Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Separation of America. 12% of the U.S. workforce is in a Union, 88% are not.

If every workers union in the United States showed up to occupy wall street, it still would not solve the underlying reason why the economy is struggling. If the occupy movement wants to really make a difference, they cannot rely just on unions to win the argument, but it is a start.

I question the 99% to 1% argument that some in the Occupy movement are using. Less than 12% of the workforce in the United States is in a union, therefore approximately 88% of the country's workforce are not in a union. Not everybody in a union is unhappy. The unhappy union workforce percentage as compared to all U.S. workers most likely shrinks to 10% max in support of Occupy.

So while Occupy Wall Street can claim they represent 99% of the population versus the 1% elite, the other truth is that 90% of the U.S. workforce is not properly being represented in the Occupy Wall Street protest. If Occupy Wall Street only connects with those who are in a union and unhappy or those who don't have a job, they are then missing the biggest percentage of the U.S. Workforce, and the 99% vs 1% loses legitimacy.

When Occupy Wall Street asks it's own supporters what is the high concept message that could be stated in one sentence, the answer MUST be something that affects all of those who either have a job, or want a job, whether they are in a union or not.
My belief is that debt is the number one complaint. Rather than demand that debt simply be removed, how about more control over HOW one pays off their debt?
Right now, the banks control all the rules regarding personal debt. If one has no debt, one is truly free to decide what to do with their life. If one has debt, choices quickly become limited. Since most americans have debt, debt control should be the most important issue put on the table.

Right now, Bankers and our own government have set up guidelines that state, Debt cannot be restructured without first defaulting. 

It would seem logical that if a debtor can come up with a plan that allows them to pay down their debt in a reasonable manner, they would regain control over their lives and they would not be a parasite living off the backs of others. However, if they are first forced to default, this is like placing a global positioning device on their skull, letting the world know this person is an irresponsible deadbeat.
The litmus test becomes this, if all future interest rate charges were removed from a person's debt, could the debtor eventually pay off their existing debt without creating new debt?
If the answer is no, most people could not eventually pay off their existing debt without incurring new debt even if all interest rate charges were removed, then we are all truly screwed.

If the answer is yes, the majority of people could afford to pay off their debts without incurring new debt if all future interest rate charges were removed, we at least have created a position of strength from which to build from.  From yes with zero percent interest as a starting point, one could consider slightly ratcheting up the interest rate charges. Perhaps a very nominal interest rate charge, like 1.9% (which is still more than what the fed charges the banks) would still allow the majority of people to both pay down their existing debt without creating new debt.

Consider strongly supporting the following new rule, "Debt Restructuring DOES NOT require a Default". Bring this one change to the banking rule of law, and Occupy can help stop the theft of main street's remaining wealth, not just the union's portion.

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