As Occupy Wall Street protests intensify around America, it’s important to examine possible solutions.
|Real change won’t come by giving more power
or money to this group — Dees Illustration
Barack Obama and his 2008 presidential challenger John McCain both received more money from Wall Street donors than their combined lifetime government salaries. It was a billion-dollar-plus campaign. In fact, all of Congress makes more from Wall Street and corporate campaign contributions than their public salaries. It is the nature of the modern political system. And Timothy Geithner, despite cheating on his own taxes, was plucked from the New York Federal Reserve to serve as U.S. Treasury Secretary. So who can the People turn to for solutions?
Some very well-meaning people have suggested apparent solutions to alleviate some of these challenges. Some have called for a separation of money and politics. Some have called for ending the Federal Reserve System. Some have suggested a complete write-off of all fraudulent debt. Some want higher taxes imposed on the well-to-do. Some demand more free government services like healthcare and higher education. Some say ending the wars at home and abroad will be the cure-all. Each of these proposed solutions seem to have some attraction, but they also have flaws that need to be addressed.
Remove Money from Politics: In theory the separation of money from politics makes sense. Some have put forward the idea of publicly financed campaigns, which would certainly level the playing field for everyday citizens to compete in elections against generations of elite public servants. However, this theory is much like the failed war on drugs — if there is a demand for something, there will always be a supply no matter how many walls are built. If there is a demand for corporate influence on policy, their money will always find a way over those walls. They may buy direct advertising to advocate for a certain policy, or simply buy unaccountable government regulators to do their dirty work — both of which already occur.
End the Fed: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who is widely respected as one of the only champions of the people and the Constitution left in government, suggests absorbing the Federal Reserve Bank into the U.S. Treasury to print and spend interest-free money into the economy. Although this may be one of the best short-term solutions, Geithner and the executive branch will then control the issuance of currency. Although they are more accountable to the People, they still represent the status quo where the same cabal will likely benefit. Similarly, presidential candidate Ron Paul wants to end the Fed, but first by legalizing competing currencies so that no single entity wields power over the issuance of money. Presently, either of these actions would be a huge step forward in resolving our current bondage to debt-based monopoly money, but they are still merely just the beginning of reform.
Complete Debt Forgiveness: I have been one of the advocates for a complete write-off of all fraudulent debt, essentially hitting the economic reset button. This act would zap all of the power that the banking cartel has over governments and individuals. Although I truly believe this to be the only way out of this mess, it may require an entirely new free and fair financial structure in place when the button is pushed, or the same group of thugs will likely maintain their control over the system. A new monetary policy, banking system, credit rules, and stock exchange would have to emerge for such a reset to be effective. Perhaps an Economic Constitution is needed to lay the framework first.
Tax the Rich: Those calling for higher taxes on the wealthy may have their heart in the right place, but this is perhaps the worst of the proposed solutions. This will change nothing fundamental about the system that enslaves the peasants. Secondly, at this point, who could trust the legislation to only target the elite who hide their assets offshore anyway? And, pragmatically, increasing taxes on the rich won’t even make a dent in the astronomical national debt, future obligations, or even current expenditures. Taxing the rich will not create long-term jobs or solve the problem of how the money is created or spent. More short-term tax revenue may only encourage more government, more spending on wars, the surveillance state, financial bailouts, and subsidies for mega-corporations. Notably, taxing short-term speculative Wall Street trades (some version of the Tobin tax) seems to have some validity. But in the end, this just gives more money to a disgustingly corrupt government which will still be heavily influenced by big corporations.
Free Education and Healthcare: Understandably, it only seems fair that if society can produce untold trillions for war and bailouts of fraudulent industries, there should be enough money to educate and maintain the health of its citizens. Still, free healthcare and education has become synonymous with socialism in our modern society because money must be taken by force from someone else to pay for these “free” services. Sure, in a perfect society one should have the equal freedom to pursue any level of education based on desire and ability without concern for cost. And certainly, no one should die or go bankrupt because they lack adequate healthcare. However, this ultimately becomes a question about the role of government, and the Constitution currently does not give the authority to provide for such services. Then again, it also doesn’t allow for undeclared wars and corporate bailouts either. No matter what it will be called, or how it will be paid for, until society determines that the health and education of its populace is of utmost importance, it will remain an ill society. An entirely new system may need to be dreamed up for this to work for everyone.
End the Wars: Yes, yes, and yes. End the foreign wars. End the phony war on “terror”. And end the war on drugs. They only benefit those funding the wars (with interest) and the pirates who the government gives the spoils to. Because no average citizen ever wants war, it leads some to believe that all wars have been baited by these beneficiaries — and they wouldn’t be wrong. Unfortunately, for too long we have taken the bait and they have gotten their spoils. It is time to stop this insanity. Significantly, this is one of the only practical solutions that will have minimal blowback. It will save trillions in public spending and immediately bring more harmony to the planet. However, America will face the very real challenge of creating new employment for returning soldiers, contractors, and laid-off weapons manufacturers, as well as DEA agents, prison guards and others who participate in perpetuating the war on drugs. So, even though ending all wars is the only sane policy, by itself it is not a silver bullet for economic woes.
Indeed, these are exciting and transformative times, and the People will eventually get what they ask for. However, they must be careful in what they ask for because the same power structures that they’re currently protesting may ultimately end up with more power. Unless, of course, part of the solution is to remove the corporate state’s power to coerce people in the first place. Therefore, a good place to start may be to demand more personal freedom while curbing the rights of multinational corporations and the government itself.
Regardless, the enormity of the problems require that many groundbreaking proposals are put forward and examined. Please leave your comments and suggestions of what you think needs to be done.