Class warfare is just what the doctor ordered


A sign from the Occupy Albuquerque movement (Courtesy photo)

Is Occupy Wall Street a demonstration, a movement, or a transformative moment? Some believe it’s merely an irritant that will be suppressed in the coming weeks. I think it’s something much more.

Time is short. The challenges are huge. And our elected officials in D.C. have failed us. The 99 percent (as the Occupy Wall Street protesters are calling themselves) has taken to the streets now to demand big changes.

Is this a demonstration, a movement, or a transformative moment? Some believe it’s merely an irritant that will be suppressed in the coming weeks. I think it’s something much more.

When a few people showed up on Sept. 17 in New York City’s Financial District for a sit-in, the mainstream media didn’t take notice. If you weren’t plugged into social media and traveling in those circles, you probably didn’t hear the protesters’ complaints.

When more than 700 people were later arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, and the transit union workers joined them, the media could no longer ignore the story. The OWS protesters have now been camped out in Zuccotti Park nearly a month and their numbers are growing. Religious leaders, major labor unions, students, veterans, the old and young, are all self-identifying with OWS.

More than 100 cities in the United States have joined and there is a growing worldwide OWS movement too. Check out Adelaide, Australia; Cork, Ireland; and Cologne, Germany, among others. Closer to home, OWS supporters can be found in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Taos, and Farmington. The list grows daily.

The connections that have brought our country to its knees

Why this outrage? The “lost decade” of the Bush era saw all of us, except the very wealthy, get poorer and poorer. From 2000 to 2010, the average middle-class American family saw its income drop 7 percent; poor families’ income dropped 12 percent, and Latinos and African-Americans were especially hard hit. Every statistic and indicator points in the wrong direction, whether it’s home foreclosures, unemployment, education and tuition costs, health care… and the list marches on. At the same time, the top 1 percent of earners has reaped 65 percent of all income growth in America during this decade.

Lucero being arrested in front of the White House in August (Courtesy photo)

This disparity between the haves and have-nots (the rest of the 99 percent of us) is enough to make most people angry. Nobel Laureate and economist Joseph Stiglitz notes the top 1 percent of Americans own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. The top 1 percent now take home 24 percent of national income. In 1976, they took just 9 percent. They are taking home more of the nation’s income than any other time since the 1920s.

Is this class warfare? People seem skittish about calling it that, but I believe class warfare is just what the doctor ordered. The corporate elites have bought and paid for our elections. Both political parties must do their bidding if they want to be re-elected. The cards are all stacked in favor of the 1 percent.

The 99 percent are now beginning to see the important connections that have brought our country to its knees. What did Steve Jobs say – that creativity is simply connecting things? We are now witnessing the creative energy of hundreds, thousands, soon-to-be millions of people who have connected the dots and don’t like what they see.

I was attracted to OWS for one simple reason – climate change. There is scientific consensus and international consensus that we ignore at our own peril the growing threat posed by our CO2 emissions. Our government’s failure to meaningfully address climate change is a national embarrassment, and time is running out.

The 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline planned from Alberta, Canada to the oil refineries on the Gulf coast is President Obama’s opportunity to make good on a campaign promise. “Let’s be the generation that finally frees America from the tyranny of oil (presidential candidate Obama, Feb. 10, 2007).”

I felt strongly enough about our need to aggressively curtail CO2 emissions that I participated in the Tar Sands civil disobedience action in D.C. in August and was arrested in front of the White House along with more than 1,200 other people. I’ll be returning to the White House on Nov. 6 to join thousands of people urging Obama to deny a permit for this pipeline.

The OWS demands

The OWS demonstration/movement/transformation has been criticized for its lack of leadership, apparent lack of goals, lack of clarity in messaging, even its lack of providing sanitary facilities for the protesters! I see all of these “deficiencies” as its strength, and a signal that the OWS tent is large enough to encompass the entire 99 percent.


During the past week, I’ve watched the OWS folks in Albuquerque and believe that the democratic, consensus-based process is probably as important, if not more so, than the tangible goals that have been expressed in New York and elsewhere. The OWS folks in Albuquerque have been camped out at UNM for nearly two weeks and have ensured that everyone who attends the daily assembly (where decision-making occurs) is heard and all opinions are valued. You can find them on Facebook.

What are their demands?

