The Week That Was: Starve the beast, feed the rich?

Occupy Oakland protesters stand in front of a Wells Fargo bank in Oakland.

“How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich,”, Nov. 9.

As Americans gather en masse to protest a dizzying array of social concerns, many have asked, “Why?” “Why not,” these people wonder, “sort this out as gentlemen — in the voting booth?” And, reasonably:?“What possible good can come of huddling in the cold, banging those dang drums?” (Opposition to OWS, it seems, is strictly anti-percussionist.)

Good questions, and important ones. Let’s take a second to investigate what may have led thousands of individuals to sacrifice their comforts in service of this uncertain movement.

This week Rolling Stone reported on how Republican politicians have over the past 40 years transferred wealth from the lower classes up to the richest .01 percent via an unceasing policy of regressive tax cuts. One frightening conservative strategy, known as “Starve the Beast,” inspires lawmakers to bankrupt the Treasury as a means of forcing cuts to otherwise-untouchable entitlement programs such as Social Security. (Get ready.)

Of course, this is only half the problem, for in this great nation we have been blessed with two political parties. Angry citizens have only one possible recourse against GOP intransigence — which makes the Democrat Party, to borrow a phrase from?Churchill, the worst form of government except all the others. Hardly inspirational.

When people feel powerless — when they feel that no choice is a good choice, that the political system is actively working against their interests — people take to the streets. Living closely with other frustrated humans can help warm the body and soul.

Oh, and the drums? They just pass the time.


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