Questions to ask the Wall Street protesters—and ourselves

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Others ask whether the Wall Street protesters have identified the right enemies. But I have some deeper questions, for them and for ourselves.

When did achieving financial success become something to be despised in America?

Intersection of Broadway and Wall Street

Intersection of Broadway and Wall Street. Photo: User Matze_Ott (Flickr), CC BY 2.0

When did we accept that it is “Christianly” to covet the possessions of another? When exactly did we throw out the Commandment that says: “You shall not covet”?

When did we decide to throw out the verse from 2 Thessalonians 3:10b that says: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat”?

When did we swap the idea of charity with social justice?

When did we stop appreciating our right to pursue happiness and replace it with our “right” to be entitled to the possessions of others?

When, indeed, did we decide that financial success was a criminal, or even capital, offense?

When did we replace the Commandment that says, “Thou shall not kill” with “a woman’s right to chose”?

When did we become our own gods, thinking that we could determine what was right and what was wrong?

Was it when we took prayer out of school?

Was it when we struck the Ten Commandments from all public buildings and edifices?

Was it when we made Science our god, and trusted it to find “value-free” answers to all questions of public policy?

Will someone please tell me when we stopped being a God-fearing country that regarded the liberty of conscience and the right to pursue our own happiness as worthy of respect? And when we instead regarded them as destructive of all hopes of a Utopian world?

When exactly did We the People abdicate our constitutional rights to govern ourselves, in favor of career politicians and new world order elitists?

Will someone please answer these questions for me? Because I don’t understand what has happened to us and why so many remain silent.

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RoseAnn Salanitri is a published author and Acquisition Editor for the New Jersey Family Policy Council. She is a community activist who has founded the Sussex County Tea Party in her home state and launched a recall movement against Senator Robert Menendez. RoseAnn is also the founder of Veritas Christian Academy, as well as co-founder of Creation Science Alive, and a national creation science speaker.

20 Responses to Questions to ask the Wall Street protesters—and ourselves

  1. Alex Jones says:

    The protesters aren’t demanding to “eat without paying. They want jobs which pay a living wage, and are not dependent on the greed of giant financial institutions. Is that too much to ask?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      It is when they demand it of someone, whether that someone wishes to provide it or not. The only moral basis for any kind of transaction—and that’s what employment is, a transaction—is mutual trade by mutual voluntary consent. What these people are asking for is for someone to hand them a living that they have not earned.

    • Eric in Sac says:

      “Is that too much to ask?” Of whom and for what price? These people are protesting for jobs, then? Ever since I was able to get a job, I never thought to protest either private corporations or the government. Did you? How would that get somebody a job anyway (unless of course one’s getting paid to protest)? Please explain what a “job which pays a living wage and is not dependent on the greed of giant financial institutions” is to me because I can’t make heads or tails of that statement. Would they prefer the greed of smaller financial institutions, or are they protesting greed in corporations in general? Perhaps the protesters do have a coherent statement, but I don’t see how it could be related to protesting a business district. That’s like protesting at the bakery because my dog got killed by a delivery truck.

  2. Camille says:

    I think these Wall Street protests are kind of silly. Maybe if they had a clear unified goal, I could get behind the idea.

    But as to the question, I think we need to also ask “Why are the rich rich?”
    After all, it’s the laborers that do all of the work. The scientists too. So why aren’t they the ones reaping the profits?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      There are two kinds of rich people. Some of them, like George Soros, got rich through manipulation, favor-seeking from governments, and rent-seeking from those not-so-rich.

      The other kind are the people who made wonderful things happen for the rest of us. People who had ideas. Without those ideas, and the “prime movers” who make them happen, nothing would get done.

      Karl Marx’ labor theory of value is falsified many times over. And the scientist, in the protester’s scheme of things, appears to have value only when he agrees with them. The particular scientist who deserves most of the credit is the inventor–always the last profession that a civilization establishes, and the first to go in the slide toward savagery.

      That is what those protesters don’t recognize. And I gather that you don’t recognize it either.

      So let me put it this way: what do you suppose would happen, should those you vilify as somehow coming by their profits unfairly, would just disappear, and take their prime-moving skills with them? Well, the world wouldn’t miss George Soros. It definitely would miss Steve Jobs.

      • Camille says:

        Nothing. The great minds generally work for and with the people.
        Scientists work for fun, knowledge, and altruism.

        As to Marx’s theory of labor, when it’s not the owner that built the factory, when it’s not the owner that built the machines, and when it’s not the owner who works the factory, then of what use is the owner?

