Occupying Space, and No One Knows It

We fight for money, and the injustices socio-economics play in society. Some fight for the poor, and others fight for the liberties of the rich.

Money has been the root of all great ills our civilization has had to endure since man decided to hoist himself off all fours and said to a friend, “hey you, look here; see this bit of land, well, it’s mine now.” The friend looking on baffled, still half amazed he is standing upright, said puzzled, “well, that’s fine. But, what do I get?” The first man surveys his land, and then looks back to his friend and says, “that’s not my problem, I’ve got mine. Now, off you go.”

Sure, this may be a little drama created for the benefit of this piece, but can anyone honestly say that this isn’t happening now? If we look to the major corporations in the United States, such as General Electric, who in 2010 posted profits of $14.2 Billion, with $5.1 of that said to come from business within the United states itself. And in return for their job well done, they received a further $4 billion plus in tax refunds, which comes to roughly, a -45% tax rate. Sure, they boast of sending millions into the community, via non-profit health facilities and educational programs, yet, what does that provide when one of the United States largest corporations is sending it’s jobs overseas?

Education means nothing when there are no jobs to apply for. Sure, we’ll have our health through their generosity, but I have yet to see the medical cure for starvation, other than food.

Similarly, by avoiding taxes, they are depriving the nation which bore them the basic fundamentals to which taxes go: infrastructure, police and fire and public education.

So it is not surprising to see people gather at the steps of city hall’s across the nation; to camp beside global financial institutions in cities all over the world. There is great disparity between people at the moment, not to mention the slow eradication of the middle class, and fighting for what is believed to be right is a just, and courageous action; it’s the unheard speaking out against the decision makers.

However, the problem is, though the fight is for economic evolution, there is a group unaccounted for in this fight: the unseen.

In the 5 November, 2011 San Francisco Chronicle, C.W. Nevius wrote about the Sunnydale projects in San Francisco California, and the apathy towards violence as a result of the unending, violence in their community. The apathy lays in both the assailants, and the victims, with most of the violence gang related, many of the murders occur haphazardly, often killing, or wounding unaffiliated citizens. The response was shocking. One man, shot in the leg while he was in his backyard, was approached, just after being released from the hospital, and the man says to him, “sorry, wrong person.”

It is a community such as this which the local, and state governments don’t want to put money into because it is viewed as a cause, long dead. More than anyone, communities such as this should be on side-by-side with the protestors on wall street, in London, Oakland, and so on. But, you’d never see them there because the apathy they feel stems from a city, state, country and a world that has turned their back on them. People here now feel as though the governments do: they are a lost cause that cannot be saved.

But, this is where the corporations come into play. Rather than flatly giving these corporations such a wild tax break, revamp the corporate tax system channel at least a portion of these funds into public initiatives in troubled communities, such as the Sunnydale projects. Fight gang recruitment with positive activities, all without the watchful eye of progress, because though trite, and cliche, a watched pot never does do what it’s supposed to. Target youths, too young to know any better.

There is something positive the government can do with this money, and it’s certainly not providing executives with bonuses, and cash incentives. If corporations such as GE are adamant on their community involvement, then there should be no problem.

With the Occupy protests raging across the world, we must take a look at the Arab Spring to see what is truly worth fighting for. Financial equality is important, however if you ask the Libyan people, I believe they would tell you being seen in the world is the first step to being heard.