That's an upgrade from the protests where they were trying to "burn London" from a couple of months ago. A good thing. But as a protester this time around protesting high unemployment and high debt what was the proposal? Stopping the government from financing the future would be a good start. Next thing you are going to tell me that they we offering up solutions too! Way to step in the way of a good ranttotalmotorcycle wrote:There was 13,700 people today joining in the protest in London, UK. Made every news channel all day long. But it was peace full and I have to say, the person they interviewed was quite educated and intelligent about why they were there.
The unemployment rate here in the UK for under 25 year olds is over 26% and many of them feel they won't have the opportunities afforded in previous generations plus have to pay back all the debt of those generations as well as suffer higher taxes and lowered benefits.
Kinda reminds me of my generation (Gen X) in the late 80's, but I just worred about high unemployment (in Toronto) and not huge debt on top of that as well.
Great reply Cemees. I agree that the big issue here is easy credit and greed. What kills me though is that when the "poo poo" hits the fan though it's the banks fault. Clearly. The guy who needed the $60K diesel pickup with $4K with worth of wheels and tires and financed it to the hilt was just a victim of the system. How was he to know that hanging himself out there could go so wrong? The couple in their early 20s who needed 2500 sq. feet of house with granite counter-tops were just trying to scrape by when the bank came and took their house..... How could they know that life could be so unfair?ceemes wrote:What really sickens me to no end is not the protesters, but rather the baby boomers who put us into these situation in the first place. Now depending on who you ask, I am either one of the last baby boomers born or one of the first Gen-X'ers but either way it is our generation that allowed our current economic situation to occur.
Sad thing is, many of those greedy self-serving baby boomers were the same people who when they were younger were dead set on changing the world for the better, the so-called hippies and yippies. They were the Civil Rights works and the Vietnam War Protesters who in the 60's and early 70's want to make if not the world more socially just, then at least their part of it. But somewhere during the 80's, the Reagan Era, these young idealist turned their backs on their ideals and embraced greed and corruption wholeheartedly. They are the ones that lead us to where we are now, in a never ending race to the bottom and a modern day feudalism.
Of course our throw away society doesn't help what with in rampant consumerism of all manner of "crumb", and built in obsolescence. Use to be a time when you bought an item, you expected to keep it and for it to work for years if not decades. Today, buy something and it is already obsolete and needing replacing by the time you walk out the vendors door. Take mobile phones for instance. Seems like every six months new must have models are being introduced and snapped up by the gullible, thus feeding the machine. And then these is the issue of EZ FREE credit, with in all honesty is neither easy nor free. By getting us hooked on the credit machine, the banks and other institutions are basically enslaving us, as we are indebted to them for life.
Yeah, many of these protesters seem to be a bit lost as to what they are protesting, but at least they are making a stand, something we all should be doing if we want to take back control of our lives and our nations. Stay the current course and we risk having to lead an endless life of financial serfdom.
I will grant that the majority of people who find themselves in fiscal trouble often bring it on themselves. I mean how many of us here have gone out and bought that shiny new motorbike on credit and then found out they really cannot afford it?High_Side wrote:Great reply Cemees. I agree that the big issue here is easy credit and greed. What kills me though is that when the "poo poo" hits the fan though it's the banks fault. Clearly. The guy who needed the $60K diesel pickup with $4K with worth of wheels and tires and financed it to the hilt was just a victim of the system. How was he to know that hanging himself out there could go so wrong? The couple in their early 20s who needed 2500 sq. feet of house with granite counter-tops were just trying to scrape by when the bank came and took their house..... How could they know that life could be so unfair?
What it comes down to is this: Everyone is currently looking for someone to blame and the institutions are an easy target. Really though we are surrounded by people everyday who ARE the problem themselves but just can't see it. And it cannot get any better until all the players recalibrate their expectations and entitlements.
+1!!!High_Side wrote:What it comes down to is this: Everyone is currently looking for someone to blame and the institutions are an easy target. Really though we are surrounded by people everyday who ARE the problem themselves but just can't see it. And it cannot get any better until all the players recalibrate their expectations and entitlements.
In principle I agree, however that would be true only with equal opportunity/education/health & ability.sunshine229 wrote:Everyone is responsible for their own success or lack there of... Make your own choices and live with them.
