Peaceful Reform or Violent Revolution?
By John F. Miglio
When I attended the first protest rally in Sacramento, California in sympathy with Occupy Wall Street, it was clear to me that all the grievances of the protestors, such as outsourcing American jobs, lack of affordable health care, Wall Street bailouts, etc., stemmed from the same premise: the upper 1% of the population in the United States has gradually but inexorably destroyed democracy and taken control of the country. Call it plutocracy. Call it corporate fascism. Call it whatever you want. But it's the same old story of the rich and powerful becoming a little too greedy and wanting it all.
The takeover began during the Reagan years and reached its ne plus ultra during George W. Bush's second term in office. By that time, the ruling class and their bought-and-paid-for-flunkies in the government and mainstream media, had engineered the largest shift in economic wealth and political power since the 1920s.
And now we're living with the results: high unemployment, unaffordable health care, massive home foreclosures, stagnant wages, and on and on. In the meantime, the upper one percent owns over 40% of the net wealth of the country and the super rich, such as billionaire hedge fund operators, pay less tax proportionate to their incomes than average workers.
It ain't fair--and people know it, especially recent college graduates who are straddled with enormous debt and cannot find decent jobs. So they're protesting, and so are the individuals who have lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions, as well as citizens who are still doing OK financially, but just happen to care about ethics and democracy.
As a result, the champagne and caviar party for the upper 1%, sponsored by the free market and hosted by Corporate America, is at long last being seen for what it really is--a well-planned strategy to destroy the middle class and create a neo-feudal society of rich and poor.
Naturally, the ruling class will never admit this is their real agenda. Instead they'll say they are just trying to stimulate the private sector and create jobs and lessen the power of Big Government. And you know what? That propaganda actually worked for over 30 years--not on progressive thinkers, or any one with half a brain, of course. But it did work on many average Americans who were convinced Ronald Reagan was their savior and free market, supply-side economics was going to take them to the Promised Land.