“The future’s here right now, if you’re willing to pay the price” – MC5
I love the Occupy Wall Street / (Your town name here) movement! It has teeth, scares the hell out of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity (“I hear you can even buy heroin at the one in Boston!”) and has the support of both the President and Michael Moore, two people I respect greatly.
Income inequality is nothing new in this country, but it is now to a ridiculous point, able to be ignored only by those who are in that top bracket and are part of the problem, and their misguided, unwitting minions. The “ Occupy” movement is only the first stirrings of what will eventually be something very much like Tiananmen Square or the Arab Spring riots. It’s coming, it’s inevitable, and it won’t be pretty. People are pissed, and if this country doesn’t learn from the history book, we’re doomed to repeat some very stupid and avoidable mistakes. While it doesn’t seem like the time to be setting up guillotines next to the bull statue on Bowling Green in Downtown Manhattan yet, if the arrogant rich in this country don’t begin to listen to the multitudes, things could very well head in that direction very quickly.
“Although (country name) in ( year) faced economic difficulties, mostly concerning the equitability of taxation, it was one of the richest and most powerful nations of (name continent) The (name of country) people also enjoyed more political freedom and a lower incidence of arbitrary punishment than any of their fellow Europeans. However,( name of leader) his ministers, and the widespread (name of country) nobility had become immensely unpopular. This was a consequence of the fact that peasants and, to a lesser extent, the bourgeoisie, were burdened with ruinously-high taxes levied to support wealthy aristocrats and their sumptuous, often gluttonous, lifestyles.” (Source – Wikipedia)
This is from the page “Causes of the French Revolution” on Wikipedia. The only real difference is that the peasants and bourgeoisie aren’t burdened with ruinously high taxes to support the lifestyles of our aristocrats. But they are being forced to pay more than their share of the tax burden for two wars and to bail out the very banks and financial institutions that have preyed on them mercilessly and caused the second greatest financial crises in history, which could realistically morph into the worst.
This is not by accident, it is not the natural order of things, and it is not the invisible hand of the free market. This is by design, the result of policies put in place by the first true puppet President of this country in our lifetimes, Ronald Reagan. When one of the first priorities of a new President is to appoint Donald T. Regan, the former CEO of Merrill, Lynch & Co. as Treasury Secretary and appoints him to head something called the Depository Institutions Deregulation Committee, it should appear to any thinking human that the fix is really in. Especially after this same Donald T. Regan told the President of The United States, allegedly the most powerful leader in the free world, to “speed it up” during a speech to the NYSE ; coincidentally, Reagan was also the first sitting President to visit that institution. Then they came up with the Garn – St. Germaine Depository Institutions Act, which ultimately caused the S&L collapse and raised the ceiling of allowable investment by banks in nonresidential real estate from 20% to 40%. They then began the dismantling of the Glass – Steagall Act of 1933, which separated investment banks from commercial banks, mainly in order to avoid debacles exactly like the one in 2008. It was to protect consumers from having to assume the risks for greedy bankers inventing high stakes games of chance with their savings. They finally got it repealed in 1999 by the Republican 105th Congress, with help from enough Democrats to piss me off.
Ian Fleming once said “Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; three times is enemy action.”
This brings us to the 2000 election, and we all know what happened there. It was stolen, plain and simple, by the same people who set Reagan up as their puppet in 1980. And who does he bring in as his crew? Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Powell and Armitage – all former Reagan appointees, all back to finish what they’d started.
And finish it they did – the housing bubble, the bailouts, TARP – all planned, all successful. This was a silent coup, not a shot fired. In fact they got half of the country to defend their actions to keep “Socialism” from taking over our society of alleged good ,moral Christians.
Which is why you see the numbers the way they look today– the bottom 1/5 of workers saw their incomes increase by 20% over the past 30 years; the middle 60 percent of workers by less than 40 %; the top 1/5 by 65%. And the top 1% of earners – 275 fucking percent!!!!!
How do they do it? By not giving raises, not hiring Americans, cutting benefits like health care and writing their yachts off on their tax returns as second homes and their $100,000 planes and cars as offices. By having their cronies in Washington keep giving them tax cuts while cutting programs for those who need them as well as cutting their wages and benefits. By accepting “subsidies” and sweetheart deals that use public funds for private business, while calling programs put in place to keep children from going hungry and elderly people from going without medications “welfare”. By preying on the ignorant and oppressing the poor; by rigging the game and tilting the playing field so the ball always rolls to their side.
Basically, by being dishonest and fooling you into accepting it. Hell, a lot of you even respect it. These are not nice people; these are not respectable people. These are traitors and thieves.
