America was conceived as a type of representative democracy that was successful until conservatives devised a plan to shift power from the people to the wealthy elite during the Reagan administration, and after thirty years what is left is a government controlled by corporations. In very simplistic terms, the Occupy movement represents the 99% of Americans who have lost the ability to decide the direction and policies the government takes that will benefit the people instead of a small, but powerful, group of extremely wealthy families, Wall Street, and corporate giants. The growing discontent among the people that fostered the Occupy Wall Street movement is not diminishing and as more Americans come to grips with the stark reality that regardless the will of the people; this country is heading towards a plutocracy that will last for generations without intervention and interdiction by the people.
In poll after poll, the American people overwhelmingly support government created jobs to give the economy a jolt and put unemployed Americans back to work and raising taxes on the wealthy. President Obama and Democrats have proposed following the will of the people, and yet Republicans who are beholden to Wall Street, corporate America, and the wealthiest 1% of Americans have blocked and obstructed Democratic efforts to grow the economy and create jobs. The Republicans tell the people that the only way to bolster the economy and create jobs is to cut spending and the nation’s deficit, and to eliminate environmental and financial regulations as well as give more tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. They are saying, in effect, to return to the Bush-Republican policies that decimated the economy and jobs in the first place. It is stunning, but a segment of the population falls for the GOP’s lies and continues advocating for the same Bush-era failed economic policies as if, this time, things will be different. In the final analysis, they are complicit in aiding conservatives reach their goal of killing democracy, and they are fools. However, they are in the minority.
One of the primary reasons Republicans and their wealthy corporate donors continue killing jobs is the lie that deregulation will create an atmosphere for big business to invest and expand, create corporate confidence, and eventually more jobs. Republicans, with assistance from the financial sector, have put forth with great success, the insane notion that if the government slashes spending, the nation’s debt, and corporate taxes, then jobs will come as if by magic. There are no Republicans, or conservative financial experts, who can give one iota of proof that killing jobs and shrinking the government will create even one job, and yet because of corporate money influencing Republicans in Congress, they forge ahead cutting taxes, social programs, and regulations that only benefit the ultra-wealthy and their corporations.
The financial sector that controls Republicans benefits from the sluggish economy they caused and, instead of supporting stimulus programs that definitely create jobs and grow the economy, convince many Americans that government stimulus spending is the problem so they can pursue their agenda of lower taxes for the wealthy and corporations and downsize the government they claim will create jobs. The sad truth is that for the past two years, many Americans fell for the financial sector and Republican’s lies and the result was sweeping conservative victories in the 2010 elections and the rest, so they say, is history. History will show that although Republicans tanked the economy in 2007-2008 and beyond, they are poised to repeat the economic disaster again at the behest of wealthy campaign donors and Wall Street lobbyists who will reap the benefits of the next great recession by manipulating the markets to control government policy now and in the future.
One indicator of any economic move is how financial markets respond to news of impending legislation whether it is stimulus spending on infrastructure projects or the super-committee tasked with cutting the deficit. Wall Street manipulators at big banks with ungodly amounts of cash easily drive the markets up or down at will and, to protect their interests, manipulate the market down at news of higher taxes or stimulus spending, or up when Republicans propose slashing spending and cutting government down to a size that can be drowned in a bathtub.
The financial sector is the 1% and with their approval or disapproval, control how, why, and when the government makes any economic policy regardless the will of the people or the amount of jobs and homes are lost. Why else do Republicans ignore Americans who clamor for more stimulus spending that will create jobs, or raise taxes on the wealthy? Because they know if they compromise with Democrats and President Obama, their political contributions will come to a screeching halt. In 2010 alone, big business made political contributions totaling $1,317,977,729 as a result of the Citizens United ruling. It is true that both parties benefit from corporate campaign contributions, but Republicans receive more than Democrats. Plus, Democrats are not at the forefront of attempts to kill jobs and cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and Republicans… their record of job-killing spending cuts and lower taxes for the wealthy and corporations speaks for itself.
The American people are losing their voice in government to the financial sector that has no interest in preserving the country’s long history of representative democracy as a means of governance. The Occupy Wall Street movement is very aware that unless the financial sector is held in check, the notion of democracy in America is all but finished. The occupy movement has not called for abolishing Wall Street or capitalism, but only to undo their control of the government policies that Republicans have initiated and perpetuated for the past thirty years and especially under the Bush administration.
There are two processes that must be changed to preserve our democracy and first is undoing the unlimited corporate campaign donations allowed by the Citizens United decision, and second, pass comprehensive campaign finance reform. As long as the financial sector and corporate giants like Koch Industries are permitted to buy influence in the political sector, representative democracy will wither and eventually give way to unrestricted plutocracy. Americans already understand that money controls politics and that it disenfranchises the people’s voice. The solution is for the Occupy movement to transform into an anti-corporate electoral movement to remove recalcitrant Republicans who ignore the people’s voice and replace them with representatives who have the people’s welfare in mind and not corporations, Wall Street, or the super-wealthy who buy Republicans that promise to cut taxes, deregulate financial markets, and control all the wealth in America. The alternative is not acceptable and after ten years of Republican obedience to Wall Street and the financial sector, the experiment in plutocracy must end before there is no democracy left.
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