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Vision of a ‘Just Society’ is Just Plain Funny

If you’ve been too busy holding down a job (or two), juggling the demands of a busy family, engaging in community service and occasionally taking the wife and children out for a pizza on a Saturday night, you may not have noticed that several thousand protesters have “occupied” Wall Street, the District and other locations across the United States for the past three weeks or so.

They’re protesting — well — they’re not entirely sure what they’re protesting, but they feel strongly about it. Those involved in “the movement” consider themselves part of “the 99 percent” of people who don’t have the financial resources or political connections of the so-called “1 percent,” and thus they have taken to the streets.

They apparently aren’t as bugged by the fact that the “1 percent” is paying the largest chunk of income tax, and of the “99 percent,” only about 49 percent pays any tax at all. In fact, most of the folks protesting are young people – predominantly students — who wouldn’t know how to address an envelope to the IRS, much less write a paper check to include with a tax return. But someday they’ll have to repay their student loans, and they’re already pretty steamed about that.

Loosely organized as it is, Occupy Wall Street does have a website, occupywallst.org, which includes a list of 13 “demands” that would fulfill “the movement’s” vision of a just society. This is a socialist wish list so thorough and overarching, it lacks only a chicken in every pot and a unicorn in every four-car garage.

I’ll summarize:

Demand 1: Restoration of the living wage, ending what they call “free trade” and raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour. (Note: People who have never paid taxes think $20 an hour is a lot of money.)

Demand 2: Institute a universal single-payer health care system. (Note: Hey now. That’s original.)

Demand 3: Guaranteed living-wage income regardless of employment. (Note: Wait – what?)

Demand 4: Free college education. (Note: With straight A’s for everyone, to keep it fair.)

Demand 5: Begin a fast-track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand. (Note: “Fast track.” LOL.)

Demand 6: $1 trillion in infrastructure (water, sewer, rail, roads and bridges, and electrical grid) spending now. (Note: These must be the folks who want those high-speed trains!)

Demand 7: $ 1 trillion in ecological restoration and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants. (Note: It’s like the Austin Powers movies: “one trillllllllion dollars.”)

Demand 8: Racial and gender equal rights amendment. (Note: But only if you’re already born.)

Demand 9: Open-borders migration. Anyone can travel anywhere to work and live. (Note: And free unicorns to ride there!)

Demand 10: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper-ballot precinct, counted and recounted in front of an independent and party-observers system. (Note: Hanging chads.)

Demand 11: Immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness for all. All debt must be stricken from the “books.” And they don’t mean debt that is in default, they mean all debt on the entire planet. Period. (Note: In other news, Greece fails.)

Demand 12: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies. (Note: Because, of course, there’d be no credit to report.)

Demand 13: All unions, all the time.

Well, there you have it. This is what it looks like when thousands of young people take to the streets of America, spouting off all those great civics lessons and American political theory they learned in our public schools, not to mention displaying their terrific command of free market economics.

Personally, I can’t comprehend this list. It’s all Greek to me.


Marybeth Hicks is a columnist for The Washington Times and founder and editor of Ontheculture.com.


  • George @ Convert Journal

    I am baffled why people are confused about this “protest”.

    Think for just 1 second which political party this lines up with. Democratic. Not that they have necessarily promised all the items on this list, but making similar promises of wealth redistribution and ignoring the consequences is par for the course.

    This is nothing more than an Obama for President 2012 rally.

  • fishman

    well, not everything on the list is a wholly bad idea.

    Why should credit reporting agencies be able to violate a persons right to privacy and punish someone one for behaving ‘badly’ without trial. In credit reporting you are guilty until proven innocent. A lot of the problems we have with ‘credit’ in this country are due to the fact that it is impossible to get a house , or a car etc ect. just basic living things without a loan and credit? I know it didn’t used to be that way. Maybe the author can explain to me why ubiquitous and easy to access credit is better then the systems that existed in the past, which required people to work harder and work together for the things they need.

  • fishman

    Also, what exactly is wrong with ‘nearly’ open boarders. Assuming we document immigrants and keep out criminals. Why have we abandoned our great tradition of allowing anyone who wants to to come here. live here and work here? Seems like sheer protectionism to me.