We seem to suffer from a form of mental illness as a culture. If America was a guy undergoing psychoanalysis, that guy would show most of the attributes of a schizophrenic serial killer : on one side we are cruel to animals, have sex with and otherwise abuse our kids , have little or no consideration for the feelings of others, cover up abuses by others, we steal, we lie, we cheat, we abuse drugs and alcohol , place criminals on pedestals and worship people with money more than we do any icon in any religion. We go to church on Sunday morning and screw our brother’s wife on Sunday night. And boy, do we love kickin’ ass! Give us a reason, good or bad, to kick ass and we are THERE!
We often mistake kindness for weakness, stubbornness for resolve and see ignorance as opportunity to be taken advantage of. Profit alone is seen as reason for war.
We also consistently repeat the same mistakes over and over and expect different results i.e. tax cuts for the rich – this isn’t some proposed idea that hasn’t happened yet, though you’d think it was. They got their fucking tax cuts both in 2001 and in 2003, and Obama let them ride in 2009 – really jump started the old economy, didn’t it?
A large portion of us live by and play by the rules to varying degrees, help others, work to save animals and abused children, don’t lie, cheat or steal , try not to make waves and in general offset the bad side. They believe in art as a strong part of culture, that the better educated the populace is the stronger a nation is, that war is necessary only in event of an unprovoked attack or if diplomacy fails. The problem with that side is it doesn’t get the attention the other side gets, it doesn’t make as much noise.
I really think that this movement is the noise of that side, only now beginning to grow.
This is why people are camping out in parks and legislative plazas across the country. The Occupy Wall Street movement has taken on the weight of the Viet Nam War protests of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Those protests ended that war, and they showed the power the American people have in numbers, when those numbers are gathered in public places, willing to fight the police and stand their ground for what they believe to be the right cause. What happens in the privacy of the voting booth can be manipulated to their advantage more easily than what happens on the streets.
And these protests can end this war. And yes, it is a war – and much as our leaders want to avoid saying it, it’s a class war. A class war begun against the American people by Wall Street with the help of the Reagan Administration in 1980, and again by the Bush administrations in 1988 and 2000. This battle is being joined in exactly the right place.
The protesters don’t begrudge the top 1% their success – they’ve earned it. The grudge is against them keeping everyone whose backs they have ridden to the top on from enjoying even part of that success, from having a salary that keeps up with the cost of living, from adequate health care, from affordable schools, from comfortable retirement. For looking down at their country from their positions of privilege and power, seeing the situation that exists and doing nothing to help and in fact hindering efforts to turn the situation around. . For not willingly giving anything back to the country and the people that let them become successful, as their fathers and grandfathers did.
“A growing proportion of the French citizenry had absorbed the ideas of ‘equality’ and ‘freedom of the individual’ as presented by Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Turgot, and other philosophers and social theorists of the Enlightenment. The American Revolution demonstrated that it was plausible for Enlightenment ideas about how a government should be organized could actually be put into practice. Some American diplomats, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, had lived in Paris where they consorted freely with members of the French intellectual class. Furthermore, contact between American revolutionaries and the French troops who served as anti-British mercenaries in North America helped spread revolutionary ideals to the French people. After a time, many of the French began to attack the undemocratic nature of their own government, push for freedom of speech, challenge the Roman Catholic Church, and decry the prerogatives of the nobles. “ (Source – Wikipedia)
Hmmmmm – Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson consorting freely with people who eventually overthrew their King and slaughtered aristocrats in the public squares. Makes ya think, don’t it? Whose side do you think the founders of this country would be on now? Almost makes it seem like it’s our patriotic duty to rise up and put these assholes in their place, doesn’t it?
Well, it is.
Now we just need the numbers. In a nation where an election can be stolen if it’s anywhere near close, only overwhelming numbers will do. The more support and the more bodies that can be counted , that show up at Occupy protests, the sooner we can see this nation back on the right track. We need an “Occupy Washington” where at least a million people drop everything and go to the capital to show support . Yea, the cops are gonna show up, people are gonna go to jail, and they’ll throw out the rule book to stop it. But they did in the ‘60’s too. Remember Kent State?
The main thing is we need the numbers, in public, where we can see each other and know that we are not alone. We need the numbers, using Twitter and Facebook, filming police brutality and agitation and posting it on YouTube-they have no qualms about using cameras on us, remember. Also remember that what happens in the streets can’t be ignored or twisted to fit their agenda; what happens in a voting booth can.
Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Defending your country is considered to be one of the noblest of acts. Well, it needs defending now. Not from Afghanis, Iraqis, shadowy terrorist organizations or religions different from ours. It needs to be defended from being taken over by 1% its own people – White men in business suits who feel comfortable telling the President of The United States to “speed it up” in public, on camera. Who feel entitled to play games of chance with your future and that of your children.
Believe me, the only thing more dangerous than our government is the people that own it. So please, do everything you can to support this movement and help it to succeed.
Remember, it’s about numbers – when the time comes, stand up IN PUBLIC and be counted.
I’m Cheetah Chrome, and I approve this message.
[This text was liberated from AMP Magazine]