By Dave Lindorff
The American Revolution, for all the pious talk about freedom and the Rights of Man, was at bottom simply a matter of people not wanting to pay their taxes. It was about rank self interest, and it was a powerful movement.
That rank self-interest could spark a new revolution--hopefully one that will still also advance the cause of freedom and the Rights of Man.
Two issues are rushing to the fore that could have most Americans grabbing pitchforks, guns, shovels, bats, mop handles, and whatever else they have handy that could be useful in the streets.
The first is Social Security, and the angry mob is going to be the Baby Boom Generation whose members, myself included, have paid 13-15 percent of income into the Trust Fund now for over 40 years, expecting that at 66, we could retire and collect our pensions. Now the greedheads on Wall Street and their toadies in Washington are trying to say that we shouldn't be able to count on that money. They want to make us wait until we're 68, 69 or 70, and they don't want to give us cost-of-living adjustments. They say that the money's going to run out before we die (unless we oblige them and starve), even though the reason for that is that they've been stealing all that money and giving us Treasury Bills in return, which they now plan on refusing to honor, saying it would mean raising taxes on our kids. (Actually those T-Bills could be retired by taxing the rich, and leaving our kids alone.)
Anyhow, when we hit 66, let me tell you: if our money isn't there, or if we get to 76 and they try to take it away (and right now I'm supposed to be able to count on collecting $22,000 a year when I retire), we'll be ready to take out Washington and Wall Stree. And we could do it, too. Some in my generation, remember, spent a few years in Vietnam, and they got the skills. Me, I'd be willing to take lessons.
But that's only part of it.
The other is the housing fiasco, and that's an even bigger cause for rebellion....