Dear “Occupy” People,
This may come as a surprise to you, but when most people hear you, all we hear is a strange, alien shriek that starts with “No Fair!” and ends with “Gimme!”
We hear: “I made bad choices, didn’t think things through, never even imagined that everything wouldn’t go exactly as I wanted it to. So now that I have student loans I signed for and can’t pay back (because I can’t find a job I think worthy of my awesomeness), I want someone else to pay.”
Some of your basic premises are simply faulty, some fantastically so. From what I can gather, and I admit, it’s difficult to take you seriously, you think that there is “x” amount of money, and that when one group has that “x” amount of money, there is no more money. It’s as if you think that rich people bury their money in their backyards, but we all know they don’t. They spend, invest, donate, build hospitals, museums, art galleries, universities; they build non-profits that help the homeless, help the hungry, bring medicinal and educational supplies to the poorest regions on earth. When there is a natural disaster anywhere in the world, American corporations are the first to step up and donate millions, often (as with Haiti, Japan, and countless other incidents) billions. One (that’s as in one) American corporation donated more to Haiti after the earthquake than the entire Chinese government. Two other, with their combined donations, also donated more than China. China, embarrassed, doubled their donation, but it was still dwarfed by what American corporations donated. Did you know that? Does it matter?
So back to this “there is only ‘x’ amount of money, and anyone who has it is somehow evil” premise. We’d be remiss, wouldn’t we, if we didn’t consider the millionaires and billionaires who work in Hollywood, fashion, music, sports, television, and other corporations (because, yes, newsflash: MGM is a corporation, as is almost every other “big Hollywood, big Fashion, big Television, big Music, and big Sports” industry). Television, in particular, tends to film in Vancouver and not in California, where the studios are located (what is your favorite television show that actually has a plot, a script, and is worth watching? Where is it filmed?). Do you see a relationship between high taxes and unreasonable union demands and the decision to film in another country? Why do these corporations escape your notice? If there’s only “x” amount of money, and they have a good chunk of it, aren’t they greedy, too? Aren’t they “stealing” from you because they have a bigger piece of the pie than you’ll ever get sleeping under a tarp in a park?
My guess is that they don’t fit in your narrative, so you simply ignore them. This is a mistake, however, because we who love America not only see the inconsistency but can quite clearly see the political, not social or cultural or even economic, motivation behind the targets you choose for your ill-considered “rage.”
It’s a turn off, just so you know.
On one thing, you might have gotten some support from normal people (I use this term to describe the majority of Americans who have no desire to destroy our country, our free market capitalism–well, any more than it’s already been destroyed), and that one thing is on the bailouts. Granted, those were three (that’s 3) years ago (funny you’re only now outraged, is that a reflection of your slowness on the uptake or . . . what?), but we didn’t like them, either. However, where you lose us is in insisting that you want a government “bailout,” as well, or maybe that you want the bailout instead. This seems to be largely because you blame the banks for taking the government bailouts (using our tax money), but did you know that some banks were forced to take a “bailout” that they neither wanted nor needed? That these banks paid them back with record speed (having not wanted or needed them)? Did you know that the banks that “needed” the bailout were determined by the government? That the government determined how much to give them and even how they spent it? Does this matter at all?
My guess is that, like most leftists, you supported the bailouts–if for no other reason than by the time BO was in office, they sort of became his, and we all have seen how you have no problem–in principle–with anything that he does . . . even if he does all President Bush did, and more besides, to undermine our Constitution, your rights, and our nation. If I recall correctly, the argument was that the economy would collapse.
But that was before you knew (somehow, just how did you learn it?) that’s what you wanted. (If that’s what you want at all.)
Have you thought about what it would mean if capitalism, in particular American capitalism, collapses? As I mentioned above, American capitalists–both corporations and taxpayers through our government–pay for so very much in the world. Not only do we have the highest standard of living in the world, but we have the money to fund the majority of the UN, we send aid to a host of foreign countries, and a host of other things around the globe. We use money earned by capitalism to fund all sorts of things that you supposedly want funded (somehow, magically maybe): everything from education to social security to MediCare and welfare and foodstamps and unemployment benefits. Where do you imagine that money will come from if there is no capitalism? Do you really believe that people will be as productive and that earning power will be as great under any other system? If so, on what do you base this belief? If we are the “richest country in the world” (or we were, anyway), then wouldn’t that suggest that our system produces . . . wealth. And that it does so better than any other system in the world?
It’s easy and convenient to blame “Wall Street” for all of the nation’s ills, but is that even reasonable? Do you know where the mandates to provide unsafe home loans came from? Do you know why the banks gave loans to people, in some case, who didn’t even have a job? Now, I know and readily admit that some investment bankers and particularly hedge fund creeps “bet” on these loans going into default. I also think this is unethical, but it’s not as if it wasn’t completely obvious–to everyone except the commies in Congress who forced this–that these loans would all be defaulted, that there would be mass foreclosures when people who either didn’t have jobs or were getting loans that the jobs they did have would never be able cover. The housing crisis was a government-conceived, government-mandated crisis, made to make you stand around years later crying because people, for some unknown reason (and yes, they are culpable, too), are being foreclosed on for not being able to repay loans they should never have received in the first place.
