Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why I Support Occupy Wall Street

I was disappointed to read a tweet from one of my favorite religious authors, Len Sweet: ‘Isn't the way to really "Occupy Wall Street" to buy stocks and become shareholders?” Actually, my mouth fell open as if I was watching a Republican primary debate. From what place of privilege does a statement like that emerge?

Of course, a “publicly owned” company allows the shareholder to have voice within a company, but there is too much broken within this system to really allow the other 99% to even own stock, much less to have a voice.

A recent report in Business Insider summed it up pretty succinctly:
1. With a brief except in 1980, unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression
2. At the same time, corporate profits are at an all-time high
3. Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low.
4. Income and wealth inequality in the US economy is near an all-time high

Take a look at this graph which shows how CEO salaries have skyrocketed in the past 20 years while worker wages have had an incremental increase:

wealth and inequality

This information confirms what I am seeing every day at Glide: the American Dream has become the American nightmare, as more and more individuals and families struggle just to make ends meet. Investing in stocks has become an activity reserved for the rich and famous, not the poor and struggling. Unfortunately, in this economy, even things like health insurance and education are now luxury items for too many Americans.

This is why I support the Occupy Wall Street movement. The system isn’t working. Too many are suffering. It can no longer be business as usual.


  1. Thank you for your post. I have reposted on my blog so that others might also read it and ask the same question, "From what place of privilege does a statement like [that] emerge?"
    Blessings sister,

  2. Thanks for your support! I don't fit the 'profile' the media is depicting of those in the trenches (here in Seattle or elsewhere), yet this financial coup d'etat has stirred me enough to protest. Here's what my daughter and I have said about our experience: