'Occupy Wherever' movement goes transgalactic
To Mordor and beyond
Although the Occupy [insert location here] anti-oligopoly movement appears to be losing a bit of its vigor, one enterprising website – Geeks Are Sexy – is attempting to breathe new life into the discriminating 99–per center's hoped-for zeitgeist.
GAS – perhaps better known for such photo spectaculars as "Anna Fischer's Geektastically Sexy NYCC 2011 Photos and equally geektastic essays such as "The Early History of Programming Languages" – has launched a contest for geek designers, sexy or otherwise.
"The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading across the galaxy and we're on the lookout for who'll be joining the movement next," they write, inviting you to send in images that speak to that theme.
Here's one entry that caught our eye:
And here's one that caused us to quickly look away, eyes aflame:
We are convinced, dear reader, that your highly refined senses and sensibilities applied to so important a mission will inform your contributions to GAS's noble quest.
And if you do contribute, tell them The Reg sent you. ®
On the contrary. Politicians have a habit of paying attention to whoever gains the most media attention and/or whoever shouts the loudest. That's why gobby mums with no idea what they're rabbiting on about have actually influenced government policies and legislation so many times.
I wish for once a politician would come out and say "You're a minority group and you're talking bollocks."
Capitalism as a system of economics isn't bad
Capitalism as a system of government is.
A little example of how the dark side works...
Take this simple theoretical scenario. It may be extremely frustrating for someone who honestly worked all his life to learn such a thing. Let's say that person had invested in stock through mutual funds through some tax sheltering scenario, as this was promoted as a way for him to increase his revenues for retirement. People managing the funds are all about maximizing value for the shareholders i.e. them, investing the money of their clients, holding shares, fighting some proxy little feuds to gain some for of control, maybe for big players eventually being able to control one member of the board, or control some decisions that would be put forward at an annual shareholders meeting. So of course, you would think that maximizing value for shareholders would mean "improving" the business they invested in, investing in new technologies to do things differently, or finding new markets to expand sales or the business in general... but it's mostly not like that and not all these investors are the for the long term. The easiest way to maximize the revenues is to do more with less... and that mostly means less human resources, which is the costliest thing of all... i.e. with less workers. So through their voting, they will elect or support board members who can do that job. Maximizing shareholders value essentially means milking out human resources for cash or displacing the work force to emerging economies where workers have no rights - in the short term scenario. Even in a long term scenario, there will eventually come a point for the heavyweight portfolio managers where coming out is required i.e. selling, and to maximize profits they have again the same interest of maximizing value.
So what is this about? What the hell is the link with wall street and banking and workers. Well, private and organized mutual investment is mostly a way to "steal" someone from his job and make money doing it. Of course, educated people and people in finance, lawyers, bankers and all, they've always known about this, but they promote it as "helping growth". Free trade is the legal backbone required to displace the workforce abroad, and you need lawyers, regulators, bankers and finance people to make it happen... what do you think they discuss at summits like G20 and such?? To have attentive focused investing, you need very rich and intelligent people who have an open agenda, not corporate raiders and the ones I've named just before, you need people who want to revamp or expand or help out. But for the simple guy who invests his money and has someone else decide where it goes, well it might be used to deprive him of his own job in the end, or his brother's job, or some stranger's job and there will be a price... social costs, unemployment, medical and all or the cost will be pushed somewhere else in the world. The truth of the matter is that when you fund goes up, you've actually made a profit from milking about other's people jobs. The schemes are just set up in a way that you can never really pinpoint which individual did it. It's funny how your money can be used against you? Wall street is even worst... private investment is like contract killing... one day such and such big shot investors decide that such a company is not to be trusted anymore, that they're hopeless simply because they want to buy some shares cheaper later on when the stock goes down, or simply because they've just sold the shares at a high price and want to buy back some more at a cheap price again, because who would invest if there's not cut to be made rapidly. This is just for rich people to become richer out of poorer people who work their asses to make ends meet... whereas some people have so much that they can afford to put 100K to play russian roulette with your job and your life.
To make it happen for you and your community, you're way better investing in the social economy, putting down money to finance young people who want to start up, getting to know the credit unions in your neighborhood, creating some if none exist nearby, getting together with some friends and incorporating, creating trust funds to cater to your loved ones etc.
So you see, when people come to understand how the wheels turn, they're legitimately angry. And they should not be censored by the rhetoric of the "clean" democracy where naive people tell you that you need to organize and speak in a rational and polite tone to influence people with power and convince them to change things. Nah, you just scare them shitless until they break or change things a little bit because they'll settle for ripping off less but continue doing it instead of losing it all...