Never Fear, The Unions Are Here!
Here's the really funny part. Those darn quixotic kids at Occupy Wall Street have absolutely no clue that many of these union thugs are cut from the same cloth as the capitalist pigs they purport to loathe. Different color, same agenda:
Labor unions including nurses and transit workers planned to join a an anti-Wall Street march on Wednesday through New York's financial district, and some college students walked out of classes in solidarity with the growing protest movement.
The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Communications Workers of America and the Amalgamated Transit Union said they would be joining the protesters voicing discontent and anger over high unemployment, home foreclosures and the 2008 corporate bailouts.
The nation's largest union of nurses, National Nurses United, also said it would take part in the New York march, set for late afternoon in downtown Manhattan.
Students on college campuses added their voices, with walkouts scheduled on Wednesday at some 75 universities across the nation.
"We stand in solidarity with those protesting Wall Street's greed," said Gerald McEntee, president of the 1.6 million-member AFSCME union, in a statement. "The economy that has wrecked so many lives, obliterated jobs, and left millions of Americans homeless and hopeless is the fault of banks that gamble with our future."
If it weren't for the forced "equality" unions provide to trades where they are unnecessary (like public sector unions - why do the people need a union to stand up to, uh, the people?), Wall Street wouldn't have been busy securitizing everything that wasn't nailed down to keep the wealth illusion going. But don't try telling any of the protesters that, they might call you a fascist scab.
Ezra Klein may have sympathy for the debt-riddled single parents whose faces grace We Are the 99 Percent but I have trouble feeling bad for someone who took on $50,000 in debt to earn a degree they knew they probably wouldn't be able to use. The American Dream was always a lie, it's just that these people are finding out for the first time how big of a lie it has been. They're understandably pissed but out of their minds to expect the government to fix it. You'd think now would be the time to take their new knowledge to exploit reality, not bemoan it.
One more time: the American Dream was never real. It was a lie pushed upon the poor huddled masses to convince them to stay in line. Work hard, pay your taxes, don't piss off your neighbors and maybe you will one day attain it. Most of them probably knew it didn't actually exist, and if they didn't know it then, they learned it rotting on their death beds with their angry children barely huddled around their beds.
But these kids have no fucking clue it's all a lie. Even now.
They're lashing out at the banks while holding hands with the union thugs, completely oblivious to the fact that they are one in the same.
The great part about this whole mess? For once, Think Progress' Matthew Yglesias and I can actually agree on something: if there are Occupy Wall Street protesters who don't like capitalism, what we have isn't the capitalism to which they are referring:
But the actual organizing principle of the demonstrations is to speak with moral clarity of the economic inequality of our current system. The purpose is not to attack capitalism but rather an industry whose wealth was guarded to the hilt by government intervention — backed up by trillons [sic] of dollars of taxpayer money through programs like the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and near-zero interest Federal Reserve lending — a form of government intervention that the banking industry received but millions of foreclosed on homeowners and debt-laden students did not get.
During a teach-in at Zucotti Park, the site of the occupation, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz explained that what Wall Street is practicing is “not capitalism.” “We are bearing the costs of their [bankers'] misdeeds,” he said. “There’s a system where we socialize losses and privatize gains. That’s not capitalism. That’s not a market economy. That’s a distorted economy, and if we continue with that, we won’t succeed in growing.”
But here's the burn. Let's pretend like we have a truly free market (knowing full well we don't have anything close, not with, as Stiglitz said, socialized losses and privatized gains)... what if the free market has spoken and declared many of the unemployed are simply not needed by the economy?
Is anyone prepared to handle that reality?