Gosh, has it been a year since that first ground-breaking anti-capitalist protest in Zuccotti Park? It seems like it was just yesterday that Adbusters kicked off the movement. Gee whiz, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time to see it firsthand.
I can only imagine the excitement of those upper-middle-class revolutionaries as they piled into cabs and headed to the event. Their iPhones and iPads must have been all abuzz as they amassed to stick it to the man. I bet those Wall Street fat cats were practically shaking in their thousand-dollar Testoni boots.
What? The movement was a colossal failure? How was that possible? The idea of getting a herd of misguided kids to stand together and babble about corporations seemed like such a sure-fire way to success.
Camping out in public parks was also brilliant. After all, it’s not like that wasn’t guaranteed to attract vagrants and a ton of other people without jobs and/or common sense.
The real shame here is that America is in trouble, and we need honest financial and political reform. The middle class just had its worst decade in 70 years, and for the first time since 1950, family incomes actually declined. One in six Americans now live in poverty, and the outlook is bleak.
We need fundamental systemic reform, and that’s not going to happen without electing new politicians. Both parties are dominated by the super-rich, and instead of owning the factories and businesses that employ Americans, they generate their wealth primarily through a pyramid-scheme of a stock market.
The well-paying manufacturing jobs that are essential to middle-class success are dying because big investors would rather outsource those jobs to the third-world to maximize their profits. Instead of punishing that behavior, the government rewards it with a preferential tax rate and endless loopholes.
As things stand, we have both major parties touting the same failed solutions. The Democrats want big government socialism and the Republicans want tax cuts for the rich and trickle-down economics.
If any challenger is going to succeed, it either has to hijack the agenda of one of the existing parties or start from the ground up and present a genuine third-party challenge to the status-quo. Unfortunately, the prospects for either scenario succeeding aren’t good, but I wouldn’t bet against America in the long-term.