Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We the People Support Occupy Wall Street; Why Doesn’t Congress?

by S. Paul Forrest

For too long, We the People have sat back while the governmental representatives of our nation have initiated fiscal policies to appease the donors of their campaign drives while taking away from our social services.  It is not difficult in this money driven world we live in to understand how indifferent the rich persons who occupy Washington are to the “little people” who are occupying Wall Street.  After all, it is We who they have profited from and We who seem to never have stood up for ourselves or even considered the possibility that we were being lied to by these candidate clowns we are suckered into voting for each election.  With this in mind, perhaps it is We then who should take a careful look at the corporate backings of candidates before we charge down to our respective voting districts and cast a vote for more of this sort of politician.

The aforementioned course of action is what most politicians have embarked upon (or inaction as we have seen for the past three years) which would explain why they not only don’t care abut Occupy Wall Street, they want to block it from the Nation’s view. The only “Occupying” they want is that of the Senate for political and financial control of this country to the end of only filling the wallets of their corporate contributors (and their own) while at the same time, emptying ours.  Is this the representation our Founding Fathers envisioned? I think not. We the People are tired of this continued self-representation exhibited by these affectations of capitalism run wild.  We want real HOPE; real CHANGE.

The issue though, is whether Occupy Wall Street and its thousand arms of effort across the world will ever bring about change when our Federal and State governments are seemingly so derisively anti-American growth (while simultaneously promoting foreign investment) to enact positive policy to get this great nation on the right course again.  Can this movement do anything to bring about change or is it just one more vain enveloped movement by the People that will fade away with time?  Can this movement comprised of the voices and collective demands of We the People toward an American reclamation, even work and if so, why is it that Wall Street and Congress isn’t listening?

As correctly pointed out by Daniel Indiviglio of The Atlantic, the Occupy Wall Street protests won’t work given the lack of a real agenda and real ideas. He tells us, “If a demonstration like this lacks concrete objectives, then its purpose will be limited at best and nonexistent at worst. At this time, all the protest really appears to stand for is a general dislike of Wall Street. But what does that mean?” He goes on the mention how the Tea Party worked because they had power to wield but as most thinkers in this Nation understand, this power came from Wall Street with the likes of donors like the Koch Brothers. 

A reason he did not mention for why this movement won’t work is because it does not represent anything Globally in as far as profit is concerned nor is it targeting the real problem: Congress itself.  Bankers don’t care about the rabble outside holding signs nor do the traders on the floor of the Exchange dealing in derivatives and speculation to increase their wealth care.  To Wall Street, the protestors are merely collateral damage; cannon fodder in the global economic war to be ignored.

Main reason Congressional members will not give in to the demands by OWS is their incessant desire to increase corporate profits.   They are presently doing this by continuing to support Free Trade policies.  If we increase taxation, oversight, EPA standards, increased pay for workers and lessened wage disparity (all of which would be wonderful) free trade would push those corporations (some of which are still investing in this nation), to move their operations overseas or across the border, thereby increasing the unemployment numbers here in the U.S..

Free trade is only hurting this nation and these people know it.  But by continuing the threat to American jobs, the people are being forced to give in to the demands of these Congressional pirates by accepting lower wages, lost benefits and the destruction of labor Unions.  Like the proverbial carrot before the horse, we are being forced to agree to these destructive policies for the want of a share of that little morsel.

By establishing trade with the little dragons of the Orient like South Korea, we preempt total Chinese control of these areas and by proxy, give bigger profits to those corporations which have invested so much in Congressional interests. Free Trade has been the primer in this economic bomb which has blown away so much of our nation’s equal, financial distribution.  It is also that which is the principle reason for so many efforts to lower taxes, workers wages, benefits and dissolve unions.  In order to convince corporations to stay here in America, these “luxuries” must go in order to compete with the global workforce comprised mainly of a low wage labor force, no unions, non-existent taxation and little to no environmental protections, elsewhere.  These are only some of the forces driving Congress into a maelstrom of policy making conundrums and why they do not care about Occupy Wall Street. OWS cannot solve these global issues in the list of demands. 

Even our war efforts center on this policy.  Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and inevitably soon to be; Iran, are not actions against only Islam, they are intended to solidify of our control over the world’s largest oil supplies to ensure economy and to preemptively stake an interest over those of our largest economic competitors. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to get any better any time soon unless we have representation that does not represent corporate interests.  Yes, the aforementioned issues are important but not at the cost of American security and prosperity. 

