The Occupy Wall Street movement continues. And those of us who are sympathetic, and in fact feel connected to those who camp in New York and cities throughout the land, hope that their determination does not flag.
The Right heaps all manner of garbage on the movement, demanding a “manifesto” which if given, would only cause them to proclaim that this was nothing more than a communist plot. Claims that various groups, Acorn, Van Johnson, George Soros, and all the usual suspects are put forth to wild-eyed wingnut TeaNutz® reassuring them that they are true patriots while these “unwashed” protestors are anarchists who “hate democracy.”
Of course, other than their soul-dead followers, the Right’s arguments fall on deaf ears. The average American is inclined to look favorably upon those who claim as their mantra, “we are the 99%.”
There is no manifesto, precisely because this collection of dissatisfied Americans, come from all walks of life, with all manner of complaint. For some it is unemployment, but even that is divided between older workers and just-graduated youth. There are those who are burdened by college loan debt and see no way to ever pay it back. There are those who are losing homes through foreclosure caused by Wall Street machinations that most certainly were illegal. Then we have those who have found their pensions looted and those who are facing cuts in medical care and wages in order to hold on to the lousy job they do have.
There is in fact, no end to the complaints. The bottom line: This country no longer works for the vast majority of Americans. People no longer expect that they will do better than their parents, or that their kids will do better than them. Hope is failing, and when hope fails, people get ready to march.
Most of these folks, including myself, are far from proficient in economics. I know the barest amount about supply-side crap, and free markets and all that mumbo-jumbo. I know almost no more about Keynesian theories. I don’t know if Adam Smith had it right. But I do know this, that the economics of the last thirty years or so doesn’t work for me.
It doesn’t work for most people. It seems to work really really well for the rich. It seems to work really really well for corporations. While the rest of us flounder and worry about how we will get by, the massive corporations literally cannot get up from the table, they are so bloated with profits. And a nice portion of that is bled off to the suits in massive salaries and stock options.
Being the lawyer that I used to be, I realize the point about corporate person-hood. In terms of civil law, that declaration allows the little guy to sue the corporation for all manner of tortious behavior. (Of course the current SCOTUS has worked really hard to limit their liability to peanuts.) But that was the point, originally.
It was never envisioned by anyone that corporations would be granted this status in order to allow them to use their unlimited resources to back the candidate that was prepared to be their “spokesperson” in the government. Anyone who thinks this is not what they are doing is simply brain dead. Corporations have no other reason to give to candidates unless they expect favorable legislation in return. Citizens United in a sense really just brought this out in the open and made “buying the candidate” part of business as usual in America.
A superb article The Politics of the Poor, explains the movement and what we should and should not expect at this point. I thought a tweet they included said it best:
“Lots saying #ows should occupy Pennsylvania Ave instead of Wall St. Eh? Why speak to middle management when you can go straight to the boss?”)
This is a clarifying statement. It shows that what is clear in the movement, is who is the enemy. While the President may be moving too slow, and Congress not at all, they are not the target here. You hear almost nothing in interviews with protestors about party affiliation.
There is a recognition that what has gone wrong here is that corporate America, indeed global corporations are close to literally controlling all world governments, if they don’t already.
It’s unclear what these CEO’s who of course, with their boards, ARE the corporations, expect will happen. Do they expect people to just take it? Do they anticipate that they will through armed force make folks do the work at slave wages, living in slums, with poor food and water and air? Do they expect to live in bubbles themselves on islands? They seem to.
Ironic. Corporations, who we think are always looking far down the road in planning, seem to have no end game. Or not realize that it must inevitably blow up.
I find it illogical. But then I find the TeaNutz® illogical.
What about you?