For those unfamiliar: Bonus Army, circa 1932.
Watch this first folks:
Then look through these pictures.
Both are from 2008.
Now it’s 2011 and we have this:
Caution: Language contains the f-bomb. I could have given that speech.
There are many who argued that The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
I retort that this is not by any stretch of the imagination always true. Sometimes, the enemy of your enemy just means you have two enemies. My reluctance to get involved in championing the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has to do with what I consider to be an essential first determination of which of these two principles is more-likely to be correct.
After all, supporting one is good. Supporting the other is suicidal.
That there is no “cohesive set of demands” may be a good thing, if it’s real. The problem is that I’m not sure this is the case. Among some of the “looney tunes” demands I’ve heard include:
- A $20/hour minimum wage.
- The right to receive it irrespective of whether you work.
- Cancellation of student loan debt (Note: Not bankruptcy discharge, which I support – just flat cancellation without consequence to the borrower.)
- Tariffs to stop wage and environmental arbitrage (good) and wide-open borders (horrifyingly bad and flatly impossible given the first two demands.)
- A right to a college education (not an aspiration, a right – which means irrespective of ability. How has this worked out for our High Schools when we forced everyone, including those who are on the lower end of the bell curve in intelligence, into “mainstream” classrooms? It’s been an unqualified statistical disaster.)
Add up all the above and you have a thinly-disguised attempt to demand Communism.
Not socialism – communism.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
That not only won’t work, it will destroy what’s left of America and give rise of a dictatorship from the smoldering ruins of the collapse.
On the other hand we have demands that make perfect sense, such as:
- Prosecute the banksters.
- Your kids (and those not yet born!) are being told they’ll have to bail out the crooks.
- The “99%” are against those robbing the nation.
So here’s the deal, as I see it.
If the so-called “Tea Party” is going to mean anything at all then it has to get in the middle of this debate and protest movement right now and amplify the voice that represents common ground.
There’s a lot of that common ground. The messages we the people must send are:
- Stop the looting and start prosecuting. Not protesters, banksters. Right now. Fraudclosure, fraudulent lending practices, fraudulent securitization, fraudulent accounting here and abroad. It all must end right now with prosecution both for past and forwardly-committed financial scam sins.
- We will not pay for the bailouts and handouts. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. Nor will our children and those not yet born. We will withdraw consent through our cessation of taxable work product if the government refuses to meet this demand and claw back every nickel of the transfers it already made. That response is lawful and is, in fact, exactly what happened in Egypt. We will bring it here.
- We are the 99%. Yes, some of us are liberal and some of us are conservative on social issues. On this issue – the rule of law – we are united and we stand as one. This crap stops right now; we’ll fight about the other issues later.
- There is a process for unpayable debts and it’s constitutional. It’s called bankruptcy and it must be available to all with unpayable debts. Period. This means medical debt, it means student loans and it means mortgages. All debts. If you want a demand that will collapse the bankster BS game, that’s the one. You shouldn’t get off if you borrowed foolishly but neither should the lender who lent you money they either knew or should have known you couldn’t repay. No bailouts and no handouts on either side of the ledger.
- We know that pulling the deficit spending and “supports” from under the banksters and housing will cause an economic contraction worse than the 1930s. We know the pension funds are levered up with bank debt that must be haircut severely and that stock prices will fall precipitously if financial institutions are forced to tell the truth and “easy credit” is removed. WE NOT ONLY KNOW THIS, WE ACCEPT IT AND DEMAND THAT IT HAPPEN RIGHT NOW ANYWAY. Why? Because we are Americans. We make mistakes. We accept the possibility of bankruptcy for ourselves when we make mistakes but we demand that the jackass on the other side of the desk gets the same punishment for making a bad loan we get for taking one out. We want to buy houses when they’re cheap just like we want to buy DVD players when they’re cheap. We want American industry to provide jobs, not jobs for Chinese who were tending rice-paddies with the “profits” flowing to executives while Americans go jobless on the dole. We accept that realignment and re-industrialization of America will be painful but the fact remains that wealth disparity that comes from ripping people off is bad while wealth disparity that comes from being inventive and industrious is good — the latter is how we make progress and the latter are the people who we want to have the money to hire us, not the former!
- We demand that the “cheap money” policies, which in fact are really nothing more than bailouts and handouts across the board along with protectionism for the bankster class and those who offshore jobs, end right now. This means no more negative real interest rates anywhere on the curve and a true zero inflation target with criminal penalty teeth in the law. We’re prepared to back this up with the sort of durable protest that we see in NYC and elsewhere and we will expand it as we’re able and as is required until the above demands are met.
- We demand tax reform that results in nobody getting a free ride and nobody having loopholes they can exploit. Whatever we do for a tax system the instructions must fit on one 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and be presumptively correct under law when followed. Your “return”, if you have to file one, must fit on a postcard. Corporate taxation must be similarly simple and presumptive. We demand that the government bring in via taxes every dollar it wishes to spend in programs in the present tense, not borrowing from the future. We can and will have the debate over exactly what those services are in the public square, as we should, and render our opinions in the voting booth. We will not tolerate one more day of deficit spending. Period.
I don’t see anything here that the “Occupy Wall Street” folks could disagree with. Maybe I’m wrong – but if I’m right, these seven points should be what we preach – and what we stand for.
WHERE IS THE TEA PARTY WITH THESE SEVEN POINTS — SEVEN POINTS THAT, PART OF THE EXISTING PROTEST AND AMPLIFIED, BACKED BY MILLIONS IN THE STREETS WHO PEACEFULLY PROTEST AND REFUSE TO STAND DOWN, WE CAN BRING TO THE FORE AND MAKE HAPPEN IN THE PRESENT TENSE?