Occupy Wall Street's Declaration of Independence
There have been complaints that the Occupy Movement has no clearcut agenda. I think it has one. In fact, I've just written it. I've set it in the tone of the Declaration of Independence.
A DECLARATION BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MIDDLE CLASS, THE POOR, AND THE HOMELESS
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for the economically weaker to alter the bonds which have connected them with the economically stronger, and to assume a separate and equal status to which the laws of nature entitle them, a decent respect for the opinion of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to this alteration. Our grievances do not concern a foreign prince but a minority of our fellow citizens.
For this reason, let the facts be submitted to the candid world.
They have so corrupted the political dialog that even the words “government” and “tax” have only negative connotations.
They have gone to such extremes that they view even the eradication of a tax loophole as a new tax.
They have opposed the establishment of the bureau whose only purpose is to protect the middle class, the poor, and the homeless from exploitation.
They have shaped the tax code so that wealth moves from the bottom to the top of the economic ladder. Consequently, the total demand for goods and services has been so reduced that we cannot maintain the equilibrium of a robust economy.
They have not distinguished between good taxes and bad taxes, and have gone so far as to sign a pledge not to vote for any tax.
They have opposed the public financing of candidates to high office.
They have corrupted elections by allowing corporations and wealthy donors to make arbitrarily large donations and to do so in secrecy.
They have allowed our infrastructure to decay while spending lavishly on a military budget larger than the rest of the world’s combined.
They have supported legislation to make abortion illegal, as if this country had not already suffered the consequence of such a prohibition.
They have opposed single payer government-sponsored health care as socialistic.
They have diverted the financial sector from supporting improvements in our lives to the invention of instruments with no discernible benefit to the community.
In every stage of these actions we have sought redress by the political process, but our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. We have appealed to their sense of justice and magnanimity, to the belief that we form a single community. They have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity.
We, therefore, the victims of an ideology that views government as if it were an obstacle imposed by a foreign despot rather than as an instrument through which we the people can enhance our lives, solemnly declare that we will unite to achieve a better world for the present inhabitants of this nation and for their descendents.
We will seek to curtail the role of money in elections and in legislation. We will seek a tax code that no longer facilitates the movement of the nation’s accumulated wealth to a small minority but instead helps sustain a balanced economy. We will cultivate and support candidates for office who have consistently demonstrated support for our agenda. We will seek a universal health care system as good as that enjoyed by members of Congress.
For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the belief that justice will triumph, we mutually pledge to work toward achieving these goals peacefully and with deliberate haste.