RUSH: BusinessInsider.com: "Former SEIU Official Reveals Secret Plan To Destroy JP Morgan, Crash The Stock Market, And Redistribute Wealth In America -- A former official of one of the country's most-powerful unions, SEIU, has a secret plan to 'destabilize' the country. The plan is designed to destroy JP Morgan, nuke the stock market, and weaken Wall Street's grip on power, thus creating the conditions necessary for a redistribution of wealth and a change in government. The former SEIU official, Stephen Lerner, spoke in a closed session at a Pace University forum last weekend."
A website, "The Blaze procured what appears to be a tape of Lerner's remarks. Many Americans will undoubtely sympathize with and support them," says the BusinessInsider.com. It's Henry Blodget's blog here. "Still, the 'destabilization' plan is startling in its specificity, especially coming so close on the heels of the financial crisis. Lerner said that unions and community organizations are, for all intents and purposes, dead. The only way to achieve their goals, therefore -- the redistribution of wealth and the return of '$17 trillion' stolen from the middle class by Wall Street -- is to 'destabilize the country.'"
So this is a derivative, if you will, of Cloward-Piven. "Lerner's plan is to organize a mass, coordinated 'strike' on mortgage, student loan, and local government debt payments -- thus bringing the banks to the edge of insolvency and forcing them to renegotiate the terms of the loans. This destabilization and turmoil, Lerner hopes, will also crash the stock market, isolating the banking class and allowing for a transfer of power. Lerner's plan starts by attacking JP Morgan Chase in early May, with demonstrations on Wall Street, protests at the annual shareholder meeting, and then calls for a coordinated mortgage strike."
As I have delved into this, what I think is bugging this guy (in a short, condensed version) is the belief that debt -- forced debt upon middle-class people, students (i.e., student loans and so forth) -- has made Wall Street bankers and financial people excessively, unfairly, out-of-proportionally rich. In the process, they're causing things that a normal person would want (college education, whatever it may be) to be priced so high that you can only acquire them with a loan taken out by people who are raping you and stealing you blind (with interest and so forth) and that you basically have had these people in Wall Street stealing money from the middle class by dangling carrots in front of them.
"Oh, you want a college education? Oh, you want a house? Oh, you want a car? Well, fine. Here's the money, but you are gonna pay! You're gonna go into so much debt and we are gonna be the beneficiaries of the debt and we're gonna get rich and we're gonna take everything you've got and your debt's gonna be so high that you never have a chance to get rich." This guy is pure, 100% anti-capitalist and what he wants is what Cloward-Piven has basically said: Just overwhelm the system. It's sort of a derivative of Cloward-Piven.
You just overwhelm the system with so many dependents and so many middle class benefits having to be paid that the money isn't there. It causes a system-wide collapse, capitalism implodes upon itself, and somebody comes into the breach and restructures the government as a socialist utopian paradise -- and the guy's dead serious about it. Now, when he says that unions and so forth are "dead," he's talking about clout. He's talking about power. But "community organizations," the ACORN types, these are the groups that can successfully organize a strike -- a strike meaning people just stop paying back on their loans.
Just stop. Even if they take away your education -- if they stop you from going to college, don't let you go to class -- just stop paying them and they'll go broke. Stop paying them and they'll shut down. Stop paying them and there will be a crash. Stop paying them and their worth plummets; their value goes to zero. Just stop paying these people who have basically imprisoned you by virtue of debt -- and, of course, he won't stop with Wall Street. The plan doesn't stop with Wall Street. It's just anybody or any particular business or area of business with concentrated wealth. Now, they have tried this before.
Lerner's strategy is, "How do we bring down the stock market? How do we bring down their bonuses? How do we interfere with their ability to be rich?" This is what his objective is, and he believes that Wall Street's wealth has been stolen. This is a guy who believes, for example, that Reaganomics or trickle-down economics means, "The rich got rich by stealing from the poor," or stealing from the middle class and making them poor via debt. He has worked with unions in Europe. Look at the riots they're having there. This guy is a pure anti-capitalist. He despises America. He is on a personal crusade.
I have no idea what kind of success he's going to have in May with these efforts that he's undertaking, but you can look at Europe and he has been involved with unions there. Now, he was throwing out of the "SEIU last November, reportedly for spending millions of the union's dollars trying to pursue a plan like the one he details here." Henry Blodget says, "It is not clear what, if any, power and influence he currently wields. His main message -- that Wall Street won the financial crisis, that inequality in this country is hitting record levels, and that there appears to be no other way to stop the trend -- will almost certainly resonate."
Blodget includes a transcript here "of Lerner's full reported remarks." Among the remarks that Lerner gave at Pace University: "'Unions are almost dead. We cannot survive doing what we do but the simple fact of the matter is community organizations are almost dead also. And if you think about what we need to do it may give us some direction which is essentially what the folks that are in charge -- the big banks and everything -- what they want is stability.'" So we have "'to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement. For example, 10% of homeowners are underwater right now. Their home.
"'They are paying more for it then its worth; 10% of those people are in strategic default, meaning they are refusing to pay but they are staying in their home. That's totally spontaneous. They figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because foreclosure is backed up,'" the foreclosure rate. "'If you could double that number you would -- you could put banks at the edge of insolvency again. Students have a trillion dollar debt. We have an entire economy that is built on debt and banks, so the question would be: What would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike?
