Keller @ Large: What’s Worth Remembering About The Occupy Movement

By Jon Keller, WBZ

BOSTON (CBS) – Before we discuss what is worth remembering about the Occupy protests here in Boston and elsewhere, let’s touch briefly on what was forgettable about them.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

The narcissism of the drummers in New York’s Zuccotti Park, who equated scratching their itch to make noise and be noticed with protest even as their fellow protesters were begging them to stop; the cluelessness of the young woman in Dewey Square who told me with a straight face that the encampment represented the start of a change in “our global way of living”; and the aggressive failure to ever settle on a clear focus, a decision the movement seemed so proud of but which left most of the rest of us confused and skeptical.

As cringe-worthy as all that was, it wasn’t as bad as some of the knee-jerk reactions to Occupy.

Some on the right unfairly stereotyped all the protesters as slackers, but the folks responsible for keeping Occupy Boston functioning were some of the harder-working people I’ve met lately. And liberals who cast the camps as the start of a new American revolution look kind of silly now, as the “revolution” fizzles out amid a wave of mostly-negative publicity.

But speaking of publicity, the Occupations did have an impact that may prove lasting and worthwhile, depending on the degree to which you believe this country needs change for the better.

This was mostly a movement of young people, many with very legitimate complaints about the world they’re being handed by their elders. If they prove they can focus on concrete issues, and organize and vote and lobby as a bloc, they might someday wield clout the Tea Party would envy.

The Occupiers mostly steered clear of association with political parties. If their advocacy avoids partisan pigeonholing going forward, they might tap into the fastest-growing political group in America – independents who shun the major parties as self-serving empty vessels.

The Occupy movement has been a hot mess, true. But if the serious, sober core of it can take the lessons learned and build a non-partisan force for change powered by a fresh generational perspective, maybe it’s won’t have been a waste of time after all.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • tsal

    I’m not for the moment getting into what Occupy did and didn’t do. What I believe I have learned most is that it earned blog after blog of people complaining about its existence. I would love to see blog after blog of people complaining about the corruption and greed in a government that is very, very close to destroying this country. Somehow, for whatever reason that continues to escape me, the “people” seem to feel campers in Dewey Square are more offensive than special interest groups, lobbyists, corrupt politicians and on and on. And we wonder how we got to where we are. Go figure.

    • graaamps

      After WW II, the US via the Marshall Plan, financed & rebuilt Europe….In doing so America placed a protective umbrella, through NATO, over those countries…

      Consequently Europe ‘didn’t’ have to invest in standing armies to protect themselves. They were able to direct those defense funds to things like
      ‘socialized medicine’, free college tuition, 4-6 weeks vacation in certain industries & a ‘Litany’ of other hand outs….

      Creating a ‘gimmiecrat’, entitled mindset in Europe.

      Meanwhile back home, the US in the mid-sixties, Lyndon Johnson coined a phrase & started the ‘American econmic downfall, the ‘Great Society’,which was unfunded, consequently, the US has raised it’s debt limit 70+ times to pay for it….

      Creating the ‘gimmie-cratic party’ & your relatives @ ‘Dewey Square.

      It’s over, the $$’s ‘ALL GONE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD’, the check books ’empty’, the credit cards are ‘MAXED OUT’! Deal with it!….

      All financed, as an unintended consequence by the USA’s borrowing $$!

      I find it interesting that China & India are now owning & kicking our butt’s….51 babies are born every minute in India, probably a lot more in China. Do you think they’ll build ‘welfare states’ or build their economy’s?…….

      Could their succes be because we ‘didn’t’ help them?……..’YUP’……They helped themselves!

      & so it goes.


      Our once Great & now failing Society’ was funded & is being carried by ‘CHINA’……Chicken fingers, anyone?

      • Conservatism Rocks

        well said gramps

      • buzzardbill

        Chill dude. Better re-read on post WWII Europe, the Marshall Plan and the debt owed to the US by the Germans, in particular, and Europe and Japan in general. The US made a fortune in the war industry and Europe was in ruins. The American business community needed markets for its products and a destroyed and bankrupt Europe/ Japan was the last thing they needed. Also, China has had a population control policy for years. I won’t even dignify your comments on The Great Society as the cause of the country’s fiscal woes.

