The BPI faculty senate, after their usual six-hour debate over whether to take a bathroom break, decided I needed a break from Halloween. So they made designated me the BPI Class War Correspondent. I objected for two reasons. First, I never wanted to be a war correspondent. I only took the roving reporter gig because they said it would offset my tuition while I research my thesis on 21st Century Political Nuttitude. By the time I learned BPI doesn’t even charge tuition, it was too late to back out. Second, war correspondents have to travel, and you know how I hate traveling. But the faculty senate said my Class War Correspondent duties actually began when I went to Wisconsin to cover the union rallies, and that was a de facto consensus ad idem. I really should read their rule book someday.
Regardless, they put me on a flight to the front lines. Now, I’ve already said I love New York City, because it has the world’s most opulent squirrel hotel. Of course, BPI didn’t book me in there. They sent me to another squirrel hotel. It’s not as opulent as the midtown squirrel hotel, but it was renovated recently and it’s very nice.
Plus it’s on the front lines, so I can see the zombies. So much for escaping Halloween.
The good news is they’re not real zombies. They’re folks in the Occupy Wall Street movement and they had a march yesterday to protest corporate zombies. I like their sense of humor. Plus they look a lot like the resident faculty emerging from the
wine cellar library on Monday mornings. In other words, I felt right at home.
And that’s a problem, because when someone asked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney what he thought about the Occupy Wall Street movement, he said “I think it’s dangerous – this class warfare.” That’s the whole reason the BPI faculty senate sent me here. I should probably ask why they want to send me somewhere they think is dangerous, right after I read their rule book.
Anyway, I’m here and nothing looks especially dangerous. The OWS people have been peaceful. They’ve become more organized day by day. They clean up after themselves. And they’re hardly the only group who dress up funny to send a political message. Critics tell the OWS protesters to “go home to your families and find a job.” Of course, the protesters are here because they can’t find jobs. It’s rather like telling a sick person “Just be healthy!”
Occupy Wall Street is just one front in the class war. President Obama has proposed the American Jobs Act, and to help pay for it he’s proposed a “Buffett Rule” so millionaires don’t pay a lower tax rate than ordinary Americans. As I reported yesterday, Republicans call that “class warfare.”
And it’s getting serious. Last week, a Wall Street Journal editorial challenged billionaire Warren Buffett to publish his tax returns. Buffett, whose op-ed in the New York Times inspired the “Buffett Rule,” replied that he’d be happy to do that … if Wall Street Journal owner and billionaire Rupert Murdoch publishes his tax returns too.
So far I’m fine with being on the front lines, but I’m going to cover the battle between Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch from a respectful distance. I’m okay with zombies, but billionaires are scary.
Good day and good nuts.