I’ve written a book that peels back the mechanisms by which a city as big and important as New York has been dominated by a handful of very rich people led by one mega-billionaire. Keith Seidel did the illustrations. We intended to sell the book to recoup at least some of the money we put into it.
But then the Occupy Movement came along and changed the national political debate. Finally, President Obama feels emboldened to use the platform we gave him to raise the bottom line issue of who gets what, or more politely, the vast disparity of income and wealth in our country. So now we have another agenda, namely giving support to the heroes at Zucotti Park and all the other Occupiers who they inspired.
Why Michael Bloomberg?
New York’s mayor presides over an empire at least as large as that of Rupert Murdoch. Many good people still don’t understand that he is deeply involved in pushing the laissez faire, deregulation, greed is good program that is driving the country over a cliff. Sane people understand the Koch brothers, Murdoch, Republican political operatives like Roger Ailes, who operates in the guise of a television executive, and other right-wingers. They are the iron fist–easy to see. But Michael Bloomberg or “Mike,” as his handlers prefer, occupies the “progressive” space. He is the velvet glove. As we’ve seen, the glove comes off whenever necessary.
Whether the 1% succeed in killing the Occupy Movement through naked force or with sleazy slogans such as “don’t penalize success” (i.e. don’t raise taxes on the 1%), “it’s your money, don’t let the government tell you how to spend it” (i.e. privatize social security), “don’t let the government stand between you and your doctor” (i.e. cut Medicare and no public option), class warfare,” and on and on, depends on whether The People will continue to be fooled and whether those who aren’t fooled show their support for the basic principles that the Occupy Movement represents.
The public anger is sputtering, memories are fading, and people who care don’t think they can do anything. It’s hard to listen to those who decry the lack of political leadership when those who are leading haven’t been getting the support they deserve.
This is a watershed moment in our country’s history.There won’t be another for a very long time, if ever. Let’s not fall into the trap of Exxon did this or Wall Street did that. These are abstractions. Let’s identify the people who are destroying our country. Making Bloomberg the poster boy for the 1% will help advance the consciousness-raising process that the Occupiers have set in motion, and it will give him the recognition he so richly deserves. Sure, we want people to read the book but the reason behind writing and illustrating it is much the same as the spirit behind the Occupy Movement-We’re Fed Up!
A progressive union leader, Arthur Cheliotes, head of CWA Local 1180 has signed on and some other good folks are supporting the campaign to make Mike the poster boy for the 1%. Mike is our first poster boy but he can’t be the last.