9/30 課堂筆記 Occupy Wall Street

Participants: Amy, Maggie, Fanny, Stacy, Angela

Final Statements:
After I read their stories, I was so shocked by the real situation in the US right now. And I realized that how large an impact government policies have, every policy, including economic policy and tax policy and so on. So I think for the government, they have a responsibily to allow people to cleary and easily know what they are doing right now, and every policy they take, the have the responsibility to let people know the pros and cons of these policies. Before, I didn't care so much about politics, I thought I didn't want to waste my time seeing these people doing stupid things. But now I think if I don't care about those issues now, maybe I will have no idea how it will be in the future, and why this bad future will have happened. So that's what I found out tonight.

Sometimes i think it's deliberatly turned into a circus so the average person is turned off, but I don't know who or how it's being done, that it's so prevelently like that, if it's a coordinated effort or what.

I think people don't know how much the acts of congress affect them so much, like the Patriot Act in the US.


The future looks really, you know, hopeless. You know, when I watched the videos. I think capitalism, the education system, there's something wrong in both of them. Just like, every time when i'm at school, and I, right now, I really don't know how to encourage, or even if I should encourage the kids to study hard. Because, it doesn't mean anything. There's no guarantee of a better life, afterwards. So I've lost the point of being a teacher. That's my dilemna, it's my job and my dilemna, so I don't know.

You know, last night, you had a much more positive reaction to these videos!

Oh, last night, my first reaction was, I want to be there! I want to go there to be with them!

You can do this in Taiwan, you can be a pioneer!

Okay, but on what issue?

The education system.

But I'll need your help, especially on financial issues.



Yeah, I'm shocked about the We Are The 99%, the tumblr, it was a shock for me. I think that education is a problem, because for us education is very important, but after so many years, we suddenly found that, well, it's not as important as we imagined. And so, two days ago I watched a television program, there are so many famous people, and they graduated from famous universities, Harvard, Berkely, Cornell, and they said that once they graduated from those schools, they had a guaranteed job. I think it's true, because the 1% loves this kind of person that's just like them. So the 1% graduates from those famous universities. They only use those people just like them. So, and our 99% people have no opportunity to interrupt their world...

"Join" their world.

I like interrupt, actually.

…yeah, interrupt, so they create their own 1% world, they build their wall to encircle themselves. lt's a big problem for the 99%. Thank you. Next!



For the social activity, occupy wall street, I feel the same about realizing that the economy is so bad. It's ridiculous for the 1% to own the 40% in the world, but here is some positive thinking...

[everybody says: yay!!]

…I see the young people, they are very organized and smart to use the democratic ways to build up their organization, and try to wake people up and educate them, so that more and more people care about the issue and try to find ways to resolve it, to allow most people to have a better life. I think it's really good. I think it's a process of education. We educate people and give them the skills to organize, to have positive thinking, to make the world better...

So teachers are good.

You know, self organizing is good.

Hey, she's not finished, let her finish!

…For their demands, there are a lot of good things to do, but I think the most important things are to resolve the economic issue, to make people able to earn money, to live on their own. And the other is human rights, making people safe to live in their country and in society.

You know, it's so important that you said that! We're all worried about the problems, and you're showing us where the hope is.



Discussion after watching "Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution" video:
I think this is an act of social justice.

They were saying 'true democracy', but they didn't explain what it is.

They mention that there's no voice of the people, so I think that's why they feel democracy collapsed.

But actually americans are always talking about democracy in the world. So what happened?

So it's fake.

So what happened?

I think they feel the true power is not controlled by people, it's controlled by corporations, or governments.

So democracy is controlled by a few people, that's democracy.

No, that's a republic.

And I wonder what the scenario was that triggered this activity, so I'm interested what happened.

You know, this is not in the news in Taiwan, everyone's focussing on the european crisis, and will Germany keep lending money to Greece or not.

So, what's this 1% and 99%?

From wikipedia:
In the United States at the end of 2001, 10% of the population owned 71% of the wealth and the top 1% owned 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% owned less than 1% of the nation's wealth.

