Is Occupy Wall Street the Beginning of 21st Century Civil Rights?

People have taken to the streets because something is really wrong in America and they want change. What type of change they want and from whom is unclear at this moment, but Action is always a good start.

Is Occupy Wall Street the beginning of a 21st century civil rights movement? My answer is Possibly with a smile. I smile because although we have revised history to make ourselves the most moral people on the planet earth, the truth remains that we are far from completing the goals of the 20th century’s Civil Rights Movement. The truth is America ALWAYS takes a very long time to do the right thing. And lots of people get hurt in the meantime.

We are the country that wiped out most of the native people who were here before us, kept slavery in effect for 4 centurys, called the country free in 1776 but didn’t allow women to vote until 1920. Of course we didn’t have a Voting Rights Act until 1965. It took until 2011 for Gay Rights in the military. And yes we used to have children working in coal mines because our child labor laws were terrible for the first few hundred years. I could mention so many things that are basic human rights in the country that took way too long to come to pass but you get the point. We can see injustice and keep going along with it better than anyone on the planet but once we decide to do the right thing we want the world to adopt that view and we condemn anyone who is not so enlightened as America.

Occupy Wall Street can build itself into one of the great movements.  At its center is the idea that people should have a fair chance in life and not have to worry that the banks and other financial institutions are stealing their futures. It is a great idea that is taking shape but it will take time and those in power will not go quietly.

More importantly those that lead and support Occupy Wall Street should know that they will not be supported in word nor deed by the majority of people who will be helped by their efforts. 

The leaders of Occupy Wall Street should be prepared for lots of criticism from the very people they seek to help. Just as Martin Luther King and the civil rights workers did. Just as the women from the womens rights struggle did. Just as the first abolitionist did. They may live and die with high disapproval ratings like King only to one day be remade into champions of all Americans.

Power concedes nothing.  This system was not undone by credit default swaps and bad banking. It was doomed with passage of the Retirement Act of 1978 that created the IRA, 401K, thrift savings plan, and 403B. At that moment all of America’s workers became stock market gamblers with no real experience. That moment brought us here because America’s life savings flooded the market and created faux wealth of every type. That is what we must undo.

Slay that dragon and maybe we have a chance to survive. If we keep that system alive and keep training advisors the way we do now with the greatest compensation going to the plans with the highest risk we can not recover.

Will a 21st century civil rights save the people? I have no idea but we should do right because right is the right thing to do.

Will we recover? Yes we will recover, but perhaps not in your life time because in America we take a long long long time to do the right thing.

Wealth Wellness and Wisdom

Mark Fuller

Manager of Wealth

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