    • Ron

      Well said tsal

  • andyme

    The Tea Party folks did it the right way, they cast their vote in the last mid-term election and they won. The Occupy Group may have had some good working folks in their midst, however the image they displayed on TV was mostly college kids not having a clue as to what or why they were protesting even by a liberally biased media. The message, life is not fair, some people are born well off, however most people earn it, go to work!

    • tsal

      andyme – the image the media displayed on TV. – not the image the group displayed

      As far as the tea party – it is a party. What some do not seem to understand is that OWS is not a party.

      The tea party’s elected freshmen are now working with Washington lobbyists – business as usual for them along with everyone else in Washington. I am not seeing anything they did right. They fond their friends in Washington just like all of the other corrupt elected officials.

      As far as people earning it – it has to be earned fair and square – not with special breaks. I won’t even go into your comment on get to work.

    • tsal

      andyme – do you feel that an income increase of 270% in the past three decades for the top percent, 65% for the middle class and 18% for poor is justifiable?

      • Oh Well

        Your first point was dead on – but let’s not misinterpret statistics. The upper quintile has no further bracket to adjust to so any increase is measured against the base. Therefore, in the eyes of the press and the self-righteous the whopping increase over 30 years, is a poster child for inequality. However, the other quintiles do not capture the same group as many have moved up and others are now admitted to the lowest quintile. Thirty years ago I was paying for school with loans and making minimum wage. I moved up – got sick and got laid off so I have been demoted a few quintiles. Stuff happens. Let’s stick to demanding our representatives honor the oath of protecting the constitution and not enriching themselves through insider deals and insider trading. The sound bites of fairness will only work if the elected officials are empowered by the people who elect them and not the money to which they serve. Regards.

    • buzzardbill

      Send us a few job openings to which to apply. When the Teabaggers were identified as angry white middle aged and older wearing bizarre outfits did you feel that was stereotypical or just about right? Occupy “folks” represent those who are willing to get off their duffs and assemble and let their dissatisfaction be shown. But you are apparently an objective, informed, non judgemental “live and let live” wonderful human being who sees the negative in all that you don’t grasp..

  • William W. Bauser

    I do not agree with Jon Keller that the Occupu group has engendered a novel political perspective by not aligning themselves with any political perspective. First, pragmatic solidarity is a social political perspective. A social group is a membership of two or more like minded members. Even narcissism does not have empty selfs. Lastly, I fail to perceive how the Occupy group escapes the pigeon-hole principle.

  • Rich Buckley

    (Rich’s Thoughts & Emotions)  Here’s the OWS  “Christmas List,” (as I call it) of  OWS stated purpose, goals and tactics, put together by the careful research of  John Iacovelli and published first by  OpEdNews, . The full article is linked here  and targets the democratic heart of the inspired, peaceful movement:
    “The exhausted political machines and their PR slicks are already seeking leaders to elevate, messages to claim, talking points to move on. They, more than anyone, will attempt to seize and shape this moment. They are racing to reach the front of the line. But how can they run out in front of something that is in front of them? They cannot. For Wall Street and Washington, the demand is not on them to give us something that isn’t theirs to give. It’s ours. It’s on us. We aren’t going anywhere. We just got here.”
    –Unsigned editorial, The Occupied Wall Street Journal, Issue 2
    I hold a mental image of the sunset silhouette  of General MacArthur, standing on the open deck of PT-41   off the Bataan Peninsula, heading for the Mindanao airfield through a minefield, a quiet engine, a spoken commitment heard around the world: “I shall return.”  
    We are witness to the unfolding and development of a uniquely American movement in OWS who’s power and potency will return with an unyielding ferocity of a tsunami. It will define a new high water mark in legislative reforms with soundings that register globally.  
    Pass the Love.. rich buckley ( 

