69% of Americans think Republican policies favor the rich
66% of Americans think the nation’s wealth should be more evenly distributed
65% of Americans think million-dollar households should receive a tax increase
I am flipping the fuck out over these numbers. Meanwhile, of course, all of the supposedly “socialist” countries have terrific income distribution because they are strong welfare states with progressive tax rates.
3 words: Occupy Wall Street
I’ve heard it argued, by The Economist and others, that the Wall Street protests are not worth supporting because the protestors are hypocrtical, impractical non-voters who aim to bring down a system they’ve never participated in. This argument essentially amounts to a “do nothing,” maintain the status quo mentality.
If the protestors are non-voters, then participating in protests could cause them to think more pragmatically and start participating in elections. If the protestors are impractical cynics, then surely participating in organized protests is a step towards political engagement. Either way, I find it impossible to buy the argument that the protests are useless. The worst case scenario is that enthusiasm wanes and the protests fizzle out. The best case scenario is that politicians feel emboldened to act on behalf of the 99% and the protestors think more positively about American democracy.
Those who believe the protestors should just vote more often, regardless of whether or not the candidates are worth voting for, are ultimately supporting more of the same. And this, for people without jobs, insurance, or hope, is simply not acceptable.