Occupy Wall Street

Day 20 Occupy Wall Street October 5 2011 Shank...

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

The Occupy Wall Street, OWS, movement is starting to receive the notice from the main stream media that it deserves. This morning I received an email from the TEA Party stating their displeasure at being compared to OWS. As someone who supports the protest and would like to join them, I feel that the comparison is simplistic.

Fox and some others are particularly contemptuous of the protesters, labeling some as dirty hippy types. Does that mean that a dirty hippy’s opinion is worthless and that his/her vote should not count? It all reverts to the age-old debate within democracy, should there be a property qualification for the right to vote or should the right to vote be a universal right.

Those who would deny the right to express an opinion or to vote to the homeless or others on the lower rungs of the economic ladder must be supporters of a property qualification that makes their opinion better than someone else’s. They must also believe that they should have the right to vote that they would deny to someone less fortunate.

Let us take that argument to its logical conclusion. Everyone’s vote should be weighted by their net worth. If someone has lost his/her job and home or the home value is exceeded by the mortgage, that person may have a negative net worth and his/her vote would not count. Millionaires or billionaires with very high net worth would have their votes multiplied by a weighting of a million or a billion times one vote.

An example: a Koch brother with a net worth of $15 billion would have a vote multiplied by a factor of 15 billion. You or I with a net worth of say $25,000 because of declining housing values would have a vote multiplied by a factor of 25,000. That would make the Koch brother’s opinion and vote equal to the vote of 600,000 citizens like you and me. Hey, isn’t that the current situation where the resources of the wealthy bankroll conservative think tanks, employ an army of lobbyists and through campaign donations own most members of Congress?

Banks, take heed; Americans are patient people until we are not.

Please see Let them eat cake | Democracy NOW | Kabuki Democracy | I am weary