  • emom

    What can we remember about OWS. It started with a message of wall street greed , after all that’s the name of Occupy Wall Street. It did make national headlines and brought forward the never ending greed that OCCUPIES many entities of this country. It also grabbed the attention of many politicians and corporate moguls. But as time went on There presence became muddled, and a bit scrambled.
    It had at least let the country know , If they had no idea it was a problem , That greed is wide spread and running rampant in this country. Sometimes it takes a movement to shake things up. At least Bostons OWS was civil compare to the rest of the country. Proving you can get your message across in a more peaceful manner.
    I am hoping that in some way the country can now look at how government uses taxes to run this country. We are aware they can not balance any books, they run overages for everything, Create far more problems than is needed. Give far to many leniency’s to corporations and give bailouts to them to help supplement their ever growing need to get richer. Something that became headline news and for what, Causing this country to go into to debt for loans they never got paid back for. There is no foreclosures on those loans that have not been paid back, But if a home owner does not or can not pay their mortgage or car loan, banks take them back with out trying much to help. The power of these greedy groups out way the practical needs. Our country is so far into debt yet nothing on a whole has been done to correct it.
    Politicians give the reins to the corporate CEOs and allow them to wright their own rules,
    We need to change the majority of rules and regulations, Change how politicians are able to us our tax dollars for things other than it was meant for. Prevent politicians from hiring family and friends for jobs, That’s favoritism. limiting Corporations from taking form both their employees and the public while getting richer of it.
    Change the tax structure so it includes those that hide, transferred, or use giving money to donations to avoid taxes.
    There is so much greed in this country and this recession should be proof that the working class has been hurting once again. I would have thought we would have learned from the last two recessions, Yeah daddy and son messed up this country in a big way. We could do nothing to stop it and a lot of what they did could also not be stopped. That is until now. I do hope if we have learned something that its time for major changes and to reevaluate just whats more important to the success to this countries people and how important it is that if it is to succeed people need jobs that stay here, pay good and that commodities are not so over priced that the majority can not afford it.
    The poorer people are, the less and less they will purchase , leaving the door open once again for yet another recession that will cripple this country in to total bankruptcies. and letting foreign countries to buy us out and them control everything like they do their countries,
    HOLD POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT THEY SAY AND DO , Make it a law that they need to use tax money for its intended purpose, Limit corporations on what they do to get rich off the country and take advantage of us as well.
    And raise the tax structure to get large taxes from these same people, they can afford to pay a larger portion we know they can and limit their ability to send jobs over seas as well as allowing foreign countries from buying out these companies. Its slowly destroying this country.

    • tsal

      VERY well said emom – standing O

      • Italo

        I agree.with emom’s posting being great.

    • emom

      Thanks , Its how I have felt for far to long and I may not always get my point across , This was better than I thought. If this could be the new message going forward, to create a foot hold for a better and stronger future. that is what we need. Not a long time sit in, and some radical people to scream and yell, A far better platform to get the powers to be to look long and hard at their current and past ways of how they have done business., Truly look at what may have worked and all that failed miserably.
      I am but one person small in a way. But have known for far to long that running a business into the ground with no moral or ethical codes, no respect for those that put their back into what they do to help the companies and government grow. But take away the very things they work so hard for.
      Balancing a budget is not that hard, they only make it that way.
      the creation of our future is on the edge, balancing like the high wire acts, and we have clowns running the show. We must change how politicians handle the every day affairs of our state and thus this country. Once again hold the accountable for what they say, do and have them stop the greed thru the corporations , Maybe then this country can get a stronger foothold and be far stronger and a much better place.

      • tsal

        emom – once again well said –

        Either a bunch of posts showed up this morning that were being held or I missed some. the problem is, emom, that we have a lot of voters who believe the wealth should be concentrated at the top. There are those who believe a CEO should make more than his/her entire workforce combined. There are those that feel that you can’t justify the numbers because they want to use some sort of sliding scale but do not recognize that the disappearance of middle class and the many more Americans slipping below poverty lines is all the proof they need.

        If the people do not see it, then how do we vote the corrupt politicians out of office?