    • I know this is an old thread, but we put controls on immigration because increased trasnportation meant that the entire world could arrive in, say, El Paso or San Francisco or Providence overnight, and we could not possibly absorb so many so fast. Meanwhile, newer immigrants often (Thank God, not the majority of them) expect the USA to change to suit their cultural ideas, rather than arriving with an expectation of adapting to this country and its laws and customs, as they used to.

  • fishman

    When it comes to nuclear power plants , I’m for shutting them down ( even it if means replacing them with coal burning plants for now.) Nuclear power is dangerous , or did anyone miss what nearly happened in japan. How many times does a large farming area need to be rendered uninhabitable for 10,000 years before people realize the danger whoever infrequent is out-ways the benefit.

    How many places on the planet do we need to pollute with waste that is toxic for longer then the lifetime of any government in human history , before we realize that maybe this isn’t a ‘good’ technology.

  • fishman

    Immediate debt forgiveness, not sure how that would work, but the Jews used to do it every 77 years maybe we are about due. Seem pretty risky though.

  • fishman

    I’d love to see more in depth explanations of why the author opposes each of the specific actions. This seems more or less just to ‘pull the party line’ and seems to lack nearly as much critical thinking as the people who are protesting.

  • goral

    These demands are straight from the Marxist Manifesto, no further explanation necessary. These are young bolshevik brats who have been spoon fed this commie crap up until the time they need to find a job.
    That’s where Demand #3 kicks in.
    This blood-sucking riff-raff is what comprises the democrat party. They want Obummer back in even though he hasn’t found a job for them.

    Job? what’s a job???

  • noelfitz

    Did I read somewhere:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Remind me,where was it?

  • Mary Kochan

    Yeah, Noel, I note that the Statue of Liberty does not say:

    “Give me your teeming mass of spoiled college students led by Michael Moore to call for the overthrow of the system that allowed them all their pampered lives to live in nice houses and eat well and go to expensive schools to be brainwashed by Marxist professors.”

    I bet there is a reason for that.

  • While we’re quoting, I’ve been thinking the past few days of the words of the Apostle Paul:

    “Older men should be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance. Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves, showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized, so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:2-8)

    These are not words that describe busybody activists – I know, in my college days, I tried activism for a while. My advice to every young and old man and woman who has taken to the streets would be, worship God, find a job, seek to live quietly with your family, and if God puts any trouble in your life, it will come to you. You don’t have to make it.

  • GuitarGramma

    “Remove the oppressive, over-reaching government regulations that stifle productivity, lay waste to creativity, and inhibit the creation of new businesses and jobs.”

    Now that would have been a worthwhile demand. Except it couldn’t be aimed at Wall Street, which would defeat these protestors’ purpose, I suppose.

    Steve Jobs, God rest his soul, started Apple in a California garage. Today, California’s government would demand that he plow through over 300 Board of Equalization Tax forms to make sure that he is in full compliance with government regulations.

    Care to market your new granola bar to local coffee shops? Well, first you have to bring your kitchen up to government standards, an unaffordable task for most flegling cooks.

    We could go on and on. The truth is that it’s tough for these protesting young people to get started. But it’s not because there are rich people on Wall Street; it’s because there are meddling bureaucrats setting up new regulations and taxes at every level of government.

    • Mary Kochan

      This is true. One acquaintance of mine wanted to sell homemade bread at the local healthfood store and farmer’s market, but she would have to put a separate commercial kitchen in her house used just for the breadmaking.

  • noelfitz

    Mary,

    very good reply to me. I take your point!

  • goral

    After 3 mos. and three inspections, I finally got permission to have a caterer run his business out of my commercial kitchen. It’s only 16×20 but has four large stainless steel sinks and one more just for hand washing. It’ll take a year of rent payments to get back my renovation costs.

    The health dept. discourages a lot of very hard working and dedicated people from venturing out on their own because of the hurtles and start-up capital.

    The gov’t likes it that way because entrepreneurs give them trouble while wage laborers just pay their taxes through automatic deductions.

    The lazy, spoiled and undereducated campers at Wall St. are perfect candidates for gov’t jobs. None of them make the connection between enterprise and jobs.
    O’bum is giving tax breaks to businesses that hire.
    No takers, businesses hire because they have work that needs to be done otherwise they don’t.

    In case some may think that I’m a fan of Wall St., far from it. Let’s see how these money managers respond to their blind investments in college education for the unworthy. I actually think that a major lot of them are just money-hungry, spoiled and undereducated gamblers rather than just and prudent investors. Many of them would and do fit nicely into gov’t jobs as well.