Tomorrow marks the four year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. It was imperfect and messy and it changed the discourse of the country.
Occupy was an important movement and it shows those who complain about how the current generation isn't doing anything are wrong. The current generation is more selfless and caring than any Boomer who only protested for what benefited them personally.
There were a few who worked on civil rights, however, the majority of them remained silent. However, when they might get drafted, they were out in the streets. After that, where were they for George McGovern? Where were they when Lewis Powell was put on the Supreme Court? Where were they when Ronald Reagan betrayed America? Where were they when Reagan killed the fairness doctrine? Where were they when George H. W. Bush invaded Iraq? Where were you when Bill Clinton "changed welfare as we knew it?"
You weren't there! You had yours, so what do you care? Now your children and grandchildren have to clean up your mess. Thanks to your greed, you destroyed the already fracturing Roosevelt coalition in the `60s and did nothing to rebuild it.
and Occupy Wall Street began with self interest. However, the answers they are putting out is selfless. They are the voice of this generation. And a small corner of both is this idea from Scott Santens: “Because you have no economic rights, your other rights are infringed.”
Now, before I move on, let me be clear, dealing with poverty does not fix institutional racism. In poverty and economic rights in the Venn Diagram of economic justice and racial justice there is overlap. However, economic rights alone cannot end systemic racism. Anyone who uses economic justice as a bludgeon to those who say #BlackLivesMatter
is doing it wrong.
Now unlike some people in movements, Scott Santens has a solution to this problem. In fact, it's an idea that predates this country and was proposed by the man whose writing inspired a revolution. Thomas Payne suggested the idea of the guaranteed basic income and Scott Santens is continuing this idea.
The idea was last in vogue in the `70s, promoted by such people as Richard Nixon, Milton Friedman, F. A. Heyak but soon was forgotten as Reagan came to power. Reagan was a reverse Robin Hood. He, as well as both Bushes, slowly built a government that takes money from the poor and gives it to the rich.
We have no guaranteed basic income in this nation. Because of that we are stifling innovation and people are forced to work multiple jobs to survive. Occupy Wall Street was the voice of discontent in this nation and it gave rise to a generation of thinkers like Scott Santens, Jesse LaGrecca, Jesse A. Myerson, Richard Wolff who have given us more selfless answers then those from the `60s. They promote ideas of lifting one another up, democracy and solidarity.
They have become the #FightFor15
, the Dreamers, and #BlackLivesMatter
as well as many more organizations. We have the base for a new New Deal coalition, no more of this selfish libertarian garbage that the boomers have laid at our feet. Let us remember the occupiers, and their message of income inequality!
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