  1. A “progressive” tax that doesn’t hurt the poor; close loopholes; reform corporate offshore taxation
  2. End the Federal Reserve.
  3. Campaign finance reform
  4. Overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (corporate personhood, etc.).
  5. Prosecute corporate fraud (including those who have gotten away with it).
  6. ‎Abolish the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
  7. Implement financial speculation fees on large stock trades.
  8. Regulate/reform conflict of interest between government and business and SEC regulators.
  9. End all U.S. wars and illegal combat operations.
  10. Prosecute U.S. war criminals.
  11. Repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999); re-instate all provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act.
  12. Financial reform package, including forgiving of student loans, federal oversight/regulation of hedge funds and derivatives, and not allowing mortgages to be deemed commodities
  13. Social Security will never be privatized or dismantled.
  14. Companies will not outsource jobs and services that can be performed by Americans if their jobs and services serve American markets.
  15. Bridge the CEO-employee salary gap by lowering CEO earnings.
  16. Make it illegal to commodify “life” or any resource necessary for the public good (philosophy of The Commons). Get Monsanto out of our food supply.
  17. Election reforms to allow third parties better access
  18. Department of Justice reforms to uphold civil rights in all states
  19. Further health-care reforms
  20. Implement green-energy alternatives and hasten the phasing-out of fossil fuels.

A bridge between OWS and the Tea Party?

Another sign from the Occupy Albuquerque movement (Courtesy photo)

Interestingly, a self-identified Tea Party member, proudly wearing her Ron Paul Tea Party T-shirt, has participated in the Albuquerque OWS Assembly. She said she wanted to “bring down the Federal Reserve” and agreed with much of what she was hearing from others at the assembly.

Can there be a bridge between the OWS and Tea Party? Perhaps not, because I fear the Tea Party movement has been co-opted by the Koch Brothers. Perhaps unwittingly, many in the Tea Party are now espousing the views and agendas of the 1 percent. I hope the OWS is never co-opted, diluted or manipulated into accepting anything less than a new era in our nation’s democracy.

Lora Lucero is a planner, attorney and long-time Albuquerque activist. She started a community garden (The Plot Thickens) and a book club (The New Economy Book Club). She has three sons and a granddaughter for whom she finds the Occupy Wall Street Movement a very hopeful sign.

30 thoughts on “Class warfare is just what the doctor ordered

  1. Very well said MJM, “Occupy Spaceport” if you really want to make a difference kids, go for it!

  2. Sir Richard Branson is down at the Space Port America..talking it up. He says about December of next year he may be able to take off for space. He said he had 500 folks willing to cough up $200k to take the flight. Now since he is a member of the 1% and his passengers are too do you think you can move your group up the road to the Spaceport to complain about both the stupidity of the public sector spending on such a project and protest the rich individuals that will be taking off out of the Spaceport? Think of it as killing two birds with a single stone. Get the rich guy and stupid government all at once. Oh, by the way take water and sun screen…Lots of room on that runway for all your sleeping bags. Can you invite a few of the folks from NYC to join you? P.S. Watch out for snakes and other wild life…

  3. durablebrad. you seem to be in a bit of a snit voer this subject….

    I invite you to read the NY Times article dated Oct 13,2011 “Privately Owned Park Open to the Public May Make its Own Rules”…In this article, there is a detailed analysis of the ownerhip of the park, and the fact that the management company Brookfield Properties may impose “reasonalbe” rules regarding behavior. Recently the company posted rules regarding camping, lying on benches..etc. But the rules have not been enforced. Perhaps by chooice. The brookfield stake holders may want another course of action. Should the OWS group not follow the reasonalbe rules the managment company may call the police…Its all in the article..outlined for you to review… by some local experts you might lear about how the process of land development in the area works.. Though not a big fan of the NY Times I think this article may be of help to it was to me.

    Again free speach is a good thing…Just don’t think you can violate the law, personal or private property rights.

  4. Sceptic,

    You should really do some more research:

    HSBC, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, and Deutsche Bank all used forged mortgage documents created by a susbidiary of LPS.

    Wells Fargo is a big part of the rampant foreclosure industry currently destroying the lives of Americans and undermining the value of affected properties adjacent to these subject homes. Our neighbors are being evicted from their homes by banks using forged documents in order to steal their property.

  5. Correction:

    Wells Fargo, as I understand did not invest significantly in mortgage backed securities.

    WF did, however, ORIGINATE subprime mortgages as a little googling revealed.

