This article by award-winning writer and managing editor of Crooks and Liars appeared in a local paper this morning. I share this because of the relevance to issues I've blogged about lately and that are so "in-the-face" of Americans today.
Wednesday November 9, 2011
I asked an Occupier in D.C. namedRob Wohl, why the movement he’s a part of is resonating with people -- why as over 3,000 Americans have been arrested in demonstrations and even journalists and vets have endured tear gas and rubber bullets, the movement is still growing.
His answer? "Because we are analytically correct."
What does that mean? Apparently, they believe they have the facts on their side. History certainly is. And as author Michael Lewis said when asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement, they also have justice on their side.
New census data released shows we have record high poverty in this country. It’s up to 16 percent or 49.1 million Americans (that’s over five New York Cities). We have the worst wealth inequality in the industrialized world (meaning we’re on par with some third world countries). We have the highest health care costs in the world. And a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute notes, "U.S. productivity grew by 62.5 percent from 1989 to 2010, far more than real hourly wages for both private-sector and state/local government workers, which grew 12 percent in the same period." Basically Americans are working much (much) harder for much (much) less. Pair that with the fact U.S. businesses are making record profits and that’s why Americans have taken to the pothole-laden streets to protest.
It’s not just about the bank
bailout. It’s not just about Wall Street. It’s about
the goal of the wealthy to milk their fellow citizens until they’re
completely dry. And while regular Americans are condescended to about
their proverbial bootstraps, the U.S.government
has helped the wealthy at every turn. So it’s no surprise they’ve won.
And now that people are brittle and dusty -- there are encampments all
over the country.
The question isn’t, "Why are there so many people sleeping in parks?" The question is, "Why aren’t there more?"
In the wake of this massive protest -- right in the middle of the
tenure of the lowest rated House in our nation’s history -- a group of
men and women whose approval rating of 9 percent is hovering just above
the margin of error -- what do they do? They pass another symbolic
(think: busy work) nonbinding resolution to reaffirm "in God we trust"
as the national motto.
I could have made that up as satire and I’d get a letter saying I was being too harsh.
Time spent on a bill (of which there are FOUR versions)
reaffirming a phrase already on every denomination of money, every
courthouse and most public buildings is about as contemptuous as this
body of seat-warmers can get.
It’s "let them eat cake" with a little of King George III’s "the colonies will submit" thrown in for flavor.
Yes, the do-less-than-nothing House has passed a whopping 54
bills originating in their chamber in their nearly full year in office.
Their counterparts in previous congresses usually author and pass three
times that. And if you subtract passing go-no-where bills to defund NPR,
Planned Parenthood and other specters like Obama Czars and take into
account their days off (next year they’re only set to work 109 days out
of the entire year) -- they’ve put in a lot of effort to be ineffective.
Which is what you’d expect from self-hating government workers
like the House leadership. They’re illustrating how lazy, stupid and
useless government can be -- by example.
To sum up: The American people are paying more for less, working
more for less and asking more ... and Congress is doing (wait for it) less.
The Occupiers are right. They are "analytically correct" in their
assessment. Their government is failing them. As another Occupier put
it, maybe it’s "time to replace Congress with people."
Tina Dupuy’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle
Cartoons newspaper syndicate. She is an award-winning writer and the
managing editor of Crooks and Liars and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.