C is for Corporate Malfeasance

23 Oct 2011

In a comment thread from an article on backlash against The Muppets movie, Cookie Monster took the opportunity to explain what the Occupy Wall/Sesame Street is all about, as only Cookie Monster can (emphasis mine):

Yes, there always going to be rich and poor. But we used to live in country where rich owned factory and make 30 times what factory worker make. Now we live in country where rich make money by lying about value of derivative bonds and make 3000 times what factory worker would make if factories hadn’t all moved to China.

Capitalism great system. We won Cold War because people behind Iron Curtain look over wall, and see how much more plentiful and delicious cookies are in West, and how we have choice of different bakeries, not just state-owned one. It great system. It got us out of Depression, won WWII, built middle class, built country’s infrastructure from highways to Hoover Dam to Oreo factory to electrifying rural South. It system that reward hard work and fair play, and everyone do fair share and everyone benefit. Rich get richer, poor get richer, everyone happy. It great system.

Then after Reagan, Republicans decide to make number one priority destroying that system. Now we have system where richest Americans ones who find ways to game system — your friends on Wall Street — and poorest Americans ones who thought working hard would get them American dream, when in fact it get them pink slip when job outsourced to 10-year-old in Mumbai slum. And corporations have more influence over government than people (or monsters).

It not about rich people having more money. It about how they got money. It about how they take opportunity away from rest of us, for sake of having more money. It how they willing to take risks that destroy economy — knowing full well that what could and would happen — putting millions out of work, while creating nothing of value, and all the while crowing that they John Galt, creating wealth for everyone.

That what the soul-searching about. When Liberals run country for 30 years following New Deal, American economy double in size, and wages double along with it. That fair. When Conservatives run country for 30 years following Reagan, American economy double again, and wages stay flat. What happen to our share of money? All of it go to richest 1%. That not “there always going to be rich people”. That unfair system. That why we upset. That what Occupy Sesame Street about.

He/it goes on…

Oil companies get share of our money. It called subsidy. Bankers get share of our money. It called bailout. Defense contrators get share of our money. It called no-bid contract.

If you got rich legitimately – not by gaming stock market or taking advantage of loophole, but by selling product people want to buy – you got rich because of government. Government paved roads you ship products on. Government give your warehouse police and fire protection. Government educate every single person who work for you. Government keep air and water clean and products safe so customers not die before time. Government make sure everyone have comfortable retirement, so they have money to spend on product and not just cat food.

And when me say “government”, me mean “everyone in America”. Because that what government is – it everyone in America pooling resources to provide for greater good. Without that sharing of resources, we not have army, we not have highways, we not put man on moon.

In theory, this country a democracy, where everyone who share resources also have say in how resources used. In practice, ordinary monster have very little say, and super-rich basically do whatever they want and make government do whatever they want. In theory, we have system where everyone pool resources and everyone benefit. In reality, we have system where everyone pool resources, and richest 1% benefit far out of proportion to rest of us.

As me already say, no one using “other people have more money than me” as rallying cry. No one. Me suppose me have to repeat that several times, but as me learn on Sesame Street, repetition is only way to get preschooler to learn, or someone with preschool level of understanding.

[via SF Weekly]