    Still, the politicians (both r and d ) who enabled things, the ratings agency s who rubber stamped bad loans,
    the lenders ( including WF ) who originated the loans, the unqualified who took the loans,
    the ‘Flip this House’ programs that televised the mania, the philosophy that all, including the poor,
    should buy houses, the the construction industry and local economies that benefited from the boom,
    and the press which failed to alert the public and the public are all to blame.

  6. Skeptic:

    That being said, in front of a nationally-owned bank is probably a better place to protest the actions of nationally-owned banks than the Albuquerque protests, which universally take place on the University campus… where most of us already agree with (and probably know far more about) their basic premise. At least in Las Cruces they’re having the moral courage to preach at someone other than the choir.

  7. durablebrad,

    I invite you take to take a look at wickopedia or some other objective source so that you can verify that this is private property. You know Disneyland is private property too. It is open to the public…but that is no excuse to take advantage of some one elses property rights! If you don’t agree with this might I suggest that perhaps you and other individuals that don’t respect private property rights provide their addresses so that disgruntled citizens can trespass on your propety.

  8. in front of the Wells-Fargo Bank

    This was an unfortunate choice for the OWS-ers.

    Well-Fargo was one of the banks that didn’t invest in sub-prime mortgages!

    And while Bank of America was culpable for questionable practices, they took on the bad
    mortgages of others because the fed asked them to in what the CEO saw as a patriotic duty.

    People are angry. I understand that, I was angry too three years ago when this was happening!

    But it doesn’t speak well for the movement not to know an understand these things that
    are well documented.

  9. Heath,

    I look forward to the chance of meeting you in front of the Wells-Fargo Bank at Telshore and Lohman tomorrow morning after 10 a.m. It’s an Occupy Las Cruces event… hope you got the memo. LOL.

  10. Lora Lucero,

    Oh, yeah!. Thank you for bringing this subject into the discussion on Heath’s site. I tried for two and one-half weeks to get him to pay attention. Congratulations for what you have done!

  11. artiofab my comments seem to have struck a nerve with you…You ask the questions..Here are the answers.

    Since I spent most of my career in the service industry (almost exclusively to people of means) I can say that they all have helped me along the way..

    Some more than others.

    I can also say that almost to a person they were amazingly generous to me and their employees.

    But also churches, universities, hospitals, the United Way and countless other non profit organizations.

    More importantly they taught me something about risk…and reward. Also about love for God , Country and Family. These people were mentors to many, pillars of the communities I lived.

    From your comments I guess the concept of risk and reward are two things you don’t understand very well yet. Perhaps you have had bad experiences in this economy and haven’t recovered…Who knows.

    Did these folks provide me with funds for mortgage payments…Yep….Health Care you bet….Retirement Plan 401-k..yep the sure did…

    Did I get fired or laid off a time or two yep…All part of the game called life.

    But about 25 years ago I decided to go out on my own…Worked hard…My wife too. Took risks..won more times than we lost…. My wife retired after we sold a business 12 years ago. Took care of the family, two generations parents and kids, volunteered in the community. I guess I could have done so too…but no instead I have helped to fund a handful of businesses. Some made it some did not. Never asked for nor got a dime from the government.

    So I hope that answwers your question… I hope you are more blessed than I cause I think I am one lucky guy…

    As for Ms. Warren. She is right about one thing.. You need good employees to make the world go round and make organizations successful. But someone has to take the risk..and there should be no guarantee of success.

  12. As a member of the 99% working for the 1% I can tell you I am grateful that they want to keep helping me get up to the top of the hill.

    MJM, how many individuals in the 1% have helped you get up to the top of the hill? Obviously the answer is 0, since you’re not at the top of the hill, so let’s be more specific.

    How many individuals in the 1% have you worked for which paid you the wage you deserved to be paid?

    How many individuals in the 1% have helped you make your mortgage payments?

    How many individuals in the 1% have helped you afford the health care you need?

    How many individuals in the 1% have put food on your table or water in your pipes?

    I respect that they have taken the risk to make their money…and it belongs to them..

    I hate to quote Elizabeth Warren here, so I will try my best not to. Taking a risk and making money are not things that happen in a vacuum. Entrepreneurs do not think up products and then wake up the next morning with a paycheck in the mail. They have to get people to make their product, they have to get people to transport their product, they have to get people to buy their product, and all of these activities only happen because of federal laws (i.e. trade agreements with other countries), federal public works (i.e. highways), and federal regulations (i.e. consumer health inspections).