"'If we get half a million people to agree, it would literally cause a new finical crisis for the banks. Not for us! We would be doing quite well. We wouldn't be paying anything... We have to think much more creatively. The key thing... What does the other side fear the most? They fear disruption. They fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says in they rioted in Greece, the markets went down. The folks that control this country care about one thing: How the stock market goes. What the bond market does. How the bonuses go. We have a very simple strategy: * How do we bring down the stock market? * How do we bring down their bonuses? * How do we interfere with there ability to be rich? ...
"'I don't want to give any details because I don't know if there are any police agents in the room. The goal would be that we will roll out of New York the first week of May. We will connect three ideas: * that we are not broke; there is plenty of money. * they have the money; we need to get it back * and that they are using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try and destroy us,'" the middle class. "'And so we need to take on those folks at the same time. And that we will start here we are going to look at a week of civil disobedience -- direct action all over [New York City]. ...
"'There is going to be a ten state mobilization to try and shut down that meeting [of the JP Morgan shareholders] and then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the country and try and create some moments like Madison, [Wisconsin] except where we are on offense instead of defense. ... We hope to inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country and that labor can't do itself, that community groups can't do themselves, but maybe we can work something new and different that can be brave enough and daring and nimble enough to do that kind of thing.'"
Now, is this not a form of terrorism that the guy is preaching? Where is Eric Holder? Where is Big Sis? Where is Janet Napolitano in all this? Now, the point about this, as far as I'm concerned, is not whether or not this guy is going to succeed. But if you believe he's being honest about what he believes -- and I do -- it's a fascinating look into the mind-set of the kook, extremist left in this country who are treated sympathetically by the media. Their causes are all just, and so is the notion that capitalism is unfair and that their money has been stolen from them and that the country is unjust -- and they need to, you know, economically hobble it.
And these are union people. This guy's former SEIU. These are union people. We've discussed the public sector union people. We are messing with their bread and butter. They have their hands in the treasuries of all states in which they operate and the US Treasury. They have their hands there. That's how they live. Now, we're broke and the states are broke for a multitude of reasons. What they're being paid is among them.
RUSH: What ends up getting this Stephen Lerner guy in the mind-set that he's in is his sense of entitlement. So he wants a college education. He wants it, he should have it. It shouldn't cost him anything. And the people who provide it certainly shouldn't be getting rich because a college education he thinks is an entitlement. The whole notion, if you want to try to destroy J.P. Morgan -- and, by the way, one of the reasons for that, I'm guessing, J.P. Morgan, John Pierpont Morgan, so wealthy, he had to bail out the federal government way back in the late 1800s, and he got rich on debt. He was a financier. But no, he didn't force anybody. If you can't afford it, too bad. But that's not the way these people look at it. There's no such thing as not being able to afford it. There's nothing but oppression denying you. If you are 18 and you want to go to Harvard, that's all there is. And whatever's in your way is the fault of capitalism. You should be able to go and it shouldn't cost you any more than what you can afford.
I've been paying a little bit of attention to the owners' and players' problems in the NFL. And the players want to see the owners' books to determine how much the owners could be paying 'em. It's none of their business. The owners are gonna pay them what they want to pay them, not what they're able to pay them. It's the same argument in Wisconsin. It's not what the taxpayers are able to pay. It's what they are willing to pay. And if you don't want that job, go do something else. If you're in the NFL and they are unwilling to pay you based on what you think they can afford, well, go do something else. That's the way it works. Nobody in this country gets paid on the basis of somebody's ability to pay them. They get paid on the basis of their value and their worth and what somebody wants to pay them, and if that isn't good enough you go do something else. For guys like Lerner and these other union people, that doesn't compute. Their desire is holy and somebody better make it possible. And if they don't, then it's the fault of capitalism or what have you. No, you've got envy, you've got jealousy, you've got anger, there's all kinds of feelings of inadequacy and what have you, inferiority. But it's real. These people feel an entitlement to something simply because they want it, however they've been raised, indoctrinated, what have you.
RUSH: Here's Margaret in Naperville, Illinois. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you. Nice to talk to you, too.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Okay. What I really wanted to talk about was that Steve Lerner thing you were playing before and how similar it is -- almost word-for-word -- to an interview that Michael Moore gave in some sections (sic) not too long ago.
RUSH: Couple weeks ago.
RUSH: Michael Moore: Yeah, there's a lot of money out there. We're not broke. There's all kinds of money out there!
CALLER: Yeah, "It's our money! We gotta get it back!"
RUSH: Right, exactly.
CALLER: It's scaring me! (laughing) It's very scary.
RUSH: Well, look, you could argue that the same thing was tried in 2008.
RUSH: What was that? We had a financial crisis, a run on banks, trying to dissolve debt, all this kind of stuff. They've tried this. There really is an insane, extreme left. Now, you have to wonder about this, though. Margaret, here's the thing. I know a lot of people want to take Lerner seriously and so forth. We generally don't chase kooks on this show. We don't normally chase kooks. We leave that to others. However, I think what these guys, these Lerners -- these people that believe in this -- you have to wonder how the rank-and-file of any union feel. California, the Teachers' Retirement System, the public employees retirement -- STRS and PERS -- SEIU, any union, public or private.
Where are their pensions invested? They're invested in Wall Street, which is what this guy claims he wants to destroy. So you have this disgruntled SEIU guy on the warpath here -- anti-capitalism, anti-everything else -- trying essentially, if he succeeds, to devalue every pension plan and every other investment vehicle for retirement, health care, pension, what have you of every union in this country. Is he aware of that? Is he aware of it and doesn't care? Their Cadillac pensions are gonna be destroyed right along with JP Morgan and anybody else they happen to destroy if they could pull it off.