Thoughts on 99, 1, 53, and 100

…in which I argue for simplicity as the true answer to “occupying Wall Street.”

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about this whole Occupy Wall Street movement and corporate influence. And I have to agree with the movement that there’s too much influence of big companies in American politics and other institutions that make life possible.

But I think that the problem lies within ourselves. We live in a society of consumption that has, unfortunately, dictated that unless you have the latest and greatest of anything, you’re looked at with a bit of disdain.

(And yes, in writing this, I’m know that I’m a bit of a hypocrite in saying what I’m going to say. I’ve got a new Macintosh notebook and an iPad. Plus I have the requisite accessories for these various devices, like printers, headphones, trackpads, and mice.)

Anyway, I believe it’s a cause-and-effect thing here. We (society as a whole) have purchased so many things from big corporations that these big corporations have gained so much influence in national politics and in the national economy. This is why I’m prepared to argue that we, the people, have only ourselves to blame. In exchange for cheap prices on basic goods and services or the latest and greatest in technology, we’ve purchased from national chains or multi-national technology firms, who in turn have co-opted our interests into their own.

I’m prepared to argue that the best way to occupy Wall Street (or whatever region you so choose to occupy) is to change your habits and not buy everything. And when you buy, buy locally.

Instead of purchasing food from a mega supermarket, there are many great local alternatives. Instead of getting the newest, latest, and greatest iPad or Kindle, use the current one you have. Or, if you must, purchase a refurbished model (which not only is cheaper but better for the environment!). With the December holidays coming up, consider getting your gifts from a local store.

In addition to helping the LOCAL economy, it helps LOCAL interests as well. These businesses are here for the same reasons why you are.

I’m sure I’ve probably lost some of my progressive liberal credit here. I sympathize with the movement and I believe that people rallying around a cause is noble because the First Amendment to the Constitution gives the “right of the people peaceably to assemble.” I also believe that we need to consider some Constitutional amendments to limit the amount of corporate influence in government and politics and overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case.

And the last thing: VOTE. In Phoenix, we have a mayoral election coming up in November. Mail-in ballots have been mailed out and voting ends on November 8. If you’re not informed, get informed. Your vote is your voice, so VOTE!