Friday, November 4, 2011

Why OWS Is Screwed

Uncle Sam apparently wants you to buy into
bullshit.  Good job.
Here's a fun fact for everyone.  In 2009, the Top 10 Richest Members of Congress consisted of 8 Democrats and 2 Republicans.

It's no secret that many, many Democrats make up the 1% that the OWS people claim they're trying to bring down, so it's hilariously ironic when the Democrats tell their "brothers and sisters," to be strong and to fight the good fight.

It's ironic because the OWS people like getting support from their elected representatives, the same people that have benefitted from the perceived flaws of our financial system.  It's hilarious because the OWS'ers don't seem to realize this.

What makes all of it sad is the fact that their blindness is being used as campaign fodder.  The Democrats had control of the House, Senate, and White House for two years.  They kept beating the hope and change drum, and after 2 years of complete control over law-making, what did they change?  My guess is that if they were serious about overhauling our economy and financial system, they would have made a more concerted effort to do so.

Why did they suffer such big losses in 2010?  Because they didn't deliver on the shit they promised.  They kept things largely the same.  Yes, Republicans were lock-step in their opposition to the healthcare bill, but that's because they had solid backing from the electorate to do so.  Financial reform is something that most Americans can get behind.  Liberals and Conservatives everywhere talk about how they think "Crony Capitalism" has fucked everything up.

Sure, the two groups might have opposing solutions for how to fix it, but people want shit to change for the better.  My guess is that Congress, filled with many members who are part of the 1% or at least in bed with them, doesn't really want things to change.

And why would they?  Not only do they have the power of personal wealth behind them, but they've also got the power of law-making that we've vested them.  If the Democrats truly gave a shit about the poor and tired masses, if they really wanted to make meaningful changes, they certainly would have done so in the two years that they had control over the law-making process.

But they didn't.  They claim to represent all these disenfranchised people, but they don't do anything about it.  It's all a way for them to get more votes.  It's easy to call for change when you have no way of actually changing anything.  The change bandwagon was filled to the fucking brim of people starving for a brighter future, but when the bandwagon arrived at its destination they were shocked to find that it had never even left the station. 

The calls for change among members of Congress all but stopped once they got the power they asked for.  Isn't it convenient that the calls for change started getting more aggressive when they lost the power?

To the OWS participants: You're on your own.  The people in government who might genuinely support your cause don't have the power to affect any change.  Everyone else in government who actually weilds some influence and sway only hold that influence because of the fact that they're in the 1% that you're villainizing.

If you want real change, stop electing the people who are keeping it business as usual.  You might think the Republicans are evil and are trying to keep the poor people poor, but you've definitely been snowed by the Democrats who claim to be altruistic champions of the people.


Jersey McJones said...

I don't think the OWS is all that enamored with the Dems. Not sure why you think otherwise. It's not the personal wealth of pols that matters anyway - it's how they act. If the OWS had their way, we'd have more Bernie Sanderses in there, which I'm sure you conservatives would not like, so I'm not sure who you're trying to co-opt here.


Harrison said...

Good one.

I just love all the dictators and commies that have endorsed them.

KP said...

The thing I really like about Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Tom Coburn and Congressman Dennis Kucinich is that they are honest and consistent about their positions. No apologies, and they will go anywhere to share them; and are usually civil and thoughtful. Although Bernie can get red faced and spit a bit, he will let you talk. I love Kucinich on O'Reilly. I think they like each other. The honesty reminds Ron Paul. I find all four refreshing because of it.

Jersey McJones said...

Ya' know, KP, Paul and Kucinich are good friends.


KP said...

Thanks, JMJ. Are they good friends of one another or you? Either way, I am not surprised. When you find a man who is straight forward and loyal to his beliefs, you have found the kind of man that makes a good friend. You gotta know where they stand and know they will be there when you need them. I think O'Reilly is a straight shooter as well and he sees that in Kucinich.

By my post, you can see I didn't mention anybody's political party or political beliefs. That is not something I would look for in a loyal friend. Loyalty is on a higher plane.

Grung_e_Gene said...

There is no love for President Obama at #Occupy, especially OccupyChi which I've spent some time with...

What is clear to many people is that our Government has been bought by 1% and thus they spend all their time figuring out how to eliminate EPA laws, decertify Unions, which countries to invade and open up as markets, and how many protesters to beat, detain and arrest.

It's just that most (many? some?) recognize the politicans are bought and paid for and that the string pullers are the Bigger Enemy...

