I mentioned at the end of last night's video my disappointment in the "demands" that Occupy Wall Street was making of the world. First off, I've never liked the word "demand" – – it sounds too……demanding. Even as a child, I didn't understand the concept of "Abortion On Demand" that some feminist groups insisted upon, but it sounded like something ugly and brutish.
More importantly, though, is the fact that this list is absurdly long and unrealistic. Let's take a look at these demands of theirs……my comments are in boldface:
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. Are you kidding me? Do you really think McDonald's and all the other low-wage employers are going to be able to triple what they pay people without directly passing those costs on to roughly the same demographic?
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. If we were starting a brand new country, I could actually go along with this. As it is now, the healthcare system is so intertwined with everything that it's simply impossible.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment. So those too lazy to work get handed a good salary? What are you, a moron?
Demand four: Free college education. Oh, up yours. Not everyone needs to go to college or should go to college. I mainly went to college just to be a good son, but I doubt I've used one morsel of my private-school education. Which I paid for, by the way, out of my own hard work (something which is almost unheard of these days).
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. Meh, I guess I could sort of get behind moving away from fossil fuels, but just because you don't like something doesn't mean its opposite is a pancea. We have a Nissan Leaf, and it's a great product, but it's a huge pain in the ass to deal with its small cruising range. In fact, just after I do this post, I have to run a special errand to deal with the fact that the Leaf is just about out of electricity again. So the grass isn't always greener, bucky.
Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now. A trillion dollars. From where? And why that figure? Because it's really, really big?
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. Oh, here's that "trillion" figure again. And as for nuclear power, you numb-nuts, it's actually an extremely environmentally-friendly way to produce power.
Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment. The ERA spent a decade trying to get passed, and that was during a much more progressive era. So now you want both the ERA *and* a "racial rights" amendment to the constitution. And this is just one of thirteen demands?
Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live. Yeah, well, if you institute a $20/hour minimum wage, you might as well get used to about 50 million people from Mexico coming up here for those awesome jobs. Or, even better yet, getting a living wage "regardless of employment" (see demand #3).
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. OK, this seems reasonable. You came close to a perfectly idiotic list, but this one actually seems sane. Nice try, though.
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. This is so idiotic it almost doesn't warrant a response. So this would instantly wipe out every bank on earth. Destroying the world's economy with a universal jubilee doesn't sound like a sound idea.
Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies. Ummm…..why? Some of them are actually starting to do their job.
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. The Slope of Hope Financial Bloggers Guild Local #666 fully supports this demand. I'm going to go on strike now.
I want to assume that the leadership, if you can call it that, of Occupy Wall Street actually wants to succeed in some fashion, but a list like the one above will simply result in thousands and thousands of people wasting weeks of their time for absolutely no good at all. They're just going to come off as a bunch of smelly, ratty-haired socialists without any inkling of reality.
If I was in charge, I'd center on one meaningful, achieveable goal around which the public could rally. For example, I might say the goal of the group was to have Congress pass a 50% income tax bracket for all monies, earned or unearned, over $1 million for a year. That's simple, straightforward, and would probably have a lot of public support.
That way, if and when Congress finally bowed to public pressure and passed the law, we could claim victory and know we made a positive difference.
Isn't what this is all supposed to be about? Making a real impact?
The thing is, this group should hold the interest and allegience of people like me. I consider myself pretty sensible, and I've got a big audience to whom I'm happy to proselytize. But after reading the aforementioned list, I was instantly turned-off to the whole movement, and I'd much rather have Lloyd Blankfein and Ben Bernanke running the show compared to these dreadlocked weirdos. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
What a bunch of tards.