  13. Ms. Lucero..I forgot one last question regarding class warfare.
    Do you support OWS in their attempt to resist NYPD and the private land owner property they are squatting on (both figuratively and literally apparently) in removing them from said property to clean up the mess they have left behind? In other words do you support private property rights Ms. Lucero? What would prevent a similar action from occuring to any other private property owner..both you and I included? A response would be most appreciated.

  14. Ms. Lucero represents the position….. that in my opinion has the stated objective….If you can’t be part of the solution there is good money in prolonging the problem…

    I have asked this question before of another progressive with no response back…So let me ask you Ms. Lucero…

    Keeping things local now..Do you think the 1/2 of 1% of NM taxpayers that fit into this catagory of RICH can solve any major problems? How?

    If you penalize risk takers how are we supposed to create jobs?

    Have you ever taken a course in business or economics?

    Have you ever made a pay roll?

    Have you ever worked in the private sector?

    As a member of the 99% working for the 1% I can tell you I am greatful that they want to keep helping me get up to the top of the hill . I respect that they have taken the risk to make their money…and it belongs to them..

    The OWS movement does not seem to respect property rights..for anyone..Why one of their members felt it necessary to relive themsleves on a police car! Now that shows respect for the public.and the police….not. They might best be called the OTL group..Out To Lunch.

    If you don’t like a bank go set up your own credit union….
    No one is mandatng that you invest in stock or bonds…

    Though not a member of the Tea Party, I see no association between the two groups.

  15. I notice Ms. Lucero is being motivated for much of this by her concern about anthropogenic climate change, one of my favorite subjects I love to lecture about. Since she is not a scientist, I shan’t get into the scientific details and data sets, but her focusing her concern here in the U.S. is not as efficient as focusing it where the real CO2 issues are growing, if you believe human CO2 is a problem (I don’t but never mind, we shall press on). She should be aware of the EIA and IEA data that shows where the world is going wrt human CO2 emissions.

    First of all, we all know China long ago surpassed the US as the largest CO2 emitter. The data show that China’s CO2 emiisions grew at a rate of over 8% from 2007-2008, India grew at 9%, Africa, the Midlle East, and Latin America all grew by 2% to 7%, while the US declined by almost 5%. Then in the 2008-2009 period, China grew at 13%, India at 9%, while the US declined again, by 7% this time. The 2009-2010 period data is incomplete, but this trend of China and India and the developing world far outpacing the US in CO2 emissions growth is continuing. The other interesting thing about the actual CO2 data, is that the much touted EU “Kyoto” rules has lead to decreases in CO2 in Europe alright, but much smaller declines than the US has seen. by a factor of two (2.5% vs. 4.8%, etc.). So Ms. Lucero, perhaps if you are so concerned about climate change driven by the evil human CO2 molecules, you and the OWS group should pack-up and move to places where your protests will have real, effective impacts, if successful.

  16. The Occupy Wall Street protest is a national movement of average people who are tired of corporate America and Wall Street defining, controlling and ruining our lives.

    Money controls everything: politics, your life, your health, where you live, how you live and so on. Money binds the corporate elite to one another with an agenda to change “government of the people” to government of the wealthy. Big money talks with pay-to-play, bribes, profit hoarding, union busting, influence peddling, campaign financing and vote buying.

    Americans are fed up with an inept, corrupt and useless Congress. We’re frustrated that the President has his hands tied and can’t seem to budge public policy. We are angry as hell about the growing income gap between the wealthy and middle America. And with a failing economy and high unemployment, we cringe that our so-called leaders are unable to agree on solutions.

    The practice or institution of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy has to change. Whether or not the Occupy Wall Street protest is defined, for sure it is both timely and appropriate, and supporters demand solutions, answers and justice.

  17. What is amazing is how long it’s taken for people to wake up. Probably too late though. We have a stacked federal judiciary full of right-wingers, a Supreme Court that could care less about the law much less about preserving our democracy, a Republican right that is so far outside the mainstream as to alter the definition of insanity, and a Democratic party so corrupt and spineless as to be totally worthless to anyone anymore. But hey…don’t worry, be happy.

  18. DPW, it’s good you are able to self-identify as part of the 99% of US citizens who own 65% of the wealth of the country. To be more specific, unless you are in the 10% of richest Americans, you have access to 27% of the wealth of the country. …to be more even more specific, unless you are in the 20% of richest Americans, you have access to 15% of the wealth of the country.

    80% of Americans (which, I think, covers most people here) are in possession of 15% of the wealth in the country, yet this 80% of Americans is being asked, consistently, to become more austere.