Jack Camwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack Camwell said...

Thanks for the reasoned response and for visiting.

Perhaps I've been a bit hasty in assuming that people are so snowed?

Something I'm struggling with is the idea of there being "enemies" in this conflict. One side wants to keep their piece of the pie, the other side wants a bigger piece.

Do either side entirely deserve what they want?

There are some rich people who definitely don't deserve what they have, but there are some OWSers that don't deserve more. So where's the morality come into play? Is it moral for someone to take a bigger share that he/she may not deserve? Is it moral to keep your share if you don't deserve it?

KP said...


I agree with you. As well, these feelings go far beyond those at Occupy. There are lots of ways to carry the message (spiritual or political) and not everyone will agree on the way it should be carried. I think many (most?) of us agree that money in politics is a huge problem. The creep is no longer creeping and has gone from wall street to congress and now into some of the judiciary.

KP said...

Jack, I think you are on the right track in your last post. You let me know if I read you wrong.

We need reform. Reform means both parties are invloved when it comes to something similar to the Glass-Steagall Act. We need to prevent selfish people from taking advantage of loops holes -- similar to the ones Rubin helped legalize and exploit.

But we don't need to redistribute wealth the way some of the OWS crowd are demanding. The loudest are over the top. That is never going to happen.

The Dems won't go for socialism of that sort anymore than the Repubs will. What has already been legally earned will stay where it is unless there is tax reform. The way it is earned in finacial markets surely must change.

As well, big money needs to been moved out of politics. I am talking about big money from both sides.

Jersey McJones said...


What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Taxes to promote the general welfare are much more than just "redistribution of wealth." Look at it this way: The taxes we pay should be the like rent to live in the best condo in the world - America.

When we look at it that way, we see the Constitution's insistence that our government promotes the general welfare of all the people. Our government is not constitutionally designed just to promote astounding wealth.

And it's stupid. It's like running a country by playing the lottery.

We can't all be rich, as you conservatives well know.

But the country will become Third World if the rich take too much and leave too many without.

So, what do we do?

We do not "redistribute."


We INVEST in new roads. After all, the road comes first, then comes the houses and the businesses and the towns.

We INVEST in education. That should seem like a no-brainer, until you realize there are people out there who actually pride themselves on being brainless.

We INVEST in domestic energy (and not just oil), broad-banding the country, new schools, trade schools, the way we did it after WWII, fitted to today's scenario.

I wish we could elevate these debates beyond partisan talking points.


Harrison said...

The idea of "invest" assumes there is a payoff not $500 wasted on Solyndra or all the other money Obama throws away. It is not the job of government to "invest" that is for private industry. Building roads, keeping trade routes open, national defense, etc. THIS is the role of government.

We would do well to remember that the wealthy don't always stay that way nor do the poor always stay that way, either.

And too much is spent on education already... Big Union pisses it away.

Jersey McJones said...

So, Harrison, you are saying the government can not promote the general welfare?


Harrison said...

I'll let Thomas Jefferson answer that for me:

“[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”

Jersey McJones said...

So then you agree with the Wall of Separation, too? Universal education?

What does Jefferson mean by ad libitum? He means frivolity. To most Americans, the social safety net and institutions of healthcare and learning are not frivolities, but necessities.

The fact of the matter is that the Constitution instructs the congress to promote the general welfare - after all, and is a significant part of the security of the state as well.

You are on the fringe right if you believe the Constitution disallows these things.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: The condo owners are having parties with their cronies on our rent money, instead of keeping the place fixed up.

@ Jack: One side wants to keep their piece of the pie, the other side wants a bigger piece.

You nailed it. This game of government raking in all in and then slicing the pie has got to stop. It was all good when the pie was fat, but now that it's a shadow of its former selves, the true nature of the participants comes out.

It's easy to be ethical and moral when times are good and there's plenty of Uncle Sam's "stash" to go around, but when times get lean, you see the true face of human nature.

The first break that must happen is to break the pornographic embrace of DC and Wall Street, DC and Corporate America, DC and big banking, and DC and labor unions.

Get back to the constitutional enumerated powers and leave the rest to the states and the people.

Write simple laws against fraud, stealing, etc, and brutally enforce them.

Silverfiddle said...

No, Jersey, you are on the fringe if you believe a clause gives free rein to the federal government to do whatever the hell it wants to.