Problem is, a lot of what you thought was under your control is not. A lot of people here in Canada and the US are now facing a rather bleak retirement and have seen their life savings all but wiped out by those in the financial and stock industries playing it fast and loose. Those at the top will not feel one iota of pain, expect for a select few scapegoats, however you and I are expected to bear the brunt of the damage and pay to fix things though lower wages, higher cost, less service and having our hard earned tax money being diverted to Big Corps. Meanwhile, the sods at the top along with their bought and paid for political lapdogs are still swilling deep from the trough.sunshine229 wrote:+1!!!High_Side wrote:What it comes down to is this: Everyone is currently looking for someone to blame and the institutions are an easy target. Really though we are surrounded by people everyday who ARE the problem themselves but just can't see it. And it cannot get any better until all the players recalibrate their expectations and entitlements.
Everyone is responsible for their own success or lack there of... Make your own choices and live with them. Spend knowing what the full cost is. Save for a rainy day. And ask yourself, "Do I really NEED to buy this item???"
I know there are things out of your control but if you keep control of what you can and make level headed decisions in your life you will be far better off then just throwing your life to the wind or even worse turning into a bump on a log.
Hear hear. Well said.mogster wrote:
In principle I agree, however that would be true only with equal opportunity/education/health & ability.
In reality we are all different & although I am not suggesting a person cannot improve their lot, some others are born into advantage.
It seems to me that people are now judged by earning power rather than respect for dedication or pure hard graft.
Those that earn low wages & are not necessarily less hard working than those that earn more. Saving for a rainy day implies that there is extra in the budget- not true for all unfortunately.
Perhaps if our societies returned to respecting professions (eg teaching/medicine/engineering) then the fat cat bankers could step down from their ivory towers & join in the real world of a decent wage for a decent day's work & at least slow down this merry-go-round of greed & debt.
The contrast couldn’t be more stark between the Famous 5 celebrants and Occupy Calgary protesters meeting just steps apart Tuesday.
At around noon, about 40 women in hats gathered at the Famous 5 statue at Olympic Plaza to celebrate the 82nd anniversary of women being declared “persons” in Canada, on Oct. 18, 1929. Those five women are proof of the incredible power a few determined, focused people can make when they have a clear plan to achieve a clear goal.
Just steps away, 18 Occupy Calgary protesters are gathering for their daily meeting at noon, called by Sheehan Herlein, next to the pretty pond the City of Calgary’s taxpayers pay for in the square, along with the clean and functioning washroom facilities and pretty flowers.
“The first thing we want to bring up is . . . we need to get something concrete. It’s time to take action on that concrete something so hopefully we can get a big turnout,” says Herlein in apparent seriousness.
(Keep reading if you want a good giggle.)
“What I’m suggesting is that we have a meeting today with other working groups to get our thoughts correct,” declares Herlein.
Brent Talbot, 41, the author of the unpublished book, The Addict’s Guide to Spiritual Therapy, asks Herlein to repeat his proposal as he has been distracted by a bee. Phill Vernon, 29, is ringing his Tibetan singing bowl, something he does anytime he feels tension.
Then Talbot makes a proposal that those “who are actually camping here” in Olympic Plaza in any of the 28 tents on site, “hold a meeting because nothing seems to be getting done because no one is accountable and if you’re not accountable, nothing will get done,” he says. He suggests a 3 p.m. meeting. The assembled flutter their fingers, which means the crowd agrees. One young man disagrees. He’s too busy. He’s camping at St. Patrick’s Island. He has a tight schedule to keep, presumably walking between the two camps. Vernon rings his bowl. Inertia sets in.
So another person stands up to make a proposal: “We need more bodies doing stuff,” he says. “We have a lot of people in a lot of working groups that don’t know where to be and at what time.”
It’s one of the most humorous things I’ve witnessed in months and I still watch Seinfeld.
Finally, James Louden, 38, stands up and says he’s been taking notes for the past 15 minutes and so far all that’s happened is three different people have suggested three different meetings. “We are holding a meeting and all we’ve done is proposed three new meetings,” he points out to flurry of fluttering fingers.