Congress has proven they care not for We the People.  Just a cursory review of the last three years shows a Republican Party only interested in ousting Obama as our nation crumbles for lack of real leadership.  A prime example of this is President Obama introducing The American Jobs Act.  The very first line reads; “To provide tax relief for American workers and businesses, to put workers back on the job while rebuilding and modernizing America, and to provide pathways back to work for Americans looking for jobs.”

After reading the Act, it is quite disturbing how Republicans who after signing their Pledge to America to better our Nation prior to the 2010 elections (really only meant to garner our vote), have stood hand in hand to block this and any other Obama initiated legislation. 

The Act includes items such as business tax credits for those who hire out of work Americans and for buying American made products.  It also allocates funds to improve our national infrastructure including schools.  This money is determined by need and allows for extra money for teachers and first responders in poverty stricken areas. The Act makes possible the rebuilding of our national infrastructure which has been neglected for too long while giving a nod to American products to boost the manufacturing sector.

This Act also effectively ends oil subsidies and gives wage earners the right to collect compensation equal to the “rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor”. In other words, wages equivalent to those determined by Union rules. Hence, the predominant reason Republicans will not vote for this Act: It conflicts with their desire to dispose of Unions and continue the corporate welfare state while unequivocally destroying America's “social entitlement” system. 

The across the board decision by Congressional republicans to block this legislation en masse is astounding.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what We the People want or need to Congressional Republicans. The only directive presently being embarked upon by this seemingly self-serving party is the refusal to do anything to help our current President succeed and by association, especially in terms of their refusal to even put to vote any portion of the American Jobs Act, they are refusing to do anything to help us citizens. 

Yes, this is just another example of our President’s desire to grow government and yes, this Act is fraught with errant policy but the Republican desire to continue the patterns of the past three years by not even coming together to find compromise defines not only their lack of true commitment to finding solutions to our present economic dilemma, it characterizes the entire party as nothing more than political machinists instead of the solution initiators they continue to falsely describe themselves as. The greatest hypocrisy involved is their total refusal to find compromise and enact at least some of the incredibly important and desperately needed sections of this Act.

While on the one hand I agree that Obama has not been the best President but on the other, I must emphatically denounce a political party whose only objective seems to be standing against any program or initiative to improve our current, problems in order to only debase their rival.  Is this what Republicans meant in their Pledge; to deny any and all possibilities for our nation’s improvement if said program is introduced by the opposing party even though they themselves have introduced nothing to that same affect? I can only imagine it is nothing close. 

If OWS is to really affect change, they need one principle ingredient: A Presidential Candidate.  Yes, it sounds crazy.  After all; for how many years did Ralph Nadar or the numerous other, third party candidates in our Nation’s history, try to wake us up to the reality of the present two-party deficiencies of Washington?  Like crows though, we continue to be allured by shiny prisms of glossed over fantasy and catchy phrases like “9-9-9” from these parties rather than looking for a solution provider. Time and time again though, we vote for the candidate who has shiny promises as if cheap pizza slogans in lieu of real ideas are what we really need.

If we all pretend just for a moment that we are thinkers in charge of the destiny of this great nation and step out of whatever comfort zone we inhabit, what would be the thoughts invoked by the demands in our minds to solve today’s issues?  Would we think the current governmental immunity to solution finding is an intelligent approach or would we think there should be a dramatic change to protect the future of this nation? 

For now, Occupy Wall Street is trying to awaken people across this nation to the realization that we cannot count on these corporation controlled leaders. With the numerous campaign ads, useless speeches filled with pointless rhetoric and campaign debate circuses, we cannot seriously expect them to ever perform any duty even remotely resembling leadership. There is no hope to be found in Washington. No White Knight to save us. No Republican or Democrat to change the useless system screwing We the People today and no surprise candidate to return us to real, Democratic representation. We can only look forward more of the same, tired excuses from these quasi leaders taking us further down the road toward national poverty.

Congress doesn’t care about Occupy Wall Street because they no longer represent the interests of We the People. They have been ravaging this nation for far too long and considering the fervor with which they continue to do so, there isn’t going to be much left of our national body to pick at.  Unfortunately, they will not stop until just a bony carcass remains unless We The People stop them from continuing to feed from the trough of our nation’s, mounting misery.  

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