My Occupy Wall Street Demands

“These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.”

— Lloyd J. Hart, precocious and Jefferson-esque author of Occupy Wall Street Demands

I recently discovered this list of demands from an Occupy Wall Street protestor. Here is a quick and dirty summary of his demands, along with some sarcastic commentary from yours truly.

“Restore” a “living wage” by imposing tariffs on all foreign goods and mandating a $20 an hour minimum wage. Sounds like a fantastic idea! The last time the United States imposed a blanket suite of tariffs unilaterally was when it passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930. The Act triggered a tariff war that historians believe worsened the Great Depression, which resulted in global trade declining from $5.3 billion in 1929 to $1.8 billion by 1932.

Nice work!

Additionally, raising the minimum wage will reduce the number of people firms can afford or be willing to hire, which will be a great boon for the unemployment rate (i.e., it will go up)!

Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. Yes, let’s do that! Who’s going to pay for it? Why the “rich”, of course!

Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment. I love this idea! Now I can stop working and collect a paycheck. Why not? It’s only “fair” that the “rich” can pay me to protest or sit on my ass.

I love it! Keep these brilliant ideas coming!

Free college education. Why not? I am sure most passionate professors would teach bright young minds for free. In fact, if everyone can now sit on their asses and collect a paycheck, there will likely be fewer people to teach — win-win for everyone!

End the fossil fuel economy and switch to alternative energy now. Great idea! Wind and solar can only meet peaking capacity needs, so the country may need to go off-line for a few years while we close all our coal and natural gas power plants, develop new base load sources of energy, and build more nuclear power plants. That of course, would mean that our country could not produce anything in the interim.

But hey, everyone will be getting a paycheck, so that shouldn’t matter, right?

Since we can also no longer use fossil fuels, we can support our transportation needs with ethanol, which already consumes 20% of our corn crop, but only meets 10-15% of our gasoline demand. But, if we use ALL of our corn, we can bring it to 50-75%! Of course, most cars cannot run on pure ethanol; nonetheless, it will be a valiant effort!

Better yet, we could use more acreage to plant even more corn to get it to 100%! Not that many people would starve, and if they did, they would deserve it, because they aren’t growing organic food in their “victory gardens.”

One trillion dollars in infrastructure spending now. I agree. As long as the “rich” pay for it, there is no limit to the amount of dollars we can spend on whatever we can imagine.

One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants. Yes. Another fantastic idea! Let’s close the only base load electricity source with sufficient scale we have left after we ban all fossil fuel electricity resources. I can’t wait to tabulate the fatality rates after the first cold and dark winter!

Racial and gender equal rights amendment. Another super idea! Because existing federal laws that prohibit racial and gender discrimination are simply not enough!

Open borders migration. What a fabulous idea! After all, if we are offering a free paycheck for anyone with a pulse, a few billion more immigrants shouldn’t be problem, right?

Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system. Yes, because America, after all, is a third world country.

Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. I completely agree, and we should start with the United States. The Republicans sure nailed it by threatening to default on the national debt. Sure the monetary system would collapse, but who cares? The Trilateral Commission was just using it to manipulate the masses, so we probably don’t need it anyway.

Who said barter wasn’t better?

Outlaw all credit reporting agencies. Yeah, having independent third parties reviewing corporate and individual credit is a terrible idea! We should just trust people, and by people, I mean corporations!

Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union. Why not? Everyone knows that union labor is more attractive because it costs a heck of a lot more!

Since Lloyd’s demands really got my creative juices flowing, I decided to add some to his already superb list.

Forthwith, I demand the following:

    • Prettier and more frequent rainbows
    • World peace
    • Cow burps will no longer be flammable
    • Everyone will be a winner
    • $1 trillion dollars for lollipops and unicorns
    • Dogs will talk
    • Pigs will fly
    • Hell will freeze over
    • Close will count in more than just horseshoes and hand grenades
    • Immortality
    • Fame! I want to live forever!
    • A personal butler for everyone!
    • A Red Sox-Cubs World Series
    • A Ferrari for everyone
    • More ninjas in public schools
    • No more Twinkees for Michael Moore
    • More pointless protests

The only downside to these demands is that they will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without colonization of Alpha Centauri.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
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24 Responses to My Occupy Wall Street Demands

  1. Chris Van Trump says:

    This list…

    This was a joke, right?

    I mean, there’s not actually someone out there who actually believes that this would be a good idea. Nobody could be that ignorant. They have to be trolling or something…

  2. Crimson Wife says:

    Seems like these protestors have a tenuous grasp on reality. MSNBC did a profile on a bunch of them, and one is quoted as saying, “there’s 2 percent of the wealth left for 98 percent of the population to scramble over, okay, and that’s what they’re doing, scrambling.”

    The actual figure is the top 1% controlling roughly 35% of the country’s privately held wealth. Yes, that’s still a large chunk but not remotely as bad as these yahoos would have everyone believe.

  3. Scott Erb says:

    I think you guys are cherry picking comments (the left did that to tea party folk too — remember the racist comments and the like they cherry picked) that stand out as wrong or silly, and missing the meaning of these protests. I think this is the start of a 21st century movement, operating on different grounds than 20th Century politics. If so, it will continue in some form and surprise pundits who can’t quite understand what it’s about. The fact is that with globalization there has been a shift of power from states and governments to large wealthy corporations (who also heavily influence governments — Obama governs not that much differently than Bush on those issues). This weakens democratic control and allows those with money/power have more capacity to run the show. The protests are about that anti-democratic trends, something political scientists have been noting for well over a decade (including back to the great late Susan Strange, hardly a radical, who noted the state system was faltering):

    The left likes mocking the tea party, the right now mocks Occupy Wall Street. Each side has done things that deserve mocking, but both reflect a new kind of politics that’s going to be with us for quite some time. From a poli-sci perspective it’s fascinating.

