So much has been accomplished by Occupy and other social justice movements in the past two years that it is incredible the corporate media and their pundits do not report on what is happening around them. Despite the lack of corporate media coverage, the movement is deepening, creating democratic institutions, stopping some of the worst policies from being pushed by the corporate duopoly and building a broad-based diverse movement. [...]
Fertile Ground for Resistance
The movement continues to grow and broaden because of the very fertile environment created by a government that cannot respond to our demands for a fair economy; that tramples on our Free Speech and other rights and that puts profits ahead of protecting the planet. The hubris and greed of those with unfair wealth has not diminished. They continue to take more, want more and create a rigged economy that serves only them, not all of the people.
The most recent report from the Census, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, shows how the economy continues to be working against the 99 percent. Some key findings indicate that most Americans are getting poorer. There has been an 11.6 percent decline in household income between 2000 and 2012. Median earnings are dropping except for the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans. Despite 46.5 million Americans living in poverty, Congress is talking about cutting food stamps rather than increasing them.
More Americans realize their loss of income means increased profits for corporationsand income for stock-holding wealthy Americans. And, it is not only income that has been lost, but the little wealth most Americans had has virtually disappeared. The Federal Reserve reported in 2012 that the median net worth of families dropped 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That means the average American lost 18 years of wealth because of the housing crisis. Of course, this affected working Americans, particularly blacks and Latinos, even more severely.
Recent college graduates and current students are at a severe disadvantage. Demos reported:
"Student debt has skyrocketed over the past decade, quadrupling from just $240 billion in 2003 to more than $1 trillion today.If current borrowing patterns continue, student debt levels will reach $2 trillion in 2025.Average debt levels have risen rapidly as well: two-thirds (66 percent) of college seniors now graduate with an average of $26,600 in student loans,up from 41 percent in 1989.The rise of this 'debt-for-diploma' system over the past decade was largely caused by the sharp decline in state funding for higher education, which has fallen by 25 percent since its peak in 2000."
This means that if a student graduates with $53,000 in debt, they will have a lifetime loss of wealth of $208,000. The $1 trillion in debt being carried by today's millennial generation means they will have $4 trillion less wealth overall. Student debt is already leading to record rates of default and the inability to buy homes.