If you’ve been too busy holding down a job (or two), juggling the demands of a busy family, engaging in community service and occasionally taking the wife and children out for a pizza on a Saturday night, you may not have noticed that several thousand protesters have “occupied” Wall Street, the District and other locations across the United States for the past three weeks or so.
They’re protesting - well - they’re not entirely sure what they’re protesting, but they feel strongly about it. Those involved in “the movement” consider themselves part of “the 99 percent” of people who don’t have the financial resources or political connections of the so-called “1 percent,” and thus they have taken to the streets.
They apparently aren’t as bugged by the fact that the “1 percent” is paying the largest chunk of income tax, and of the “99 percent,” only about 49 percent pays any tax at all. In fact, most of the folks protesting are young people - predominantly students - who wouldn’t know how to address an envelope to the IRS, much less write a paper check to include with a tax return. But someday they’ll have to repay their student loans, and they’re already pretty steamed about that.
Loosely organized as it is, Occupy Wall Street does have a website, occupywallst.org, which includes a list of 13 “demands” that would fulfill “the movement’s” vision of a just society. This is a socialist wish list so thorough and overarching, it lacks only a chicken in every pot and a unicorn in every four-car garage.
Demand 1: Restoration of the living wage, ending what they call “free trade” and raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour. (Note: People who have never paid taxes think $20 an hour is a lot of money.)
Demand 2: Institute a universal single-payer health care system. (Note: Hey now. That’s original.)
Demand 3: Guaranteed living-wage income regardless of employment. (Note: Wait - what?)
Demand 4: Free college education. (Note: With straight A’s for everyone, to keep it fair.)
Demand 5: Begin a fast-track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand. (Note: “Fast track.” LOL.)
Demand 6: $1 trillion in infrastructure (water, sewer, rail, roads and bridges, and electrical grid) spending now. (Note: These must be the folks who want those high-speed trains!)
Demand 7: $ 1 trillion in ecological restoration and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants. (Note: It’s like the Austin Powers movies: “one trillllllllion dollars.”)
Demand 8: Racial and gender equal rights amendment. (Note: But only if you’re already born.)
Demand 9: Open-borders migration. Anyone can travel anywhere to work and live. (Note: And free unicorns to ride there!)