At last, I think to myself, I’m going to hear an important point of action. This is what Louden says: “I propose that we set up a cork board or white board so that we can write down what time we’re holding all of these meetings,” Louden says. There is a fluttering of fingers again. But no one is tasked with getting the white board. The meeting is adjourned. Absolutely nothing is accomplished. The assembled, looking oddly proud of themselves, disperse into fake busyness. You can cut the phoniness with a knife. It is palpable.
Back at the Famous 5 monument, Carolyn Harley is singing the song she wrote: The Ballad of the Famous 5. “Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, Nellie McClung ... they rallied the nation for all generations and fought ‘til the battle was won,” she sang along with the other women. Then Nancy Millar, the author of the book: The Famous 5, spoke about each of the larger-than-life women — portrayed in the statue and also on the $50 Canadian bill — pointing out that Emily Murphy of Edmonton became not just the first woman magistrate in Canada in 1916, but in the entire British Empire. Real action. Real results. Five non-persons changed the world.
Back at the Occupy Calgary camp, the protesters’ signs are displayed proudly on the neat grass maintained by the taxpayers of Calgary.
“Drop acid not bomb (sic).”
“Are you the person their (sic) pretending to be?” reads another barely literate, nonsensical sign.
“Tax the rich,” says another.
“I have no face/I have no voice/ I am the 99%.”
Ah, the 99 per cent. Many of the protesters declare that they speak for the 99 per cent of Canadians who, depending on which protester you speak to, “wants to overthrow the one per cent of corporate pigs enslaving the 99 per cent,” or who “wants to replace the capitalist system,” or who is determined to usher in a “time for the rising of the divine feminine” etc. etc.
There is no agenda, no plan, no solutions. Just a lot of bellyaching about the rich not paying enough taxes. One woman complained that she would like to work five hours a week, instead of five days a week. Who doesn’t? I ask. But this is what they’re “fighting for.” They want the fictional one per cent to pay for their laziness.
The problem is that no one at Occupy Calgary can articulate much at all. Their inarticulateness is spectacular, shocking and, frankly, sad.
Gregory Thomas, the federal and Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said the kind of income disparity that Canadian protesters are parroting from their U.S. counterparts who are occupying Wall Street just doesn’t exist.
“About 4.4 million Canadians who filed taxes in 2009 each paid less than $100 in income taxes. In the same year, 173,000 Canadians — which is about the size of two Red Deers — paid $28 billion in tax, or $164,000 on average per filer,” points out Thomas.
According to the Canada Revenue Agency’s Income Statistics for 2009, only 0.7 per cent of Canadians earned more than $250,000 per year but paid 19.7 per cent of the income tax tab. In fact, the 5.7 per cent of Canadians who make $100,000 or more per year pay 44 per cent of the income taxes in Canada.
In the U.S., some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters make some valid points. It’s wrong for huge banks to make Main Street own their debt when the profits remain private. Most reasonable people would agree with that?
Phill Vernon is still holding his Tibetan singing bowl. He has been camping at the Plaza since Saturday. “I had to go to work on Sunday, sadly for an Internet banking company,” he admits.
When he’s not working for an evil bank, he’s an artist — a photo illustrator — who just graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design.
He runs to his tent to fetch his leather-wrapped iPad to show me two June 2011 magazine covers. One is for Oil Week and the other is for Oil and Gas Inquirer. (My jaw drops. I am agog and not because this man/child clearly has some talent.)
“I’m opposed to oil,” he says, reading my shock. He does not ring his singing bowl, despite my desperate need as a result of his violent hypocrisy. “I don’t want to support oil, but I need to build up my portfolio to build up my name. I think we should use electric cars and stop using gasoline,” he says.
Does he know that most of Alberta’s electricity comes from coal-fired plants? He doesn’t.
“We should use tidal power or hydro instead,” he suggests.
We’re landlocked and have a couple of lazy rivers, I point out. His suggestions are akin to saying we should use stardust and unicorn sweat to run those factories that manufacture his iPad.
Back at the monument, Nancy Millar explains that she came downtown because she believes everyone could benefit by learning more about the Famous 5. Ain’t that the truth. None more so than the Occupy Calgary protesters. But they were all too busy spouting their nonsense and holding their meetings to plan more meetings to hear or learn anything at all.
Licia Corbella is a columnist and the editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald.