First, I’m kind of liking this whole “Coffee Party”/”Occupy Wall Street” thing. I wrote a little about the nascent Coffee Party more than a year and a half ago, and thought it might be cute but not really practical. I’m still not sure where (if anywhere) it’s going, but at least it’s got people taking notice and talking. I’m less enamored of the Occupy Wall Street thing for reasons I’ll touch upon a little bit here; but, again, I like that ordinary people are becoming engaged in the process.
I think the sniping that the group or groups are unfocused are overblown. Environmentalists have been just saying “no” for years now, and who doesn’t love environmentalists. There will come a time – sooner rather than later I think – when they’ll have to put up or shut up, but I see nothing wrong with letting the pot simmer a little bit longer.
One idea I’ve had for awhile is that we need to not tax corporate earnings, and I have a couple of reasons for that. The biggest reason is that taxing corporate earnings is intellectually dishonest. Despite what the Supreme Court says, corporations aren’t human beings; they have a fiduciary duty to maximize share value to stockholders. When you tax corporate earnings the corporate managers simply adjust their prices to include expected taxes, and the consumers pay the tax. Consumers always pay the taxes. I think I’m probably missing something here, and I’d like for someone to tell me what that is.
The other thing is that having corporations pay taxes reinforces their argument for a seat at the table with politicians. This is America, and in America paying taxes means you have a right to representation (unless you’re an undocumented immigrant, but that’s another issue).
I am a little disappointed that I haven’t heard anything yet about developing alternative candidates for even local political offices. If there is an expectation that the status quo will be changed by either the Democratic or Republican Parties, then I believe a lot of people are wasting their time out there. If the Democratic and the Republican Parties are not in fact corporations, they do a very good imitation; and neither gives a rat’s ass for anyone who can’t write a seven-digit contribution. We need some well-intentioned independents at all levels of government to deny either Party a majority.