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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Goes National. Boomers Should You Join The Movement?

Editorial: Is it time to have your voice heard and join the Occupy Wall Street Movement. We all agree that the current political parties have failed to lead the middle class of America to the promised land. Instead it seems that they are continuing to function as proxies for well financed special interests.

The result is a country that no longer  can create enough high quality, high paying jobs to support a reasonable quality of  life. (notice I did not say Great quality of life). What our system of capitalism has evolved to seems to be more about creating perceived shareholder value so that the C class executive can extract as much money from the system.  A C class (CEO'a) exec's compensation is no longer defined as a reward for success. It is now a given or is that a give me, when you are part of "the club". The  corporate model for success is simple. It is played out in these steps over and over.

  1. Hire a new CEO or the current one is born again.
  2. Restructure with fewer employees (fire them) 
  3. Get higher short term productivity (duh, less people more work- Genius)
  4. Improve Profitability
  5. Shareholders and Wall Street  applaud. Just listen to talking heads like Cramer and Kudlow drone on.
  6. Get paid a big fat bonus
  7. Year 2 or 3 lose market share
  8. Profits Sink
  9. Get Fired with Golden Parachute.
  10. More employees get laid off. Now that you need to cover the golden parachute bonus too.

A terrible sad commentary when you realize that many of these execs are fellow Boomers. Born at the edge of the protest movement of the 60 and 70's. Now just a bunch of old , fat guys sitting around sipping fine wine while they trade derivatives or suck the latest life energy out of the other 99% of America's workers.
So what can an organic movement do? That is up to you. We still have an electoral system that allows us to facilitate change.  Was Egypt, Tunisa, Spain just the beginning?
Perhaps America has lost its self respect. Maybe it is time to take it back. Whats your reaction? Do you really care? Are you feeling enough pain to get out of your Sunday Football Lazy Chair? Would you like to scream " I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore".

Take The Poll. Occupy Wall Street. Will You Join The Movement?

MSNBC Reports


  1. I thought that this website was to promote employment for adults, not a bunch of whining college drop outs who have nothing better to do than to sit around Wall Street and protest.

    Middle class Americans keep voting for more and more government which translates into more and more control by big business (i.e. Wall Street). How else did Obama get elected?

    Baby boomers want their Social Security and Medicare too much to stop voting for big government and big business.

  2. I want more than that. What I want is for those clowns to be strung up by their heels with piano wire so the crowd can kick them in the head. I am damn pissed off and we need to completely stomp out and overhaul this rotten system. These guys get paid to wreck the companies long term. I am beside myself with anger. I know it is killing me, but I am so frustrated and so angry that I cannot even think straight anymore.

  3. BTW, did I mention that THIS is what I would like to see on the FLOOR OF THE NYSE!!


  4. It's refreshing to see that older people are at last leaving their comfort zones and getting active to address injustice. To the guy who talks about "whining college dropouts" - clearly this is NOT an accurate description of the protesters, given that, as you point out, this issue is now being taken up by all age groups.

  5. On one hand i see comments suggesting that people of all ages find a way to work with each other...while other comments spew age bias ....great start towards cooperation...

  6. I don't know who you talk to, but I am 55 and am willing, no have tried, to get ANY job. I have 25 years in the IT field and I can't get a daytime bartender job, a helpdesk job, waiter, or anything. I and the others want to work, but we can't get hired because we are "overqualified" which, of course, translates to "too old." But again, I will take any job, ANY job.

  7. I think it is a fear of shareholders by CEO's and their boards. They know they need to show a certain level of earnings or their stock will suffer. When they can't achieve it by increased sales, they cut jobs or don't fill openings. Companies have become more risk adverse.

  8. I have been in the military all my life. Now, I am faced with fitting into the civilian workforce. What bothers me is the military job training and my experience means nothing. The military jobs are the same than in the civilian sector, yet the training and experience do not transfer over. If one were to enlist with training from the civilian sector they have it made, but on the flip side those of us who leave, retire or are disabled are looked upon as non-qualified for the civilian work force.

  9. Interesting discussion and some real passion and pain being expressed.

    I agree with the list - all these factors have impact on our current situation.

    One observation: Everything seems to be focused on the finding or regaining of internal positions. We seem to see getting a job with a company or organization at a reasaonble wage with adequate benefits as the gold ring.

    What about working for yourself? Most of the things which affect the ability of older workers to reenter the internal workforce are not going away. The alternative I see is to put our efforts and our resources into creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, free agents, multiple revenue streamers, whatever you choose to call them.

    ... or maybe I'm just frustrated because I will probably never be considered for an internal position again:)

  10. All are true in varying degrees. It is even more difficult when moving from overseas where you had a track record and held senior positions. Starting at a lower level is sometimes seen as a threat by Management who cannot see the benefit in experience. After working my way back into the market and securing what I considered to be a position to see me through to retirement the GFC hit. Not much of a chance in gaining a new position, I took the gamble and went as a contractor offering my services as an "Outsourced" Marketer. That was a little over 3 years ago and I have not looked back. I picked what I saw as a non competetive, cost effective way of making the most of my network, something in the past I would never have dreamed of. A gamble,? Yes. But it was better than having constant rejection for being too old.

  11. Suggest you include a 9th factor = Length of Unemployment. For example, if a mature worker has been unable to regain meaningful employment for 2 years or more, this will inevitably raise doubts about that worker and their ethic, their health, their ability to compete or contribute in a faster-paced work environment... etc. Ageism not only exists but is rampant, despite laws against such discrimination.

  12. As an economist that has worked in the world of policy I can say with a fair amount of certainty that nothing is going to be done about this. Lower wages and lower compensation are seen as a good thing for the economy.
    This is about power and the employers have it. This means the Chamber of Commerce, large banks, etc. Workers could band together and demand fairness but it is more likely that the old and the young will be split, just like the left and the right. This benefits the status quo.
    One possibility is to take your talents overseas. Experience is respected there and if multinationals can take their $$ overseas workers should be able to do the same.
    Wall Street is much more interested in the younger work as a resource of business for the longer-term. If you have money invested already I would assume that the authorities will find a way to come after it.

  13. As a professional economist I will offer the following observations:
    1. Workers that have had long periods of unemployment probably suffer from a 'lemons' problem. This idea originated from considering why a good car might sit unbought in a used car lot; potential buyers might look at it, see nothing apparently wrong and conclude that there MUST be something wrong with it or else someone would have purchased it. The underlying problem is that there are relevant characteristics of the cars that are not easily observers.
    In other words, potential employers assume being unemployed is an indicator that there is something wrong with the person.
    2. There is an inexcusable lack of focus in the policy world on the causes of long-term unemployment. Maybe there is a mismatch of skills between available jobs and the unemploye

  14. One of the things that I see being utilized unfairly by the 1% is the bankruptcy laws. As major firms, both on Wall Street and in other major firms in key industry segments used bankruptcy laws to shed obligations to employee pensions and other creditors, to eliminate staff and other overhead, while maintaining their egregiously generous salaries & benefits, and then regain access to capitol and invest in new locations for manufacturing and other business activities, while the average middle class worker, employed or unemployed is unable to access the write-off of their debts and start fresh or even to engage in debt settlement negotiations with their creditors. Just go to your bank, mortgage holder or credit cards and start a negotiation discussion. We are now the slaves to these debts, while the super-rich one percent get a free pass at bankruptcy court, that we can't even get into.


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