OK, I’ve never been much for rabble rousing. I’ve always considered myself more of a lover than a fighter baby (wiggles eyebrows). But there comes a time when a person has just got to speak up. This is that time.
As I’ve said before, I pretty much passed on the protest scene as a youngster due to my pathological need for rudimentary personal hygene. That, more than any ideological reason, is why I never marched on Washington. Well, that and my terminal attraction to coeds and beer. Had there been sufficient quantities of either within a 50 mile radius of the nation’s capital, I’d have been on a freedom bus in a heartbeat.
But times have changed. I haz a blog now, and a soap box. And looking around at what has become of this once great nation I can’t keep silent any longer. In short;
This movie was filmed 40 god damned years ago, and things have only gotten worse in the intervening years.
“You’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say I am a human being God Damnit, my life has value!”
Jesus Christ people. We are this country. We OWN this country. Our government is of the people, by the people and for the people, not beholden to some god damned corporation.
I’m stick and effin’ tired, of being sick and effin tired. I’ve seen 40 years of depression suck the life, and lively hood out of family, friends, and the places I love. Enough is enough!
Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Prospect. Occupy Main Street, and any other street that it takes. We ARE the 99%.
Our five demands, courtesy of Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone.
1. Break up the monopolies. The so-called “Too Big to Fail” financial companies – now sometimes called by the more accurate term “Systemically Dangerous Institutions” – are a direct threat to national security. They are above the law and above market consequence, making them more dangerous and unaccountable than a thousand mafias combined. There are about 20 such firms in America, and they need to be dismantled; a good start would be to repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and mandate the separation of insurance companies, investment banks and commercial banks.
2. Pay for your own bailouts. A tax of 0.1 percent on all trades of stocks and bonds and a 0.01 percent tax on all trades of derivatives would generate enough revenue to pay us back for the bailouts, and still have plenty left over to fight the deficits the banks claim to be so worried about. It would also deter the endless chase for instant profits through computerized insider-trading schemes like High Frequency Trading, and force Wall Street to go back to the job it’s supposed to be doing, i.e., making sober investments in job-creating businesses and watching them grow.
3. No public money for private lobbying. A company that receives a public bailout should not be allowed to use the taxpayer’s own money to lobby against him. You can either suck on the public teat or influence the next presidential race, but you can’t do both. Butt out for once and let the people choose the next president and Congress.
4. Tax hedge-fund gamblers. For starters, we need an immediate repeal of the preposterous and indefensible carried-interest tax break, which allows hedge-fund titans like Stevie Cohen and John Paulson to pay taxes of only 15 percent on their billions in gambling income, while ordinary Americans pay twice that for teaching kids and putting out fires. I defy any politician to stand up and defend that loophole during an election year.
5. Change the way bankers get paid. We need new laws preventing Wall Street executives from getting bonuses upfront for deals that might blow up in all of our faces later. It should be: You make a deal today, you get company stock you can redeem two or three years from now. That forces everyone to be invested in his own company’s long-term health – no more Joe Cassanos pocketing multimillion-dollar bonuses for destroying the AIGs of the world.
If we don’t stand up now we will never have another chance.
(sits down, exhales, takes a deep drink of Scotch)
There, I said it. Now, what are we going to do about it?