So in the terms from our economic discussion a few weeks ago, you could say the 1% is the virtual economy and the 99% is the real economy.



Discussion about the "Day 11" video:
There was a sign saying Stop Capitalism!

There were two suits carrying briefcases on the street walking right by the protest, that was a contrast.

I'm impressed that there's a lot of young people, because in my mind, young people only care about themselves, they don't care about social problems or other public issues, but in this activity a lot of young people joined.
So I don't know, maybe more and more young people care about their life?

Well, they have no jobs, they can't see their future, so that leads them to focus more on this kind of issue.



Looking at the We Are The 99% tumblr:

Look at that: "Husband’s student loan debt = 15K after 10 years of payment"

So they are accusing the bank.

So why can't the bank waive their interest?

Why in heck would the bank waive their interest?

Because they're the 99%.

The bank is the 1%.

Yeah.

The same thing could happen here in Taiwan.

But the difference is in the government services. You guys here, you have just about every service imaginable. Do you know, ever since I could read the news as a kid, they're always discussing which service to cut next in the US.

They CUT services?!???

Yes! For instance just recently they just cut off a bunch of people from government unemployment insurance, so that they could say that fewer people need them now, to say the economy is improving.



$160,000USD? How can you pay a debt like that ?

It shows how evil the banks are.

It's a culture, because america is a big market, the biggest market in the world, so they always use the credit card instead of cash money.

Ten dollars an hour? That's 300nt an hour. That's not that bad.

The cost of living is much higher in the US, though, so much higher than Taiwan.

If you worked very very hard, 12 hours a day, then how many years can you pay that debt?

Can anyone do the math?

But the debt will increase every month.

I can't even imagine!!

And there's still taxes you have to pay out of your income.

Oh, so in the long term, the dollar will decrease...

no!

…because, these people cannot create new value in the US.

But actually the true situation is not that.

They can only give up, they can't earn money to pay for their debt.

So the economy of the US might collapse in the long term.

I watched a movie, with Denzel washington, he's a father, but he got fired, but his son was sick, and he had no medical insurance for his kids, so he becomes a robber. It's a tragedy.

You know, it's useless to go to college.

But if don't have the college degree, it might be even harder to find a job.

But at least you won't be 25000 in debt.

If you have a college degree and you can only find a job in a restaurant, the degree doesn't make your life better.

Are there so many restaurants?

Or a supermaket clerk.

So what's the problem here? Why is this happening?

The virtual economy is the problem...

You know, they could all just turn into farmers.

But it's not that easy to be a farmer, you need capital investment.

You'd need to quit your job.

And certain things are not that easy to grow.

But being a farmer is a good way to solve the problem, because you have potatoes, then you can earn money and feed yourself.

But you need to have land.

The US is big!

But you need to OWN some of that land, or have money to buy land.

No money, that's the problem.

So how much money does the 99 percent earn? I know it's a range.

(draws a picture)

So we need to rearrange the proportion of how much everyone owns.

They don't have the same opportuinites to turn a fortune, there are too many barriers, even for the middle class.

In ancient china, all you had to do was study hard, take the test, and change your fortune. But I don't think now, you study very hard you take the test, and you are still just middle class.

But usually in the past, you also had to have a good father.

Yeah, good parents.


Discussion of the Official Demands decision process.
Point 2:
The Patriot act directly contradicts the Fourth Amendment, pulling basic legal protections like access to a lawyer.

So what makes america a democratic country at this point?

Yeah, the Patriot Act makes the US like 40 years ago in Taiwan during the white terror, putting you in jail without recourse to lawyers.

So that's why they said in the protest they're searching for true democracy.

So who controls the government to change the system and change the rules (so it's not democratic any more)?

The 1%? I don't know.

The Bush administration did a lot to hollow out the US government and destroy the balance of the three branches of gvt, giving the Administrative branch incredibly broad powers.

Point 3. Forced Acquisition of the Federal Reserve for $1Billion USD by the US Congress             
But we need a 'Federal Reserve'

Why is that?

It's not good for the gvt to directly control the money supply, because they might use it to influence elections, like printing money, which would damage the economy.

Hmm, that's a really good point.

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