The election of Barack Obama in 2008, together with a single term in the White House, with good luck and good premises, may be looked back upon as the Last Hurrah of the Left in this country. Obama literally campaigned on his own “occupy” mantra: OWH. Which he did, and trashed it, too. The Left has been the ideological vessel of socialism and tyranny. It fooled no one, not even its exponents. It had been found out, exposed, and repudiated, more by the failure of People’s Republics worldwide, including the Soviet Union, which ran out of economic steam, and Red China, which retained the trappings of Communism but turned fascist, than by any argument offered by the Right.
Reality repudiated Communism and every other form of collectivism. And always will.
The allegedly unemployed of OWS have it all wrong: the economy is not fascist, Wall Street is not by nature fascist, and a chief problem with today’s economy is that the government is in it. OWS wants it to take over the economy. Which would mean the end of the economy.
If they want a taste of genuine fascism, they ought to apply for a job in China. There they would get a taste of “crony capitalism” but wouldn’t be allowed to “occupy” Tiananmen Square to protest it. Not after what happened there the last time, when genuine freedom-fighters were brutally dispersed, maimed or killed by tanks, and rounded up and imprisoned for life. The heroes of Tiananmen Square erected a Statue of Liberty as their symbol of defiance. The OWS adopts a percentile in a vague silhouette of George Washington as a claim on the wealthy and on anyone else who earns more than $20,000 a year.
Obama gave the Left’s dead battery a jump-start. Until the current administration, the Left as a motivational force was dying a deserved death. Now the redistributive clunker is merely sputtering, coughing, dying and reviving, trying to stay alive. Its ideological carburetor is unequal to the task of reconciling the air of its ideology with the gasoline of reality, and must be struck repeatedly with a two-by-four to get it working again. Its spark plugs fire haphazardly, and half of them are dead. Its tires are bald. Its transmission needs rebuilding.
The Tea Party movement called the administration’s and Congress’s policies for what they were and continue to be: political and economic clunkers, unsafe at any speed and liable to die anytime, anywhere. If it moves at all, it is only because there are a pair of donkeys in harness, disguised as politicians. Obama and Congress still insist that the clunker is salvageable and that Americans pour more and more money into it to keep it running.
Cash for Clunkers? Remember that Obama-inspired scam? The catch now is that you give Congress and all the federal bureaucracies the cash, not the other way around. There’s not even a figment of a trade involved. Just expropriation, regulation, and tyranny.
This is a clunker that should be sitting on cinder blocks in Arkansas, right next to the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, with a bronze plaque affixed to its rusted bumper: HERE LIES WELFARE STATISM. GOOD RIDDANCE.
OWS wishes Congress or the government to give everyone cash as an entitlement, or at least a guaranteed job. Where is the money to come from? The Bureau of Printing and Engraving. To pay for what? Whatever the members of OWS wish to have – provided they can find it to buy, for if they get their way, there won’t be much left on store shelves to buy. All those evil corporations will have perished or been nationalized.
OWS can be taken as not so much a Last Hurrah as an inarticulate, spittle-spewing, obscene gesture to everything its denizens hold malice for. The “99% Declaration” is an â la carte prescription for socialist rule. “Democratically” adopted and enforced, it would be the end of “democracy,” or rule by “the people.” It would pave the way for a French Revolution-style directorate of dictators in which “the people” have no say.
This in turn would pave the way for a man on a white horse. Or a palomino pony. Or on another unicorn.
Section IV of the “99% Declaration” contains twenty clauses that call for a complete takeover of the economy. The first three abolish the First Amendment vis-à-vis election campaigns.
1. Elimination of the Corporate State. Implementing an immediate ban on all private contributions of money and gifts, to all politicians in federal office, from individuals, corporations, “political action committees,” “super political action committees,” lobbyists, unions and all other private sources of money or thing of value to be replaced by the fair, equal and total public financing of all federal political campaigns. We categorically REJECT the concepts that corporations are persons or that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest people and corporations would have a voice.
