Occupy Wall Street Movement
The Moral and Economic Implications Involved in the Movement
Occupy Wall Street Movement is one of the movements in the United States that works towards the rights of the people’s fortunate life conditions in the society. Majority of the powers of the movement come from a clear moral message. According to the movement, it is wrong to wreck the world. It is wrong and unfair to wreck the health and hopes of other people in the society. According to the movement, it is immoral to have an economic system that forces most people to bear the consequences of the carelessness of a few powerful capitalists and profit makers. It is not fair for the majority in the society to assume the burdens of the privileged in society. The majority should not be made to pay the real costs of the destructive activities of the industries. In addition, in the efforts of enriching the few powerful people in society, the system threatens to interfere with the planetary cycles that support life on Earth. Such a system becomes morally unfair. This is the background of the objectives of the Occupy Wall Street Movement (Gelder, 2011).
The world is an interconnected and interdependent institution, and thus, any destruction to parts of the world will undermine the peaceful survival of the people on Earth. It is moral for all persons on the planet, regardless of t heir economic position, to take responsibility of honoring the affirmative obligations of justice and compassion. This is a right to the present and future generations of all human beings.
The demonstrators of the Occupy Wall Street movement attempt to convey one strong message, that there is a need to remove money from the pockets of politicians. Money must be distributed to the people equally and equitably. According to the movement, this will be an immense step towards the reclamation of democracy in the nation. The movement brings out several evils as a form of immoral behavior. Injustice, climate changes, toxic neighborhoods, financial recklessness, unemployment among certain sections of the population, and the concentration of wealth among few people in society are among the many immoral behaviors that the movement opposes (Moore, 2011).
The government today is under the control of a few people in society who risk or wreck the economy, the environment, or the future of innocent generations. This small percentage of the population has the potential and ability to control regulatory agencies that determine the performance of several sectors in the economy. They also have the ability and power to block the enactment of federal legislation that may prevent social injustices in society (Moore, 2011).
The Occupy Wall Street movement is calling for the decentralization and redistribution of national resources from the hands of few people in the society to all people. The demands by the Movement can lead to a number of economic outcomes in the economy. First, redistribution of wealth and production input factors would lead to a uniform development structure in the entire economy. As the situation stands, the ownership of resources by few people in society hinders economic development in some parts of the economy. Some regions lack adequate input factors that can facilitate economic development. This means that some regions will develop at a higher rate than others. Redistribution of resources will foster equally distributed economic growth and development (Wolff, 2012).
Secondly, removing funds from the pockets of politicians, which is one of the wishes of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, will increase the investment level in the entire economy. This will increase the number of job opportunities. Additional employment opportunities will raise the income levels of people in the country, which will improve their living standards.
Analysis of the Implications of the Occupy Wall Street Movement
The moral and economic implications of Occupy Wall Street Movement indicate a Utilitarian perspective rather than a Kantian approach. The characteristics of a utilitarian approach to ethics are evident in the implications and principle objectives of the Movement. According to the utilitarian followers, an action is right in the event that it promotes the occurrence of the best outcomes or consequences. In addition, the best consequences are the ones that maximize the happiness of the final beneficiaries (Richard Wolff, 2012).
On the contrary, Kantian ethics consider the fact that an action is right in the event that it is in agreement with a moral rule or principle. A moral rule or principle is one that society considers being rational (Jost, 2011).
The demonstrators of Occupy Wall Street Movement want fairness in the distribution of national resources. They want a nation that does not mistreat the majority by making them bear the consequences of the rich in society. This is in line with the Utilitarian requirements, which claim that an action is right if it supports the best outcomes. Redistribution of resources will ensure that at least all individuals in an economy have equal access to social amenities, and bear a proportionate burden related to the economy. At the end of it, the outcomes of the movement will maximize the happiness of all individuals in the society (Levin-Waldman, 2010).
The generation of job opportunities, which is an outcome of the redistribution of resources from the hands of few rich individuals in society will also enhance and promote the consequences of the actions of the movement. The fact that a fair distribution of resources in the economy will lead to an improved level of living standards among individuals and households in the economy, justifies the maximization of happiness, which is a utilitarian requirement (Jost, 2011).
