I have become quite interested in the Occupy movement on my FB page. There are several people constantly posting pictures, quotes, stories, etc. of the people who are doing the occupying. There are those who shout “Nothing is free”, “Get a job”, “Go home” “I paid for my college education, you pay for yours”, “Dirty Hippies”, etc. They delight in reporting the number of tampon and condom wrappers as if that debases the people who are there.
This morning, this picture was posted.
The message that I glean from this poster is, “You are all using products made by the ‘evil’ corporations you are attacking. You are all hypocrites. See how much better life is with all these wonderful corporations providing all those things which you now feel are necessities in your lives. Now just go home and shut up.”
I will admit that I use many of the products corporations produce as mentioned in this picture. I drive a car, take a train, ride a bus, and fly. I do not grow my own cotton or wool or dye them with natural dyes like beet juice. I buy manufactured clothing. I use cardboard boxes, a cell phone, and a camera. I correspond by using my computer. I stop at stop lights and am thankful they are there. That does not mean I have no right to expect the corporations that provide these material goods and services to be fair and ethical.
No one disagrees that corporations make products which consumers buy. The disagreement is whether these products are of good construction and are safe for the consumer and for the environment, whether they were made by workers making a living wage or in sweatshops, whether the corporations paid fair taxes. All of these positive conditions can occur if the corporations have their customers, their neighbors, and their workers first in their minds rather than how large a house (or houses), how big a yacht, how extravagant their parties, and how many zeros appear in the bank accounts of the CEO and major stock holders. Some people just don’t get that message.
It is possible for business to be conducted with a fair profit. I haven’t heard of anyone saying all corporations should be non-profit. But when companies poison the earth with their toxins, fix prices, nickel and dime customers (that should probably be $50 and $100) with all kinds of fees, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum to the point of destroying entire lives and lifestyles, it is time for people to rise up and voice complaints. No company needs to make billions in profits on the backs of the lowest 99%.
I do not know where this will end. I feel it would be a good step to start with eliminating the idea that a corporation is a person. Another step would be to turn out every person in Congress to run again without any payments by the lobbyists who currently own them. Yes, there are some good people in Congress. If they are honestly good, let them be re-elected but hold every Congress person to a limited term. A Congress person should not be allowed to “serve” longer than any president. A third step should be to limit the time served in courts. The life time appointment idea was made at a time when life spans were in general half of what they are now. We need leaders who will hold these corporations responsible to the earth and the people they serve. Paid off Congress and judicial persons will not do that.
I support the Occupy movement. I support the idea that banks should work with people whose houses have been foreclosed. I support banks releasing the trillions of dollars they are hoarding until after the election in an effort to get people to believe it is entirely the president’s fault that the economy is as it is. I support honesty and fairness. I guess I’ve been on the wrong side all my life but I like my side.