    • I never represented these demands as the embodiment of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Yet I do think they embody much of its spirit – a lefty sort of movement that is as much disgusted with the private sector as the tea party is with the government. However, I think this movement is younger and trends more toward anarchist impulses than the tea party. That said, these 13 particular demands were so socialistic and logically inconsistent, that I simply could not resist poking fun at them. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lloyd was a 12-year old kid.

      At the end of the day, these folks are just frustrated. That said, it is still unclear to me what they intend to accomplish.

    • Mr. Erb I think you are mistaken in your power shift analysis. Large wealthy corporations (and unions) and large wealthy governments have distributed power among themselves before globalization, which is a larger platform driven by new technical capabilities. I suspect that large international corporations seeking to optimize profits will provide a more peaceful world with resources distributed more adequately. Surely, it would be hard for them to do worse than states and governments. Unfortunately, democracy tends towards anarchy which is why the framers of our country chose republicanism.

      • Vern R. Kaine says:

        Not to sound like a lefty, but I think the track record of international corporations hasn’t been all that great. More peaceful? Perhaps, but I guess “better” is somewhat subjective. I don’t think what Monsanto has done in Mexico, for instance, has made Mexican farmers better off.

        • Rick the Right-Winger says:

          Now we’re responsible for Mexico’s problems, too?

        • Vern R. Kaine says:

          No, but I’m just saying that I don’t think anger/frustration against the big companies isn’t entirely unfounded. Sorry I don’t have a graph. 😉

        • The dividing line is whether the government and the corporation have joined forces to prevent wealth from its natural flow from holders of lots of wealth to holders of less wealth. Governments, in general, extract wealth from society. Profiteers, in a free market, add wealth to society. I agree that corporate behavior and effects need to improve, which will happen if they want to increase profit, Corporations that “profit” by repression, sooner or later grow old and fail. I think that there is an optimal independence of government and corporations. Right now, I think there should be less government and more private profit.

  4. ojmo says:

    Congrats, Sean, you scooped on this one!

  5. Pingback: Occupussies: Moniker for Multi-Tentacled Movement | Reflections of a Rational Republican

  6. Pingback: Occupy Wall Street: Understanding the Movement | Reflections of a Rational Republican

  7. Shannon says:

    On tariffs; considering what China’s done to your manufacturing base, you might want to think about applying a few tariffs, if you want to save the middle class. As for raising the minimum age, good idea. If a job can’t pay a living wage, it might as well not exist. If you can’t survive while paying that, make way for businesses that can.

    The single payer system works quite well in countries like say, Canada. In fact, on average it costs half as much per capita than what your dysfunctional system costs and delivers better results. There goes the cost argument. Could it be you simply wish to allow “the rich” to continue to suck the middle class dry?

    Guaranteed living wage…Ok, that’s pretty unworkable. However, I understand Milton Friedman was a big advocate of that one.

    Alternative energy sources: here’s a story for you. When I was working at Royal Roads Military College, we drove up and down Vancouver Island for the better part of week, dragging a trailer full of coring equipment, compressed air, and a zodiac. And we did it without burning one gallon of gas. Because we had a truck powered by propane. And this was in the late 80’s!

    While shills for the petroleum industry were claiming it couldn’t be done, Brazil went ahead with it’s own program,and now 80% of it’s cars can run on ethanol. Which, BTW, doesn’t have to come from corn – sugar cane works way better (probably the reason the US sticks a huge tariff on Brazilian ethanol)

    There are other technologies I can mention – direct solar and thorium reactors. So don’t tell me it can’t be done. The only thing missing is the will.

    One trillion dollars in infrastructure? Guess what, you need it. Not just as a stimulus, but because your country is falling apart. Your roads are atrocious, and don’t get me started on your bridges.

    Racial and gender equality amendment..sounds like a good idea, why aren’t you in favor of it? Want to be able to fall back on slavery if you have to?

    Open borders migration..yeah, that’s stupid. You have way too much immigration as it is.

    Free college education..nah. But it should be a hell of a lot less expensive. If more could take part, maybe you guys wouldn’t be getting your butt kicked on the international comparisions. But then again, educated people tend to vote Democrat, don’t they?

    Restablishing forests and wetlands..another good idea. I remember back when you imposed a softwoods tariff on us in violation of NAFTA and pretty much every other trade agreement you signed. Why? Because you’d cut down everything you could get your hands on, making your remaining trees too expensive. But we’ve still got plenty of trees up here. As for nukes..I’m all for them. Especially CANDU reactors. I think we should be building way more.

    You’re not yet a third world country, but you’re getting close. Another Republican administration would probably do it.

    Debt forgiveness..yeah, bad idea.

    Outlawing credit reporting agencies..maybe not, but for crying out loud, don’t let just anybody get a credit report on you. What business is it of my employer or potential employer what my credit rating is? Nobody should be able to order a credit report on just anybody they want. They sure can’t up here.

    Union labor is more attractive, not in terms of cost but in quality. Trades unions don’t let just anybody in – you have to apprentice until you earn your journeyman’s tags. Meanwhile, non-union outfits can drag anybody in off the street.

    Oh, and unions are what made the middle class possible. I guess your supposed “education” didn’t include any history books.

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