        (you’ve actually asked me that before, but I didn’t answer. Sorry about that, I was sorta busy, but not busy enough that I couldn’t have taken a minute to answer you)

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          You are mistaken. Scientists work for gain, same as everybody else. They either work for the Big Grant (out of which they draw a hefty stipend, and don’t think they don’t) or for the salary or royalty that a businessman might pay him. In fact, the most potentially dangerous scientist is the one working for the Big Grant. I say potentially because the usual unsavory thing that Big Grantees might do is fritter away their time on a lot of useless projects. (You should see some of the grant applications that the house news organs of prestigious medical schools actually announce to their readers. A true-life example: “Reproduction in women with mammalian characteristics.” Excuse me? I thought every woman had such “characteristics.”)

          The danger is this: since there is no such thing as non-practical knowledge, a laboratory financed by loot very often produces weapons of mass destruction. Or worse. You need look no further than the Holocaust to see the prize example of the kind of ugliness for which “scientists” might work.

          Better to have even “pure” scientists sell their discoveries (or at least first news of them) for a royalty, or an honorarium, to inventors who might turn their discoveries into practical devices.

          Now I’ll accept as an accurate quote your summary of the Labor Theory of Value. But I will not accept that theory as true, correct, workable, or moral. It is none of these things. Without the owner, that factory does not exist. Without someone to come up with the idea behind the factory, that factory can never exist.

    • Eric in Sac says:

      Why are the scientists and laborers not equally wealthy as the business owner? Well why aren’t the laborers as rich as the scientists? Because the monetary value of the labor provided by each is different. As for the owner having more (sometimes less) than the scientists and laborers, well let me put it to you this way: why does the guy down the street who owns a landscaping business make more than the guys he hires to push his mowers? The owner takes a risk every time he lets an employee take possession of that mower. If the employee breaks the mower, the business owner is not allowed to bill the employee for the breakage. Owner risks everything every day while employee risks…getting their clothes dirty or damaged. In addition, should employee decide to do something stupid like look inside a running mower, owner is responsible for medical bills incurred, not employee. Owner takes constant risk with his equipment, vehicles, etc. Should an employee driving one of the trucks hit a pedestrian, owner’s insurance is on the hook. All risk to business owner, therefore he should not split profit equally.

  3. Constitutional Progressive says:

    you know, progressives and the tea party movement really aren’t that dissimilar from one another. we’re being played against each other so we can’t focus our full attention on the real people destroying the country. i’m NOT saying tax the rich to death, nor do i support cutting unprecedented amounts of the federal budget, but this issue over our spending, debt and deficit must be balanced.

    i’ll ask YOU a question. when did the issue of balancing our budget come down to either on the middle class’s back, or the wealthiest 2%….. ? that’s the real question. instead of raising taxes on corporate jet owners, we should cut heating for low income families. i see the logic in that.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I object to your question as loaded. The government never does any favors for anyone, except at the expense of someone else. That is not moral by any standard for which I have the slightest respect. (And I’m sure I speak for the author as well.)

      What part of “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house,…nor anything [else] that belongs to your neighbor” don’t you understand? Maybe that’s the reason for banishing the Ten Commandments. Can’t have that “No theft” and “no coveting” thing. Gets in the way of progressive policies, doesn’t it? Not to mention the “no lying” thing (the Ninth).

      I do not accept need as a claim. The only functions that any government ought to have are the police, the military, and the law courts. And that’s it. Doing a thief’s function so that the thief doesn’t have to do the dirty job of actually breaking into your house (or mine) is not a proper function of government.

      • Bill says:

        Really Terry. When did Jesus’s teachings that we should feed the hungry and clothe the poor–a Christian idea that we, as a society, have accepted and practice through our government–because coveting goods?

        When did charging usurious rates for lending become something Christians like yourself defend?

        If you look at the society that is shaping up that you think is Christian, nobody really wants that society except for a fringe. 20% of the population owning 85% of the wealth (look it up!) is not what Jesus had in mind. You can whip out any part of the Bible you want, but the lessons that are most important are the ones of Jesus.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Jesus never once suggested that governing authorities had any business enforcing charity. Neither did any of His Apostles or other disciples. You can search every one of the Books of the New Testament, and you will not find one word that says, or implies, that the kind of government you espouse would meet with His approval.

          Nor do I accept your premise that equality of result is either in keeping with the Bible, or workable.

