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Hailey Lam:
2012 Winner
I.S. 141

Hailey Lam

Winning Essay

Essential Question: For the past several months, the occupy Wall Street Movement has been in the news. They are unhappy with the direction our country is going. Do you agree with this position? Why? What do you think can be done to solve some of America’s problems?

Ever since the Occupy Wall Street strike had begun on September 17, a political storm has arisen. Though I do believe that the goal that the protestors are working toward is a good cause, I feel that their tactics are often barbaric. They have numerous aspirations and to reach them they use slander to describe the government and large corporations. That is why I do not support the position of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

The Occupy Wall Street Movement is a strike powered by the people. The people in this group feel that they are fighting against the corrosive power of the major banks and worldwide corporations over the democratic procedure. They also feel that they are fighting against Wall Street due to the role it has played in producing a financial downfall, which in turn has caused a large recession. This organization is inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. The goal of Occupy Wall Street is a worldwide single-payer health care system, a definite living-wage income irrespective of occupation, free college education, $1 trillion in organization spending; $1 trillion in environmental renovation, withdrawing all of the United States’ nuclear power plants, opening borders for migration and immediate debt forgiveness for all. While these are good goals to strive for, I feel that the demands of these people are too hefty; they require things that are too much for our government to handle. The requests that were asked for are a bit selfish considering the other problems that this country has. That is one reason why I do not support the Occupy Wall Street Strike.

There are several ways to solve America’s problems. One of America’s problems would be our national debt. The government is spending far more than we can afford. This all mounts up to nearly 70 percent of the country’s financial output, not only this, but the amount is set to climb by at least 100 percent at the end of this decade. We can fix this problem by reducing the federal government to its proper size, and making sure it focuses on its core responsibilities. This will also mean large and maintained reductions in federal spending. We then must attack the root of the spending problem; we can do this by addressing the unmaintainable privileges that are overpowering us. If we hurry up and fix this before it’s too late, then we can reinforce the economic security. That is how we would be able to solve the country’s economic problem.

One of the problems addressed by the protestors would be health care. Health care costs are an important factor of our country’s crisis. The costs of health care are rising at a staggering rate. What’s worse is that the recently endorsed Obamacare is accelerating these problems. We need to cancel Obamacare and replace it with something cheaper and more efficient. This new health care package shouldn’t have consumer barriers to the purchase of health insurance and support innovation with customers. Health care is a major cost for several important federal spending programs and for households and businesses. Health care reform is a necessity in order to slow down the increasing costs in public and private zones. That is another way we can resolve America’s problems.

Another one of the Occupy Wall Street protestors’ goals is to make collage free for everyone. However, that would require more money than what we have available. Therefore, instead of making collage free, we need to make scholarships more available to the skilled and hardworking students. Also, we need to create a better education system in which students will thrive, flourish and live up to their full potential. If the United States can have more intelligent people, we would no longer have to find engineers and other high paying jobs overseas. Then the future of America will no longer be bleak. We could create more jobs and be at the top of the industry, that is how we can solve yet another of America’s problems.

In conclusion America has an abundance of problems, though I believe the Occupy Wall Street Strike is not the way to resolve them. I feel that to be heard, you need to be respectable, to be reputable you must have the qualities associated with being a highly regarded person. Instead of sitting outside, chanting things you wanted done, people need to go out there and change themselves. Recreate yourself before moving onto the world. If everyone did this, then we would most likely be rid of many of our problems. That is why I disapprove of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Biography

My name is Hailey Lam and I am an eighth grader at I.S.141Q. I am 14 years old and have a Chinese and Vietnamese background. Next September I will be attending Townsend Harris high school with a few of my peers.

As I have grown up in New York, I was able to enjoy the many cultures that come from living here. The food is wonderful and exotic. Growing up in New York has allowed me to undergo so many changes. This is also thanks to my family in which supported me in the decisions I made. I started ballet and piano lessons when I was about five years old, though I no longer study ballet I am still learning piano. At the age of 10 I started taking violin lessons and soon that has become my favorite instrument in the world. I try to practice as much as I can and instead of a routine I think of it as a hobby. I have considered playing the violin to be one my future careers. While I love the violin, I do like to keep my options open; I similarly want to become a marine biologist or a writer. I especially enjoy reading, writing short stories and poetry along with playing soccer.

I am a self-proclaimed fervent reader and try to read anything that’s within my reach. My favorite books include Pride and Prejudice (In which I fell head over heels for Mr. Darcy), 1984, and the Maximum Ride series. I devour books as soon as I get them, and while I try to leave them aside for homework, I stay up late into the night, trying to read as much as I can. While I am an avid reader I dislike having to write book reports. They will be the death of me! I read for the love of reading, not because I have to.

During the winter, every year my family and I would go skiing. I have been skiing since I was four years old and while I am not a professional, I confess that I can do some of the more difficult slopes. This year, I have tried snowboarding in which I am not doing too badly in. In the summer I would play soccer or badminton often in the park with my friends, though this year my mother paid a lot of money for me to go to music camp upstate for two weeks. I will be among musicians my age and I will be attending concerts by various professional players. I will be taking violin lessons and may even perform! I am already crossing out the days till those two weeks.

I am really thankful to have gotten the opportunity to enter this contest and winning it was completely unexpected. I don’t usually win things but this was a pleasant surprise, especially since I worked really hard on this essay. I want to thank everyone who has always been there for me and I wish the best for the future contestants.

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