When I heard Van Jones along with various union bosses claim their support for the Occupy movement in recent weeks, it confirmed for me that this Occupy is essentially the Tea-Party version of the extreme progressive political agenda. Van Jones even recently discussed an "October Offensive" that would be used to counter the Tea Party.
However, the list of demands from Occupy Wall Street website sounds like a wet dream of someone with a very strong socialist and communist agenda. In fact, these demands read like a new-age version of some bootleg Karl Marx list.
I was willing to jump on board with this Occupy group until I read this list, but after reading this list, I see that it is just another group with an agenda and I have no desire whatsoever to be affiliated with an organization that is promoting that agenda. If this group truly wants to get me involved with them, then:
- Where is the demand for the repeal of the PATRIOT Act?
- What about ending the international wars of aggression?
- What about ending the opium trade in Afghanistan?
- What about ending the Presidential-ordered killings of US citizens without a court hearing and due process?
- What about actually demanding criminal accountability on Wall Street (as the name of the group might imply) and in other financial arenas?
- Where is the demand for the disposition of the bankers' stolen loot and gains over the years?
- What about the end of warrantless wiretapping and spying by the government and telecoms?
- What about an audit of the Federal Reserve?
- What about the nexus and conflict between former government regulators receiving lucrative private sector jobs from the very companies/industries they were regulating?
- What about the end of torture?
I came up with those demands without even picking up a book or doing a real thorough analysis that I would have done if I was organizing a movement. Please note that I didn't include any of the numerous conspiracy theories previously discussed on this blog. However, instead of any of the above, the Occupy movement focuses on things that will never happen or will lead to outright Civil War. Namely, it focuses on the same issues that I have seen in numerous progressive/union/left-leaning/communist literature. In fact, when I was way more naive back in 2006, I ran a political campaign with a platform that was somewhat similar in certain areas. Fortunately, my ideology has evolved.
Here are the Occupy Wall Street demands (along with my annotations):
Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
Why not tax the profits of American corporations who incorporate and operate in other nations simply for the avoidance and payment of taxes? The only problem is that most major corporations are multinational. If US imposes strict regulations or taxes, the corporations will simply remove all (or curtail a material portion) of its operations from the United States market to a more favorable market.
If the tariffs are too costly, then the corporations will pass those costs along to the American consumers who will no longer be able to afford the foreign goods. A void would potentially exist for American companies to produce these goods, but the current government regulations are barriers to entry for anyone aside from international investors. $20 an hour minimum wage would never work. It would kill more jobs than it would save. Many businesses do not make enough money to pay its employees $20/hour, so it would have to terminate staff. A rise in minimum wage for everyone would also cause inflation, because everyone would be making more money.
Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.
I agree that the insurance industry is a huge issue, but allowing the federal government to run all of health care would be even worse. I wouldn't necessarily be against some type of federally subsidized program for basic health needs, but I am against any federal mandate that everyone has to buy insurance.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
That would never work. Why would someone ever work a difficult or dangerous job?
Demand four: Free college education.
I agree that education should be available to anyone who wants to pursue it, but how does one pay for free college education for everyone? Who will pay the teachers? Buy the library books? Build the dormitories? If every college will be 100% federal government-funded, then the federal government will controlling all of the colleges/universities in the country. I certainly would never agree to that scenario. If they want to help college students, remove the ridiculous profits in the private student loan industry.
Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.
This is pie-in-the-sky stuff unless the government is willing to release all of its black-ops technology where it is alleged that free energy like Mr. Fusion does exist. Assuming that free energy does not exist yet, then there is no way to transition out of fossil fuels without decimating the economy. Further, the so-called "green energy" push by the government is a scam as evidenced by the recent political scandal in the solar energy industry. Our current state of technology is not a viable substitute for fossil fuel energy. It may make someone feel good to drive a Prius, but what happens when the world runs out of the rare earth metals needed to construct the battery technology?
Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.
Where do we get $1,000,000,000,000 from when the country is broke? Should we just print it up on the Federal Reserve printers? Borrow it from China?
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.
As in the previous Demand, where do we get $1,000,000,000,000? I agree on the decommissioning of the nuclear plants, because radiation is a curse on this planet. However, this Demand conflicts with Demand Five, because nuclear is considered alternative energy. Nuclear accounts for 20% of the power in the country. What will be the substitute for nuclear while these power plants are being decommissioned? Further, if you reestablish all wetlands, that means destroying all dams and canals. 6% of US power comes from hydroelectric, so that along with nuclear would wipe 26% of the US electrical power capacity. If you take this Demand into account with Demand Five, we would essentially have to live in the Dark Ages with no fossil fuels, nuclear power, hydroelectric or coal.
Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.
More pie-in-the-sky stuff. There is already an Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution that supposedly grants equal protections in connection with government and State action, but it has been abused by Courts since the late 1800s. A proposed Equal Rights Amendment failed in the 1980s. Additional Amendments addressing these social issues would only cause more court cases and more confusing, judicial rulings that would still favor those people with the economic resources to game the legal system. The country simply needs to enforce the laws and regulations that are currently on the books.
Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.
If you are pro-illegal immigration, then you will love this one. I am anti-illegal immigration and I believe in national sovereignty, so I do not agree with this Demand either. I do agree that people should be able to travel, work and live wherever they want, but it shouldn't be an unfettered right to do anything one wants to do. I can't move to another country and expect to do whatever I want to do.
Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.
I agree that our election system is corrupt, but international elections are no better and in many cases, worse. I do believe that there should be a paper receipt for all votes that can be manually reviewed in case of any issues.
Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.
I would love for all my student loans to be wiped off of the books, but wiping this debt out would not solve the problem. Legit debts need to be paid. Otherwise, wiping these debts out would simply create hyperinflation. Food isn't going to magically appear on your table. Your kids' clothes aren't going to magically sprout from a cottonseed. Gas isn't going to magically appear in your tank. Your cell phone and Internet bills will not pay themselves. If the economy goes into hyperinflation, most of these things will either disappear or become in very short supply very quickly. However, I do AGREE that all fraudulent debts and instruments need to be canceled and the originators of these instruments need to be criminally and civilly tried in Court.
Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.
I don't really use credit anymore, but I do understand that some people need it to build businesses. I wouldn't outlaw credit reporting agencies, but I would curtail some of these agencies' powers.
Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.
What does this have to do with 99%? I'm not in a union and have never really wanted to be in a union. I don't have a desire to pay someone money for the "right" to negotiate on my behalf. It sounds like the mob to me. Union membership may be important to some, but it is an irrelevant issue to me and when I hear people pushing it as a major issue, then I know it's really a political issue!
There are a couple of decent points in those demands, but a majority of them are as unrealistic as me swimming to the Moon.
I bet most of these folks protesting and occupying these locations are great people who have the best intentions. However, I am reminded of that old statement about the pavement on the road to Hell. Sometimes when I write these blog articles, I hope I am wrong about my statements and this is one of those times! But....
At the end of the day, it seems like the anger in the streets has been (or will be) co-opted by the professional revolutionaries and all of their affiliates of the extreme progressive agenda.