Monday, November 28, 2011

Occupiers...Ignorant or What?

Ironically, the Occupy Wall Street activity of the last few months eventuated from a call to action by something called Adbusters Magazine, a Toronto publication. A column by the magazine’s editor in chief and senior editor, Kalle Lasn and Micah White, respectively, appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 27 November. Presumably, there’s no Wall Street in Toronto, so the hassle in the park in New York City and in areas of cities throughout the U.S. was precipitated in Canada but carried out in this country.

Lasn and White wrote this: “For two heady months, the amorphous encampment in Lower Manhattan’s Zucotti Park had been the symbolic heart of Occupy Wall Street, the birthplace of the greatest social justice movement to emerge in the United States since the Civil Rights era.” They also referred to Zucotti Park as the movement’s “spiritual home,” whatever that means.

The park occupiers were expelled by New York’s finest at the behest of NYC Mayor Bloomberg after they had turned the privately owned park into a pig sty, as had also been the case in other “encampments” throughout the country, marked by everything from rape to doping to living in squalor. This doesn’t mean that there were no good folks involved, only that the good folks, if they ever had a cause, soon lost it to the usual anarchists and freeloaders who are always on the make toward getting something for nothing.

The occupiers moved on Wall Street to get “social justice.” Social justice is what anyone says it is, ergo, social justice is without definition. In other words, social justice was the only thing amorphous about the whole shooting match, not the encampment, which had a definite form, both the site and the collection of warm bodies, which could be identified by the naked eye as hard, shaped objects, making them counter to the definition of amorphous, which is “having no definite form,” according to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th Edition.

The definition of justice is “the administration of law.” The definition of social is “of or relating to human society.” So…if there is a definition of social justice, it might be “the governing of society,” probably the last thing in which the occupiers had an interest, at least with respect to the police…or, maybe the occupiers’ position was that government should completely run everyone’s life, a definition of socialism, which seems to be the preference of the president, also, though he’s been wise enough to stay out of the occupier mess, not least because he’s entrenched in the “Wall Street Evil” himself.

Lasn and White compared – and quite favorably – their movement with the so-called “Arab Spring” dustups in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia earlier this year and carried off by young people. They wondered why Obama, who has spoken glowingly of the “Arab Spring,” didn’t acknowledge them and claimed their people to largely be the ones who elected him.

Perhaps they didn’t understand that Obama had fashioned the Libyan debacle, causing the killing of thousands of innocent people in the bombardments – his version of inculcating the “Arab Spring” that lasted for seven months, notwithstanding his claim that the butchering would be over in “days, not months.” His version of the “Arab Spring” was exponentially bloodier than Egypt’s in Tahrir Square. He should be the occupiers’ version of Genghis Khan, who created the largest empire in the world, at least until the British came along. His commands to “charge” in battle were conveyed by the banging of huge drums…reminiscent, of course, of Zucotti Park.

The occupiers are out to get the top one percent and make them pay their fair share of taxes. This is from the Tax Foundation on 29 July 2009: “Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. … To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.” Nothing has changed materially since 2009.

What is the “fair share?” Presently, the top one percent pays the highest tax-rate of any group into the federal coffers – 35%. The lowest rate is 10%, but about 47% of households pay no taxes, so hardly more than half the population pays all the taxes. This means that nearly half the population has the power in the voting booth to tell the other half how its money will be confiscated and spent. When will the tipping-point come?

In 1945, the highest tax rate was 94% as World War II ended and most other brackets involved high percentages as well. The top rate stayed in the 90s until 1964, when it was lowered to 77%. All Citizens were paying off the unavoidable war costs (the costs also connected to the Korean War 1950-53) as well as financing the Marshall Plan that helped salvage Europe. In 1964, the lowest rate was at 16% but the government got its house in order. Nothing today is remotely comparable to these events. Since then and especially concerning the housing bubble that caused the current recession, the government has gotten its house out of order and needs to implement drastic austerity, not new giveaways or tax hikes.

Both democrats and republicans have advanced the notion that the government is the “sugar daddy” and entity of first resort in the matter of living the good life. Lasn and White referenced the civil rights enactments, apparently as great examples of “social justice.” What they didn’t mention was the fact that the entitlements have been the direct cause of the disintegration of the African-American family in creating a permanent underclass perpetuated generationally and with enormous costs paid by all taxpayers. If they think this outcome represented “social justice,” they have no sense of history.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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