Below is a portion of an article by John Brummett published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and my response to it.
Speaking for the occupiers
…But it seems to me that, while they surely vary, these occupiers don’t necessarily protest anybody’s greed. That’s a personal flaw. Nor do they protest anyone’s success. That’s a personal victory.
Instead they rise against unfair and destructive governmental policy that inordinately favors the already-rich at the expense of everyone else, thus fashioning and exacerbating an unhealthy, unsustainable and undemocratic gap between the rich few and the other many.
How big a gap is too big? If the gap is bigger than it would be naturally, essentially and inevitably without political favoritism and artificial political enhancement—that’s when it is too big.
By wealth-favoring political practices and public policies, I cite:
Across-the-board tax cuts that lavish the richest with most of the manna.
Concessions to a global economy by which American corporations pay no price for abandoning American workers and by which corporations are judged by a stock price or dividend instead of local community responsibility. Many of our job losses result from a pattern by which corporations secure themselves against another American economic meltdown by hoarding record profits generated in partnership with compliant, moneyaddicted politicians.
An incestuous Washington culture in which you can hardly tell the elected politicians from the corporate policy advocates. The only thing voters accomplished by defeating Blanche Lincoln was to make her more money and perhaps more influential. Now she spouts her banal platitudes for pay from the National Association of Independent Business.
Campaign finance laws that enable the richest and the corporations to remain anonymous as they contribute unrestricted sums to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or other propagandizing front groups inundating us with cynical mailers and television advertising to perpetuate the pro-rich government.
Generally speaking, the occupiers’ complaint is not that there are spectacularly rich people in America. It is that some among these richest people can ruin the nation’s economy with irresponsible wagering on a scheme drawn from inflated American home mortgages. It is that these offenders can then get bailed out by the rest of us via the government, which permitted and even encouraged the abuse in the first place. It is that these offenders can then enjoy the government’s blessing as they traipse right back into their big-bonus bonanzas. It is that regular people, mere innocent pawns, find themselves paying the real price—foreclosed on and laid off.
It becomes tactically essential to the perpetuation of these pro-rich policies to miscast this uprising by portraying it in political terms as irresponsible poor people warring resentfully against noble rich people. So “class warfare” becomes the right wing’s hollow and dishonest charge.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and read his blog at brummett.arkansasonline.com.
This article was published November 15, 2011 at 5:25 a.m.