Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street goes global

Occupy Wall Street demonstration has been going for more than a month since it started on 19th September 2011 in New York City. The participants' slogan "We are the 99%" refers to the wealth inequality between the top wealthier Americans of 1% with the normal citizens of the United States. They are mainly protest on the following:


1) Social and economic inequality
According to the latest census data 2011, one in six Americans living below the poverty line. A family of four with the annual income earning of less than US$22,350 is considered as living under poverty level in the United States. Many American families who fall below the poverty level, make tough choices between meals and pay high medical bills, the mortgage or rent and other utilities bills such as electricity, gas, heat and education in order to survive in high living expenses in the United States. There is no subsidized medical benefits/services in the U.S. unlike in Europe and Asia regions. The Americans have to get their own medical insurance which the cost can rise higher and higher each year. Most of the American families fall into bankruptcy when they are unable to pay high medical and hospitalization bills. The U.S. poverty rate rose to the highest level in almost two decades and household income fell in 2010, underscoring the lingering impact of the worst economic slump in seven decades. Data released by the Census Bureau, showed the proportion of people living in poverty climbed to 15.1 percent last year from 14.3 percent in 2009 and median household income declined 2.3 percent, as reported on Sept 2011.  Annie E. Casey Foundation also stressed that child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. As a result, 14.7 million children, 20%, were poor in 2009, an increased by 2.5 million from 2000 due to the hard impact of recession hit since 2008. At least 2.2 million more Americans, a 33 percent jump since 2000, live in neighborhoods where the poverty rate is 40 percent or higher, according to a study released today by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, according to the latest news http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/recession-drives-more-people-into-poverty-wracked-neighborhoods-of-u-s-.html




New findings reveal that one in four children in the U.S. suffer from hunger by ABC news




2) Corporate greed, and the power and influence of corporations, particularly from the financial service sector, and of lobbyists, over government
On 15th October 2011, tens of thousands of demonstrators staged rallies in 900 cities around the world, including Auckland, Sydney, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, and many other cities. In Frankfurt, 5,000 people protested at the European Central Bank and in Zurich, Switzerland's financial hub, protesters carried banners reading "We won't bail you out yet again" and "We are the 99%." Protests were largely peaceful, however a protest in Rome that drew thousands turned violent when "a few thousand thugs from all over Italy, and possibly from all over Europe" caused extensive damage. Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Times Square in New York City and rallied for several hours. Several hundred protesters were arrested across the U.S., mostly for refusing to obey police orders to leave public areas. In Chicago there were 175 arrests, about 100 arrests in Arizona, 53 in Tucson, 46 in Phoenix and more than 70 in New York City, including at least 40 in Times Square. Multiple arrests were reported in Chicago, and about 150 people camped out by city hall in Minneapolis. (source: Wikipedia)


Inside Story - Demanding 'economic justice' by Aljazeera
The real objectives of Occupy protestors against the global banking system.




The protestors angry with the government who supports the tax cut for the 1% wealthier group, which was implemented 10 years ago during George Bush era. The 99% demonstrators are also protest against the U.S. banking system and the Wall Street who led the financial collapse due to subprime mortgage loans. (To understand how did the financial meltdown happen in the United States and who to blame then, watch Inside Jobs documentary)




So, how did the Financial Crisis happen in the USA? A simple graphic explanation on credit crisis happened since the greedy U.S. banks take greater risks to sell subprime mortgage loans to nonqualified homeowners. The bankers also sell the mortgages to other investors as Collaterized Debt Obligation (CDO) with higher costs and interests. This means that a homeowner with subprime mortgage loan, pay his/her loan to bank without knowing that his/her mortgage loan has been sold to many parties such as other investors. When the homeowner can't settle the loans due to higher interest rates, foreclosure takes place. When there are too many foreclosure happened, the housing fall below the market price.



3) Higher unemployment rate than being reported as 9.8% in the U.S.
The government announced the unemployment rate in the United States is 9.8% for the past few months in 2011 but we believe that the actual of the unemployment rate could be higher, may be closer to 20%, or 30 million Americans without a job. Those measured are those who had a job before, are actively looking for work and are immediately available for work. More people are retrenched each time but jobs aren't available in the market.



Updated: In today's news dated 20th October 2011 on Los Angeles Times, Chinese leaders are getting concern with the Occupy Wall Street which would influence the Chinese people to voice out their frustration against the Chinese government. Thus, the Chinese government has begun to control and censor news related to Occupy Wall Street protest on the media and internet in China.


So, are we heading to double dip recession soon? I think we might be suffer for another recession. Nobody can predict the future of the economy. Since after Greece declared on debt problem, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, and Spain begin to request for bail out due to their debt crisis as well. The Citigroup chief economist warned that the global banking system would collapse if the Eurozone leaders fail to curb the debt crisis.

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