The Occupy Wall Street Movement is a bold and indecisive mess.
Public opinion is split between agreeing with their ideals and being annoyed by their gridlock of commuter traffic. More and more people are turning against the Occupy Movement simply because the movement is more of an inconvenience than a friend to the common man. In order for the movement to succeed, rather than be viewed as a disorganized TEA Party of the left, they need to embrace key principles that everyone can see the merit in. After winning general support, these principles need to made reality.
In order to win popular support Occupy Wall Street needs to embrace and express their following ideals:
A Job For Every Man
Unemployment among the Occupy Wall Street protesters is six percent higher than the national average. Having a job is not only a requirement for stability in also plays a key role in self-esteem, lifestyle, and happiness. Everyone is better off when people have more jobs; corporations make a higher profit, the government collects more taxes, and there is food on the tables of the new employees. Everybody wins. This route for this change is through Congress, the senators should support jobs bills because it supports their own constituencies. The protesters of Occupy Wall Street wants jobs, if they can find forums to actualize this simple vision they will gain public support and make a real difference in everyone’s lives.
One Person, One Vote
America is based on the idea of equal representation for all people; however, I truthfully doubt anyone reading this article has ever given money to a lobbyist. I know I have not and even if I did my life’s savings would not even be accounted as a rounding error in comparison to corporate expenditure or financing from the richest one percent. Currently in America those with the most money have the greatest political power; that is why many of the richest Americans have no problem dodging taxes while the middle class buckles under flat wages and massive debt. This gulf in political power illustrates the decay of the American integrity.
Lawrence Lessig, answers this dilemma in his book Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It, with legislative subsidies. Currently corporations and the plutocrats have excessive power because they have a disproportionate savings of money to finance their political campaigns. The legislative subsidies would give every American a tax rebate to give to political organizations or candidates of their choice. Each person is given the exact same amount of political dollars. This levels the playing field and gives every American an equal voice in the ballot box and in the campaigning.
The Senate is too polarized to embrace this radical change and the Supreme Court would also be divided because of its questionable censures of the first amendment. This change would have to come from the executive branch and a powerful president willing to sacrifice everything, perhaps including his presidency, for the good of America.
Corporation are Not People
The Civil War was fought to bring the fourteenth amendment, declaring that all people are people, has used approximately 150 times during the nineteenth century; 15 of those cases protected the rights of blacks, the remaining 135 were used to protect corporation. In the eyes of the law corporations are artificial persons and are entitled to all the rights that people are. This includes unlimited campaign donations and investing in lobbyists to secure contracts for them. The legal basis behind the fallacy is that since corporations are organizations of people and since peaceful assemblies are clearly protected in the constitution then corporations are as well.
Artificial people are not humans, people are people. A collection of algorithms, buildings, products, and data charts should not have larger voice in my government than any tax paying citizen. Our founding fathers declared no taxation without representation. Occupy Wall Street proclaim that there is no representation for those under taxation. Amending this mistake, along with its subsidies such as Citizen United v. FEC, will come down to the Supreme Court declaring corporations are not people. The people within corporations can still make their opinions known; however, since the chief job of corporations is to make money that should be the field they are confided to. Non-profits, activism groups, and other like-minded organizations who are genially interested in the future of America, not including lucrative contracts, should have a voice in Washington DC.
And In Summary…
To make real change on this front Occupy Wall Street needs to either put its own supporters in the Senate, such as Elizabeth Warren, who believe in protecting the common man. We need to restructure how voting is done in this country so the party with the most support, not the politicians with the best financing. The Occupy Wall Street also must make amendments to the Constitution to secure human rights only for humans. We are in a Second Gilded Age today, where the plutocrats and corporations run the show at the expense of you and me. This must change. Occupy Wall Street is the unrefined vehicle for progressive change in America, with a little hard work she will dazzle the world and change history.