The Economy isn't Sick; It's Broken

by Nate Jackson Man holding "Our Kids' Future Trumps Short-Term Profit" at Occupy Seattle

Young people were sold a bad bill of goods.

The rules were simple: go to school, work hard, graduate and good jobs will be waiting. But the CEOs and their lobbyists fixed the rules so the system only benefits them.

We’re not giving up. The top one percent may control 40 percent of the wealth, but we have our voice, and our vote. There is work that needs doing and we will demand good jobs until politicians hear us.

In Seattle’s Westlake Park, working families and young people are standing up for good jobs. We’re asking for a return to policies that don’t reward shipping jobs overseas and million dollar bonuses for CEOs. We share supplies, support each other and peacefully protest a system that was broken by corporations and greedy CEOs who now pretend that the economy “got sick” on its own.

The economy is not a living creature; it can’t “get sick,” but it can be broken. The economy is a series of choices, policies and priorities made by people.

The corporations that are sitting on trillions of dollars instead of investing in our community have shown their priority. They have broken this economy for the rest of us.

But we can fix it. We have our own priorities. Good jobs, good benefits and a chance to support our families and build a positive future.

We’ve been standing side by side through rain and cold to bring the message that we can’t afford to wait for the economy to stop stalling. We need good jobs now and there are jobs waiting to be done.

We’ve seen the crumbling roads and rusting bridges, but we’ve also seen the lines at unemployment offices, the understaffed medical centers, and the homeless forced to find shelter in tents on the sides of highways or in urban forests. Out of sight, but not out of mind.

We are getting organized. Standing true to each other and showing that we are not going to let policies that benefit the richest 1 percent stand while leaving the rest of us to struggle just to survive. Working families are taking to the streets to fight for good jobs and policy changes to make a more fair economy.

Young people get it. We know that something is wrong when we see our peers graduate with mountains of debt but no jobs. We know something is wrong when we see schools cram more students inside of run down portables. We know something is wrong when our libraries are closed due to budget cuts and lay offs.

We really know something is wrong when we see our parents cry into their hands.

We’re not going to stand for it. There is work that needs doing all around us and it is time that the CEOs, lobbyists and politicians change policies to get us back to work.

We’ll keep speaking out for good jobs and a better future. We can’t afford to wait and we need your voice.