I'd never seen this before, but this is an excerpt of a speech President Lincoln gave 150 years ago today to a joint session of Congress. Want to know what the Occupy Movement is all about? Abraham Lincoln knew 150 years ago.
"It is not needed, nor fitting here [in discussing the Civil War] that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions; but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effect to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor, in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded thus far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life.
“Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
Can someone, anyone, who is more concerned with the plight of labor and with promoting the general welfare of We the People please run for President? (And I'm sorry, President Obama, but just because you're more concerned about working people than the Republican train-wreck-of-a-field does not mean you give higher consideration to labor than capital. Not after 7 trillion to the banks.)
Or will I need a time machine so I can vote for someone as progressive as a guy who's been dead for 146 years?
Help me, Doc Brown!