The recent movements of Defend Wisconsin to Occupy Wall Street and beyond have left many wondering and questioning: is it class warfare, an evolution in American political thinking or simply a revolution. Words and concepts such as the 99%, the 1% and greed have been discussed and dissected all over the news.
The notion of corporate greed is not an entirely new thought running through the minds of the middle class or even American pop culture; music, film and literature have all attacked and discussed this concept. Michael Douglas’ infamous character Gordon Gekko once said, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.” Today, there seems to be a great amount of truth in Gekko’s words. Television Networks, newspapers and politicians often sit by idly and pass judgment on those who protest in the streets or even praise those who defend their actions, which have drawn the angry and upset protestors to their doorstep.
The image that the large television networks and newspapers have painted of the protestors is right. What do these protestors, college students, the working and middle-class of America, the backbone of the nation, really know? It seems that they are asking way too much of corporations and politicians who have let them down numerous times and often failed them over the past decade. Asking them to pair their fair share- after being bailed out by the taxpayers- is too much of a burden, especially when they are only making billions, and perhaps trillions, in profit. The public will just have to wait- it is only fair that those who have been waiting for years to find a job or be able to afford college tuition should wait a little longer. Their needs are not nearly as important as those of the corporate elite or Washington’s inner circle of political poster boys and girls, America’s most wealthy sons and daughters.
Gekko goes on to say that greed, “will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.” Oh, how words have never rung more true. Since corporations and the ultra wealthy have received the Bush era tax breaks the United State’s economy has skyrocketed. Its true, the United State’s credit rating even went from an AAA ranking to an AA+. Come on it can’t be all that bad; it has an A+ plus in it: highest marks in the class or may be even in the entire world.
It appears that the only solution to this rift between the 99% and the 1% is to think inward, only about yourself. This strategy has gotten America this far and look at the great results, why stop and change a good thing.
Oliver Stone, “Wall Street,” 20th Century Fox.