The economic system treats me well – I have a good-paying job, I’m debt-free, and 95% of my net-worth is invested in mutual funds. But our economic system is showing cracks.
- The gap between the rich and the poor is growing, and surprisingly growing faster in Canada than in the U.S..
- The extreme wealthy have a disproportionate amount of political power and are sheltered from paying taxes. You know the system is unbalanced when people like Bill Gates, his father, and Warren Buffett want more taxes for the rich.
- Our economic system is based on exponential growth, fuelled by conspicuous consumption, and it’s destroying our environment.
But that’s just my opinion. If you want some others, go to We are the 99% on Tumblr or this insightful analysis. I recommend listening to Arcade Fire’s Suburbs album while scrolling through the images. I’m officially nominating that album as the soundtrack to the occupy protests – especially Ready to Start.
The #OccupyWallStreet movement has been criticized for not having direction or solutions, but I think that has been its strength. That vacuum has started a conversation that has allowed for some insightful ideas.
- My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters – Matt Taibbi on Rolling Stone
- My Soapbox Advice to the OWS Movement and then some – Mark Cuban on Blog Maverick
- Fifteen measures Occupy Canada protestors should adopt – Democracy Watch’s ideas on the Tyee
Those conversations have lead to suggestions like specific bank regulations, maximum wages for CEOs, and a robin hood tax on financial transactions.
I’m not sure what to expect today (hopefully no violence), but I’ll be joining the protestors at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I’m not bringing a tent or witty sign.
Image by Esther Lee.
Awesome post. I wish everybody had the understanding to see things your lens. It is obvious that people are hurting. Too bad the Congress of the USA does not believe.
Mark Cuban also wrote something in support of the transaction tax. http://blogmaverick.com/
I’m skeptical of any new regulation though. It always get co-opted by the entrenched interests or are toothless. The 2002 finance regulations in the Enron wake didn’t stop anything, but had unintended consequences of making it too expensive for smaller companies to raise money on the public market by doing an IPO.
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