    OWS, at its heart, is asking for equivalent austerity for all 100% of Americans. Employees and employers, capital and labour, “job creators” and people working 3 jobs a day, all have to treated fairly by the powers that be in order to get upward mobility back in place in this country.

    and about 49% or 50% of people don’t pay any taxes at all
    Depending on one’s income, arguably. The bottom 50% of Americans pay about 3% of income taxes, and probably a similar percentage of non-income taxes, such as sales taxes and Social Security.

    The OWS people are probably are in the lower bracket
    Firstly, if this was true, so what? Does making less than $33,000/yr make one not have the right to complain?
    Secondly, there’s been extremely little polling of individuals participating in OWS, I think New York Magazine might have the only poll, and that’s of a small subsample (100 individuals). No question was asked about income so any statements about the wealth (or lack thereof) of OWS participants is not based on any research, unless more research has been done.

  19. Well said Skeptic, and I think all should realize what the body of all these “demands” works out to be in very simple terms: “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need”. A very time-honored principle of the left wing. In other words, no one should have very much more than anyone else, since that is “unfair”, as we are “all in this together”, and “we are our brother’s keeper”, etc. We should all be “united” by sameness and mediocrity, with no one standing out. All my years living in a socialist country, one phrase always symbolized what people boiled it all down to: “Tall trees get chopped down”, in their native language of course. Many who lived there were not happy with that circumstance, and that is because they could see and experience that shining example on the hill, us.

  20. A “progressive” tax that doesn’t hurt the poor – we have a progressive income tax and the poor even get Earned Income Tax Credit already.

    End the Federal Reserve. – and what? have politicized Congress decide monetary policy? No! This a a
    horrible, ill informed, dangerous idea! The Fed acts in accordance with its legal mandate and has done a good job.
    The Fed did do a poor job of oversight during the meltdown, but guess what? Do did everyone else, including
    presidents, congress, the SEC, Fannie and Freddie, the mortgage lenders, the banks, the mortgage borrowers, the
    press, and you and I. The Fed did not cause the crisis, and once the crisis hit, moved swiftly to do the right things (lower
    interest rates and increase liquidity). The Fed is at least somewhat independent. If one abolishes the Fed, those same
    powers then reside with the Congress or President who will do things for their own political advantage and things
    will get really screwed up.

    Campaign finance reform – Sure. Why not. But I am old enough to recall that campaign finance has been
    continually reformed for decades. Campaign finances are spent on advertising. If we had a rational voting base,
    candidates wouldn’t raise so much money for advertising because sound byte emotional appeals wouldn’t be effective.

    Overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (corporate personhood, etc.). You do realize
    the meaning of the word corporate comes from corpus meaning embodiment? You do realize how this came to be?
    Companies didn’t pay taxes, so the Supreme Court long ago ruled companies to be the embodiment of persons so that
    they could be taxed. Citizen’s United ddn’t have anything to do with the meltdown or poor economy, and probably
    doesn’t matter about elections either. Obama’s largest categorical contributions came from Goldman Sachs. But that
    was before CU and so came from individual contributions (subject to limits) by individual Goldman employees.

    Prosecute corporate fraud (including those who have gotten away with it).Part of the reason Congress
    hasn’t done much about this is that they made most of the bad things that happened legal by GLB and the CFTMA.

    ‎Abolish the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

    Implement financial speculation fees on large stock trades. Would that include mutual fund trading that
    holds people’s 401ks and other retirement accounts? No.

    Regulate/reform conflict of interest between government and business and SEC regulators. Sure.

    End all U.S. wars and illegal combat operations. Looks like the budget constraints are ending them already.
    Let’s hope opportunistic opponents don’t decide to take advantage of American weakness and perpetrate war here.
    But history is not kind in that regard.

    Prosecute U.S. war criminals Yes.

    Repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – Glad to see someone pick up a point I have made for four years now.

    Financial reform package, including forgiving of student loans, federal oversight/regulation of hedge funds and
    derivatives, and not allowing mortgages to be deemed commodities
    Yes and no. College, and the high costs that
    require the student loans, is a racket. But somebody, mostly the taxpayers, are on the hook for those college loans if
    they are ‘forgiven’. Lets renegotiate the terms of the student loans ( to reflect today’s lower interest rates ), but debts still
    need to be paid. Yes, derivatives need to be regulated ( add repeal of the ‘Commodities Futures Trading Modernization
    Act’ to your list ). No – mortgages -are- commodities they just need to be properly regulated and valued. The bundling of
    mortgages didn’t cause the problem but hiding bad mortgages in the bundle did.

