As Ray Charles sang years ago, "Them that's got is them that gets, and I ain't got nothin' yet."
A majority of Americans are now seeing that "them that's got" are not only getting theirs but also getting ours. The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined.
Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic "normal" of longterm joblessness, low wages, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.
This is the alienating reality that "Occupy Wall Street" has chosen to confront. This burgeoning movement began in September when fewer than a dozen college students pitched camp in Liberty Plaza, in the heart of New York's financial district, and began daily peaceful marches down Wall Street.
This is not your grandfather's tightly organized protest. It's intentionally loose — instead of having a "leader," group decisions are reached through a consensus-based democratic process.
With no faith in traditional politics or conventional media, the mostly young protesters have taken to the streets, using their well-honed "culture of the Web" to organize, strategize, harmonize and mobilize.
Their encampment might look chaotic at first, but look again. It includes a medical clinic, media center, cafeteria and library.
Food? Their widely viewed website lets anyone in the world go online and have pizzas delivered to them from a local shop. They even have been producing their own newspaper, appropriately named the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
The New York protest is growing, and the movement has now spread to more than 50 cities, from major hubs like Chicago to such smaller places as McAllen, Texas.
All across the USA, something is happening.
Link into it at occupytogether.com.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.
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