No disrespect to the Vancouver anti-capitalists who motivated the recent Occupy Wall Street Protests, but just a few comments.
Firstly, about the so-called "99%". A recent Gallop Poll suggests that 63% of the public doesn't even know what "Occupy Wall Street" is even about. And another 15%, who do know what it's about are opposed to it.
My math says that means that the "99%", really, is more like, the "22%".
Secondly, well, not to nitpick a lovely sort of "sit in", but, what's the plan?
Sure - they're patting themselves on the back over the fact that New York didn't call in the dogs and fire-hose them out. They're suggesting that they have "changed the dialogue" in Washington.
But to coin a capitalist phrase, "Where's the beef?"
What are they accomplishing, beyond, well, nothing?
Unemployment remains high, the deficit in the U.S. is little more that a subdued cobra ready to strike with the slightest of provocation - and fundamentally, while we can see the 22% are unhappy, well, they don't have a plan. In the least.
Sure - Adbusters is suggesting what they call a "Robin Hood" tax - 1% on each financial transaction, which they suggest will raise "enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world."
Because the market won't adapt to such a tax. Because pension funds, 401K's and RRSP's haven't been beaten down enough yet.. let's add a little more salt to the wound. Every time a fund manager seeks to move an investment to a safer haven, he's going to pay another 1%. Not the fund manager - the fund holder. You, me, autoworkers pension holders.. you know, the "99%".
But it's all academic because not only is it stupid, it will never happen - and it ignores the fundamental problem - that their "Tea Party Siblings" see - but the Occupiers don't. Namely, that the problem isn't between "left" and "right", it's between the connected and the disconnected. Buy using the vernacular of "us" and "them", of "left" and "right" - they continue the polarization games that allow politicians to get elected without actually having to do anything of real substance. Just fan the flames of ideological disagreement.
The problem is the system.
The people on the inside, and the rest of us.
The true 99%
Conservatives, Liberals, and everything in-between - people that don't have the money or the lobby to twist the arm of politicians.
The Tea Party recognized this - and put together a new lobby. A voters' lobby - who want very little in particular, other than to stop with the political bartering that excludes the people on the bottom for the benefit of the people on the top.
I might suggest, having had some involvement on a local political level, that the real problem is quite simple.
Politicians' primary duty, sadly, is to themselves.
To get re-elected.
And, they have learned that to get re-elected, they need two things:
a) Votes; and
b) Money (that helps them get votes).And, so - they respond to these two things - and almost ONLY these two things.
So - if you want to influence your political representative, you need to show that you can:
a) Give them votes, or take away votes, in enough numbers to make a difference in their ability to keep their job; andAnd that's a problem, a "sick addiction" if you will, that leaves 99% of us on the outside looking in. Liberals, Conservatives - regardless - the "real people" if you will - who don't involve themselves in a large lobby group or in a business that can impact an election.
b) Give them money, or take away enough money, in enough amounts to make a difference in their ability to keep their job.
Think about this, for just a moment:
Since 1989, the rat-bastards who pretty much started this whole mess, AIG, have split about $9.3 million in donations pretty much equally between Republicans and Democrats. Except during the Obama election - there they broke the mold and gave 68% of their donations to the Democrats - among the top beneficiaries of their benevolence - Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) - who just happen to have chaired committees charged with overseeing the insurance industry.
Of course - why ask for gifts from a company when you can just own part of it - like Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) who owns stock in AIG worth some $2 million.
Get it yet?
How about this - also from Opensecrets.org:
2008 Election Cycle Contributions by the Defence Industry:Total Contributions: $23,716,058 From Individuals: $9,945,166 From PAC's: $13,770,892
If the Tea Party and the Occupiers had a REAL plan - they would marshall effort to dismantle the power of money and lobbyists. Problem is, however, they won't.
Because no one in the Tea Party is going to pull the rug out from under Haliburton or the NRA, and no one from the Occupiers is going to undermine the National Organization for Women or the NAACP.
And thus, the games will continue. The snow will come, the protesters will fade away, and nothing *sigh* will change.