A few weeks ago we brought you a video from an Occupy meeting where the stated goal was to overthrow capitalism. A few commenters took issue with this, claiming it was an isolated statement and that Occupy is a loose-knit group.
I had the opportunity to be with the Occupy protesters at the RNC and the DNC over the past few weeks and I can assuredly tell you that it is not an isolated statement. True, there are many groups represented at the demonstrations, and maybe not all of them will outright say that they want to overthrow capitalism. But when you promote a socialist economy, by definition you are advocating the overthrow of capitalism.
I covered the “March on the RNC” in Tampa and was able to have a conversation with a socialist marcher about the economy:
A few of his comments deserve special attention.
“We need to tax the wealthiest people in the country, who aren’t paying their fair share - it’s not shared sacrifice for them.”
This is a common refrain among not only the Occupy movement but among liberals in general. Consider that the top 20 percent of earners - going way beyond the famed 1 percent - makes a little more than half the money yet pays two-thirds of the federal taxes. And once you hit $200,000 in adjusted gross income, your tax rate nearly doubles - going from an average of 11.9 percent to 19.6 percent.
Occupy Wall Street - what’s that? They’ve gone away, right? They haven’t. They’re regrouping and preparing to ramp up. Nick Tomboulides, Andrew McCaughey, and Danielle Saul recorded some remarks made by Mike Golash, former President Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 689, and others at a OccupyDC meeting held August 19, 2012.
They are not hiding their goals anymore - and no matter what your stance on the current state of our government, what is being said here should shock all patriots.
GOLASH: Progressive labor is a revolutionary Communist organization. Its objective is to make revolution in the United States, overthrow the capitalist system, and build communism. We’re trying to learn something from the historical revolutions of the past, the Russian revolution, the Chinese revolution, the revolutions in Cuba and Eastern Europe.
What can we learn from them so we can build a more successful movement to transform capitalist society?
The “historical revolutions of the past” don’t include the American Revolution - a revolution which created true freedom and prosperity and has been a model for such - but includes revolutions in which dictators were created who brutally tortured and slaughtered millions of their own people?
International Data on Living Standards Show that the United States Should Not Become More Like Europe
I’m not a big fan on international bureaucracies, particularly the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD, funded by American tax dollars, has become infamous for its support of statist pro-Obama policies.
President Obama has been accused of conducting class warfare. His supporters, obviously, disagree. They see Obama merely as fighting for the rights of the lower and middle classes against the all-powerful wealthy. However, this latest quote from the president takes a shot that may just go astray:
If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
Yes. He really said that.
However, let’s look at the whole context:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
In the days leading up to the IPO (Initial Public Offering) of Facebook stock as it became a publicly traded company, much of the news surrounding the company was made not by founder Mark Zuckerberg, but by Eduardo Saverin, a young man who became very rich after he invested his life savings in that unknown company running out of a Harvard dorm room. Saverin had announced that he was renouncing his U.S. citizenship, preferring to make his ties with Singapore instead.
In the aftermath of his announcement, it was claimed that he was doing so in order to avoid the heavy tax burden placed on his wealth by the United States. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a man of whom former Senator Bob Dole once said that “the most dangerous place in Washington is between Charles Schumer and a television camera,” wasted no time in turning this into face time with the press to score political points, joining with fellow Democrat, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) in announcing their intention to submit the “Ex-PATRIOT” Act.
According to Schumer, this law would “re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country.” Like a modern-day Rasputin, this would enact into law the assumption that politicians have supernatural powers of mind-reading, and would presume any person who renounced U.S. citizenship, while having a net worth greater than $2 million, or an average five-year income tax liability of at least $148,000, had done so for the purpose of tax avoidance. The law, eviscerating the Constitution’s presumption of “innocent until proven guilty” principle, would require the individual to prove to the IRS that they’d not done so for tax avoidance purposes, or risk additional capital gains taxes on any future investment gains.
Yesterday, we went over the top 10 news stories from 2011, which were mainly about news and issues that made headlines this past year. This morning, we’re recapping our most read stories from 2011.
Being a libertarian-leaning blog, we touch on a variety of issues. From those of you that aren’t familiar with libertarianism, it is a philosophy grounded in individual liberty. We believe the individual is sovereign and has a right to pursue whatever lifestyle he chooses, provided that he doesn’t harm or disparage the rights of other sovereigns in the process. The belief in individual sovereign also extends to economic liberty and a belief in free markets.
With that said, our top posts from 2011 range from civil liberties issues, including the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Fourth Amendment, to defending free markets and fighting cronyism and corporatism in Washington and on Wall Street to covering Ron Paul’s presidential campaign and having an open discussing the libertarian philosophy.
We offer no additional commentary on these posts. If you would like to read them, just click on the title. Again, have a safe and happy new year.
