Why the Middle Class is Angry

Filed in National by on October 17, 2011

The fat cats on Wall St. can’t seem to figure out why the middle class is angry at them. Let’s look at the nest eggs that the middle class has been hoping will comfort them in their waning years:

Their 401k’s: Years ago, people had pensions, but boomers and the rest of us have pretty much accepted that they won’t be getting pensions.  Instead, we have been contributing to 401k’s.  But we all know what the stock market has been doing for the past 4 years. And if we slip back into another recession, it could be a lost decade.

Their homes: The housing market has made the stock market seem like a good investment. It will take a few more years to get back to where they were 5 years ago. In the meantime, dreams of downsizing and cashing out have evaporated.

Their Social Security and Medicare: Now on the chopping block and both parties are on board.

Add to that the high level of unemployment in general and the issues that people laid off in their 50’s face trying to get another job, and it is hard to believe that the protests aren’t larger and more aggressive than they already are.

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  1. puck says:

    The Occupy Wall Street movement is nothing new; it is simply the latest in a long history of workers taking to the street.

    Here is a long article on the history of street action by unemployed workers in US cities. Read the whole thing; it just keeps going on and on documenting major worker revolts that you probably never knew about:

    In the slump of 1837 some 20,000 unemployed in Philadelphia assembled to demand, among other things, that the national government relieve distress among the unemployed by a public works program (Foner, 162), and in New York City, a crowd of thousands in City Hall Park protested against the “monopolies” and the high cost of food and rent. The crowd then paraded to the wholesale flour depot, and dumped flour and wheat in the streets (Gutman, 1976, 60-61). In the panic of 1857 protests of the un employed emerged in several big cities. Ten thousand Philadelphians rallied “to stimulate their representatives in the State House to an appreciation of their troubles,” and a system of ward associations was set up to issue food to the needy (Feder, 32). In New York a meeting of 15,000 in Tompkins Square to demand work culminated in the destruction of fences and benches and the seizure of food wagons, although in this instance the workers got neither jobs nor relief, and federal troops were called in (Feder, 35). The depression of 1873 stimulated new demonstrations. In New York City, rallies drew 10,000 to 15,000 people who were dispersed by mounted police, and in Chicago, mass meetings of the unemployed, organized by anarchists under the slogan “Bread or Blood,” culminated in a march of 20,000 on the City Council (Feder, 52; Boyer and Morais, 86). Subsequently, unemployed workers stormed the offices of the Chicago Relief and Aid Society, swamping the Society with applications for aid. The Society surrendered, and about 10,000 were given relief over the next year (Feder, 52; Seymour, August 1937, 8).1 In the depression of 1884 the unemployed in Chicago marched again, this time into better-off neighborhoods (Montgomery, 20), and in 1893 a new and bitter depression led to a series of marches on Washington by the unemployed, the best known of which was of course “Coxey’s army.” Coxey’s marchers got nothing, but mass demonstrations in the big industrial cities did succeed at least in getting soup kitchens and, in some places, local public works projects as well.

  2. cassandra m says:

    Here is an ex-fat cat explaining to banks This Is Why They Hate You And Want You To Die. This guy was on Marketplace last Friday, too.

  3. Aoine says:

    well, I think the shit just hit the fan:


    U.S. Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, N.Y., went toe to toe with the New York Police Department to protect the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Thomas voiced his objection to New York Police brutality that had and has been plaguing the Occupy Wall Street movement.
    Thomas is a 24-year-old Marine Veteran who served two tours in Iraq. He currently plays amateur football and is in college.
    Thomas comes from a long line of people who sacrifice for their country: Mother, Army Veteran (Iraq), Step father, Army, active duty (Afghanistan), Grandfather, Air Force veteran (Vietnam), Great Grand Father Navy veteran (World War II).”


  4. fightingbluehen says:

    Why are there paid protesters and union members in this movement? The Democrat party should be ashamed at trying to gin up class warfare. It won’t help anybody’s situation. This is an obvious ploy to re elect a president whose administration is mostly to blame for the non recovery of the economy.
    You say that you are mad about the bail outs but you want to re elect a man who did the bailing out.
    These protests are a sham. There are not even that many people protesting at each event but the media treats it like it’s the civil rights protests all over again. Hype.

  5. fightingbluehen says:

    I’m no tea party guy but I have noticed that these protesters don’t pick up their trash and the tea partiers do.

  6. Jason330 says:

    I can’t think of anything more pathetic than $30k per year earning GOP dupes and idiots sticking up for billionaires. Maybe a $30k per year earning GOP idiot sticking up for billionaires while wearing a speedo bathing suit.

  7. Auntie Dem says:

    You are so full of it that you ought to have brown eyes. Mebbe you do. There aren’t any paid protestors in this movement. You’re getting it confused with the teaparty.

  8. Socialistic ben says:

    I like FBH’s game.
    i can play it too. I notice the OWS americans dont kill baby harp seals ritualistically like the Tea Partiers do.

    see? slanderous, anonymous accusation with absolutely nothing to back it up.
    also, the Tea Partiers usually go home to their government subsidized homes and collect their social security and pensions after their protests are done for the day and Megyn Kelly takes her boobs homes (i say that because she has no journalistic integrity, but is attractive, and in conservative land, that is all that matters….. you know who that explanation was for 🙂 🙂 ) . OWS are real protesters. they are living there.

  9. fightingbluehen says:

    Auntie -sorry if my brown eyes don’t live up to your Aryan standards,

  10. Jason330 says:

    Why is it that Tea Partiers indulge in a lot of goat f*cking, while OWS protesters don’t? It is a mystery. Just like, why do $30k per year earning GOP dupes like FBH work so hard to comfort the comfortable?

    Mostly racism, I’d wager.

  11. Jason330 says:

    Let me fix that. I’ll bet the heart of the ardent GOP middle class dupe-hood is mixture of racism and cognitive dissonance. To accept their economic serfdom they’d have to admit that they are wrong about practically everything. That is too much for idiots like FBH to suffer.

  12. Geezer says:

    FBH: So I suppose the outraged reaction from OWS-NY to having MoveOn representatives talk about the movement on the Sunday Talking Head shows was just a bit of clever political theater, designed to throw people off the track. AS is their adamant claim that they dislike Democrats and Republicans alike.

    So, once again, a conservative takes a break from claiming the administration isn’t competent enough to find its own ass in a phone booth to claim that it’s diabolically clever and can accomplish anything it wants — WITHOUT ANYONE EVER REALIZING IT!

    Cognitive dissonance indeed.

  13. fightingbluehen says:

    Yup Geezer, just like the liberals said George Bush was a moron and diabolically clever. Politics, what else can I say.

  14. Socialistic ben says:

    wrong again, skippy. LIberals said George Bush was a moron puppet. Which he was. A stupid coke-head puppet. Dick and Rummy were the diabolically cleaver puppet masters.

    so i guess you can say… nothing more. at all…until you can at least get your insults right. That’d be nice.