          • Bill says:

            The Bible doesn’t say, “Only people as individuals can care for the poor and infirm.” In the Declaration of Independence it defines a government as “instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” for the purposes of protecting humanity’s God-given rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

            Governments are made of the people; they aren’t a separate entity. That’s why you vote – to put in the people you want. If you don’t get your way, you have the courts. If you don’t get your way in the courts, too bad. Shut up or keep trying to persuade people or take to the streets.

            Charging 29% interest rates on credit cards is usury, Terry, but I don’t hear you decrying this unChristian practice.

            “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury “(Exodus 22:25). .

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Except for one thing: not one part of the Progressive agenda is compatible with the Constitution.

            The Constitution does not authorize the government to provide for the specific welfare of one class of people at the expense of another class.

            The Constitution does not authorize the government to establish hospitals or clinics, except as required to support caring for those who have helped provide for the common defense.

            The Constitution does not authorize the government to create a pension plan for anyone other than those who have served in a Constitutionally authorized function of the government itself.

            Sheer ignorance of the Constitution allows people like you to believe that the Constitution allows the government to do anything that you can get enough votes in Congress to authorize—or to say that though you know perfectly well that that is not true.

          • Ryan says:

            The bible might not have intended to outline the ‘principles for a socialist government’, but I definitely think it’s pushing it a bit to justify a ‘free market capitalism’ reading.

            Jesus would have been hard to pin down politically. But he’d think it insane that so few people could attain so much capital because of how our concept of property ownership expanded and evolved the way it did.

            To suggest that Jesus would want to cut the poor’s heating instead of raising the taxes of corporate jet owners is offensive.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Wrong. In fact, exact opposite. Earning is earning. The only thing in the Bible that might remotely look like land-use planning is the Jubilee system, that basically says that no mortgage shall be for a term that lasts longer than the next Jubilee.

  4. Eric Levinson says:

    I fully agree with everything written here, except the part about school prayer. I believe the United States were created for freedom of thought and religion. I mean, who decides which prayer must be given?

    I am a conservative, a registered republican and father of 3, but also I am Jewish. My grandfather died in Poland during WWII because of his race and faith. And I don’t think I must tell my sons to leave the classroom during a Christian prayer or endure the fact other kids will consider them wrong for not being Christian.

    Would it be different for a Catholic? For anyone who has a different Bible and not King James?

    Just my two cents.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Well, one solution that I would propose to you is: abolish government schools. In case you’re wondering, I had about five years of government schooling. That was it. The rest of my schooling was in private schools.

      Now in any case, I would never countenance anyone saying anything disparaging of a Jew just for being Jewish. John Wayne had it right: if any group of people deserved special recognition for sheer gallantry, it would be the victims, and survivors, of the Holocaust.

      • Eric Levinson says:

        I do appreciate the strong support this website has always shown for my people and the land of Israel. yes. However, I have to disagree with the abolishment of public schools. While that solution may work for some it won’t work for others. I am lucky to own a successful family business but I am well aware not everyone has the funds to send their children to a private school.

        For now, I believe the best option is for religion to stay at the temple and normal education to stay at school, and as parents we must make sure our children have enough of both.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Don’t assume that just because any particular class of people could not afford the present private school options, that would remain the case. Remember: a large chunk of property taxes would go away with the government schools. Also, entrepreneurs would have an instant niche to fill: setting up schooling for large numbers of children, at low cost.

          Remember also: your property-tax-supported Board of Education is a two-metric-ton gorilla. Or a twelve-talent gorilla, to use more ancient units of measurement. (One talent is about 75 pounds; it’s the weight that a man can carry on his back.) Where does a twelve-talent gorilla sleep? Anywhere it wants to. What can a twelve-talent gorilla demand of you? Whatever it wants. Including your finding yourself sending your son to a class taught by a stone-cold atheist who will proceed to tell him that he is deluded to continue to live on dreams and hopes of an impossible past. Don’t take my word for this; do a search on the name American Atheists, and on the phrase “opiate of the people,” and look for yourself.

          I put it to you: the original purpose of government schools was to get people to worship the State, and abandon worship of—well, let’s just say The Eternal, or The Name (HaShem). They didn’t dare keep prayer out at first, but as soon as the American Civil Liberties Union felt powerful enough…! Then, too, I’m 95 percent confident that you don’t appreciate the junior-high-school class in Islam, in which the teachers encouraged their students to take Arabic names, and…! That was in a government school. Now you know why CNAV campaigns for their abolition.

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