  • EscapedSpamFolder
    • Tsal

      Hi Nab. I’d like to say I guessed but a double post by you appeared on another topic. Shhhhhhh. I won’t tell anyone else it’s you

      I’m posting here to avoid throwing something at the TV what a miserable game so far.

      • Tsal

        Nab keep it for BZ. I can’t post there half the time. It seems they have loosened up on Jons blog only. I set up a simple blog where we can continue discussion but need to see if there is interest and “talk” to Jon about it. Don’t want to step on toes

      • Nab71

        Looks like I’ve been released. I’ll have to keep ESF as backup.

        Looks like another 17 game season.

    • tsal

      ESF – a hint please ;)

  • tsal

    Jon by asking what we can remember, does that mean you believe the movement has ended? How about Occupy Your Home (not sure of exact term).

    I’ll wait to hear comments that there is no clear message with that movement from the same people who saw no message from OWS. If you are not familiar with the foreclosure fraud, it’s easy to find a link to last week’s 60 Minute coverage of it.

  • andyme

    Tsal, I don’t think a lot of things that happen in life are justifiable. Why wasn’t I born into the Kennedy or Rockefeller Family, why does a child get cancer, why does someone get promoted ahead of someone else, why don’t I have homes all over world, how come government workers can retire at 80% of their pay and social security is at the brink of financial ruin, etc. It’s called life. Parking your butt in a public place and whining about it is not the way to correct some of these injustices, go to work, become stock holders, start your own company, get elected to boards, became a decision and policy maker. The Occupy movement is the product of the nanny government state we live in.

    • tsal

      Your comments still seem to imply that either you are the top of the company or board member you can expect to be successful – otherwise, you have no say in the inequalities in this country.

      What government workers receive for pension is more what I am referring to. It’s ludicrous – as long as it is tax payer funded. Police, fire, teachers, etc put the majority of their pension funds into their retirement accounts the second they earn their first paycheck.

      How do you equate the family you are born into with blatant corruption? You are comparing happenstance to deliberate manipulation.

      • gramps

        tsal, those ‘benifits’ you’re complaining about & referring to, were bestowed on your public servants by the ‘POL’s’ that the likes of ‘YOU’ elected!

        Again, ‘TERM LIMITS’!


        If you’re looking for America’s problem, look in the ‘MIRROR’!

  • The Owl

    I see the OWS types as not much different than any other generation that came of age in a troubled time except that many of these were able to extend their time in the cocoon.

    It was clearly an expression of anxiety based on a sense of entitlement. They were and are troubled by having to face the realities of securing their own futures by themselves.

    Yes, our society is at fault for allowing unrealistic dreams to fester, our society is at fault for not preparing them for life, our society is at fault for allowing them to think that everything that they do is of value to the world.

    It is also the fault of their parents for their unrealistic indulgence.

    In the end, though, it is their own fault for accepting personal indulgences as their way of life.

    These kids are no different than those facing the bleakness of the 1970s depression or those kids in the ’60s who were as afraid of being stuck in a rice paddy with someone shooting at them as they were intellectually committed to opposition to President Johnson and the Vietnam war.

    Occupy Anywhere is merely noise on the radar. Always was, always will be.

  • andyme

    In our society if you want to be compensated more for your effort you usually have to move up the food chain, obtain a more responsible position in an organization. Stockholders in a public company elect Board members who approve the compensation package of the leaders. Has the compensation paid high level employees increased at higher rate, then lower level employees, yes it has. The question should not be is it justifiable, the question should be is it good judgement to treat the lower level employees who make it happen on a day to day basis this way. However this happens all over the place not just in Wall Street or corporate America, it happens in small, mid-size and large privately held firms, it happens in school systems, government positions etc. Most of these protesters were students, and life long complainers. You are right, politicians, teachers , firemen, police put the majority of the money into their pension systems, however they do not have to put any money into social security, if they had too I bet it would become solvent real quick. Corruption is all around. Some solutions, term limits, cut back on government employees, do we really need them, my guess is about 40% of all the households in Mass has someone working in a government job, what do you think their position is? I wish I was born a Kennedy, it’s just not fair!

