 

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