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Examining the 'Occupy Wall Street' Premise: The Evil 1%

27 November 2011   David Wilhelmsen
Is Progressivism the answer to corporate greed?

wallstreetbillionaireThe “Occupy Wall Street” movement entices many because it expresses the wide-spread sentiment that our system has failed us. It demands change in Washington, change in the private sector, and change in the way America functions.

Unfortunately, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement operates under a fundamentally flawed premise – that an “Invisible Empire” rules America, making the rich wealthier and driving the “99%” further into poverty.

A brief examination of history will show that this tactic is nothing new, but only a revival of the tactics employed by Franklin D. Roosevelt throughout his presidency. Roosevelt and the Progressives claimed that corporations (the “Invisible Empire”) ruled America – that they controlled government and threatened every aspect of the American dream. As a result, Roosevelt and the Progressives advocated stricter regulations and a larger government capable of protecting the “99%”.

This approach, however, only made corporations stronger and every-day Americans weaker. Corporate America loved Progressivism because it allowed for tight cooperation with government. This increased barriers to entry for competitors, enlarged profits, and led to a monopolistic system in which a few companies could control entire industries under the protective hand of government.

The system of cooperation between large corporation and government was utilized by Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Francisco Franco, all of whom ruled dictatorially and leveraged the national workforce to benefit themselves and the “1%” around them.

The road to economic recovery centers upon improving our economic environment. This is accomplished through lower taxes across the board, a system of fair regulations applicable to both small and large businesses, and major tax-code simplification. These policies eliminate uncertainty and offer a higher return on investment, thereby incentivizing growth.


David Wilhelmsen graduated from high school in 2010. He was named the 2010 Prescott Area Youth Leader of the Year; served as President of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council and President of Saint Vincent de Paul. Wilhelmsen began attending Hillsdale College in the fall of 2010, and received all A's his first year. He was elected Vice-President of the Hillsdale College Republicans; chosen to be Chaplain of the Alpah Tau Omega Fraternity and also selected as Chairperson of the Hillsdale College Saint Judes Children's Hospital Board.