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A Free Clue for Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is spreading all over the country. Young people who played by the rules, getting into huge debt for their education, are rightly pissed that there are no jobs for them. Older folks, like myself, with decades of experience in their chosen profession, are just as angry for the same reason. (I just took a job that will pay me about half of what I used to make, and after long periods of unemployment I’m happy to have it.) We are all in deep trouble. We’re angry, we’re scared, and those emotions are perfectly justifiable.

But most of the protesters have no idea why their situation is so bad. Capitalism, the system that put clothes on their backs and iPods in their knapsacks and coffee in their veins, isn’t the problem. Corporatism, a.k.a. Crony capitalism, pseudo-capitalism, created all these problems.

They’re so close. They almost get it. They’re protesting the bailouts, handouts of taxpayer money to the people who created all these problems. Failure, one of the most important parts of real capitalism, has been removed from the equation. They’re right when they complain we have socialism for big business and capitalism for the rest of us. But their inability to distinguish between real capitalism and corporatism, their mistake of thinking they are the same thing, makes them turn to socialism for everyone, which would make things much worse. It would replace the Big Huge Government that created this mess with Bigger Huger Government.

Now unions are joining the movement and the protesters are delighted, unaware that unions, who also buy and sell congress weasels, are a big part of the problem.

The solution, which I haven’t heard any of the protesters suggest, is to change the definition of corporate person-hood, stripping corporations of the free speech rights real people have. That would allow congress to absolutely forbid any contributions of any kind to any congress weasel or party. They need to do the same with special interest groups and unions as well.

Of course, the only people who can do that are those who benefit directly from the bribes contributions, so the odds of it happening are pathetically small. But at the very least, protesters should direct their anger, not at Wall Street, which will buy congress weasels as long as congress allows it, but to Washington DC.

Congress willfully and gleefully created this mess. They are the only ones who can put a stop to it.

Don’t hold your breath.

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6 Comment(s)

  1. We need a definition of person that doesn’t include “group of persons”. A person needs to be atomic. We’re not mighty morphin power rangers,

    Cindi Knox | Oct 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. I agree that corporations shouldn’t have a voicemaking but as long as they are taxed they should be able to have voice. Forcing companies to pay taxes means they are part of the system that they are being forced to contribute to and should give them the right to speak out how those monies are being spent.
    One way to attack this, that might be more appealing to congress critters and people alike, is as follows.
    If a company decides to take welfare in any form then they should forfeit their rights as a corporation. If a company decided to do business with the government it to must forfeit their rights to lobby etc….

    Tom | Oct 10, 2011 | Reply

  3. They are going to the top, making their demands to the people in charge.

    Nobilis Reed | Oct 10, 2011 | Reply

  4. “I agree that corporations shouldn’t have a voicemaking but as long as they are taxed they should be able to have voice.”

    They do have a voice, the people making up the corporation already have one. A corporation itself is a business arrangement. Business arrangements are not people. Corporations, in fact, used to be temporary, project-based arrangements. If a bridge needed to be built, a group of investors would form a corporation, build the bridge, and the corporation would be disbanded.

    Cracked has an excellent article criticizing OWS. Nothing hurts your credibility faster than patchoulie-stenched neo-hippies in a drum circle. They’re like the left-wing version of the tea partiers wearing tri-corner hats with tag bags hanging off the ends, endorsing the John Birch Society.

    I find it funny how Republicans are against welfare and unemployment for the general population because it removes the incentive to find work, yet when it comes to CORPORATE WELFARE, it’s an essential “job creating” policy. But what incentive does any company have to streamline their operation and run more efficiently when the government just hands them money every year just to stay in business? GE paid no federal taxes last year (their tax credits outstripped their obligations), so why should they improve? Why should Wall Street and the automotive industry change the way they do business if they know the government will just bail them out if they fail?

    We need a system that is designed to take into account how people are, not how we want them to be. People, in general, given the right circumstances, are selfish assholes. This goes doubly for the people who run corporations. If you are a CEO, it is your job to make the corporation more money. In fact, you have an OBLIGATION to do so. So who wouldn’t take advantage of every opportunity to do so? Lowering the corporate tax rate won’t work, by the way, the biggest companies like Google and GE effectively avoid taxation altogether by using (perfectly legal) offshore accounting tricks. They’re not going to stop unless their tax rate drops to nothing. So the solution is simply to close those loopholes and send the message “hey, you want to sell your product to our citizens? Great! Since you’ll invariably be using public resources to do so, relying on our public infrastructure and education system that provides you with qualified workers, you’re just going to have to pay us this small fee. No exceptions. Period.”

    Now we’re in a situation where companies who should have gone out of business years ago really are “too big to fail” without serious negative consequences. If we keep doing what we’re doing, it’ll just get worse, yet if we change things, we’ll face an economic crisis that will make 2008 look like a walk in the park.

    Brian | Oct 17, 2011 | Reply

  5. “But their inability to distinguish between real capitalism and corporatism, their mistake of thinking they are the same thing, makes them turn to socialism for everyone, which would make things much worse.”

    Agreed. This reminds me of a large banner that I came across downtown @ Occupy L.A. the other day. It re-worded Mussolini’s famous quote “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” by instead stating that CAPITALISM itself is fascism. I wondered to myself at that moment if they even understood the difference. Obviously not.

    ..Just want to add though..So as to provide everyone with the full picture, there are quite a few folks down there who do understand the difference between crony capitalism and capitalism itself, as I witnessed with the many Ron Paul/Capitalism supporters who are down there as well.

    jredheadgirl | Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

  6. “The solution, which I haven’t heard any of the protesters suggest, is to change the definition of corporate person-hood, stripping corporations of the free speech rights real people have.”

    Then you really havent paid attention, because that is exactly what they are calling for. that is the primary “solution”. There are signs everywhere that say “a corporation is not a person” and other such stuff.

    There are other things, some that directly come out of that primary concern, and some of them certainly get too left of center for you. but the entire 99% busness is predicated upon the idea that corporation should not be given the same rights as people.

    Frankly I dont see the free speech right of a corporation as the problem. If the corporation is not allowed to give gifts to politicians, then they will do it as individuals or shell companies that are not corps. The problem is that there is no punishment for receiving what is essentially a bribe. they call it a gift, or an expense, or what not, but if it doesnt come out of the politicians pocket, its a bribe. Those guys should be removed. then there would be no free speech issue. Corporations could offer bribes all they want.

    Robert hirsch | Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

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