Thursday 20 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In 2008, the world suffered the greatest financial crisis since the Great Crash of 1929. Those in charge were responsible for setting out the conditions which permitted this to happen. Those same people see no correlation between their actions or in some case their lack of action and the catastrophe which befell the planet. The continued denial of reality and the rationalisation of the obvious lead anyone to believe that things need a lot of work before things get better. The on-going blindness of the Republicans to the antecedents of our current predicament and the thorough and complete inability of the Conservatives to grasp how the world works scares me to no end.

Over and over again, I have heard Republican politicians say that 50% of Americans don't pay taxes. What they don't say is that those 50% are so poor; their marginal tax rate is zero. What they don't say is that those 50% only own 2.5% of the wealth in the United States. What they don't say is that 10% of the population own 80% of all the wealth. These Republican politicians are either lying or they are very, very stupid. Either way, do you want to vote for somebody who persists in a course of action that not only caused the current problems but will just make things worse?

Capitalism is good. Let's all make money. Greed is good. It motivates us to work hard. However, unchecked greed is dangerous in that greedy individuals will step all over the little people. Anybody saying that government regulations are bad? Regulations would have stopped this mess from happening. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The government enacts a law requiring us all to drive at 60 mph. The idea is that this speed is a safe compromise. But, but, but I want you to note that the government is not telling you where to drive; it is only telling you how fast to drive there. That is government regulation.

Nobody wants to take down capitalism. Nobody wants to remove "greed", our motivation. But, we do need checks and balances; we do need regulations to stop everybody from going nuts. Drive anywhere you like but drive at 60 mph not at 100 mph. It's just common sense. It's just safe. Period.

Calvin and Hobbbes explain Occupy Wall Street
This comic comes from twenty years ago so it's obvious our current problems stem from something inherent in the system (Red Green and Blue - Oct 13/2011). Click on the image to see a larger version of the comic.

Signs from Occupy Wall Street: Some of these are just hilarious. (

Wall Street: America's Largest Casino Since 1914

If only the war of poverty was a real war then we would actually be putting money in it.

I'm so angry I made a sign

My arms are tired

I shaved my balls for this!?

Bring Back Crystal Pepsi!

This space left intentionally blank

I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one.

Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist who gives away free healthcare... You're thinking of Jesus.

I can't afford a lobbyist. I am the 99%.

If I can pay, the rich can pay
According to Forbes, Mr. Warren E. Buffett, age 80, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, investor extraordinaire, is worth fifty billion dollars and ranked the third wealthiest man on the planet, number two in the United States. In the New York Times dated August 14, 2011, Mr. Buffett has penned an article in The Opinion Pages called "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich". He starts out by making this statement:

Our leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched. Read more...

All the rich are not billionaires
The Daily Show - Aug 18/2011
Granted, this television show is a comedy show. But as the host Jon Stewart likes to say himself by leaning into the camera, "We don't have make a joke here. We're not making this up." because the story itself is so absurd, it defies belief.

In the August 18th episode, Mr. Stewart talks about the "uneccentric" billionaire Warren Buffett and his op-ed piece in the New York Times "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich" where he states that he and his other mega-rich friends have been coddled long enough and should be paying their fair share in taxes. In a clip of Buffett, he makes the statement that his tax rate is less than his cleaning lady. Read more...

empathy (n): The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Being part of the 1% but understanding the 99%

lucky (adj): being part of the 1%

fairness (n): Making sure the 99% have the same opportunities of the 1%. That isn’t socialism; it’s just fair.


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