Now that the Occupy protests are a staple in the American landscape, especially in the USA, I would like to use this opportunity to revisit the chief struggle in society. There is another of Aesop’s fables I would like utilize in my present observation. I present The Belly and the Members:
The Members of the Body once rebelled against the Belly. “You,” they said to the Belly, “live in luxury and sloth, and never do a stroke of work; while we not only have to do all the hard work there is to be done, but are actually your slaves and have to minister to all your wants. Now, we will do so no longer, and you can shift for yourself for the future.” They were as good as their word, and left the Belly to starve. The result was just what might have been expected: the whole Body soon began to fail, and the Members and all shared in the general collapse. And then they saw too late how foolish they had been.
If I can analogize the members of the body to be the 99% and the stomach to be the 1%, we see the banks actually perform a useful function in society. By storing people’s wealth and lending to others, more people are able to store wealth safely, and others are able to obtain loans more efficiently (e.g., at lower interest rates and by expending less effort to find a lender).
All the while, parasites—in the form of government regulations, fees, and taxes—have invaded the body, siphoning off nutrients from all of the members and completely taking over some. The parasites now account for some 40% of nutrient-use within the body. The parasites have so hobbled some members that both the parasites and the members think the stomach is being niggardly with its output of nutrients; in truth, the stomach’s output has remained the same or grown, just not enough to sustain both.
Our options are two: (1) Give in to the parasites, letting them siphon off the stomach, eventually leaving nothing for the healthy functioning of the members, or (2) oust the parasites so the stomach and member can return to their ordered functioning. Option 1 is leaving the belly to starve by means of a slow, painful death.
The problem we, the members, have with this situation is what the parasites promise: They promise never to allow the flow of food—in the form of loanable “demand” deposits—into the stomach to fail; we, the members, however, would treat bankers like every other business insofar as we would only partake of their services if the price were worth it. The short-sighted promise of the parasites is hard for the 1% to overlook; we must counter their false claims at every turn. Ecrasez l’etat!