  • andyme

    Great comments from “The Owl”

  • tsal

    I never thought of it as an unrealistic dream to be able to afford what you produce and at the moment the majority of Americans cannot do so. andyme an owl – it doesn’t take a lot of research to find out that in the 50s, 60s, 70s, that the average American had a greater share – considerably greater – of income gains than the top 10 percent. Prior to the great recession, the income growth inequality was exactly as lopsided as it was prior to the depression.

    One misconception is that the higher you are in a company, the smarter you are or the more valuable you are. Without every single person in that company, the company will fold. I realize that the wealth and the corporations feel they can continue to survive by having all of the money trickle up to them. It cannot be sustained for much longer. As long as the average person cannot afford to purchase what he/she produces, there will be no recovery. And that is all the average person wants. No one is asking for something for nothing. They simply want to afford what they produce. It’s basic.

  • tsal

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me that 275% increase for the wealthy between 1979 and 2007 and 65% for the middle class and 18% for the poor is justifiable. And andyme – justifiable I believe is what many are trying to make it.

    As far as the graph that shows where the problem is and how pre-recession compares and is not different than pre-depression

  • tsal

    It just dawned on me that I am operating on an assumption that may be totally wrong. I am assuming – owl and andyme – that you feel our government is broken and that too many involved are corrupt. I apologize if that assumption is not correct

    • The Owl

      Tsal, are you assuming that elements of our government aren’t corrupt and broken?

      It would seem to me that even if elements of government were not broken, the OWS people would STILL be facing the wall of having to be responsible for securing their own futures.

      Their self-indulgence has had it price; the time has come to pay it.

      They don’t like it, but that doesn’t mean that the piper doesn’t need to be paid.

      • Tsal

        Owl my question was sincere since you are entitled to your opinion and it is as valid as mine. I would probably approach our discussion a bit differently. When my kids graduated there were jobs. When i graduated 100 yrs ago there was no question of a job. college loans could be paid. The current group of graduates as well as veterans returning from war do not have jobs and if they find one it may well not be in their chosen field. Unemployment is realistically about 20%. if it were simply a bad enonmic turn I’d agree with you. I believe this recession is caused by $$ funneling up and absolutely nothing left for the majority of Americans. It’s been created by greed and corruption.

        Sorry. Heading out for an anniversary dinner so typing quickly. GreT discussion. Thanks andyme and owl

  • FireGuyFrank

    Whiney, spoiled kids who grew up getting a medal just for showing up. Accomplishment? Hard work? What’s that? Okay, kids, you had your fun. Time to go home.

    • Tsal

      Frank I’ve worked hard my entire life. I was laid off because of outsiurching from a company id been with in a senior position for 33 years and started my own business. I have a pension I have a well funded IRA Am in whining when I saw I want to be able to retire some day. I will be lucky if I can. Everything I have has not only lost value but things the same $$ used to purchase are increasing. Meanwhile due to health care and inability for companies to give raises to the average worker my income literally decreases each year while million dollar bonuses are handed to the wealth If wanting the middle class to survive is whining then I hope a whole lot more people begin to whine. Because the midle class is disappearing.

      • gramps

        Your pants are on fire, again!

      • Tsal

        Sorry for typos. Am on tablet Whixpch makes it harder to see

  • massman

    TSAL – Great posts. If you haven’t already watched this, I suggest you do.
    It’s actually sad that so many people on this site are so ignorant to the situation.
    Also, I wasn’t sure if you were aware of this. Check out the lone Republican who voted Yes.
    Warren for Senate 2012
    Warren for President 2016

    • tsal

      massman – thank you and I had seen the Brown voted with the democrats. I do like him and although I suspect Warren may win am sorry to see Brown not continue. What a shame that we have two really good candidates and they have to run against each other.

      I have not watched inside job but will look for it. I did watch the 60 minutes piece a week ago and it was telling. Not one person charged under Sarbanes Oxley – and the proof is right there. I’m impressed that Coakley is at least attempting to do something but suspect she will meet with the same opposition/games that has prevented those who created the problem to be charged and sentenced.

  • andyme

    Tsal, I am having a hard time believing that most Americans cannot afford things, just go to a mall or a resturant or how about the Apple Store when the 4s came out.

