Almost nothing in the article is correct. So it misses the real problem with OWS, and it is way off-target regarding the problem we face. Our problems are very serious.
1. It is an ancient Christian principle to oppose greed and grasping. The eye of the needle and the rich man is fundamental to Christian thought.
It is also an historical fact that Marx got his communism-is-good ideas from Fourier, who got it from the many Christian pietist communes that were astonishingly successful in what became the USA. However, Marx committed the unforgivable sin of bad scholarship. It was well known in his own time that secular communism, even when voluntary, did not work. Marx unleashed a system of oppression on the world that has had few equals – as a direct result of his bad scholarship.
The roots of socialism are in Christian pietist thought. There is a big difference between implementing some socialist ideas, and the vicious oppression of Marxism-Leninism.
2. The 1% versus 99% idea is not a shot at capitalism. It comes from well respected academic work that shows that wealth has become increasingly concentrated. In 1955, the USA’s top tax bracket was over 90%. And that is required for the neo-classical economic model we have lived by since around 1945 to work. That model requires massive redistribution of wealth to keep things going. This is just a fact. When I was a child, my father had hundreds of people under him. He made roughly 3X what the milkman down the street made, because of high tax rates on the highest earners. This was why America was one of the fairest societies on earth then.
America now has the lowest tax to GDP of any developed nation on earth. But it doesn’t have the lowest middle class tax rates – by far. It does have a top marginal tax rate below that of Turkey, far below the top rate of other developed nations. Think about that.
3. Capitalism is founded on two primary things. First – Banking. Banks create money by sound decisions on the part of loan officers. Second, stock markets. Stock markets value productive enterprises, and we allow all stock shares to be valued at the price of the last trade (or close to it.) This creates money for both. Money creation in private hands lifted the world out of the grip of tyrants. Prior to the invention of banking, money existed as physical coin. Concentrating it was by armies. Booty was doled out based on loyalty, not creation of what is good for humanity.
Thus, capitalism has nothing for or against socialistic ideas of fairness, which are rooted in Christian thought and ideals. The idea of capitalism provides the money to implement things that can create a safety net if a society chooses to do so. As an example, the USA is the only developed nation today without a national health service or similar system for its people. Instead, we have an unfunded mandate that requires hospitals to provide care regardless of ability to pay. That raises the price of care for those who are insured by 5X to 14X. It shuts good hospitals in less wealthy areas where they are most needed by bankrupting them. Is that sensible or right?
4. A technical point or two. Bill Gates is the son of a rather wealthy attorney in the Seattle area. Ford was not, but he was mentored and encouraged by Thomas Edison, who liked Ford’s vehicle experiments. Ford could also have taken over his family’s farm. He was from a good family for his time. A better example would be Bill Lear, who was kicked out of High School twice.
The problem I have, is that this idea of the Horatio Alger, self-made man is mixed in with an implicit claim that people who have problems with the current wealth inequity in the USA are lazy and unwilling to work. That is far from true. The problem is no work to be had, and work that does not use the skills people have. That is a very serious and real issue.
5. None other than Karl Denninger, founder of the Tea Party, has given his support to OWS. The method used to denigrate it by invoking the name of Soros is a demagogic one. There is no actual content. It does not talk about the ideas of OWS. It uses the name of Soros as if he were trying to implement Marxist dictatorship in the USA. That is laughable and idiotic.
Soros did more than any other single person, and more than most governments on earth, to destroy Communism! To use his name so negatively is just wrong. Soros escaped from Communism and dedicated his life to destroying it! That should give people pause.
6. The claim that parks have been trashed by OWS is remarkably false. The trashing has been done by police agencies, with very few exceptions. Period. To date, the outstanding feature of OWS has been the lack of trashing.
7. The idea that the failing of the current administration is that it spent too much money is flat out wrong. This betrays the complete lack of the most basic understanding of how Capitalism or our economic system works that is general in our society.
Simply, if I asked those posting this demogogic article to explain the quite simple mechanism by which banks work, I don’t think they could.
A polemic that suggests that it knows what the problem is when it doesn’t have the slightest clue how the capitalist system works or what it is? That is like a child in a nuclear power plant deciding what switches to pull.
Bluntly put – Are you kidding me?!
8. The final suggestion is that the solution is to put someone in office who, like every other candidate, and the current president, never says one word about what the real problem is or how to address it. What?! How does that make sense?
The real solution is this:
The president, whoever that person is, has to prosecute the criminals who have taken over the banking system of our nation. They crashed the banking system of this nation, and by doing so, they crashed most of the world’s banking system.
This president, and virtually every member of congress, has run protection for these criminal bankers. Every candidate for office has failed to address it. The news media does not address it.
And – OWS doesn’t address it either! That is the real problem. Total ignorance of what capitalism is by everyone! It is so rare to find anyone in the USA (or the developed world) who can say two sentences about what capitalism is or how it works that it is astonishing!
Bill Black, the man who ran the prosecution of the S&L crisis in the 1980’s is talking about it. Bill Black does know what he is talking about. Read what he has to say: Dante’s Divine Comedy – Banksters Edition by Bill Black