Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why Are Those Ordinary Working Class OWS Protesters So Upset?

Why Are Those Ordinary Working Class OWS Protesters So Upset? by Glenn Greenwald

I’m preparing for my book tour and book release beginning next week, on October 25 (details for which I’ll post shortly). But in thinking about the book’s main argument in relation to the OWS protests, one point that I think becomes clear is that growing wealth and income inequality, by itself, would not spark massive protests if there were a perception that the top 1% (more accurately thought of as the top .1%) had acquired their gains honestly and legitimately. Americans in particular have been inculcated for decades with the belief that even substantial outcome inequality is acceptable (even desirable) provided that it is the by-product of fairly applied rules. What makes this inequality so infuriating (aside from the human suffering it is generating) is precisely that it is illegitimate: it is caused and bolstered by decisively unfair application of laws and rules, by undemocratic control of the political process by the nation’s oligarchs, and by a full-scale shield of immunity that allows them — and only them — to engage in the most egregious corruption and even criminality without any consequence (other than a further entrenching of their prerogatives and ill-gotten gains).

Anyone who expressed difficulty seeing or understanding what motivates these protests revealed many things about themselves. None is flattering.

The rest at the link. Do some of the protesters seem to go too far. Think of it this way. You have a family composed of pretty good folks, but some of them get a little too upset or too emotional or dress funny or whatever their eccentricity is, that doesn't mean they are bad people or that they're wrong. The same is true for the OWS protesters. Don't fall for that old special interests.powers that be trick of letting a few eccentric apples define the greater whole.

    Republican Jobs Plan? Same As It Ever Was

That the Senate Republicans' ersatz plan is a merely a repackaging of a years-old Republican wish list is apparent from the description on John McCain's web site. It's not merely a litany of existing GOP legislation; the call for upper class tax cuts, cutting federal regulations and tort reform could have come straight out of George W. Bush's 2000 campaign playbook. And the demands for steep spending cuts, a balanced budget amendment, 25% tax rates for individuals and corporations and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act are just a copy and paste from the Republicans' Ryan budget, the GOP "Pledge to America", the Tea Party "Contract from America" and other recent conservative manifestoes mercifully consigned to the dustbin of history.

Of course, if you think you've heard this story before, that's because you have.

It has been these very same conservative economic prescriptions which lead to the great recession. Conservatives are now telling America that if you bang your heads against the wall one more time, this time the results will be different. If tax cuts alone lead to economic heaven we'd all be swimming in gold by now.