It is, in the end, an individual choice. While I can state the goal of the Occupation when it stepped off back on September 17, 2011, I cannot speak for every individual who has marched, chanted, held their ground at one location or another, or has taken abuse from police. I can only speak for myself.
I have written much about the hypocrisy in the United States. My fight goes back to the days of Bush’s first term. All of the technicians who brought the web to the desktop were summarily dismissed after the Y2K scare standardized the net. Bill Gates, who owns 91% of the desktop computer OS (Operating System) market, no longer needed us. At one time, Microsoft would be considered a monopoly. Today it is cherished as a corporate success, and backed by the likes of Buffett. In the end those who could not afford the retraining were simply dumped. We went from being heroes to zeros in a matter of months. Tens of thousands of jobs were tossed in the ash can, and no one even blinked.
To work in IT today, it is no longer what you know, or what certifications you have, but who you know and who knows you. As the BBC pointed out in 2002 – no I can’t cite that reference – the U.S. economy has all the appearances of being a Third World economy. If you like, the term “Crony Capitalism” is as appropriate description as any. Moreover, if you have been out of IT for more than six months, the hiring managers will not even look at you seriously.
In 2000, a Level 1 technical support agent could make $25.00 an hour, or more. Today, the same position pays $15.00 an hour, if you can land one. That is a big if. And, requires far more training than it did back at the turn of the century. In 1992, $15.00 an hour could keep a family of four functional with a bit of disposable income to help celebrate life. Today, November 5, 2011, it hardly pays the bills. That wage is the new minimum wage even if the *expletive deleted* bureaucrats in the *explicative deleted* government, and our supposed *explicative deleted* representatives don’t know this. When a staple like Gasoline to fuel the nation has doubled over the course of 10 years, and wages have not, how can these *expletive deleted* elected officials not see what is going on? Yet, even Mr. Hope and Change in the White House has utterly ignored what is going on. Ignoring the problem and sending his goon squads to trample the envoys who try desperately to tell him, and the rest of the world, what is happening in the U.S.A.
That is why I am protesting. It is hard to put all that on a sign when marching. But, I figure if I am there, and recording events for posterity, it is a sufficient statement.