    One question, do you really feel that our government isn’t broken? I think we have a signifivant ethics issue in this country with coporations, government and people in general.

    • Tsal

      Oh dear I mistyped. No wonder you and owl are confused andyme. I meant to say do you think our govt is NOT broken. My sincere apologies. And that was before dinner and cocktails. Oh my

    • Tsal

      I never said our govt isn’t broken. I asked if you do. I believe it might be broken beyond repair. As far as not buying. The corporations are siting on trillions. More than in history comparatively because people are not buying so they are not producing and therefor also not hiring The first time homebuyer can’t afford a home. When has that ever been the case. Andyme you cannot have prices rising steadily while incomes are stagnant and not understand that is the case.

  • mikey

    I’d like to know who will be paying for the restoration of Dewey Square now that it resembles a tractor-pull course.

    • Jay

      Occupy Boston has raised money by donation (10000$ for restoration out of 60000+) and has assumed responsibility for restoring the greenway. I guess that hasn’t been reported.

      • Tsal

        Jay the media is reporting only negatives. The politicians are more than worried about the occupy message and whether anyone wants to believe it so is company management.

      • The Owl

        They still owe $50K by your figures.

        When they actually pony up the money, THEN they and say that they’ve assumed some responsibility.

        Until then, it’s all talk.

    • Tsal

      Mikey my friend. Paying for the small area in Boston is chicken feed. Who is going to pay for the destruction of an entire country? Gotta go outside the box here.

      • mikey

        Tsal, I blame the bought politicians for the destruction of this country. In the end every US citizen will be paying for the destruction of this nation as Communist China is still waiting in the wings.

      • tsal

        I absolutely agree and good morning Mikey!! The problem is that the majority are bought – even the new members of the tea party.

        As you know I support the occupy message and never had any trouble understanding what it is, but like the tea party, feel the group was taken infiltrated (for lack of a better word) by those who only want to be heard no matter what they say. I support those who left the square peacefully but not those who had to be removed forcefully. It didn’t prove a thing. As I said – as was the case with the tea party – two different types of people and it’s the bad apples that get the publicity.

  • BostonIrish

    Occupy movement was empty rhetoric and lacked focus. If you want to fall in love with a purist ideal of demonstration for the better for society, this was yyour nirvana. But it has ended hollow and, frankly, disappointing.

    • Tsal

      Then take the focus off of a few and spend the same energy complaining to morons we elected. Come on guys I believe you are all very intelligent. Why aren’t you putting the same energy into a fighting for your country as you are into a small group you feel is not worth your time. We all need to become one voice. Just because the politicians have to play partisian games doesn’t mean the American people have to fall into the same trap.

  • Tsal

    Oh my I re-read my 4:13 post and no wonder andyme and owl were confused. I left out the most important wod. I meant to say do you believe our govt is NOT broken. I sincerely apologize

  • tsal

    Mikey Cyrus – I brought your question to me from the other BZ occupy topic over here since I can’t get my answer to post there. Not sure it will even post here.

    You said, “Person A is doing something to generating income, and Person B is not, or not as much. That puts Person A in the wrong? You’re taking a shot at people just because they have more money than someone else but not taking into consideration how much hard work they have put in or what “class” they started in.”

    The figures I gave were not income – they were income increases annually over a 30 years period. Please do not tell me you believe only 10% of this country works hard and the other 90% does not. I won’t even get into the “class” comment. Mark’s mom has chosen a profession that deserves honor and as a teacher she will never in her lifetime see a triple digit or higher income. No CEO contributes more to this country than a teacher – and many other professions – to the point that he/she deserves 10% annual increase on average for decades while everyone else earns 0.8% annual increase. It doesn’t even match inflation. Do you know the middle class is disappearing? Do you believe that is what should be happening in this country?

    BTW The shot was at the inequality of income in this country- not at a person who makes it. I grew up in that world but it was far different then because everyone at least had a level playing field where he/she could expect to be able to survive and enjoy the American dream.

