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A few weeks ago a group of protesters converge on Wall Street to protest against the financial system.  A system they saw as rigged to help the elite and hold down the poor.   The list of grievances was long and varied and it seemed everyone had their own.  It was all marketed as some sort of grass roots uprising like the Tea Party.

Oakland California or West Bank in Palastine?

What we now know is it was not some spontaneous gathering of angry leftwing tweeters.  It was the brainchild of Kalle Lasn, a no name 60s radical who publishes a small magazine.  His magazine and its fanatical readers got this show on the road.  Now for sure tweeting college students and others soon joined the fray and the protesters first highlighted in a previous post have now spread coast to coast.  Even so the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement was not the result of a lets go down to the river and have a Tea Party moment.  In fact all the Tea Party comparisons with OWS have been greatly exaggerated. For example:

  • The Tea Party Dwarfs the OWS folks, the Tea Party Washington DC rally on Sept. 12 2009 alone had more participation than all the OWS rally’s combined.
  • The Tea Party got permits and followed the law, the OWS folks just show up.
  • The Tea Party has an agenda, lower taxes, less government, more fiscal responsibility.  The OWS crowd has gripes and little else
  • The Tea Party respected both public and private property and cleaned up after themselves.  The OWS crowd does not understand the concept of respect for property, public or private.
  • The Tea Party added to the well being of businesses, the OWS crowd blocks businesses and the public from getting to businesses.
  • The Tea Party actively rooted out those who came with racial or ethnic agendas where the OWS crowd seems to revel in anti-Semitism
  • The Tea Party protests were peaceful and followed the law; the OWS protests have ignored the law and most recently turned violent.

The more appropriate OWS comparison maybe to 1960’s radicals.  It does seem today’s leftwing college students, egged on by their left wing professors, now have their 60’s moment.  Even here there is a major difference; the long haired pot smokers of days past actually had an agenda for the most part.  The Occupy Wall Street crowd has a long list of gripes but if anyone can decipher a central agenda or knows what the their end goals are please let the rest of the world in on it.

Now for sure, what they lack in goals they make up for in gripes.  Their complaints  seem endless but most of participants rail against bailouts, the success of what they called the top 1%, wages and having to repay their student loans.  Of course there other demands like a living wage, the end of international borders, and the end of fossil fuels to name a few.  The crowds also have a list of those they see as villains, people like bankers, stock brokers, anybody that is rich and of course George Bush.

One thing is sure these are people with energy, an energy that many Democrats have hoped to harness.  The Democrats are not the only ones hoping to benefit from OWS movement; the communist party, SEIU, ACORN and a host of other groups have also tried to piggyback onto the movement for their own ends.  What these groups are finding out is it is hard to control a multi-headed snake.

Lately the multi-headed snake has been starting to bite.  There has always been some violence around the edges but that could be forgiven as the work of rabble rousers.  In the case of the OWS movement there is more to it.  As pointed out in an earlier post, a poll of the OWS crowd showed nearly a third support the use of violence to advance their agenda.  Given this and the fact that those supporting violence are likely also to be most dedicated to their cause, violence was inevitable.  As the “lets join the party’ folks leave to have a life it was just a matter of time until those advocating violence start to reach critical mass.  The battles with cops in Oakland, Seattle, Denver and other cities are signs that the critical mass is being achieved.  It seems the OWS movement has become a street war against authority and capitalism.

Their random acts of violence are in fact acts of desperation by those with limited minds.  People that are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore but unfortunately do not understanding who to be mad at.  They have no clue how to solve the problems, pseudo-problems and make believe problems they are complaining about.  Just look at some of their complaints:

  • The bank bailouts
    • Quite honestly most people in the U.S. agree the bank bailouts were disgusting but what is ignored is that only a few banks actually were in trouble and that most of the banks that took bailout money were told to take it or else.  Of those that needed help most would have survived with a simple suspension of the “Mark to Market” rule, no tax payer money needed.  Any bank that was still too far gone should have been ether written off (preferable) or at the worst Uncle Sam could have put enough cash deposits into the bank to give them time to clean things up.   The fact that Washington decided to play god and interfere with the marketplace is something we should all be concerned about.  The Problem is the OWS folks seem to think more government is the answer.
    • Wall Street
      • Most of this I assume (and assuming anything with these folks is taking a big leap of faith) has to do with the housing crisis.  Agreed the banks and Wall Street did trade in sub-prime mortgages but the sub-prime market was created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in other words the whole mess is traceable to governmental social engineering.  The fact that the government and the Democrats in particular have escaped getting their deserved blame does not change the fact they started the ball rolling.  Wall Street is merely a mechanism for valuing assets and directing capital to where it is most needed.  It does this very well as long as no one introduces perverse incentives to make it do things it would not normally do.  The OWS crowds again do not have a clue about this.
      • 99% are getting screwed by the 1%
        • As a recent article pointed out, they are the 1%.  Many of the protesters are among the top 1% of the world.  Granted to be in the top 1% of the world you only have to make somewhere in the mid 30’s.  The fact remains that if their claims against the top 1% of U.S. rings true then so would the rest of the worlds claim against them!  If the top 1% of world gave up their wealth it would not only not help the bottom 99, it would leave them even worse off.  The same is true for the top 1% of this country, take all they have and distribute it among us all and we would all become poorer.  This is because the top 1% represent the most productive people, take away what they have and you also negate all they produce.  Do they think if Steve Jobs and Apple would of been forced to relinquish their wealth we would all be better off?  Of course not and the same can be said for millions of others.  The real question is not how we can tear down the top but how we can build up the bottom.  One of the answers is reducing regulations that protect established businesses by keeping new ones from getting off the ground.  Not something you hear from the OWS protesters
        • Student Loans and College costs
          • As far as paying off student loans, I paid mine you can pay yours.  The idea that the government should take money by force from people to pay off a loans for others is extremely repugnant.
          • College’s cost so much because government has made it that way.  First states limit the number of college charters so competition is kept to a minimum.  Second the state and federal government have created a system where college budgets are limited only to the amount they can finagle out of state and federal coffers. If there were more colleges competing for less money tuition rates would drop like a rock.  You would also get a higher quality and more innovative education system.  You want lower tuition rates than get government out of the way.

What the protester really represent is a philosophy, a philosophy that has its roots in the French Revolution.  Its a philosophy that has a history of inspiring violence and the OWS protests are no exception.  Violence and antisocial behavior will in the end undermine any support they have at the moment.  To have an impact they have to have a nonviolent agenda that rings true with large numbers of Americans.  The fact they do not have any real agenda and OWS violence seems to be on the rise the movement is likely to be a footnote in history.  This could change if some real leader takes control and their energy is harness towards some form of non violent change but so far that does not seem to be in the cards.

The Conservative Mind

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