Is the Occupy message the right message?

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To the editor:

In response to the letter in your Dec. 8 publication titled “Occupy movement brings a vital message,” we continue to be perplexed as to what the message is. Is the writer’s understanding of the message: unchecked corporate power and greed in our country, the corrupt, corporate coziness in Washington and the twisted allegiances which has led to nothing getting done by our elected officials? That appears to be the case.

If we are correct, the major reasons for these problems seems to be, (according to the writer) the compassionless and valueless Republican Party and conservatives with a smattering of Democrats and the Whitehouse thrown in just to be fair. The causes for our problems as listed in the article are:

1. The elitist propaganda that some are peddling that we need less regulation of our financial institutions.

2. That America no longer belongs to the people. Big business owns and runs this country at the vast expense of its people.

3. The growing disparity between the rich and the poor.

4. That multimillionaires and billionaires need to start pitching in their fair share of the taxes.

We hope this is an accurate interpretation of the message and the causes as per the writer. The key reform issues at the forefront of the Occupy movement are: Citizen demands for lobbyist reform, increased oversight of financial institutions, scrapping the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy and an all but new, previously unheard of, financial transaction tax.

If we are correct in our interpretation, we certainly agree to some degree. Is there corrupt, corporate coziness in Washington? You bet there is. Is there unchecked corporate power and greed? That depends on your definition. Certainly corporate power is not unchecked and another definition for greed might be profits for shareholders. Are there twisted alliances that have led to stalemate in our government? Yes, on both sides of the aisle.

We would like to offer our message. Unlike the writer who doesn’t think our vote is enough to set things straight, we do believe that it is. Check the results from November 2010 if you don’t think your vote counts. We look to November 2012 for reaffirmation. The challenge is to understand the candidates positions and, possibly more importantly, their belief system.

We believe in the U. S. Constitution. This document which has been the foundation of our Republic for well over 200 years, continues to perform exceptionally well. We are not quite sure what the “newly-formed foundation for freedom” is that the author of the article writes about.

We believe in equality of opportunity, not outcome. Not everyone will be a financial success but our system allows for that. Some will fail but the opportunity to try again and again is available. To try, somehow, to manage the disparity of income among individuals is a recipe for absolute failure.

We believe that a “common sense” approach to regulation is necessary for our economy to prosper. Our financial institutions do not require more regulation but for those who are charged with that responsibility to actually perform those duties.

As for it being “about time that multimillionaires and billionaires start pitching in their fair share of taxes”, we believe that already is the case. We believe the writer states incorrectly “to whom much is given, much is expected” and should read “to those who have earned much, may you be charitable.”

Our country is in its current shape because of “We, the people.” We have not been paying attention as closely as we should have been. The Tea Party recognized that and made a concerted effort to elect representatives that would start the pendulum swing back to those principles that made this country the most successful and prosperous country in the history of the world. Our citizens have freedoms beyond any other country in the world. Why on earth would we want to change that? The Occupy movement also now recognizes there has been a lack of attention. Hopefully, they realize the change they seek will be accomplished at the ballot box. That is how the freedoms and the opportunities we all have had for the past two plus centuries will continue.


Wayne Passe

Lower Township

Tea Party Patriots Southern New Jersey


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