I asked an Occupier in DC named Rob Wohl, why the movement he’s a part of is resonating with people – why as over 3,000 Americans have been arrested in demonstrations and even journalists and vets have endured tear gas and rubber bullets, the movement is still growing.
His answer? “Because we are analytically correct.”
What does that mean? Apparently, they believe they have the facts on their side. History certainly is. And as author Michael Lewis said when asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement, they also have justice on their side.
New census data released shows we have record high poverty in this country. It’s up to 16 percent or 49.1 million Americans (that’s over five New York Cities). We have the worst wealth inequality in the industrialized world (meaning we’re on par with some third world countries). We have the highest health care costs in the world. And a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute notes, “U.S. productivity grew by 62.5 percent from 1989 to 2010, far more than real hourly wages for both private-sector and state/local government workers, which grew 12 percent in the same period.” Basically Americans are working much (much) harder for much (much) less. Pair that with the fact U.S. businesses are making record profits and that’s why Americans have taken to the pothole-laden streets to protest.
It’s not just about the bank bailout. It’s not just about Wall Street. It’s about the goal of the wealthy to milk their fellow citizens until they’re completely dry. And while regular Americans are condescended to about their proverbial bootstraps, the U.S. government has helped the wealthy at every turn. So it’s no surprise they’ve won. And now that people are brittle and dusty – there are encampments all over the country.
The question isn’t, “Why are there so many people sleeping in parks?” The question is, “Why aren’t there more?
In the wake of this massive protest – right in the middle of the tenure of the lowest rated House in our nation’s history – a group of men and women whose approval rating of 9 percent is hovering just above the margin of error – what do they do? They pass another symbolic (think: busy work) nonbinding resolution to reaffirm “in God we trust” as the national motto.
I could have made that up as satire and I’d get a letter saying I was being too harsh.
Time spent on a bill (of which there are FOUR versions) reaffirming a phrase already on every denomination of money, every courthouse and most public buildings is about as contemptuous as this body of seat-warmers can get.
It’s “let them eat cake” with a little of King George III’s “the colonies will submit” thrown in for flavor.
Yes, the do-less-than-nothing House has passed a whopping 54 bills originating in their chamber in their nearly full year in office. Their counterparts in previous congresses usually author and pass three times that. And if you subtract passing go-no-where bills to defund NPR, Planned Parenthood and other specters like Obama Czars and take into account their days off (next year they’re only set to work 109 days out of the ENTIRE year) – they’ve put in a lot of effort to be ineffective.
Which is what you’d expect from self-hating government workers like the House leadership. They’re illustrating how lazy, stupid and useless government can be – by example.
The Occupiers are right. They are “analytically correct” in their assessment. Their government is failing them. As another Occupier put it, maybe it’s “time to replace Congress with people.”
Taking Eternal Vigilance Too Far