With some Evanston residents planning a rally downtown Friday evening in support of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City, today’s poll question asks what you think of that protest movement.

With some Evanston residents planning a rally downtown Friday evening in support of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City, today’s poll question asks what you think of that protest movement.

The organizers of the Evanston event say they plan to gather from 6 to 7 p.m. Fridayon the plaza near the Davis Street Metra Station at the intersection of Church Street and Maple Avenue.

They say they’re not planning a permanent “occupation” here — just the one-hour solidarity protest.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Not the way to address

    There are definitely problems but the movement is hurting itself.

    Some of the people are coming up with charges and demands that make them look like the wild student demands of the 60-70s.

    They want to blame anyone who is 'not them.'  They complain about banks but use services [like debit cards for small items] that cost the merchant, who raises prices to make up for it, and money goes to bankers they say they hate.

    Some demand free universities and lack of jobs for graduates.  Did they pick a major with poor to no chance of getting a job [I'm not talking about a liberal education], demand the university create majors that there is no need for and build facilities that have nothing to do with education ?  Did they pick their school for education or the sports team or party life ?  Are they living off parents who are the 1% [average earnings of $360,000].  Do they want to be lawyers or business men themselves ?

    They have not mentioned the lawyers who charge $$$ for things that they should not be needed for, cause doctors to do tests/treatments that are not needed, to avoid lawsuits.   Encourage lawsuits for "life not being perfect', which causes business to raise prices and settle to avoid suit over false claims, clog the courts and cost everyone for the fees the lawyers get and suits that should not have been bought.

    Do they even know the income levels of the people they protest ? Do they know the work many of these people did to get there ?

    What might have been a protest for real problems has turned into something that will probably hurt the cause.

    I've not heard it yet but I'm sure I will soon "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Karl Marx 

  2. “Occupy” demands

    "wild student demands of the 60-70s." You mean, like, end the war?

    "like debit cards for small items"  You mean this new technology doesn't make transactions quicker, easier and cheaper than using paper checks or coins and paper money?

    "Did they pick a major with poor to no chance of getting a job" Do you mean like my daughter with a MS in Chemistry from NU who couldn't find a "bench" job and instead is (happily) working as a high school chemistry/physics teacher?

    "They have not mentioned the lawyers who charge $$$ for things that they should not be needed for" Can't argue with this point, however, as long as American society rests on an attitude of "you're on your own", then the only way to get help- for medical care, for car accidents, etc.- is to find fault with someone else and get them to pay. Finding fault inevitably requires lawyers. Perhaps if our society were more paternalistic, there would be less need to blame someone.

    Capitalism is not an inherently stable system. The economy goes through booms and busts. Monopolies form and are later superceded by new technologies (and subsequent monopolies.) For too long, various elites have been able to extract "rents" from the rest of us. Periodically, turmoil and conflict arise to redress the balance. One of those times is now.


    1. Occupy this

      "Conflicts arise to redress the balance?" 

      Yo Zbesko, I just got an email from local MoveOn members who are demanding student loan waivers in order to improve the economy. Yep, part of the protest demands include a student loan waiver.

      I worked my way through college and eventually paid off my student loans. How will a student loan waiver "redress the balance?" Perhaps these protestors should occupy Northwestern University.

      This occupy protest in Evanston has been organized and sponsored by Move.On.org.

      Just ask any of these protestors what they want and I bet many will say free student loans.  Many of the Evanston 150 ideas included free stuff such as free college tuition for every Evanston high school grad, free healthcare, housing and so on. 

      As a former president of the Evanston Democrat party, a trustee on the North Shore Mosquito Abatement Board, a stock analyst and an educated economist, what you're saying is shocking but consistent with the radical liberal viewpoints by many Democrats who have hijacked the Democrat party on every level and who will be wildy rejected again next year. Local policies that harm area businesses like a carryout bag tax I predict will come back to bite the liberal Democrat incumbents now in power. Do you support a tax on carryout bags?

      There are many in this community that are appalled and disgusted by the class warfare, increased taxes (income, property, sales, city, etc) and anti-business policies ignited by local, state and federal Democrats, and I bet many of us will no longer remain silent. 

      We can't afford too.

    2. Demands

      It would be great if those with science degrees could get jobs.  But Washington [and other government] are mostly made up of lawyers who knowing nothing about work other than the law.  They pass bills they have never read and leave it up to lawyers to sue anyone they can find and tie things up in the courts. Thus society is told if you want to get rich become a lawyer and sue—not be come a scientist and help society.  The lawyer 'union' protects and provide endless jobs for the lawyers.  Recall Obama recently said if you think you have been denied a job because you are unemployed, sue [not hiring them or older workers is a problem but lawsuits are not the answer].  I recall in California when a drunk ran a curb and killed a man in a telephone both the California Supreme court awarded the family millions PAYABLE by AT&T because "somebody has to take care of his family."  [They agreed AT&T was totally innocent].

      I wish we had more people in government who were doctors, scientistis, farmers and business men but who would want to waste their life in government rather than using their skills to do sometime useful.

      Who protects the MBAs and lawyers ?  The Congress with job security.  It is easy to write legislation but costly to understand and comply—-so lawyers are happy.  As we saw with the SEC and Madoff, the goverment regulators were un-interested in following the lead they even knew of let alone the evidence given them on a silver platter.  Regulation with out competence is just a waste and expensive.

