Having offered my own alternative solutions to the U.S. economic and tax policy screw-ups that are taking us quickly towards another Great Depression in an earlier blog, I have to wonder, “Is class warfare such a bad idea”? Willard Mitt Romney seems to think that’s what OWS is about.
Although the “average” American has become de-sensitized to what was once known as “the news”, it seems that the onset of “news” as a profit driver has substantially quickened the de-sensitization pace. Take the Occupy Wall Street protests against wealth concentration that has become increasingly one-sided for the last three decades.
OWS is a familiar variation on a theme. However, after the 2008 meltdown and the subsequent bailouts called the Troubled Asset Relief Program(TARP), wherein the U.S. government acquiesced to hysteria from Wall Street that the entire economy would crash without a $1.5 Trillion “loan”, Wall Street’s obscene bonuses rebounded while the fate of the average American and their mortgage continued on a downward spiral.
“Class Warfare”, therefore, started sounding a tad less onerous to the average citizen. The Tea Party was the first shot across the bow of the Wall Street teflon-coated bankers, but their movement was soon co-opted by the “Big Business” friendly Republican Party. Oddly enough, only rich Americans thrive under Republican administrations. The same amount of governmental over-spending remains consistent, but somehow the Republicans have been able to promulgate the message that it is the Democrats who bring about the debt problems when quite the opposite is true.
True enough, the 2009 Democratic Congress ran up debt and did not offer a budget to pay for the cash outlay that was necessary to keep the burgeoning unemployed from completely going under water, but historically, productivity rises during Democratic administrations and debt rises under Republican administrations. The reason for this disparity is because Republicans’ first acts are to give tax reductions to the wealthy.
Reagan did it. George H.W. (“Read my lips, no new taxes”) Bush did it, then realized that he had screwed up and raised taxes to pay for the first Gulf War. Despite winning that war handily, George H.W. Bush lost his re-election bid for trying to do the right thing, but the un-Republican thing, and paid for it with his “firing”. Then, his son, George W. Bush, hit the mother lode of deficit spending by launching two wars (I’m sure he wanted to make up for his deer-in-the-headlights blunder of continuing to read a childrens’ book to a class of news-worthy children while The Twin Towers were under attack) and yes, gave the wealthy a tax reduction, without paying for them with cuts elsewhere.
The Tea Party movement started as a protest to the market meltdown and bailout, but was initially pooh-poohed and only enjoyed spotty coverage until CNBC’s Rick Santelli threw a hissy-fit on live television during coverage of the initial housing bubble market meltdown. Fox News, never one to pass up an opportunity to fuel a partisan fire, saw an opening to make the Tea Party its own trojan horse into their already easily manipulated throng of liberal-haters and ran full bore with it. Completely co-opted by Republicans, The Tea Party has turned part John Birch, part KKK, part lunatic fringe of conservatism and racism….much to the delight of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck.
OWS grew steadily for a full month before the cameras arrived after a YouTube video captured police pepper-spraying fenced-in female protesters. Then, with CNN’s Erin Burnett’s farcical tour of OWS in lower Manhatten went heavy on the bongo players and whacky costumes while insinuating that the less eccentric protesters were hypocrits because a few of them were videotaped wearing Lululemon yoga pants and had the audacity to own computers, it was on.
Of course, the not-so-obvious point here is that passion, even lunacy, gets attention. I certainly do not know where this is all headed, especailly given the fact that winter approaches with holidays, more unrest from the unemployed, less Christmas consumerism, and the pending Republican primaries. But I do know this. The television “news” organizations and political wannabes will be attempting to use the new-found celebrity of OWS to their own profit-producing advantage; regardless of the veracity of either.
I personally hope that OWS does not get co-opted by anyone, but this is America, and we have a distinct habit of repeating our mistakes.