    Social Security will never be privatized or dismantled. Fine as long as we also -slowly- raise the full
    retirement age to 70 and the ‘early’ retirement age to 63 to adjust for today’s aging society. This is fair. We cannot over
    burden the relatively fewer working young to pay for the growing ranks of retirees.

    Companies will not outsource jobs and services that can be performed by Americans if their jobs and services
    serve American markets.

    Bridge the CEO-employee salary gap by lowering CEO earnings.There are some shameful and ignorant
    choices the good ole’ boy networks reward CEOs. But why should we care what CEOs get paid? I don’t know what
    Steve Jobs was getting, but as far as value to the company goes, he was probably underpaid. If it was up to me, I would
    have all the incentives for CEOs be for long term company performance. But this is not for governments to decide in a
    free society.

    Make it illegal to commodify “life” or any resource necessary for the public good (philosophy of The Commons).
    Get Monsanto out of our food supply.
    Monsanto is not why unemployment is 9.2%, the slow recovery from a
    financial crisis is.

    Election reforms to allow third parties better access Sure, why not.

    Department of Justice reforms to uphold civil rights in all states

    Further health-care reforms Right. You haven’t even mentioned Medicare, which is the real problem,
    greater than even this decade long recovery. If not resolved, Medicare will make us Greece fairly soon.
    It is not an exaggeration to say that if it is not changed, Medicare spending will end America – the debt is unsustainable.
    Putting Medicare spending at a sustainable fixed percentage of GDP would probably do more to fix the economy than
    any of the measures listed here.

    Implement green-energy alternatives and hasten the phasing-out of fossil fuels. No! CO2 IS green!
    (plant life on earth will perish without CO2 and vegetation grows better with higher levels of CO2).
    Artificial subsidies, regulations, or taxation of energy choices will increase energy costs, make US industries even LESS
    competitive and worsen the economy, making it even harder for young unemployed people!

  21. because I fear the Tea Party movement has been co-opted by the Koch Brothers

    Well I fear the boogeyman, so we have irrationality in common

  22. “Start with the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, who feared that a “moneyed aristocracy” would bind the young nation into a new set of chains. “And I sincerely believe…that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies,” Jefferson warned. He reserved special disdain for financial speculation, which he labeled “a species of gambling destructive of morality.”

    Several decades later, Andrew Jackson denounced the Second Bank of the United States as essentially a scam to enrich the wealthy at the workingman’s expense. He also helped sweep away property requirements for voting and office holding, rendering every white male the political equal of the “stock-jobbers, brokers, and gamblers” he despised.

    By the late 1800s, as massive financial corporations clustered in lower Manhattan, the populist animus found a new target: Wall Street. “A name more thoroughly detested is not to be found in the vocabulary of American politics,” thundered Georgia’s Tom Watson, vice-presidential nominee for the upstart “People’s Party” in 1896. “Here is Wall Street: we see the actual rulers of the Republic…. The Government itself lies prone in the dust with the iron heel of Wall Street upon its neck.””

  23. Oh how delicious, another unabashed left wing liberal speaking out for class warfare and dividing the country along class lines. I love it when clear distinctions are presented for people to see, then they can choose easily. Will all these demands above make it into law? Are you kidding? But I am happy the OWS groups are disrupting and irritating average citizens lives and livelyhoods, staging protests with nasty arrests and vandalism of public and private property. I also find it comical they want to occupy the UNM campus, what has UNM done wrong? They have always encouraged groups like this, perhaps that is why they occupy UNM, they can safely yell, shout, act out and get media atention without actually going anywhere or doing anything of substance. It’s like a big party for people with nothing better to do to contribute to society. As the poster says: “99% of the cookies are eaten by 1% of the monsters, Occupy Seasame Street”!

  24. My brother’s cynical comment is that the rich would say there is no class warfare, because they already won. (And he is a government worker in Washington DC.)

  25. First, they call themselves the 99%. I’m part of that group but am not one of the OWS’s. Second, lately I’ve heard the statistic a lot that the top 1% have 40% of the wealth. Let’s keep in mind that the top 1% pay nearly 40% of income taxes, the top 10% pay 70% of income taxes. and about 49% or 50% of people don’t pay any taxes at all. The OWS people are probably are in the lower bracket that don’t pay anything at all.