And what happened in November, 2008? Was or was not Barack Obama, who sympathizes with OWS, elected by these same people? Did or did he not have the help of the Mainstream Media? Did or did not major corporations and wealthy individuals contribute millions to his campaign chest? Are they still not donating? And, since when was money ever equal to free speech? Is this is just a sloppy metaphor? If all federal political campaigns were to be totally and exclusively “publicly financed,” by what measure would a federal election committee determine who was qualified to run for office, and who was not, whose petition of signatures was acceptable, and whose was not? And if only corporations and the wealthiest have had a voice in politics, why is the country sliding perilously close to complete socialism, in which they would be nationalized, eliminated, imprisoned, or shot out of hand?
There is no such thing as a “corporate state.” All that exists now is an omnivorous federal government determined to absorb everything.
2. Rejection of the Citizens United Case. The immediate abrogation, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, of the outrageous and anti-democratic holding in the “Citizens United” case proclaimed by the United States Supreme Court. This heinous decision equates the payment of money by corporations, wealthy individuals and unions to politicians with the exercise of protected free speech. We, the People, demand that this institutional bribery and corruption never again be deemed protected free speech.
It does no such thing as “equating.” The Citizens United case is a special bugbear of OWS, but we should never expect the lights of OWS to examine anything closely enough to get at the truth. Hans A. von Spakovsky, in his article, “The Occupy Wall Streeters – Destroying the First Amendment,” clarifies this issue:
The claim that the Citizens United decision allows payment of “money by corporations” and unions to politicians is a myth that liberals and campaign reformers continue to spew. Corporations and unions are prohibited from making campaign contributions to politicians by federal law, and that law has not been overturned by the Supreme Court (although some would argue that it should be overturned by Congress).
Citizens United held that the First Amendment prohibits Congress from censoring the political speech of any entity, and that includes independent expenditures that fund political speech. That decision is in the greatest traditions of liberty and free speech, the most fundamental principles upon which this country was founded.
Furthermore, apparently OWS cannot imagine the prospect of any politician or any advocacy group spending millions to broadcast or publicize its issues, and an individual not being convinced or persuaded on any specific issue. In fact, Obama spent millions on his election campaign, but I was not convinced, persuaded, or even duped by his rhetoric. Quite the opposite.
3. Elimination of Private Contributions to Politicians. Prohibiting all federal public employees, officers, officials or their immediate family members from ever being employed by any corporation, individual or business that they specifically regulated while in office; nor may any public employee, officer, official or their immediate family members own or hold any stock or shares in any corporation they regulated while in office until a full 5 years after their term is completed; a complete lifetime ban on the acceptance of all gifts, services, money or thing of value, directly or indirectly, by any elected or appointed federal official or their immediate family members, from any person, corporation, union or other entity that the public official was charged to specifically regulate while in office. In sum, elected politicians and public employees in regulatory roles may only collect their salary, generous healthcare benefits and pension. Any person, including corporate employees, found guilty and convicted of violating these rules in a court of law by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, shall be sentenced to a term of mandatory imprisonment of no less than one year and not more than ten years.
I have a much, much simpler proposal: get the government out of the economy. This means forbidding the government to fund anything but national defense and the courts and the bare minimum expenses of operating Congress. Abolish all subsidies to private enterprises and companies. Abolish most of the Cabinet, especially the Departments of Education, Energy, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation. None of these offices and attendant bureaucracies has any legitimate purpose in a limited government. Keep the Copyright and Patent offices; they perform legitimate, rights-protecting functions. Abolish all civil service unions. Abolish 99% of the various rights-violating, regulatory bureaucracies.
