My premise: First Bank of America had to "buckle" to the hundreds of thousands of depositors outraged by their decision to charge extra banking fees -- and threatened to close their accounts. Now Verizon has also buckled to the pressure of thousands protesting their extra charges for payment methods (if you can believe that -- I mean "it's gonna cost you for how you pay your bill"!!!!) If I heard correctly -- 57,000 people signed an online petition protesting the extra charges -- that's out of 91 million customers Verizon has!!! Hmmmmm. According to the World Almanac 2010, there are approximately 125 million Americans age 5-34 who would have NO memory of the 1960's when Boycotts and protests seemed to be the theme of the day. And I dare-say the word "strike" as it relates to work issues probably isn't a thought! There are however, 150 million ages 35-65+ whose parents might have belonged to a Union or who actually marched in protests against the Vietnam war or civil rights, or boycotted against grapes and lettuce for better wages for "migrant" workers. Perhaps the "masses" are finally beginning to find that their united voice CAN & DOES have a significant impact when it is sharply focused. I believe many businesses, etc. have come to think they can get away with whatever they want and their customers will take it lying down! But BOA and Verizon have found out differently! While 75% of Americans may feel the "country is moving in the wrong direction" (don't you just love polls that are THAT generic!), and something between 11% & 15% approval rating for congress, politics in general is soooooooo "multi" focused on a variety of issues, the underlying discontent is having a difficult time finding a particular voice expressing that discontent. Perhaps the "Occupy Wallstreet" movement is rattling the cages of many of the power people in the country who also have come to believe that the massive numbers of people can continue indefinitely to be economically disadvantaged without finding a focus for their "frustration." My Conclusion: All this is simply to say I firmly believe that for the last 50 years or so the Economic moguls have worked to diminish the perceived power of the worker to do anything about their situation so that however they might manipulate the system in their favor and against the worker, the worker will simply moan, bitch and complain and DO nothing! The political moguls in Washington seem to no longer feel it is their duty to BE the voice of the people. They have become the "House of the Elite" -- many of whom believe they are either above the law or assume NO culpability for outrageous lies or actions. Everyone knows the "system" must change, but the only people who CAN change it ARE the people who manipulate the system to their advantage. Any anger or frustration gets diminished when the only way to punish elected officials for their mistakes or incompetency is to wait, wait, wait, wait for the next election -- and by then the issues become so clouded we swallow the whatever lies or half truths the most money can throw at us! (Could this be why the negative ads against Newt Gingrich in Iowa have toppled him to 4th place in a matter of mere weeks???) Does an "angry" electorate make wise decisions and choices? (I think the Tea Party radicals are a good example of this AND the big mistakes made in Ohio, Michigan & Wisconsin in their State Governorships) Where are the real Statesmen/women who seem to have an alternative vision for America other than less taxes for the wealthy and poorer paying jobs for the average Joe? If we roll back the clock this New Year's Eve to just a little over a decade ago the US had a SURPLUS in our budget. NO wars unpaid for. The wealthy paid a higher share of taxes. Un-employment was lower. We had a seemingly bi-partisan Congress working for what was best for America -- not their own special interests (well that's kind of a half truth!) Overall, it just seems to me that all of our percieved problems are NOT that unsolvable. If Washington isn't going to "fix" the problem who is? Is it going to take a massive uprising of the people of the nation to ensure that we will have a "Voice" truly representing our national perspectives. Are we destined for fractionalization based upon a sense that we have NO real power to effect positive change? I know this is a long post and you may legitmately challenge my premises and conclusions, but my goal was simply to strike up a conversation concerning our future ability to take whatever issue we deem worthy of our outrage and FOCUS it for change --- like what happened to BOA and Verizon. Those 2 quick fixes based on Vox Populi outrage have renewed a spark of hope in me!!! You???