What does Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, and Thanksgiving 2011 have in common? The answer is everything.
Thanksgiving in America celebrates a harvest feast held between the Pilgrims and Indians near Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The Protestant Separatists Pilgrims who left Europe aboard the Mayflower to come to America did so to escape religious persecution which plagued Europe during the European Religious Wars that lasted over a 100 years as a result of the Protestant Reformation.
The Protestant Reformation started in Europe as a result of economic and political corruption of the Catholic Church during the middle ages wherein Christians were permitted, amongst other things, to buy indulgences (essentially the absolution of sin in exchange for money.)
The Protestant Reformation was started by three major groups led by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the Anglican Church and was sparked by Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses.
The common theme of the Protestant groups was that the Catholic Church had created religious laws (and accompanying monetary obligations) on Christians from birth until death that were not found in the Bible in order to derive an economic benefit for the papacy's treasury.
The Separatists religion later grew as an offshoot of the Protestant Reformation via the Anglican Church.
Due to the top down corruption of the Catholic Church and European aristocracy at the time, the Separatists (and Puritans in Massachusetts who had their own Thanksgiving) Pilgrims were overwhelmingly democratic when they set up their colonies in New England.
In fact, Alex de Tocqueville reasoned in his book Democracy In America, that it was the Puritans who started the foundation of American Democracy.
Over a hundred years later, the American democratic tradition then translated into anti-Monarchists politics due to the English Crown's economic and political oppression of the colonists through the use of taxes and the manipulation of economic trade, resulting in the Revolutionary War.
Then, over the last 150 years, the American political élite began to intrude into every aspect of American life through the use of the U.S. Income Tax, Federal Reserve, social programs, fiat money, and manipulation of the free market system - all of which is ultimately designed for the economic benefit of the élite just like the strategies of the corrupt Catholic Church of the Middle Ages and the English Crown.
It took less than 25 years after the creation of the Federal Reserve and U.S. Income tax for the élite financiers to go full speed at plundering the wealth of the United States, ultimately leading to the Great Depression of 1929.
The economic conditions were so bad in the U.S. and the rest of the world, that many people began to believe that the allegations made by fascists and communists that democratic capitalism was inherently corrupt and that their forms of government were better. These conditions inevitably started World War II.
Without learning any lessons from the past, the corrupt élite's free market manipulation went back to their old tricks after World War II, resulting in the accelerated transfer of wealth from Americans to the elite over the last 40 years.
When it finally became apparent to enough Americans that the economy is facing an inevitable collapse due to the corrupt nexus of the U.S. political and financial elites, a new Reformation movement began in the form of populist political organizations like Occupy Wall Street and The Tea Party.
Just like Martin Luther and John Calvin, both the OWS movement and the Tea Party agree on the problem, but differ in ideology as how to address it.
So what does each movement bring to the Thanksgiving table?
From Occupy Wall Street:
1. Support of public works programs
2. Tax hikes on the wealthiest
3. Student loan debt forgiveness
4. Ways to get money out of politics
5. Amendment of the U.S. Constitution if necessary to change the current political system
From the Tea Party:
- Identify constitutionality of every new law
- Reject emissions trading
- Demand a balanced federal budget
- Simplify the tax system
- Audit federal government agencies for waste and constitutionality
- Limit annual growth in federal spending
- Repeal the healthcare legislation passed on March 23, 2010
- Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy
- Reduce Earmarks
- Reduce Taxes
So, out of those ingredients, how do the two movements make a Thanksgiving dish palatable for the rest of the American people?
1. Student Loans. This seems to be the major driving political stance of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Like any debt, seven years should be the duration of the obligation. This coincides with both the Christian teaching and original Constitutional law.
The major driving political stance of the Tea Party movement is whether laws pass Constitutional muster. The U.S. Constitution, based on Biblical law, provided the same seven-year guideline before it was manipulated by progressives, bankers, and industrialists for their benefit to the detriment of society as a whole.
Regardless of whether you are Christian or not, the wisdom behind the seven-year debt forgiveness is that if a person believes that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, his or her desire to fully contribute to the tribe [archaic], country, or economic production diminishes, depriving society of the full contribution of that individual which outweighs the debtor's obligation to the creditor.
Also related to student loans are administrative wage garnishments. These proceedings, along with all other administrative hearing and quasi-judicial bodies, should be abolished.
Any question of law should remain with the Courts, which is in line with the Constitutional principle of separation of powers.
2. Money out of Politics / Crony Capitalism:
This is the closest goal of both the OWS and Tea Party movements because money corrupts politics so that a particular company or industry can cause legislation that would give it an unfair advantage over competitors, other industries, and consumers (the modern version of paying for an indulgence).
A new constitutional amendment does not need to be added to cause this change. The U.S. House of Representatives should be comprised of one representative for every 30,000 people as it was originally structured in the U.S. Constitution.
This apportionment ratio had remained in effect until 1929 when Congress simply chose to ignore the requirement (just when the elites had crushed the global economy).
The smaller districts would require less money to be spent on campaigns and would bring at least one branch of government closer to the people as it was originally intended.
A website detailing all of the benefits of smaller U.S. House of Representative districts can be found here: http://www.thirty-thousand.org/
The Tea Party wants to reduce taxes and simplify the tax code. OWS wants tax hikes on the wealthiest.
Both could be accomplished by a tax on consumption (a national sales tax on goods and services) with no exemptions instead of the current income tax code which is designed to support crony capitalism and allows the elite to avoid taxes through the use of off-shore corporations.
While much debate has circulated lately about U.S. corporate income tax hurting America's competitiveness, another area where U.S. policy increases the cost of U.S. labor is also hurting American competitiveness.
For example, the costs of unemployment insurance, workman's compensation, social security, medicare, state income tax and federal income tax that is associated with each hour of labor costs could range from 35% to 50% depending on which state a business is located. So the manufacturing of any consumer good that is made in the U.S. will have around a 7%-15% production tax baked into the final retail price (depending on the amount of labor associated with the production of the good). This U.S. consumer good then has to sit on a shelf next to a foreign competitor's consumer good that does not have this production tax baked into the final retail price.
If however, the tax revenue came from the U.S. consumption of goods rather than the production of goods through the implementation of a national sales, U.S. manufacturers would have a level playing field to compete because imported goods would be taxed at the same rate as domestic. The sales tax would also fund unemployment insurance and workman's compensation.
Because the tax is derived on economic activity in the U.S., the elite would not be able to use off-shore corporations or foreign labor to avoid taxes.
Taxes would be reduced overall because foreign goods and tax avoiders would start contributing their fair share of U.S. taxes.