The next stage of the Aimless Occupation of America is upon us: On Wednesday, rabble-rousers in the San Francisco Bay Area will walk off jobs they don't have and encourage everyone else around the country to abandon work to protest high unemployment.
The Occupiers are calling their organized day of inaction a "Mass Day of Action." The Carpenters Local 713, the Service Employees International Union, the United Auto Workers and the Industrial Workers of the World have all endorsed the "general strike." Longshore workers and their union agitators are rooting for the shutdown of the Port of Oakland. Teachers unions will push students and educators to play hooky. Their posters urge: "No Work. No School. Occupy Everywhere."
A city suffering from chronic poverty, out-of-control crime, a $76 million budget deficit and a 15 percent unemployment rate (nearly 50 percent for Oakland's youth) can hardly afford such social justice follies. But a pushover Democratic mayor and an overwhelmed police force have left what's left of gainfully employed Oakland taxpayers at the mercy of professional freeloaders and anti-capitalism saboteurs.
Instead of unequivocally condemning efforts to paralyze downtown commerce, Oakland city officials have all expressed sympathy for the protesters. For a brief moment, the city council president fretted meekly about the city's image after a violent clash between Camp Chaos inhabitants and law enforcement officers last week. Nevertheless, city leaders -- or rather, city enablers -- have informed public employees that they can use vacation or other paid time to ditch their offices and raise their fists in solidarity with the Occupiers.
Instead of targeting local bank branch managers and private-sector entrepreneurs, the protesters should be camping out at government offices and asking where all the tens of millions of dollars in federal Obama stimulus funding went over the past two years -- including $40 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly $30 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, $26 million from the Department of Justice, $24 million from the Transportation Department, $15 million from the Department of Education, and $5.3 million from the Environmental Protection Agency.
One local analysis found last year that the Oakland Housing Authority squandered nearly $11 million in federal project renovation and clean-up stimulus grants to create a measly 10.7 jobs.