Again, that’s not to excuse the excesses of Wall Street, but you know what is the most insidious, most dangerous aspect of Wall Street? Its relationship with government. You seem incensed that no one on Wall Street has been indicted for wrong-doing. Okay, let’s look at that. What did BO say? That they didn’t do anything illegal, right? That they can’t indict for non-criminal, totally legal activity. And that’s true. But who makes banking laws? Who writes them? Who pays for them? That’s right, my unthinking friends, Wall Street. There are these things called lobbies, and they spend all the billions that you think, and I think, they should be paying in taxes, to ensure that there are “free zones” for unethical activity and numerous tax shelters that enable gigantic corporations like GE to avoid paying so much as one penny in taxes. Legally.
Wall Street doesn’t need reform, the government does. With the government reformed properly, there will be no Wall Street excesses. This is something we refer to as “critical thinking” and an understanding of a thing called “cause and effect”; you’ll note that “unintended consequences” tend to manifest most often and to most onerous effect from leftist policies. Things don’t happen in a vacuum, and when you do one thing (pass a regulation, for instance, or ban shallow water drilling), it has a ripple effect (the costs of the regulation are passed on to the consumer (BoA), or deep-water drilling–much less easy to manage, maintain, and clean up than that done in shallow water–results in serious environmental damage). In short, something that “sounds good” needs to be considered beyond the moment.
The “public-private” partnerships you seem to support undermine the benefits of capitalism and highlight the destruction socialism always causes. And that goes well beyond Wall Street–indeed, it’s a large part of the reason that healthcare costs are what they are, that they are going up as they do. Between Big Pharma and lawyer lobbies and other factors that influence government policy, this will not change even if–no, especially if–you get your much-dreamed of, but little-considered government healthcare.
Do you think it’s an accident that everything the government is involved with costs far more than everything that government is not involved with? That does include oil and ethanol subsidies, oh yes, but it also includes the existing government healthcare programs. You know how you think that the government has unlimited resources to pay for everything under the sun, every whim of your commie little heart? Well, that’s just what every business who works with / for the government thinks, too. So we have the government operating outdated, inefficient, and wasteful programs that are fraught with waste, fraud, and abuse (not even going into the fact that in most things, excepting the military, roads, etc., the private sector would do much better, for less money, and to greater benefit to all). There is no incentive for government to be cost-effective, for it to work within a budget. So it doesn’t.
And because it doesn’t, the budget gets bigger and bigger each year–expanding far beyond our ability to pay (this is called “deficit”; it differs from “debt”), tax dollars are wasted and spent irresponsibly across the board (and yes, that definitely includes subsidies to big oil and military spending). And here’s the thing, you are raging against the machine of Wall Street, but the “real” culprits are in DC. Whom do you think passes the laws that are written by wealthy and influential lobbyists? Whom do you think panders to your commie fantasies by enacting all sorts of programs (and usually multiple programs that all do the same thing, as inefficiently as possible)?
This all plays out only one way. At some (near) point, we are going to have to have austerity measures unless you lot stop and think. You want to have a social security program, right? You want to have MediCare, right? Every single serious projection says that both are unsustainable. We have a choice: we can make changes now, changes that won’t affect current and near-term recipients, or we can go on as we are and be forced to make cuts to people who are dependent, in that moment, on government programs. According to projections, that’s likely to be you. And that’s what’s happened in Greece. They knew decades ago they were heading here, that they would have to make cuts, but they kicked the can down the road, they ignored the problem. Now government, there, is the “bad guy,” not the banking system, not the greedy war for oil people, not a single one of your straw men. The government. Do you not think this significant? Do you not think we can learn from that in some way?
But then we get back to your basic premise, as I understand it. Government is the answer. The destruction of the free market is the answer. Taking from the rich to give to the poor is the answer. Except that never works. Once the rich are bled dry, then what? Where will the money come from then? Are you going to make it? Are you going to work hard and excel for a pittance of your “fair share” as determined by the government based on the needs of the many? Are you going to work 80, 90, or 100 hours a week so that you can get a subsistence living, one that will drag down the standard of living for every American?
We know this will happen because that’s what always happens when too much socialism is injected into any society: the middle class disappears, the poverty class expands, and the upper- and privileged-class shrinks. Even communist China has finally clued into this and is using more and more free market principles, and as a result, they have an emerging and growing middle class. Communism is regressive, not capitalism. Communism destroys the individual in the name of the collective, and it destroys along with the individual any concept of individuality. You become a number. A workhorse. A slave.
Where do you think you’ll fit in this new order you seek? From what I can tell, the talents, skills, and abilities of the “occupiers” are shockingly limited. You can chant, you can repeat what someone says, you have the minimal intellect required to learn hand twinkles, and you can beat bongos and smoke pot. Do you know what Mao and Stalin and Hitler did to the “revolutionaries” who cleared their path to power? You may want to look into that because if you survive at all (highly unlikely), you’ll be, effectively, enemies of the state’s stability. While the bongo-beaters may find a role in the new “collective” as musicians, take a look at what Mao, Che, Hitler, and the Soviets did to music, to creativity. Hint: it was controlled, music had to be benign, limited to supporting the government, never ever inspiring the unwashed masses to anything that might lead to free-thought or rebellion. So guess who’s going to be the farmers, miners, and factory workers in the new non-capitalist collective. Not me. You. Guess who’s going to be assigned to the least-fulfilling, least-intellectually demanding “dirty” jobs that society needs done. Not me. You. Guess who’s going to be living in tiny, government-provided cubicles on the property of their workplace. Not me. You.
That’s if you’re permitted to live at all. History shows that the tyrants who take power after a “revolution” eliminate, quickly and brutally, all who are likely to “revolt” against the new order. That’s you.
And very much me.