      Who made it possible for the housing problem ?  Remember the polticians who wanted everyone to own a home and so pushed banks to make zero or low downpayment loans.  Barney Frank wanted to push out the loans and "roll the dice" concerning any problems.  Who kept pushing Freddie and Fannie to expand no matter what ?  The 'shorts' tried to tell the markets things were out of wack but Congress would not listen and kept pushing the housing markets, therefore liar loans, and the likes.

      Maybe the place to start the protests is against Congress first, not Wall Street who just understands what Congress has opened up for them.  Then the lawyers and accountants that Congress has provided job security would fall by the wayside and more money would go to the sciences and education instead of Wall Street.  Of course the unions will tie up education and manufacturing forever even if government would disappear so no hope there.

  3. The fabulously wealthy have got to be chuckling

    We live at a time when anti-government rage is everywhere. There are good grounds for it and I can understand it.

    But what's remarkable to me is how the fabulously rich (annual income over a $1 million) continue to improve their situation regardless of the economy. Here and here are typical graphics that tell the story.

    An account of a CEO who fails and bails out with the company rewarding him/her lavishly regardless of performance is so common it's become boring. For example, here's a story on Robert Nardelli from 2007. Just last September came a great graphic showing no change. Clearly those who have been raiding the store are continuing to do so at the expense of shareholders and of the citizenry in general. James Stewart has written a good article on the case of Leo Apotheker at HP.

    Tens or hundreds of millions going to someone as a departure gift from a company come out of the pockets of every one who purchases something provided by the company and those of the shareholders who see a lower than otherwise profit on their investment.

    This continues because the ranks of the fabulously wealthy are small and highly networked. No sooner does one fail than he/she pops up again elsewhere like Meg Whitman to name one. We have a small club of board members that continually look after their own first and the companies they run second.

    We all know that the idea of one man – one vote is not true. Those with great wealth can easily spread their wealth around Congress and make the subject of executive compensation either get bumped off the agenda or crafted into the kind of impotent legislation that has resulted in many pages about executive compensation in annual reports and the gathering of shareholder opinion that is strictly advisory.

    OWS is long overdue because Americans are being robbed by those who claim to be the shining lights of capitalism and possessors of rare expertise. Nonsense. Capitalism rewards success and punishes failure, but we don't hear that said, instead we get people commenting about class-warfare, Marx and socialism.

    The fact that nothing is done is the proof that we, the 99%, truly have been put outside the loop of power that a democracy is supposed to allow us. I won't even get into the shananigans of the Fed, a whole separate topic but alike in the shielding of the top from the capitalism under which it claims to operate.

    The system will either start moving toward the standards under which it claims to operate but doesn't or social unrest will grow. We rightly revile Marie Antoinette's comment "let them eat cake", but we are arriving at the same place today,  and have our own royalty.

  4. Occupy Hollywood, Sports ?

    Have the protester occpied the movie theaters, homes of actors, movie studios, Oprah's studio, homes of football/baseball/basketball players, Michael Jordon ? 

    Talk about large $$$ for work that does nothing for the economy—only their own pockets.   Why are citizens so forgiving at these large earnings and support them by going to the movies/sports, paying taxes and backing bonds for stadiums so players and owners get richer and charge more ?

    1. actors, football players, etc.

      Let me explain the difference between Lebron James, who deserves his millions, and the parasites and Goldman-Sachs, who do not.

      As long as people are willing to pay big money to attend a basketball game, or advertisers are willing to pay lots of money to advertise during basketball games , or million of people are willing to buy shoes advertised by athletes……there is big money to be made in sports.

      The question then is who deserves that money?  The workers (the athletes) who have attained there position through fair competition….or the owners?  I say that the workers deserve to keep the money.  I am opposed to public subsidies for sports arenas….but if pro sports generate millions of profits, the workers deserve their share.  They should pay their fair share of income taxes on their high incomes, of course.

      The same is true for actors…if a famous actor can add $millions to the box office receipts of a film, who deserves the money?   

      Unlike Lebron – who is clearly the best at what he does and got where he is by honest and fair competition in a free market* – the vampires on Wall Street have manipulated the system, gambled with other peoples' money then received bailouts from the US taxpayers,  rigged the markets, and thrive on secrecy, insider trading, and harming poor people.

      So these people who complain about 'overpaid athletes'….what is the reason for their envy and  class warfare?  If being an NBA pro is so easy….why don't you guys try it?  Unlike at the Wall Street firms, you don't need connections to get ahead, and you don't need to lie or cheat or rip off the government….if you have talent, you will prosper in the NBA….so what's stopping you?  Enquiring minds want to know.


      [* not quite….NBA has a salary cap…Lebron is really worth more than what he is being paid} 

      1. Who is Top 1% ?


        Financial professionsal 14%


        If the public is stupid enough to pay the prices for tickets for sports games and movie/TV, they should not be protesting anyone making money.  As for sports, people would be much better off getting off their rear-ends and doing something rather than watch overaged children play the games—you don't stay healthy by vicarious sports.  At a minimum, watch their childrens teams instead.  Also high school/college and  public [we already pay for them with taxes] plays instead of the movies.

        In any case government should not provvide funds to support these activities [stadiums, etc..]

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