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Curmudgeon's Corner:Occupy Wall Street an exercise in 'flawed' logic (OPINION)

October 25, 2011

The movement that started as Occupy Wall Street is gaining world-wide momentum. Brown University radicals, both student and faculty, brought the protest to Providence. Liberal politicians and their allies in the media are praising these demonstrations as democracy in action notwithstanding their harsh criticism of earlier Tea Party gatherings.
The state’s daily newspaper editorialized that the Tea Party was supported financially by the “secretive billionaire Koch brothers” whereas the Occupy Wall Street crowd was spontaneous and disorganized. No mention was made that there are strong indications that billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros is funding a good percentage of the costs of “OWS”.
Talk show host Glenn Beck has offered audio tape to any news outlet of a gathering of left-wing activists on March 19, 2011 at which Service Employees International Union organizer Stephen Lerner said there were plans to “roll out” a demonstration in New York City during the first week of May.
The objective of this protest was to “disrupt and create uncertainty” thereby forcing “another financial crisis” and “disrupting the way the system operates”. Apparently it took longer to organize this protest so the date was pushed back to mid-September.
No one in the mainstream media has taken up Beck’s offer. You can hear the tape yourself at The It should make your blood run cold to hear these social activists and union leaders talking about creating chaos to collapse our economy in order to achieve “social justice” and the redistribution of wealth, i.e. communism.
On my way to class on Mondays I usually listen to Sean Hannity’s radio talk show. Since the Wall Street “occupation” has started, Hannity has spoken to some of the protestors. Here is a sample of what these representatives of “the ninety-nine percent” have said.
“Justin” from the Occupy San Francisco demonstration said he was against “the disparity in our society” between the wealthiest people and “the 99 percent”. When Hannity asked him what percentage of the federal income tax was paid by the top one percent of taxpayers Justin said he didn’t know. Hannity then asked Justin what percent of income taxes the bottom 50 percent paid, again Justin drew a blank.
Hannity finally told Justin that the top one percent pay 40 percent, the bottom 50 percent pay zero and the top 10 percent pay 70 percent of all federal income taxes according to IRS data. The host asked if that wasn’t “disparity”. Justin was nonplussed and replied that “a committee” was working on a position paper on the subject.
A week later Hannity gave “Monica” from the New York City protest ten minutes of air time during which she shrieked clichés and bumper sticker slogans. When told what percent of income taxes the wealthy pay, Monica claimed the data was “demographically flawed”. She could offer no concrete goals or specify what changes the “occupiers” were seeking. Monica decried the fact that corporations are “hoarding” trillions of dollars rather than hire people as though corporations exist to provide jobs whether or not those employees contribute anything of value.
“Grim Lady” was a “Wall Street occupier” to whom Hannity had spoken before. She claimed to have an Ivy League education. Upon further questioning by Hannity, Grim said she was working on a Master of Science degree at Columbia; owed $80 thousand in student loans; was in her mid-30s and had an eight-year-old daughter.
Grim said she had had several jobs and was now collecting unemployment compensation. Hannity asked her what her goals were when she got her degree. Grim replied that she wanted to be a “social activist” and seek “change”. She was participating in the occupation of Wall Street because she should neither be taxed on her unemployment compensation nor have to repay her student loans.
One spokesman for the occupiers who has emerged claimed that they were seeking “income equality.” No word if that concept should apply to star athletes (e.g. Tom Brady), entertainers (say, Snoop Dog), or celebrities (like the Kardasian sisters).
Congressman Jessie Jackson, Jr. has a solution to end the current recession. He wants to give each of the 15 million unemployed or “underemployed” Americans $40,000 –“some a little more, some a little less”- over the next year. Representative Jackson says his “stimulus bill” would cost “only” $600 billion. Where this money would come from is unspecified.
Jackson’s stimulus should fit in nicely with Justin, Monica and Grim’s plans.

* Have you noticed that President Obama is never accountable for anything?
He inherited an economic mess from President Bush. Then, after the 2010 election, it was those nasty Republicans in Congress who were blocking everything he wanted to do. Then our economic problems were due to the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan. Next, it was the flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. The European sovereign debt crisis is creating a “headwind” that prevents economic recovery.
Then back to the Republicans not passing Obama’s stimulus-lite jobs bill “at once”. No wait, Americans have become “soft”. Lately, the jobs bill is not being explained properly by the media.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally brought Obama’s jobs bill to a procedural vote and couldn’t get all Democrats and independent Joe Lieberman to vote in favor of it. Now they are attempting to break the bill up into separate votes to see what can get passed.
On the other hand, Obama praised the passage of a trade agreement with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that passed because most Republicans voted for it while almost all Democrats voted “nay”.

* A reader e-mailed me after the last Curmudgeon’s Corner calling my attention to the fact that Governor Chafee’s 14 year old sister Tribbie was killed in October 1968 when she was kicked in the chin while attempting to vault on a friend’s horse from the rear. This reader strongly suggested that I call the governor and his mother and apologize for the opening sentence in my op-ed.
In the 1960s I was completing my undergraduate degree at The University of Connecticut, wearing a uniform and carrying a rifle, and trying to start my career. I did not move to Rhode Island until 1974.
Therefore, I was unaware of the circumstances surrounding the governor’s sister’s untimely death forty-three years ago. If any readers were offended by drawing an inference that I was referring to a tragic accident of which I had no knowledge, I am sorry.

Richard August is a North Kingstown resident and a regular contributor to the Standard Times. His opinions are his own. He can be reached at

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