classical economics
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and policy design

Occupy Wall Street?

Get Real, Get Informed, Get Political
By Wayne Jett © October 3, 2011
    Young people demanding justice on Wall Street are akin to shepherds fasting outside the wolves’ den while demanding a promise their sheep will not be bothered again. The objective is commendable but the plan of action is sadly lacking. To have any chance of success against international bankers, the American middle class and poor (Left and Right) must overcome elitist domination of their respective political parties.
    Those “occupying” Wall Street figuratively in Manhattan, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities have valid grievances, no doubt. They believe themselves to be significantly poorer due to evil, illegal actions of powerful interests in the financial sector, and they are right in this general supposition. But their knowledge of specific details of actions against them is vague and often inaccurate. Consequently, their many voices most often speak anti-capitalist, anti-corporation, tax-the-rich, protectionist rhetoric.
Distinguish the Elitist Agenda
     Though most do not realize it, each of these positions serves the agenda of the dominant elite. Capitalism and corporations are vital tools the middle class must have to compete with the dominant elite. The dominant elite are not capitalists, they are mercantilists who use great pools of looted capital to put federal officials into office and then use their influence to leverage more looting of capital. Yes, a few big corporate monopolies are controlled by dominant elite, but most corporations compete for business of middle class patrons while being victimized by financial sector fraud and governmental regulatory favoritism.
     The federal income tax attacks the upper middle class with its progressively higher rates on “earned income,” which is the only path to prosperity of those who are poor and middle class. The few who are called “the rich” in elitist-dominated media are actually the upper middle class, who are the most effective competitors of the dominant elite. Yet these upper middle class are often vilified by activists on the Left, despite the fact that they espouse rise-on-merit values which are key to success for blue collar and intellectual workers.
     Protectionism quickly surfaces in political discourse every time the dominant elite destroy jobs of the middle class. Smoot-Hawley tariffs enacted in 1930 are often cited as leading the way into the Great Depression. But trading fraud in financial markets drove the Great Crash of 1929, destroyed millions of jobs, and continued to loot private capital and destroy publicly traded companies through the Great Depression – depriving Main Street of capital necessary to compete with Wall Street-favored monopolies.
     This is must-know understanding for all those who would pull down the predators of Wall Street and restore the natural rights of the poor and middle class to fair opportunity for prosperity. Ignorance and, even worse, adherence to false ideology are important aids to the dominant elite’s quest for two-class society – with themselves as rulers uninhibited by republican democracy.
Common Ground of Left and Right
     Activists of the Left and Right ought to take a closer look at their common grievances. For example, essentially the entire middle class opposed the TARP use of taxpayer funds to assist favored international banks in October, 2008, which explains why public opposition was so high. This monstrous abuse of federal power in alliance with historically high fraud in financial markets had much to do with bringing Tea Party activists together. Undoubtedly, it motivates many who are now on the streets in OWS.
     Why not bring Left and Right together to unseat the dominant elite who own the federal government? You can be certain the dominant elite will oppose any such coalition of interests, because dividing the middle class and poor ideologically is one of their fundamental stratagems. Only with the middle class divided about equally can they hope to control selection of candidates of both parties.
Fight for the Party
     Short of reaching across party lines, one hoping to depose the dominant elite who own the federal government must first win control in his or her own political party. The hard reality is that the dominant elite’s money power overwhelms the leadership of both the Democratic Party and Republicans.
     Near-term chances are considerably better in the Republican Party than in the Democratic, but the task is formidable in either case. Middle class activists stopped elitist Nelson A. Rockefeller at the Republican convention in 1964, but the dominant elite smashed Barry Goldwater and put Nixon, Ford and Carter into the White House.
     Reagan was the closest approximation of a middle class champion, as evidenced by across-party-lines support from voters with middle class values. But even the administration of “Ronaldo Magnus” did not avoid important influence by the dominant elite’s money power. Witness his failure to return a hard-money rule to the Federal Reserve so as to cure Nixon’s sin of granting devaluation/manipulation power to the Fed.
     Some insist Republicans George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush were elitist-dominated presidents. Important evidence contradicts this view in both cases, though some elitist influence was present, as always. Elitist-dominated presidents simply do not appoint Clarence Thomas, John Roberts or Samuel Alito as Justices of the U. S. Supreme Court, which the Bushes did. Elitist-influenced presidents do appoint Justices willing to expand federal powers under a “living” Constitution, such as Sandra Day O’Connor (Reagan), David Souter (G. H. W. Bush), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Clinton), Stephen Breyer (Clinton), Sonja Sotomayor (Obama) and Elena Kagan (Obama).
Focus on Politicians
In addition to turning their attention to influencing the leadership of their own political party, American activists must continue demanding responsiveness from their elected officials. OWS activists could spend their time better by pressing the U. S. Senate’s Harry Reid and his play-caller Senator Charles Schumer of Manhattan to abandon their elitist agenda that advances higher energy costs, higher food costs and longer subsidies for unemployment instead of private sector jobs. In the House, once-Speaker now minority leader Nancy Pelosi promotes an agenda entirely designed by the dominant elite in every detail. Wall Street got all it desired from Reid, Pelosi and Obama before the 2010 elections, so they should be a target-rich environment for OWS activists now.
     President Obama and his Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner are the same or worse. As recently reported, Geithner continues badgering European political leaders to underwrite government debts to international banks with future taxes. Obama’s more recent effort to add whatever weight he could against Germany’s refusal to obligate its taxpayers for Greece’s debts met a terse rebuke from Germany’s finance minister. Again, you can be sure Obama and Geithner are attempting to enmesh American taxpayers in a globally orchestrated debt pool based on the same argument as was made for TARP – “otherwise the world will explode.”
     Republican leadership operates under similar pressures. Money of the dominant elite always seeks to pick both parties' candidate for every significant office.  The true definition of a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”) is a Republican elected with money from the dominant elite. That money may come from a private donor or through party leadership, but the effect is the same: elitist policies are advanced at the expense of middle class interests.
First Do No Harm
     The bottom line is this. Activists of the Left and Right must educate themselves on the essential facts of how the current economic crisis has come about (much as the Great Depression came about) as a “man-made” depression. If they act without understanding, they may unwittingly advance the agenda of those who are their worst enemies. ~