    • Mikey Cyrus

      Yeah I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I just don’t understand how anyone can say how a private institution should pay it’s employees or spend their money.

    • Mikey Cyrus

      Hi Tsal, took me a while to find you here!

      This is where I really disagree. How can you say the CEO doesnt deserve the money they get? How can you say that anyone who is paid by a private corporation that they do not deserve that money? Private companies can pay whoever whatever they want. Why stop at the CEO? You could go all the way down their payroll to the guy that takes out the trash.

      The CEO’s are paid by the company not government. They are typically not paid so much that they will sink the company, unlike the way goverment spends. Maybe government could learn a little from private corporations and not blow our money.

      I could go on and on about CEO’s generating income and teachers do not, bad CEO’s get fired but bad teachers can still be tenured, etc. I have family members who have worked in the school system for 40+ years and another that is a CEO so I know well about both sides. But my main point is you cannot tell a private corporation or citizen how to spend their money.

      I’m sure many would agree teachers are underpaid. But suggest raising taxes to supplement them and see what happens. I’ll agree with the government spending and corruption messages of Occupy, but this income argument is real dicey. Who’s to say someone wont look at your pay and say you dont deserve it, no matter how underpaid you feel you are? Or even teachers for that matter?

      • tsal

        Mikey I am not saying CEOs should not earn more. I am saying that proportionately they should not earn that much more. The middle class is disappearing and it is due to the income disparity. Is that the country you want to live in? Did I read correctly that you feel a teacher should not be paid as much as a CEO because a teacher doesn’t generate income?

        I think we are not going to agree on this and I will never understand the thought process that only 10% of this country deserves to earn the big pay. That isn’t democracy – it’s plutocracy for starters.

  • Mikey Cyrus

    Sorry I didnt answer your question. I didnt mean that teachers shouldnt make as much as CEO’s, they cannot make as much because there is not enough fudns to divide amongst all the teachers to do so. Whereas a company typically has one CEO.

    It’s like the argument that athletes should not make as much as teachers. Well, there are thousands of teachers in each state to divide the funds to, but only 1 QB of the Patriots who 80,000 people pay to see and buy merchandise for.

    But again my point is that “we” do not pay the salary for athletes and CEO’s, but we do pay the salary for teachers and other public workers. Try to raise taxes to pay them more and see the outcome.

  • tsal

    Mikey C, I only mentioned teachers because that’s what Mark had mentioned. We do not pay the salary for the employees or “laborers” within the company the CEO is “running” yet that employee who is creating and producing the products (actually doing the physical labor) is not paid close to what the CEO is paid. And if you do not feel he/she should be, then please explain the disparity in annual income increases.

    The average worker is not seeing raises in the average of even one percent in a year while that CEO is seeing an annual wage increase of 10-14 percent and this is over a 30 year period. How can anyone expect an entire section of people (the majority of Americans) to survive with an increase in pay that is less than the cost of living increase??

    Again, middle class is disappearing. What you seem to be promoting is the few wealthy at the top and the rest of the country as working poor.

  • Mikey Cyrus

    All I’m promoting is the right for private companies to spend their own money how they wish. I would be a very happy man if the average worker were paid as much as the CEO. But if I feel I am not paid fairly I can look for work elsewhere. And I do not feel that the salaries of private employees, whether CEO or anyone else, are the business of the general public.

    Likewise, if the workers in a specific corporation are not happy with their pay or that of the CEO or executives, they should not complain to government or the public as it is a private matter, assuming nothing illegal is going on of course.

    • tsal

      I understand EXACTLY what you mean. It is as it should be. However, because of the high unemployment rate, there are not alternatives to just leave a company. As a result, looking elsewhere in this country at the moment – and for quite some time – is not possible in most cases.

      What you have said is what we once had which was a level playing field for everyone. If you didn’t like your job, you could go somewhere else. It is how it should be. Employers knew to hold onto a good employee, they had to pay them good salaries Now there are so many out of work that if a good employee leaves, there are dozens lined up to take his job without demanding the pay they once made.

