We went to the Occupy Pittsburgh march this morning. It was a blustery day for democracy. While Phat Mandee sang jazz, reports ran around Freedom Square, trying to pinpoint the goals of the movement. People smiled before they answered...there isn't one goal. There isn't one experience.

That's kind of the point.

My favorite sign of the day read, "There is enough for everyone."

And that kind of sums up my views.

When I stand up in front of my students and talk numbers with them (I am a math teacher, after all)...I feel like a fraud. Study hard, go to college, and you'll do well. That's a flat out lie these days. These charts make me feel not all that optimistic about the future for my high school students or my daughter. Unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression. CEO compensation is at an all-time high. There are people making 80 million dollars a year. I'm not against you having a good life or making some money, but seriously, what do you even do with that much money?

So yeah, I think the super-rich could be a little less greedy, and maybe stop taking so many bonuses, and pass that along to their workers in the form of fair wages that keep pace with inflation. I have a decent job as a public school teacher, but I essentially, make less money every year, because of the piddly raise. Or no raise, as is the case this year, since we are working without a contract. That would not take government regulation, that would just take corporations conducting themselves with a little more compassion.

But income disparity is not the only problem. People around me struggle with unemployment and underemployment, unexpected medical bills that push them over the edge into credit card debt, and threat of foreclosure on their homes. Not seeking necessary medical treatment, because they have no health insurance (you know who you are...go to the doctor!).

We're all ok, because I come from the kind of people who are ok no matter what. We share with each other and look out for each other during times of crisis. But if this is the American dream, I say we need a new dream.

This is what democracy looks like. Citizens standing up and saying, whoa there. Corporations, listen up. Politicians, listen up. We are telling you this is not ok. Change things so that everyone has enough. Don't make us come down there.


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