Wealth and Income Inequality in America
USA is among the countries that have persistently posted massive inequalities in wealth and income distribution. 1% of the American population controls almost 43% of financial wealth, in the American economy. On the other hand, an alarming 80% of the bottom American population controls 7% of the financial wealth of the American economy. Over the past 30 years, the rich individuals in the American economy have continued to accumulate wealth through salary increments and additional investments. At the same time, millions of the American population has continued to languish in poverty due to declining salary levels and loss of jobs (Levin-Waldman, 2010). According to the second richest man in America, there is a war of classes in the American economy. He, however, says that the rich class is making the war and that it is winning.
The imbalances in the distribution of income in the American economy fall back in the 1970s, during the post Second World War. During this time, productivity started to increase at a steady rate. Workers received salary increments for some time. However, after some years, production increased but the salary of workers stagnated. This gap between the rate of growth of the economy and the average incomes of the workers in the economy is triggering inequality in income and wealth distribution. Most average households rarely feel or enjoy the benefits of economic growth in America (Levin-Waldman, 2010).
The adoption of the supply side economic policies by the republican administration, under the former president Reagan, will remain one factor that led to resource inequality in the economy. The supply site economic model believes in large tax cuts for investors and entrepreneurs, which will ensure that the benefits of economic production trickle down to the entire economy. However, this never came to happen, with most of the economic benefits of increasing productivity going to the high-class members of the society (Levin-Waldman, 2010).
The war of class in the American economy has also contributed massively to the increasing inequality in the distribution of wealth and income. The rich strive to remain rich. Since the fate of the middle and low class earners is in the hands of the rich, it becomes hard for the living conditions of the low class earners to improve. The few rich people control the means of production and input factors. The rich determine the wages of the middle and low class earners, leading to a persistent increase in the gap.
An Equitable Outcome from the Movement That Would Be Appropriate For a Capitalistic Society
The Occupy Wall Street Movement has one key objective, which is to see a society that is fair to all its members. The actions of the protestors and believers of the movement are likely to lead to outcomes that can improve the conditions of a capitalistic state like America. One outcome that is likely to come from the demonstrations of the Occupy Wall Street Movement is that of the fair tax policies. A capitalistic economy is one that supports the accumulation of wealth by individual members of the society. This means that, in the event that the tax policy and regulations are not fair, a capitalistic state will continue experiencing a growing gap between the rich and the poor in society. Thus, the enactment and implementation of realistic, proportionate, and fair tax policies is one of the outcomes of the Movement that is likely to improve the living conditions of people in a capitalistic state. A fair tax policy will control income distribution by allowing all individuals in the economy to bear a proportionate portion of the tax burden. In the past, the poor in society have been carrying an extra burden of tax, despite their low salary levels (Wolff, 2012).
This outcome is also likely to come along with other additional benefits to society such as the creation of additional job opportunities, improved working conditions at the workplace and salary increments from increased production levels. In general, a capitalistic society or economy requires policies that will regulate the distribution of wealth and the bearing of the economic burden by the members of the society.
Prediction on the Future of the Occupy Wall Street Movement
The Occupy Wall street Movement is a movement that is likely to exist for a long time. This is because of the nature of complains that the movement makes in its demonstrations. The issues raised by the movement need long term planning and implementation, in order to correct them. For example, the issues of unemployment among the youth and low wages among workers require structural plans that can stimulate the level of economic growth. The achievement of a stable economy that can supply adequate employment positions for all units of labor cannot happen within few years. However, other recommendations such as restructuring of the tax policies and redistributing funds from the hands of politicians only require parliamentary legislation. This movement attempts to protect the rights of the middle and low class income earners in the American society. Chances that the movement will cease to exist are, therefore, extremely minimal. In any case, the movement may even transform into a political outfit in the near future. This will give the movement a better basis of demanding the rights of the largest part of the American population suffering from exploitation.
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