Sunday, November 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street (Disgruntled) Versus Tea Party (Company Men)

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movement is the age old struggle between company men and the disgruntled playing out on a grand stage? In both cases we find ourselves locked in a place of strife, class-warfare and exasperation caused by frustration at what appears to be a manifestation of stolen opportunity.

We have civil protests on both sides of the ledger. Occupy Wall Street seems to be an expression of frustration that encompasses an entire group of people from the long term unemployed to students that find themselves laden with student loan debt with few job prospects. Tea Party protests began as an expression of outrage against big government, budget deficits, taxation and encouraged strict adherence to the Constitution. The bottom line is that both are expressions of fears that access to the American dream is being restricted.

How can these two groups be concerned about the same issues when they seem to be composed of completely different types of individuals with opposite points of view. The Tea Party came with clearer messages and political agendas. There is even an element of sponsorship from conservative causes behind some Tea Party groups. The bottom line is they saw their way of life in the United States coming under threat. Occupy Wall Street grew out of a growing frustration of the huge income disparity between the top 1% and the other 99%.

You may ask why some in the Tea Party support protecting the 1% from any type of tax increase when most of them are in the 99%. The dynamic is not unlike working in a company undergoing employee layoffs where some don’t want to talk ill of the boss least they get released form their jobs. In other words, those sympathizing with the 1% fear making waves and those in the Occupy Wall Street group are making waves. These are not new dynamics and they often manifest in dysfunctional work environments. Now we see this type of company men versus the disgruntled on a national basis in a dysfunctional nation.

Those buying into the trickle down and don’t tax the job creators angle fear even more job losses and outsourcing if the wealthy are taxed at higher rates. Those without jobs and bleak future prospects have little evidence of the job creators actually creating jobs in the United States with their extra tax breaks and have had enough.

Can it really be that simple as a battle between company men and the disgruntled that is playing out on a grand stage as we all jockey for our space in this word with a degree of fairness in access to what was described as the American dream? I propose that it is that simple and as opportunities for individuals to advance in their lives dwindle, the friction between these groups and their supporters will continue to increase.

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