The Baby and the Bathwater
©2011 Ross Williams
While the Occupy Wall Street movement has no official set of demands, and only a rudimentary list of inarticulate, conspiratorial grievances, one among them has created a list of thirteen “desires”, let’s say, and posted it on the Occupy Wall Street web site. They are sternly noted as NOT OFFICIAL. Thank god. I guess.
Those demands are listed here, with commentary. Please hold all laughter until the end.
Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
A “living wage” has no necessary connection with trade, tariffs, or national sovereignty and commerce; it has a circumstantial connection with US trade [etc] because the US wage scale is grossly out of synch with the rest of the planet. If the rest of the planet does something one way, and we do it another, and people who complain insist on calling one of those ways “wrong” ... then guess which one is wrong? That’s right: the oddball. And we’re the oddball.
If there is a market in the US for “cheap” goods, and we don’t want them from other nations, then we should make them ourselves. A $20/hr minimum wage won’t allow that to happen, however, though it will have the effect of nearly tripling my effective hourly salary. If my salary doesn’t triple, it will cause me to quit my job as the pain-in-the-ass bureaucratic rat maze it is for a job sweeping floors. If I can sweep floors and not have to put up with the officious idiots I work for and the ass holes on the street who believe they can do my job better than I can without the education, experience and knowledge needed to do it, and still earn only slightly less, then I’m going to do it. Much of what I’m being paid to do is to tolerate the bullshit from the idiot beancounters as well as the brainless ass holes who believe that because they saw Saving Private Ryan twice they know all about wars.
The most likely result from such a vacuous suggestion being enacted, though, is an inflationary spiral getting a jump-start, massive layoffs of low-skill and no-skill hourly employees, and a whole fleet of Tom Joad heading off to the next California, which I believe will be in Mexico or Brazil. Good riddance. A “living wage” is a luxury afforded upon those with an acquired skill set, with ambition and stamina ... or luck. And since luck is the result of having a skill set, ambition and stamina and perseverance, the living wage is not something that can be given away just for the asking. Or, in this case, the petulant demanding.
But it’s nice to hear someone finally admitting that the US has among the tightest environmental requirements on the planet and that it adds cost to the price of American goods, which hurts our competitiveness in the world market. I’ve been saying that for decades, and idiot leftists only fake a cough and ask me how many pelicans I’ve doused with oil this week.
Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.
Once again, health insurance does what it does because government tells it to. Does it deny coverage? continually. So does every government health system ever devised. You won’t even be eliminating the middleman here; you’re just replacing it ... with government ... which, of all the possible middlemen you could name, is the most inefficient and corruptible. Devolution is devolution.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
We’ve gone through this. If a person can “live” by being a janitor the same as he can live by being an educated, experienced, knowledgeable engineer or technician who has to put up with idiots and ass holes, then he’s going to do that which is the least trouble to him. We’ll have an overnight excess of janitors and a sudden loss of everything else. ...including the doctors your Magical Healthcare System needs who have to put up with either the insurance companies or government regulators telling them how to practice medicine. To date, the doctors have put up with it because they got paid more. Significantly more. Guess how long that will last?
What is the number one reason that nations with socialized medicine have fewer doctors per capita? They don’t get paid as well, yes. If they’re any good, they’ve been coming to the US to practice.
Demand four: Free college education.
Nothing is free. Somebody’s paying for it. And on the off-chance that this comes to pass, there’s nothing to distinguish one college grad from another, and no more jobs will suddenly open up to him for having the education. We’re back to square one, if not less, since it’s now four to six years later in the graduate’s life and still no job. That’s four to six years of not funding one’s own retirement plan, paying equity into a home, saving up for the kids college ...
Demand five: 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.
The energy demand cannot be met by alternatives, unless you’re going to include nuclear power in that. And even then, very little is as energy-efficient as fossils. Try to wind-power your car to work, sometime. Just beware of the overpasses; they’re murder on masts under full sail.
Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.
This is all swell, but we’ve just created an inflationary spiral by increasing the cost of no-skill labor by 300%; a trillion dollars won’t buy what it used to, and it can’t be spent all at once anyway, so the value of the infrastructure improvements will be significantly less. Your trillion dollars will be around 250 billion before long, and less than 100 billion soon after.
And that’s not considering the mootness of the infrastructure maintenance due to the lack of use it will get when we eliminate fossil fuels.
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.
