Occupy Calmar

Pipestone Flyer

 “This is your intrepid reporter coming to you live from the ‘Occupy Calmar’ protest that is underway on the sidewalk adjacent to Daffy Darren’s Gas ‘n Wash. So far, it appears only one person has shown up. It is a 30-ish man with a sign saying ‘Never Surrender’. I am not sure if he is an ‘Occupy Calmar’ protestor or a thoroughly lost Corey Hart fan. I am now going to interview the citizen and get to the bottom of it. Excuse me, sir, I am with the media and would like to ask you a few questions…”

“WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE, MAN!”

“What, exactly, are you protesting here?”

“WE ARE THROWING OFF THE SHACKLES OF CORPORATE OPRESSION, MAN!”

“Can you be precise in what it is that you’re unhappy about?”

“DOWN WITH THE MAN, MAN!”

“I don’t really follow…”

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RICH GUYS! THE FAT CATS! DOWN WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT!”

“Are there specific demands for this demonstration? What goals are you hoping to achieve?”

“WE JUST WANT WHAT IS FAIR, MAN! MAKE THE RICH PAY!”

“Well, do you have any proposals on how to achieve this fairness that won’t cause our best and brightest to leave the country and taking their wealth with them?”

“CORPORATIONS MUST STOP GETTING RICH ON THE BACKS OF THEIR EMPLOYEES.”

“If you mean Darren and his wife, they work as hard or harder in their business as anyone. They also risked their life savings to start this business. Shouldn’t that be worth rewarding?”

“ANYONE WHO OPPOSES US HAS BEEN BOUGHT OFF, MAN!”

“You mean all dissenting opinions are automatically incorrect? How do you rationalize using methods employed by totalitarian regimes?”

“PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS!”

“Given that without profits, businesses would falter and people would lose their jobs, how do you justify vilifying them? Profits are the gasoline that runs the engine of business. No one goes into business for the sole purpose of employing people.”

“WE WILL BE HEARD!”

“Yes, you are being heard. Maybe not you personally here in Calmar, but all over the world, these occupiers have the attention of the international media. The planet is listening. Now can you please describe, specifically what changes to the current system that should be addressed?”

“STOP THE WAR ON THE POOR!”

“Everyone wants to help the poor but what safeguards should be in place to make sure programs for helping people out of poverty won’t be so lucrative, people won’t be motivated to succeed on their own?”

“TAX THE CORPORATIONS HIGHER!”

“If the government did tax the corporations higher, do you think they should eat the loss, which would make their stocks worth less, which hurts Granny’s pension portfolio, or incorporate the cost of the higher taxes into higher prices for their goods so consumers end up paying it?”

“MONEY TALKS TOO MUCH, MAN! DOWN WITH CORPORATE GREED!”

“So… you’re saying too bad for Granny? Do you think only the rich are greedy? How would you describe people who want something for nothing?”

“WE ARE THE 99%. WE WILL NO LONGER BE SILENT!”

“Is it not true that it is the 99%’s past silence and apathetic acceptance of the status quo is what allowed the corporate greed to flourish?”

“I CAN’T AFFORD A LOBBYIST!”

“Fair enough, so if it is conceded that the current situation, in the US at least, is untenable where lobbyists outnumber politicians by orders in the hundreds, how would you change the rules so that only altruistic entities can approach an elected official? Would you recommend a move to a more Canadian-style system with defined limits for lobbyists? If so, why are you demonstrating here in Canada?”

“STOP THE WAR ON THE WORKING PEOPLE!”

“Based on the fact that if you are an average working person in North America, earning an average paycheque, you are in the top five per cent of wage earners in the world, how much, do you think, are the average working people here willing to give up to help others not so wealthy around the world?”

“WE ARE SICK OF BANKSTA RAP!”

“How do you justify going after the banks when the health of the national and global economy is directly tied to the health of our financial institutions? Isn’t it up to the politicians to regulate the banks to prevent them from overstepping their bounds? Why aren’t you protesting in Ottawa and Washington where the political decisions are made that control the corporations?”

“REMEMBER THE BAIL-OUT”

“I’m sorry but as much as I admire your spirit, I don’t understand your aims. Complex problems can’t be solved with simplistic solutions and those that think they can, from both the left and the right scare me a great deal. By the way, what’s your name?”

“Mike Rocosm.”

“Subtle.”

 

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