When Occupy Wall Street began, many asked the question of the protesters, “What do you want?” and they said, “We want dialogue. We want communication with Wall Street, because it’s a closed club. It’s a closed community. Those of us that are on the outside, all they do is inform us.”
That wasn’t very clear to media and, most especially, Wall Street- typically protesters want something very specific, rather than simply communication.
But if you look, what they were trying to say is that organizations, whether it be government or be a company, are really Information Age companies. And it’s a big difference between informing and communicating: informing is one-way, it’s static; communicating is 2-way and dynamic and, by the way, usually causes action.
Social media is all about communicating- it’s a Communication Age technology. It’s about creating communication, interaction, dialogue and engagement, which is very different than how corporations work internally. In other words, I’ve surveyed hundreds of thousands of companies around the world, in the last couple of years, and all of them, 100% of them admitted that they were much better at informing than communicating internally and externally.
In other words, Wall Street doesn’t know how to do what the protesters want, and that is dialogue/communication.
The good news is that Communication Age tools are relatively free, and available to corporations. And they’re now starting to understand that social media is not just for the kids and young adults, but rather it is a powerful business tool. Companies must be both the Information Age and the Communication Age. It’s the future. It’s the visible future, it’s definitely a hard trend.
So, that is one of the underpinnings of the movement; no communicating and dialogue. The information is going one way, and no way to react or respond.
Secondly, it’s driven by the length of the current recession, and there has been a Wall Street recovery, but we still have a Main Street recession and jobs are not increasing.
So, I think with the Wall Street recovery, as of right now, we just had some highs that have come out, record earnings, and the stock market is doing really well, reaching 12,054.19 at the S&P 500, recently, which is making up for many of the losses it had earlier.
When people that are unemployed see that, when people that are looking at their community and foreclosure signs, when people are seeing all of the businesses closing, and they see record profits and record numbers coming out of Wall Street, there seems to be a total disconnect. That disconnect is a major element.
A third major element of this particular movement, and why it has legs and why it is continuing to spread, is that the middle-class was always the backbone in what has made America great. A strong, vibrant middle-class.
Anytime you have a lot of people on one end and the other end, and nothing in the middle, you’re going to end up with violence, protests and problems.
What’s happened is that a lot of people in the upper-upper-middle-class moved to the upper-class, and a whole lot of people in the middle-class moved to the lower-middle-class, or worse, not having the numbers, in the middle-class, that is needed to have social stability.
So, with the movement away from the center, either going up (meaning there are more millionaires than we’ve had ever, in history); but at the same time more people are unemployed than we’ve had in a long time, and the middle is missing, that is where you start getting social unrest. And, once again, that is part of what’s fueling this protest and keeping it going, rather than having it be here today and gone tomorrow.