Same thing. But here we have a leg up. Since we’ve decertified fossil fuels, decommissioned nuclear power, and left ourselves with only wind mills, solar collectors and wood-burning stoves, we’ve rendered ourselves into a pre-industrial economy virtually overnight thus being incapable of maintaining the artificial condition of the rivers and wetlands, and they will self-correct in rather short order and most of your demand will be taken care of by Mother Nature overpowering the ability of mankind, absent fossil fuels, to maintain its infrastructure.
The forests, on the other hand ... alas. One of the only sources of energy left to us is wood fires, and so we may as well say goodbye to the American Forest, which is larger today than it was when Columbus opened up the rape of the New World. [And I dearly hope RAINN doesn’t wet their panties about that description].
Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.
We don’t need one; we do, though, need to properly enforce what we have. No quotas or set-asides. Equal rights doesn’t justify preference, from superior position, or a history of inferior treatment, either one. Divorce courts handing custody to women in 95% of all cases is already systemic abuse of our principles.
Other parts of the world could use one though. Good luck foisting it on them. Most places that need it would consider this demand to be cultural imperialism.
Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.
Wait a minute...
Weren’t we just closing down the borders at the top of this list to protect domestic goods and domestic workers? [Ans: yes we were].
Well, you can’t have it both ways. Either people will move here because we have a $20/hr minimum wage ... where they can’t find a job because there isn’t a skill/bullshit-tolerance multiplier for non-janitorial positions, or they’ll move here to deliberately undercut – under the table – the going wage for the types of jobs they can do, which leaves us in the same position we’re in currently except in an inflationary spiral ... which helps no one.
Or ... we will be moving there and taking our skills with us where we will be rewarded for having them by being paid according to the skill/bullshit-tolerance multiplier that goes with every decent job in the world, except for those parts of the world that have implemented this inane demand.
In either event, you’re more or less destroying the US economy and promoting the economies of the rest of the world, particularly in the less-industrialized nations. That’s taking even the typical American Neophyte self-loathing a bit far.
Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.
Paper ballots are at least two, and probably three or four, steps backward in the evolutionary scale of free elections. Paper ballots have been falsified starting on the day they were invented. It is a cottage industry in every banana republic in the world, where the “independent” and “party observers” which certify the counts are either corrupt or blackmailed into complicity. Or pea-brained ninnies like Jimmy Carter.
There’s a reason that much of the world needs observers and we don’t. Let’s not go there.
Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.
You’ve just outlawed all money making it worthless, and nullified the previous demands for trillion dollar spendings, free education, free healthcare, $20 minimum wage, a “living wage”, and rendered pointless the call for tariffs for domestic goods protection. There’s nothing to protect it from without money in the equation.
Money is based on a system of valuation, and among the values possible to have is a negative value, otherwise known as “debt”. Without a negative value, there is no positive value; there is simply stuff. Hence, money is useless. But since we still have stuff, we’re back to a barter system. Bartering is only effective face to face, so we’ve essentially retribalized at the stroke of a pen. Don’t expect to trade farther than you can carry your goods – and you will be carrying them since there’s no fossil fuel for your car or for the power plant that charges your batteries.
A goat is worth a bushel basket of flour.
Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.
Well, there’s certainly no point to them now, is there? There’s no money. Debt doesn’t exist, and about the only thing they’d be able to track is whether or not a person had traded the goat for the basket of wheat flour as he promised he would around the village campfire two nights ago.
Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.
What would unionizing accomplish at this point? Free goats? Free flour?
Nothing continues to be free.
The author of these insipid and meandering tantrums closes his dreck with the following conclusion:
These demands will create so many jobs it will be
completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.
And that is true. Finally, something he said is accurate. Everyone will be employed almost instantly. ... as subsistence farmers. The other options are to die from starvation, or become a passing ruffian who steals what he wants but never stays in one place long enough for vigilantes to string him up.
Borders will be open because they will be erased, leaving nary a dashed line on a map, not that they could be protected anyway since a central government more than a day’s walk from the frontier would give way to the first band of ruffians who could impose forcible control. The first drought, flood, blizzard or hurricane would create mass migrations ... which would be seen as a huge throng of passing ruffians coming in and thus cause territorial wars ... which would cause further migrations and further wars and, oh! what a thrilling prospect it shall be.
Let’s reinvent the Civilizational Wheel starting with self-imposed barbarism.