24 Oct 2011

1 Per Cent Exploiting Everybody Else

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Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, says those Occupy Wall Street protestors have got it right about the 1% exploiting the 99%. They just are mixed up about the identity of the parasitical 1%.

The “occupy” protest movement is thriving off the claim that the 99 percent are being exploited by the 1 percent, and there is truth in what they say. But they have the identities of the groups wrong. They imagine that it is the 1 percent of highest wealth holders who are the problem. In fact, that 1 percent includes some of the smartest, most innovative people in the country — the people who invent, market, and distribute material blessings to the whole population. They also own the capital that sustains productivity and growth.

But there is another 1 percent out there, those who do live parasitically off the population and exploit the 99 percent. Moreover, there is a long intellectual tradition, dating back to the late Middle Ages, that draws attention to the strange reality that a tiny minority lives off the productive labor of the overwhelming majority.

I’m speaking of the state, which even today is made up of a tiny sliver of the population but is the direct cause of all the impoverishing wars, inflation, taxes, regimentation, and social conflict. This 1 percent is the direct cause of the violence, the censorship, the unemployment, and vast amounts of poverty, too.

Look at the numbers, rounding from latest data. The US population is 307 million. There are about 20 million government employees at all levels, which makes 6.5 percent. But 6.2 million of these people are public-school teachers, whom I think we can say are not really the ruling elite. That takes us down to 4.4 percent.

We can knock of another half million who work for the post office, and probably the same who work for various service department bureaus. Probably another million do not work in any enforcement arm of the state, and there’s also the amazing labor-pool fluff that comes with any government work. Local governments do not cause nationwide problems (usually), and the same might be said of the 50 states. The real problem is at the federal level (8.5 million), from which we can subtract fluff, drones, and service workers.

In the end, we end up with about 3 million people who constitute what is commonly called the state. For short, we can just call these people the 1 percent.

The 1 percent do not generate any wealth of their own. Everything they have they get by taking from others under the cover of law. They live at our expense. …

Why don’t the protesters get this? Because they are victims of propaganda by the state, doled out in public schools, that attempts to blame all human suffering on private parties and free enterprise. They do not comprehend that the real enemy is the institution that brainwashes them to think the way they do.

They are right that society is rife with conflicts, and that the contest is wildly lopsided. It is indeed the 99 percent versus the 1 percent. They’re just wrong about the identity of the enemy.

I think Mr. Rockwell is wrong, though, about those public school teachers and other government employees. Today’s public school system is an employment empire, which devotes far more energy to its real purpose of growing itself and gaining an ever larger share annual budget and staff than it does to its ostensible purpose of educating. Public schools in America are either rudimentary babysitting services which evolves into concentration camps or lavishly funded credentialing services designed to maintain the grip on status of the next generation of the haute bourgeoisie.

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SDD

Since 1970, public school employment has increased 10X faster than enrollment.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13211

Public schools are the ultimate demonstration of the economic reality that monopolies always overcharge and under deliver to the customer.



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