Friday, November 18, 2011

Examining The Occupy Movement: Government is of, by and for what? PEOPLE!

“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

       President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“Democracy is direct self-government over all the people, for all the people, by all the people.”
       Reverend Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

“There are more and more people in the streets in this time of stunning disregard for the health of social service in our nation…”
       The Very Reverend W. Mark Richardson, Ph.D. (Grace Cathedral, October 21, 2011)

“To restore prosperity we must return to a spirit of shared sacrifice. But our elected representatives have failed to find the courage to create a tax system that will allow us to contribute to our own prosperity. This must be done while removing loopholes for those who refuse to pay their fair share. It also is the legitimate role of government to provide oversight of the economy. Overstimulation and a lack of regulation - as we have seen in the stock and housing markets - create unsustainable bubbles.”
       Steve Zolno (“Why We Need To Tax Ourselves”, Open Forum on Democracy, San Francisco Chronicle, November 18, 2011)

Recently, there have been letters to editors of newspapers, in this and other countries, decrying the unruly crowds of protesters who have set up encampments. “These are nothing but filthy homeless encampments,” one such writer whines.

Homeless and homelessness. The problem of homelessness has been a long-standing and neglected fact of life in the United States. And now homelessness has unwittingly become the symbol of that travesty has been made of our economy by people who have believed themselves to be privileged to ravage the financial infrastructures of the world, while they were in administrative positions charged with responsibility and oversight.

The foxes are in the henhouse, folks.

The headlines cry out about the inequities, the plunging rate of job availability and the rise of unemployment. Wall Street, rewarded for their reckless gambling with public money (that is, money belonging to the public) by having been bailed out with more public money from our Federal Reserve, are now reporting record profits. Fancy that.

The foxes are in the henhouse, folks.

Articles report on the 10%-15% rise in health insurance rates, while professionals have made meager 3% raises or had to take pay cuts in order to keep their jobs. An article a few days ago asserted that 20% of a family’s income goes to health insurance. My own family pays as much for health insurance as we do for housing. Fancy that.

The foxes are in the henhouse, folks.

Administrators cry, “We must cut the budgets! We must cut services! The costs are too high to be sustainable!” These very administrators, working in industries ranging from healthcare to education to insurance to government (local, state and federal) cry out for across the board cuts, cuts, cuts! And they give themselves, either by the conceit of vote or by acclamation, raises, bonuses and benefits that the average person cannot obtain in the marketplace. Fancy that.

The foxes are in the henhouse, folks.

Lobbyists have bought out our administrators in exchange for the many quid pro quos that will allow their masters (“captains of industry”) to hoodwink the public into thinking that the health and wellbeing of our nation, of our people costs too much. The silent assertions are: caring costs too much and people are not worth the expense. Fancy that. How does that notion make you feel? Do you think that this is true?

The foxes are in the hen house, folks. The hens are gone, now. Where will the foxes go from here? What will they raid next? What will they kill, aside from dreams for a better life?

This life that we lead is all about life. “Progress” has been advertised for generations as moving all of humanity toward greater equity, but the reality is that a few people have been carving out territories and staking claims where they have no right to do so, and we are all the poorer for their sins and their reckless disregard.

The protesters have taken to the streets, as well they should. The foxes are currently hiding in their henhouses, but their mass media slaves have either been told not to report on the protests or to spin tales of omission and that complain of all the rabble and the noise and the homelessness and the filth, if they do report. And some of the public buy into this notion, hence all the whining I see bouncing out of the editorial pages.

All these filthy people, where do they all come from? They are saying something, but their message is unclear. Because their message is unclear, we don’t need to listen.

However, this nation was formed to be a more perfect union. Democracy was supposed to work for all people, not just some.

As we enter into this winter season of caring and sharing, we need to be not for ourselves alone, but for our neighbors and our neighbors’ neighbors, we need to be people helping people. Because our administrators won’t do this, we must. And we must consider casting down our administrators, because they no longer work for the people, but for themselves and their industry masters alone.