Occupy the Future: The End of the End of History

Gary Segura in the Boston Review:

Occupy-HOPE-poster-final-rnd2-V2-500x752The degree to which our political and legal systems favor the wealthy and powerful is breathtaking in scope and arrogance. Nowhere is this more nakedly obvious than in Republican tax policy. Claiming, falsely, that the current marginal tax rate is severely curtailing investment, the “fix” for this faux problem is yet more tax cuts for the highest income earners. If the economy is growing or shrinking, in good times or bad, the preferred policy is the same. In other words, Republican fiscal “policy” resembles an article of faith, since it is unresponsive to facts, in this case social and economic conditions.

Time and again, we see our representatives manufacturing fake crises and offering phony solutions whose principal purpose is to enhance the political and economic power of the wealthy. For example, the faux problem of vote fraud (there is none) gives rise to Voter ID laws whose intended effect is to drive down voter participation of the poor, working class, and minority voters. Falsely blaming deficits on “overcompensated” public employees is used to justify the phony solution of union-busting legislation, whose real purpose is to defund and weaken one of the few powerful interest groups favoring the working class and poor. The myth of Social Security insolvency demands that we privatize old-age pensions, which would funnel billions of dollars into the pockets of investment banks and brokerage houses.

The Occupy movement has provided a rare moment of clarity. It has drawn our attention to the very raw deal that our government is providing us, and given voice to the plight of working people.

More here.