It’s not that you don’t want to take care of people, it’s that you’re fucking dumb.

Heard of the “53%”?

If you’re not familiar with it, I’ll give you a little heads up. In the past few weeks, assuming you have not been hiding under a rock, there has been a active peaceful protest known as Occupy Wall Street. The basis of the movement is essentially people are fed up with the current system and have started taking to the streets. They have been using the slogan “We are the 99%”  to demonstrate that they are the 99% of American’s who hold less than 1% of the wealth while 1% of Americans hold 99% of the wealth. And if you think they’re pulling that number out of their tail, you may want to review income inequality. The basic gist of things is that they are in fact correct. In the United States, the majority of the money is held by a select few billionaires and for the most part corporations. Every body else is so far behind the billionaires that it isn’t even really all that funny, no seriously:

Reality Vs. Percieved

Look that graph over a few times.

Really that graph is at the heart of the problem. There is this belief in the United States that if you are not rich, by a force of magic and will power you will eventually become rich. This notion is the basis of the so called American dream. The idea that even someone on the streets who is begging for a living could turn his life around and become the richest man in the world. Now this commonly shared delusion has been mocked with impunity by people who understand that such things simply do not happen. The system has been rigged is the simplest answer. I believe I pointed out that we have

  • Doubled our workforce
  • Developed technology to make a fair amount of jobs pointless
  • Opened up the sum total of human knowledge to anyone with an internet connection

So you have to ask yourself is “How the hell are we all struggling to get by?”. When you begin to ponder the fact that despite massive changes in the nature of not only the workforce, but in the nature of human productivity we somehow have made what used to be something managed by a single household provider into something that requires the entire family in order to just stay a float. There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that grows and develops yet makes things worse. It points to inherent flaws somewhere in the system.

I’ve said before that I believe the only difference between the Tea Party and the OWS movement is who they choose to blame for their problems. The Tea Party chooses to recognize the government as the source of their ills, while the OWS movement chooses to see the financial centers as the problem. I will further elaborate that both are in many ways technically correct. The system is being manipulated at the highest levels to favor the rich, and that isn’t even a conspiracy theory. The old adage that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer could not hold more true than today.

Even now, Greece and Ireland are both looking at a rather substantial collapse of their economic system do too malpractices by government and financial institutions (along with a healthy dose of cultural relativism in each case). The world seems to be crying out that things are rather in the gutter, yet you have movements like the 53% who belittle movements for labor equality as if they were going to make things worse.

It all goes back to that American Dream. John Steinback once said:

Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

These people don’t believe that they are being exploited, and even more so they believe that at some point in time they will in fact flip the tables and become themselves the exploiter. It is because of this that they frown with disgust at the notion that the rich should be asked to pay for social programs, healthcare, and generally any sort of governmental tax; instead they choose to believe that taxes on those individuals and institutions will make them stop putting people into slavery… I mean hiring them. It is because they at some level they are being asked to pay for those social programs. And because they are just hanging on to the edge of a pitiful existence, they are inclined to believe that anyone who has already fallen off the social ladder (unemployment, etc.) was simply undeserving. In truth the only thing that separates these two is the luck of the draw.

Elizabeth Warren recently said

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there– good for you.

But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory….

Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea–God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

The basics of the quote are simple; the people who have become these Billionaires did so at the expense of the community. This notion that somehow they should pay less is at best absurd mostly in part to what allows them to operate. That simply by being wealthy they are in fact using more public resources in order to operate. I suppose my point here is that the rich don’t need to be protected, they deserve to be taxed for any and all the pennies that they make. Even if you do believe that somehow you will one day be riding the coat tails of gold, you should likely be willing to accept that wealth does not come out of some magical black hole. It comes from the people who compose the community around you. To refuse to give back to that community on the basis that you have “earned” that money is foolish at best. You are simply a tool of the system, operating within society to further the goals of humanity. To vainly believe the wealth belongs to you lacks the understanding that it is not you that makes the function possible, it was simply that you were there at the time.

However I digress. The 53% is based on the false notion that only 53% of Americans pay taxes. This is drawn from the notion that only 53% of Americans pay income tax. This statistic fails to take into account the countless other taxes that exist including but not limited to Social Security, Sales tax, etc. In the end, anyone who has earned a dollar or spent it has paid a tax in one way or another. To state that only 53% of Americans pay their taxes is arrogant beyond words.

I guess It’s more frustrating to see these people who are getting just as ravaged by the system regard it with such high authority. As if the way in which they live is not only acceptable, but to be lauded as a success. Being a slave who has to work constantly is not success, if anything it is the very definition of failure. The problem of course is that these people are not unhappy. They are generally accepting of their current living standards regardless of how harsh they may actually be. They accept them because they believe it opens a gateway to success, a gateway that will never come. Once again people are voting against their own interest instead voting towards an imagined lifestyle that they will never hold.

I do worry about the OWS movement though. It is amusing as I made a post with a similar message about the same time that the OWS movement actually began (I had not been paying much attention). There are elements of truth to the issue of not having a resolution to the problem. I myself said that while we can easily layout the countless problems which have put us where they are, developing a solution to those problems would be tirelessly more complex. This is the point where the Occupy Wall Street movement is genuinely weak. While they propose a rewrite of the system, they have no alternative. In computer lingo it would be much like having a virus riddled computer that you simply intend to reformat, but lacking an Operating System to install once that reformat is complete.

There are also questions of the peaceful nature of the protest and if those will have any long term effect. I mean we have seen long term peaceful protest before during the 60’s and while it did eventually cause an American withdrawal from Vietnam, it took nearly 10 years to have an effect. I am curious if the current sitution can be afforded such patience.

Anyway, just a late night rant on the counter movement intended to smear the Occupy Wall Street campaign as lazy hippies.

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One Response to It’s not that you don’t want to take care of people, it’s that you’re fucking dumb.

  1. It’s a good rant however. We are currently developing ideas for changes. I plan to be at a GA on thursday. We shall see. The first step is to gather attention, and build an infrastructure. Then, well, it’s up to all of us. I also have noticed how unbearably ignorant and idiotic the people attempting to “counter” this are. So thanks.

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