Abolish House and Senate salaries and all special, protected perks and privileges, and pay Senators and Congressmen on a per diem basis, for the expenses incurred in getting to Washington to represent their constituencies as briefly as possible; grant them closely audited meal allowances and board at a Super 8 Motel. I’m betting that an argument could even be made against that fillip. The goal of all this abolishing would be to discourage any political ambition but the desire to protect and uphold life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.
The balance of the “99% Declaration” is so predictable as to be dull reading. It cadges other, non-OWS proposals for term limits. It calls for a “fair tax code,” as though any tax code is “fair.” But from a collectivist’s perspective, OWS’s “fair tax” seeks to soak the rich and expropriate the wealth of those who are also not in the “1%.” It demands health care for all or the adoption of the single-payer system, completely omitting mention of the status of those who are to provide such health care: doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other medical personnel who presumably would be drafted into government service and paid pittance. We all know how that idea was received by doctors. Very few were willing to labor in a “ready reserve.”
The Declaration comports with environmentalist ideology by making Mother Earth a party to the proposed national general assembly of OWS. The clause citing a demand for debt reduction, given the amounts of money it would take to bring OWS’s fantasy world into existence, is an exercise in reductio ad absurdum. Point Nine demands jobs for all Americans. As whose employees? Doing what?
9. Jobs for All Americans. Passage of a comprehensive job and job-training act like the American Jobs Act to employ our citizens in jobs that are available with specialized training and by putting People to work now by repairing America’s crumbling infrastructure. We also recommend the establishment of an online international job exchange to match employers with skilled workers or employers willing to train workers in 21st century skills. In conjunction with a new jobs act, reinstitution of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps or a similar emergency governmental agency tasked with creating new public works projects to provide jobs to the 46 million People living in poverty, the 9.1% unemployed and 10% underemployed.
In short, make everyone a public employee, dependent on what public service jobs are available in a statist, command economy and on what some bureaucrat or “czar” determines is a livable wage. Private jobs, providing such an economy doesn’t first collapse, will be few and hard to find. And regulated.
The Declaration demands universal, across-the-board student loan forgiveness, to be paid for by socking it to Wall Street with a “reparations” surcharge. After all, didn’t you know, Wall Street caused the economic collapse of 2007-2008. Well, no, it didn’t. It was government meddling in the economy with subprime mortgages and the like.
Displaying their ignorance, the authors of this point forget, if they ever knew, that student loans have been rising for decades with the cost of higher education. And who is funding that rising cost? The federal government, by inflating the currency and causing schools to compete for those extra tuition dollars. With what consequence? Graduates in a variety of specialties and studies that have little or no value in the private sector. Graduates who are barely literate and have no thinking or critical skills, which were beginning to be erased from their minds in grade and high school.
The Declaration demands the immediate passage of the Dream Act. That is, its authors wish the ballot boxes to be stuffed by illegal immigrants who vote early and often.
There are six other “demands” in the Declaration, all worth a critique, but one of the last ones exhibits a special species of ignorance. It demands that the Federal Reserve Bank be ended. Yes, end the Fed. Get the government out of the economy. But, excuse me, your personships, the Fed is not “privately owned.” It is a creature of government, and it regulates banks. This ending of the Fed, says the Declaration, should be in conjunction with a moratorium on foreclosures. And mixed in with the demand to abolish the Electoral College – the last safeguard against populist tyranny and the democracy the Founders so feared – it advocates the creation of national identity cards under the ruse of voter registration.
It is nearly laughable that the unwashed masses of OWS are now complaining about crime in Zuccotti Park, and about freeloaders and the certified “homeless” who have found a hassle-free nest, free food, and refuge among its malodorous ranks. After all, OWS advocates freeloading as a right. It is the perfect model for anarchy, complete with ineffective “security” and the Woodstock spirit of free sex, unlimited drugs, noise that passes for music, uncollected garbage, hepatitis, syphilis, bugs, and rats. One wonders how many of these people in the future are going to be crowding into “free clinics” demanding to be cured of whatever maladies they picked up in Zuccotti Park.