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Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:12

Occupy Wall Street Movement Featured

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Occupy Wall Street Movement


The Occupy movement was a protest that had objectives of gathering activists, students, and local organizers to respond on the economic disparity that affected most countries around the world. It was after September 17th, 2011 the protest gained momentum due to the number of a series of protests that had taken place. The protests took place in Zuccotti Park in New York City’s Wall Street, and it was after the protests the movement was named Occupy Wall Street (OWS). The protest is an international protest movement which has moral foundation that appears to be focused around liberty from oppression, care, and fairness. The moral issues focused by the movement are based on the undue influence of corporations on government, corruption, greed, inequality, economic, and undue influence of a corporation on the financial services sector, (Gleason, 2013).

The primary goal of this movement is to make the power relations and economic structure in society fairer. Most of the views of the moral implications and protesters are to fight for government involvement and develop concerns for the 99 percent that are not in a position to afford basic requirements. According to the protesters of OWS, the economic system is not fair where it is set up in a way such that poor people are getting poorer, and the rich are getting rich. The rich are those on the Wall Street who represent 1 percent, and it’s believed by the protesters that these people became rich by taking and never gave out. According to the OWS protesters, the rich people are just like cheaters who exploit the society in order to get way to the top position they want, (Crane & Ashutosh, 2013).

They further argue that the taxpayers had to bail out the rich after they crashed the economy. The moral economic implication behind this is that the rich own the taxpayers for saving their necks, and it’s the right time they compensate and pay them. The OWS view in on the wall street of the rich group which represented by one percent. In justifying their wealth, the rich make the claim that everybody gets what they deserve and that an individual must earn his or her way. They create some stories that explain how people rise from rags to riches and that this is what makes America the prosperous and unique nation. The rich claim that some of the poor people believe that the nation is dead thus giving them a share of the wealth they will have no aspiration to work hard and get to the wealthy level, (Shaw, 2010).

Based on liberty from the oppression, it was the sense of OWS or hope that the downtrodden masses (poor) were in the process of uniting in order to throw off the yoke of their oppressors (rich) or one percent. Unemployed workers, white collar, and union workers are getting to work together toward severing. The protesters describe this as a dangerously cozy relationship between Washington D.C. and the Wall Street that has affected democracy in the United States and the globe at large. The protesters have a clear message; to rein in the influence of big firms, which has manipulated and cheated its way to great wealth while leaving a trail of impoverished and oppressed victims in its wake, (Kreiss & Tufekci, 2013).


Utilitarianism is the view that the morally right action is that helps contribute to the most good. Utilitarian believe that they are all individuals and that the society is only the product of the result of their individual choices. Policies of utilitarianism are defined by the aspects that develop the greatest good to the largest number of people in the society. The theory of utilitarianism best applies in the world of OWS simply because the group believes that the rich does not actually pay fairly in their share. The government according to the movement need to work on the policies that will lead to equality and disproportionate share of economic wealth and develop an environment where there is no class system of those ho haves and have nots. Ethics of Kantian are focused on the individual; they are deontological revolving around duty of an individual rather than end goals or emotional feeling, (Crane & Ashutosh, 2013).

The individual’s actions should result from the moral obligation that rests upon someone’s duty which does not require any reference. According to Kant, the able citizens should be in the frontline helping or supporting people in society who could not be able to support them. As the OWS claims, Kantian ethics are evidenced because the movement demands that the government should intervene and help the poor. They claim that they should be given the same benefits that the rich enjoy such as fair taxation, healthcare, and higher education. This is to fight corrupt politicians and end the influence of big firms. Virtue ethics is the morality that defines the character or identity of a person rather than acting like a reflection of the actions. It is believed that good character traits of a person will in turn allow an individual to develop correct decisions later in life. Some characteristics are virtues where those who possess them have what defines one moral. Actions of an individual are the reflection of their inner morality. The OWS exhibits virtue ethics as the unemployed, white collar, non union, and union workers in working together helping each other in aspects that may have tested the boundaries of generosity and kindness of the rich, (Gleason, 2013).