One of the most disturbing trends I’ve witnessed over these last few years is a coordinated attack from the left on the institutions and principles that make America great. Maybe nowhere has this been more evident than in the vitriol spewed by our eternal Campaigner-in-Chief and his dutiful Minions of Social Justice, all bemoaning the evils of capitalism, and the inequity of wealth distribution (although oddly, their desire for more equal distribution does not extend to income taxes, where the top one percent earn 19% of the income and pay 40% of all income taxes, while the bottom fifty percent that pay exactly zero).
Obama has set so many straw men on fire that he’s now the leading cause of global warming. He accused doctors of slicing out tonsils and amputating limbs just to bill a few more dollars to insurance companies. He’s accused business owners of not caring about their employees and only about their company’s bottom line. He accused the Chamber of Commerce, without proof, of using foreign money to buy elections. His NLRB threatened Boeing for opening a new, billion dollar plant in right-to-work South Carolina, and his wife urged young students not to go into the corporate world, but rather “work for the community” like her community organizer husband, as if bringing valued goods and services and the accompanying jobs and wealth into the community was not a worthwhile endeavor.
When did we reach the point where we extol the timid and the parasitic? Where wealth creation was bad, and the American Dream had been supplanted by a desire for European-style social welfare? We don’t even have to look back in history to see what a nightmare this is; we just have to turn on the news. The Greeks are rioting in the streets at the thought of giving up an ounce of their lavish social welfare benefits, and the European Union is at the brink of collapse as it struggles under the weight of its debt driven by these welfare state policies.
“Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain - and since labor is pain in itself - it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.” ~French Economist Frederick Bastiat, 1845, Economic Sophisms”
“There are many well-meaning people today who work at placing an economic floor beneath all of us so that no one shall exist below a certain level or standard of living, and certainly we don’t quarrel with this. But look more closely and you may find that all too often these well-meaning people are building a ceiling above which no one shall be permitted to climb and between the two are pressing us all into conformity, into a mold of standardized mediocrity.” ~President Ronald Reagan
For the past few weeks, America has been treated to a steady news coverage diet of Occupy Wall Street, a motley amalgam of former hippies, idealistic but misinformed college students, Marxist advocates, seekers of mayhem for mayhem’s sake, and the just plain clueless. Welcome to the Flea Party, the far left’s answer to the organic uprising of the TEA Party. However, that is where the comparison stops. Whereas the TEA Party uprising has been peaceful, the Flea Party has been a study in anti-social behavior masquerading as noble civil disobedience.
For the last few weeks, protesters have camped out in New York City to express their grievances with Wall Street. The complaints are somewhat familiar and to some extent, I can understand where they’re coming from. They are upset with what they see as government colluding with corporations for taxpayer-funded bailouts during very tough economics times.
The frustration with corporatism is understandable, libertarians and free market conservatives have expressed the same sentiment for years only to take a back seat to the idea that what’s “good for business” is good policy. But as we’ve come to learn, so-called “pro-business” policies aren’t always a good deal for taxpayers. And by that I mean that we truly want a level playing field, but not through excessive taxation or regulation. Rather, keeping government out of the business of picking winners and losers.
But some members of the nascent “Occupy Wall Street” have expressed demands (note that these demands are unofficial), which for all of their supposed distrust of government, these guys have a very utopian idea of what government should be — likely enough to make Karl Marx and Che Guevara proud. Nevermind that they would be economic suicide.
Among the suggested demands for the movement are (with my comments next to them):
Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged regained a great deal of attention recently, what with the economic crisis looming and much of the rhetoric coming out of Washington matching the rhetoric uttered by Rand’s various villains. References to the 1957 novel have made their way onto talk radio, cable television, and Tea Party protests throughout the land. In the book, the great minds of the world go on strike, and even sort of compared to Atlas – who holds the world up on his shoulders – shrugging.
Unfortunately, it’s never going to happen.
In Rand’s book, all the minds share common ideals. They all believe they have a right to make whatever they make. They believed they’re entitled to the wealth they earned from the products of their own mind. They believed that their own self interest was sufficient cause for their actions.
Reality is another matter entirely. For the record, I’m a fan of the book. As I write this, I’m actually wearing a shirt with the first edition’s cover on it. I’ve read the book four times, and as anyone who’s read it can tell you, you do not read it four times unless you like the book. However, I can’t escape the fact that Atlas will never shrug.
The reason for that is that many of the minds, the people who make the things that make this nation run, are no different in their own ideologies from the James Taggarts and Wesley Mouchs of Rand’s imagination. Bill Gates is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our day, and yet he leans left on most issues…and this is despite being hammered with antitrust violations in the past. Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, also tends to lean left on most issues.