      Look at the inequity in the income gains in the link below. It correlates directly to not only the build up to both the depression and recession we are currently in but also to the time in this country when the average person made a wage that allowed him/her to have a home, live relatively comfortably and have some extra to put away for retirement. The late 50s to late 70s were as IMHO America was intended to be.

      The more the wealth (through ann income gains) flowed to the top, the less available to the average person and the less able the average person was to afford what he produced. As a result, the average person stopped purchasing. With no one purchasing their goods, corporations began stop hiring, and boom – we imploded – same as prior to the great depression. It’s just logic since consumer spending drives 70% of the economy. Consumers do not have money, they don’t spend, economy falls apart.

      Good discussion – Jon thanks for letting us continue it

      • tsal

        Mikey C – Someone else here made the comment about not thinking that people had stopped spending and I had to think about it because I also see parking lots at high prices restaurants, etc. filled. First, I’m not sure we can base the national economy on what we see in MA. Some of us – I may be one of those :) – hasn’t figured how to stop buying techy gadgets. I happen to love them. But even though I am buying them, I am definitely buying less A few years ago I would have bought an iPad and then upgraded to the new iPhone. I let the phone go because I had business reasons for the iPad. I’m still using the 3G – and you’d have to know me to realize that I’ve always been on the leading edge of technology. So even if you see people buying, and I agree they are, I’m not sure they are doing so as they once would have.

        Also, I don’t think anyone can argue that the housing market is way down. That as you know affects many other businesses. And when those businesses are affected it moves on down the line and all of those people stop buying what they once would have. Not to mention the 20%ish unemployment.

        I think you and I are a lot closer in what we are saying than it appears. The funny part is that once you get into a discussion with someone as you and I have and as I have with nab and BostonIrish and others, you find that the differences are not as great as they appeared. So why can’t Washington do it?

        I heard an interesting theory on that the other day but have to finish a job I’m doing so will save it for another time – if I remember :)

      • Mikey Cyrus

        To be clear, I am not saying that everything is fine. Just that opposing how a private corp. spends or distrubutes pay should not be the business of the public. I do not believe that if a company decided to pay their CEO less that they would take the difference and divide it amongst the rest of the employees. For the most part, corporations want to be able to hire more and pay their employees more because it means they are making money, which helps then improve their products and make more money. But they need to save as well and cannot spend every penny. Of course just like anywhere else in life there some that try to take advantage of others, even within an overall good business.

        If you want to say how some of these companies influence government into spending and tax breaks, then I’ll be right with you. But I still blame that more on the government and policticians looking for their own well being over that of the public. And if you want to say teachers get too little and public university presidents get too much which inturn increases tuition, I’d be with that too. I just cannot agree with scruinizing private companies spending or using the term “deserving” because it could go on forever, not just at CEO level.

        One last thing, considering the recession/depression we are in, I see a lot of people spending money on iPhones, buying coffee’s for what equates to $16/gallon while they complain about the price of gas. But I guess they “deserve” what they get :)

        Great discussion indeed, thanks!

      • Mikey Cyrus

        Oh yeah we’d agree on lots of stuff. Online posting cracks me up. Like, it is actually possible to disagree with someone on one topic but agree with them on another. I disagreed with some of what Occupy says (not even all of it!) and then labeled on here, and I quote, “a right wing a-hole.” Not by you of course. But it is funny, if you knew me, that’s far from the truth. I just don’t agree with everything they are protesting against, and more importantly, how some of them are doing it.

  • tsal

    Mikey C – you are right that it isn’t by me because I get the same thing. I detest the use of right wing or left wing or liberal or moonbat or any other name. I also crack up when I’m called a liberal because like you it is far from the truth.

    It’s when we are allowed to continue a dialog – as you and I have – that we find the common ground. It’s what I heard one old timer say recently about what he feels is in large part a reason for the partisan problems in Washington. I can’t even remember where I heard it. He said it used to be that congress lived in Washington. Democrats and republicans saw each other at social events, rode to work together if they lived in the same neighborhood. They respected each other.

    It made sense. It’s exactly like the blogs – when you are not face to face there is some sort of feeling of power and lack of accountability and even worse lack of respect.

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