Time Capsule From Feb. 2011: We've Made Progress!

The themes and issues that Annabel brings up in this video were obscure and rarely discussed at the time (early 2011). But today, most Americans are familiar with things like corporate tax-dodging, income inequality, the failure of trickle-down economics, the damage caused by lawlessness on Wall St., and the cruelty and economic malfeasance of austerity. And, you can bet the young people in the room haven't lost track of such issues now that they are out of school.

Another way of putting it would be like this: Mitt Romney seemed like the perfect candidate for the America that existed in March of 2011. He turned out to be not so perfect, because he embodied many of these issues that became part of our national discourse in late 2011 and, really, ever since, thanks in large part to the Occupy movement, but, more broadly speaking, thanks to the millions of individual and collective efforts that led to Occupy, and the millions that have followed.

One example is the video below, which was began filming immediately after the video above. A Wesleyan University to Annabel's left student asked, "Are you suggesting we start a revolution?" Annabel said, yes, and asked, "What would you like to change?" Moments later, we started filming this:

To read some of what Annabel and I were thinking in early 2011, check this out.

Finally, below is a comment I posted on our Facebook page in response to someone who bristled at the notion of "income inequality."  

When considering whether or not full time workers in the US should earn enough to feed their families without government assistance (or not), it isn't merely a question of patriotism, it is also a question of economics. If the majority of Americans cannot afford to survive without either government assistance or borrowing (credit card debt, for instance) it creates holes in our economic system.  

What happens when people stop spending on anything but the cheapest possible food to survive? It hurts businesses, businesses lay off workers, and the cycle continues. 

 Advocates for corporate welfare and tax breaks for the wealthy will argue (and have on this page) that it's just as well to give taxpayer money to wealthy people because they also spend it into our economy. But research shows that poor people, and middle class people, spend very high percentages of their income because they NEED TO SPEND IT to survive, while the wealthiest Americans sock away more of income in off-shore bank accounts which add nothing to our economy. 

Simply put, they have so much income, they only have time to spend a fraction of it, and the rest of it just sits there earning interest or dividends, which is nice for them, but does nothing for America and certainly doesn't "create jobs."

So, however resentful you are of the poor people you hear about on TV, the notion "income inequality" shouldn't trigger that anger, or at least, not only that anger. There are other things to consider. 

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Showing 2 reactions

commented 2014-01-19 10:04:57 -0500 · Flag
Thank’s Stephen, fixed the syntax and the month!
commented 2014-01-18 09:40:58 -0500 · Flag
Eric, please correct the syntax in your headline. Thanks.

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