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FOOTNOTES FOR OCCUPY WALL STREET
NOTES:

[1] A New York-based collective of protesters known as the Working Group on the 99% (WG99), which shares OWS's agendas but does not officially speak for the latter, suggests a remedy: “an immediate ban on all private contributions” to political figures, and the implementation of “fair, equal and total public financing of all federal political campaigns.” But this proposal flouts the First Amendment provision that Congress shall make no law “abridging the freedom of speech,” which includes not only the use of words to express one's views regarding particular political issues or candidates, but also the use of money to help promote those views. As the Heritage Foundation points out, a public funding program would similarly violate “First Amendment associational protections” by forcing people “through taxation to fund political candidates [whom they] do not support.”

[2] This is a disparaging reference to what WG99 calls “the outrageous and anti-democratic holding” in the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision which “equates the payment of money by corporations, wealthy individuals and unions to politicians with the exercise of protected free speech.” But in truth, the Citizens United ruling left intact the federal law prohibiting corporations and unions from making campaign contributions to politicians; the decision nullified only a provision barring such entities from paying for political ads made independently of candidate campaigns—on grounds that the First Amendment prohibits Congress from censoring any entity's right to engage in, or to fund, political speech.

[3] This claim ignores not only a massive body of existing anti-discrimination laws that are strictly enforced by the courts, but also a vast apparatus of affirmative action policies mandating race and gender preferences for nonwhites and women in the workplace and academia alike.

[4] Implicit in this charge is the notion that the dramatic decline in labor union membership since the 1960s has occurred because corporations have somehow prevented workers from unionizing. However, polls consistently show that most employees simply prefer not to join labor unions.

[5] OWS's kindred ideological spirit, WG99, proposes “a student loan debt relief forgiveness program,” whereby “interest on these debts should be reduced and deferred…and the principal on these loans forgiven over time by phasing in a graduated corporate tax surcharge.”

[6] Building upon that premise, WG99 proposes that the U.S. “cap carbon emissions and implement new and existing programs to transition away from fossil fuels to reusable or carbon neutral sources of energy.” If enacted, such a carbon cap would impose stiff financial penalties on companies that exceed their government-allotted carbon-emissions limits. Those extra costs would necessarily be passed on to consumers, thereby amounting to a tax that would increase the annual energy expenditures of a four-person family by some $1,870.

[7] But research demonstrates that outsourcing is closely related to whether or not a corporation's home state has business-friendly tax and regulatory policies—precisely the antithesis of the punitive measures OWS advocates.

[8] Thus did OWS rally around the cause of the recently executed cop-killer Troy Davis, an African American who, by OWS's telling, was “an innocent man … murdered by the state.”

[9] To address this issue, WG99 proposed the implementation of a single-payer healthcare system to remove the profit motive and free-market competition—precisely the recipe for the failures that socialized medicine has experienced in other countries.
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