Political choices and policies that develop some impacts to government policies are believed to be responsible for wealth and income inequality distribution. This is because fiscal policies determine how wealth and income are distributed; which includes the assistance provided to those who are struggling to get through. It is clear that tax rules have no impact on shaping the character of the economy and the distribution of wealth to the society. Tax rule fairness is one of political aspects, which try to favor the rich. The united states have decided to spend a smaller percentage of the GDP in assisting combat inequality and pursue on policies that are intended to assist the bottom half of the people to advance financially. This is the reason why we have a gap between the poorest 10 percent and wealthiest 10 percent and it’s still widening as compared to any other industrialized nation, (Shaw, 2010).    

The issue of inequality in wealth distribution in the society did not occur suddenly; it is something that developed over time. Evidence shows that government spending began diverging in the early 1960s while the income inequality started diverging in the 1970s. The United States is one of the nations that has always prided about its economy. It has always claimed that it is the land of upward mobility and opportunity, but recent research shows that the economy is becoming rigid, and development of class bound. The administration of President Reagan created an environment that favored in the reduction of government programs and developed the largest tax cuts in the history of United States. The administration developed and enacted some economic policies in 1981 which were named Reaganomics. These economic policies were examples of supply side economics that assisted in the development of the economy. The aim of the Regan administration was to encourage entrepreneurship activities and limit the growth of social spending in the society plus reduces government inflation and regulation, (Kreiss & Tufekci, 2013).


A great deal of inequality in the capitalist society exists where the aspect of capitalism can be worked on so that poverty and inequality are reduced. It is the work of the markets to deliver on the aspects of improving the standards of living of the society. This is to allow individuals a chance to use their skills, so as to get right decent work at decent pay, and for a fairer society and economy, and one that treats citizens with dignity. The democracy where people not dollars matter in the nation. The two demands according to what has been there been related: it is clear that unregulated markets do not develop good results as compared to the regulated markets. In order to have markets that operate in a manner expected, appropriate government regulation should be established. For that to exist, the nation has to have a democracy that reflects the general interests of the society and not the special interests that are for the rich people in the country, (Crane & Ashutosh, 2013).

It is with no doubt a decent capitalism should encompass three interrelated dimensions. In the first place, the model should promote ecologically sustainability; changing to a renewable energy basis and prevent global warming. It should also help prevent other problems developments such as a reduction of biodiversity. The second thing is that the model should be in such a way that its targeted growth process is not affected by ensuing deflation and asset market inflation. On the same, it should not result in an excessive indebtedness condition of the people market sectors, thereby inevitably contributing to the next crisis. The capitalist model should be in a position to promote innovation, increase labor productivity, and the growth of prosperity. The third aspect is critical because all societal groups should have or get a share in the social progress and development. Everyone should be entitled to a decent living thus inequality of wealth and income distribution should be socially and politically acceptable limits, (Shaw, 2010).


In some point, it is clear that protesters have managed to achieve some great deal; think media, government agencies, and tanks have confirmed their allegation. The failures are not just because of the market system but due to unjustifiable and high level of inequality. It is clear that no one is certain on the direction of the movement. Some point we can be sure; for the protesters have been able to alter public consciousness and discourse of the politicians and ordinary citizens alike. A good number of restrictions have been established on OWS protests. Barriers have been implemented, overnight stays do not work, sleeping bags and tents are no longer allowed, and the protests are still surviving. OWS may not have gotten everything they required to get out of this, but it’s true that protested indicated that if a society wants something changed, it requires some understanding and cooperation of its participants, (Gleason, 2013).


Crane, N., & Ashutosh, I. (2013). A Movement Returning Home? Occupy Wall Street After the Evictions. Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, 13(3), 168-172. doi:10.1177/1532708613477366

Gleason, B. (2013). #Occupy Wall Street: Exploring Informal Learning About a Social Movement on Twitter. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(7), 966-982. doi:10.1177/0002764213479372

Kreiss, D., & Tufekci, Z. (2013). Occupying the Political: Occupy Wall Street, Collective Action, and the Rediscovery of Pragmatic Politics. Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, 13(3), 163-167. doi:10.1177/1532708613477367

Shaw, H. W. (2010) Business 309: Business ethics: custom edition (2010)

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