Socialism has had a pretty rough time of it over the last couple of decades. First there was the fall of the movement's international patron, the Soviet Union. Then there was the revelation that socialism/communism in full and unfettered boom was a murderous and ecological nightmare. Now we're watching the slow implosion of the social democracies in Western Europe that ignored the consequences of the "Gimme! Gimme!" method of budgeting for way too long. Yes, someone with his head screwed on straight would conclude that while some limited elements of socialism might help make a country healthier and happier, full out social democracy creates an prohibitively expensive mess that winds up hurting the people that it was most meant to help.
However, a philosophy's stupidity has never stood in the way of its popularity and there are plenty of people out there with their heads not screwed on straight. This is possibly the best way to explain the "Occupy Wall Street" movement currently attempting to effect change to the Western capitalist system.
Now on one hand, these folks can hardly be blamed for being outraged. After all, we live in a system in which corrupt individuals preach to the masses about restraint while shovelling as much money, influence and power towards themselves as possible. But enough about the Democrats. There are also CEO's who, despite leading their companies either to the edge of or clean over a cliff have walked away with handsome "bonuses" that are larger than most of us will earn in our lifetimes. It's understandable that the little guy who loses his job because some rich CEO screwed up and has to eat dog food while the guy responsible for the mess drives around in a gold-plated Cadillac to be bitter.
But here's the first problem, the slogan: We're the 99%. Well no, they're not. They're considerably less than that. Using statistics you can always create a 99% are not rich while 1% are rich scenario and then start preaching about class warfare. It's doesn't take much intelligence to do so and the members of this movement aren't that intelligent so they're quite capable of staking such a claim.
In fact the number of people who are "wealthy" according to the Obama Administration is far higher than 1% of the American populace. After all, for Obama you are a "millionaire" who deserves higher taxes start at an annual income of $250 000. Wow, American math. That's right, you've got a good middle class job, you've made some smart investments, you shop and provide stimulus to your economy every day and because you've been successful, well you need to be punished with higher taxes.
Except here's the second problem. Taxes are not what's wrong with the US economy, or anyone else's for that matter. The problem is spending. The problem is a culture that says "I want the government to take care of me and minimize my personal responsibility as much as possible". Europe has been in the advanced stages of that culture ever since the Americans paid for them to rebuild after World War 2 and under Obama's tutelage Americans are catching up. The old joke used to be that the difference between a Canadian and an American is that if you push an American over he gets up and smacks you hard but if you push a Canadian over he lays there and cries "Why isn't the government picking me up?". That distinction seems to be gone if the demands of the Wall Street occupiers are to be taken seriously. An end to debt? An end to tuition? Are these people for real? Do they have any concept of how an economy works?
Of course not. These are folks who still believe in global warming, after all. In such a culture there is no understanding of supply and demand, value and quantity and other basic economic principles. Like the Greeks who demands full social services, a 35 hour work week and a fully funded pension at age 55 but at the same time did everything they could to avoid paying taxes, these people think the government can magically soak that paper villain, "the rich" to raise all the money they can.
But the government can't, for one big reason. One is that the rich can move. If you create a hostile enough tax environment then the rich will move en masse to a better jurisdiction. What's more, if the rich move they take their money which has been funding those factories and jobs with them. Who suffers then? Not the rich.
Finally there's this to consider. According to some reports the OWS movement has amassed over $200 000 in donations and the amount rises hourly. Is this money going to help the poor? Finance a food bank or two? Or is it going to support people who would rather not work for a living but are having fun living in tents in Zucchini Park? And is that really what a world-changing movement does?
Do these people honestly want the system to change? It's doubtful since some of them must still have an IQ enough to realize their demands are unreasonable and ruinous to the economy. They want what their "Gimme! Gimme!" attitude tells them they are entitled to: free everything without having to engage in such ludicrous things as getting a basic job to help pay the bills. For the sake of everything sensible they should be rejected as retread from the 1960's who just never grew up.