Article 1, Section 8.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

It is clear in the writings of the founders that they did not consider this an open-ended grab bag, but a clause that authorizes the federal government to lay taxes and levies to fund its exercise of it limited and enumerated powers.

Mein Gott en himmel! Why don't you just advocate for a dictatorship and be done with it?

KP said...

<< where's the morality come into play? Is it moral for someone to take a bigger share that he/she may not deserve? Is it moral to keep your share if you don't deserve it? >>

In politics, morality seems to fit the model of a person or group's destination and objective. There is a reason for morality.

Rhetorically, if you don't know where you are going why be moral? As well, if you asked the two political extremes (both smallish minorities of Americans) you may get very different answers when they answer what is moral where wealth is concerned.

As Silver said it is critical that we (both parties) alter the relationships of DC and Wall Street, DC and Corporate America, DC and big banking, and DC and labor unions.

Harrison said...

"To most Americans, the social safety net and institutions of healthcare and learning are not frivolities, but necessities."

The Bible says give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish he eats for a lifetime.

Of course if you give a man a fish every day for a month he will expect that until he dies.

"The fact of the matter is that the Constitution instructs the congress to promote the general welfare - after all, and is a significant part of the security of the state as well."

It is not the job of the government, nor is it said, that the people should have their happiness bought and paid for by the taxpayers so they won't revolt.

If anything, the Constitution is a method of LIMITING the scope of government so it does not become overly intrusive.

Indeed, it is spelled out that when the government becomes too much it is the role of the people to overthrow it.

You misread our nation's founding documents completely.

The quote goes that the party that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Harrison said...

And might I add that NOWHERE in any of this nation's founding documents is found the phrase "seperation of Church and State." That phrase came long after.

When Christine O’Donnell ran for office in Delaware she made the "mistake" of pointing this out. The dolts in the press mocked her. She was correct, they were wrong.

Harrison said...

Apologies, that was NOT a Biblical verse, it is simply a saying.

Jersey McJones said...

Harrison, I was pointing out a hypocrisy in an argument when I brought up the Wall of Separation.

The Welfare of the State is an important function of a republic. If we study history, we find good governance, investment of tax dollars in the betterment of the state, always serves most of the people well, and always is better for the state.

Throwing money at colonial enterprise, via military expenditures and free trade, makes some money in the short run, but in the end leads to bankruptcy.

That's the thing about cannibalism - once you chew off enough of yourself, you can't chew anymore. It's a black hole.


Harrison said...

"If we study history, we find good governance, investment of tax dollars in the betterment of the state, always serves most of the people well, and always is better for the state."

Foreign wars have often bankrupted nations and led to their decline but states spending beyond their means coupled with a growing welfare state have also brought them down (or a combination of the two).

The Founding Fathers were quite interested in limiting the role and scope of government because they realized that the larger a government became, the more intrusive and restrictive it was, too.

I personally believe that a limited government forces people to work, become productive, and take care of their own business is what we need not a Big Brother/Nanny State type of country as you find in Greece which is teetering on the brink of self-destruction.

Jack Camwell said...

Excellent debate and comments from everyone. Given the acerbic nature of my blog, I'm pleasantly surprised that everyone stayed civil with this little discussion.

I picked up on what Jersey was saying when he brought up the wall of sepparation. Although I can't entirely remember the context (and because I'm too lazy to go back and read what he said), he brought it up because some people in the GOP like to call the US a "Christian Nation," or they say we need to get back to our Judeo-Christian roots.

You're absolutely correct in saying that the Constitution doesn't mention separation of Church and state.

A welfare lifer on the perpetual government dole is not an investment in anything other than brand new Jordans every time they get a clothing voucher. I don't think anyone here says that we should abandon hard working Americans who've landed on rough times.

The problem is that the safety net is no longer that for many people on the dole: it's become a crutch. There's no getting out of it for a good portion of people on it. It does nothing to increase their earning power, and in most cases it only gives them just enough to get by and stay on the dole.

If you're a persistent person with a strong work ethic and pride in oneself, you won't stay on welfare for long. You'll only stay on it for as long as it takes you to get a job that pays decent enough and with alright benefits. That's what the safety net is for.

But there are tons of people on welfare who are on it for life. There are some who are on it because they may never have a job that pays well because they're uneducated or whatever, but there are plenty on welfare who aren't even employed.

That comes as a shock to some people, but it's true. I've seen it with my own eyes, and there are way more than you think.

Welfare needs to be terminal, not perpetual, and until we get it to that point, it will never, ever be an investment.