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.
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 healthcare 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 As 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.