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Monday, November 21, 2011

The Occupy Movement and the Bathwater

At the Saturday "faith and values" forum for Republican candidates for president, Newt Gingrich took all of us back in a rhetorical time machine to the late 1960s, dismissing Occupy protesters with a wave as lazy, smelly hippies. What advice does he have for the protesters? "Go get a job right after you take a bath."

As I asserted in an earlier post, the Occupiers have largely failed to take advantage of their remarkable publicity. Others, of course, are happy to pick up their slack and use the Occupy Movement to advance their own goals. Conservative politicians and voters, for example, thrill with horror at examples of people driven mad by the welfare-state entitlement virus. See what happens when you have an out-of-control welfare state? The Occupy Movement.

Once the messenger has been co-opted, the empirical accuracy of its assertions can be safely ignored. Have we developed a country with vast inequalities in wealth and income? Could it have a corrosive effect on the stability of the economy and the political system? Answer: The protesters are aimless, lazy, and dirty!


  1. I wont disrespect you by citing the definition of capitalism. However, as every politician to the right of center has said, capitalism is the basis of America's entire financial system. The idea of working for what you have, and earning it through hard work, made the United States the gleaming beacon hope and prosperity for all of the world to see (a little dramatic I know). Now, with the poor economy, high unemployment, and little prospect of said economy recovering , we now have the Occupy Movement - a collection of various groups, with different motives, assembling under a single fractured banner. To be frank, I have little sympathy for the protesters. For months this well publicized movement has taken place, and while their demands are commendble, that simply is not the way our country operates. Id rather be on my own with the prospect of succeeding through my own motivations and talents than have everyone start out like they were playing monopoly (you get two hundreds, three twenties, and a few tens ). Maybe a more accurate board game would be the game of "Life." Either way, it blows my mind that these protesters choose their right to assembly over getting a lower wage job to at least support themselves. Didn't they ever hear the expression, "Life isn't fair?"

  2. Hi Ryan,

    There are varieties of capitalism, in which the economy is managed in different ways. All successful economies to an extent are managed to prevent unnecessary suffering.

    I would consider the system we had during early 20th century and during the Great Depression. Many of the regulations and protections in place that we take for granted were seen as wildly socialistic at that point. The only way those reforms (I think good ones-- they did not seem to hurt the economy from 1937-1967) were achieved was through democratic assembly.

    A economic system in which people did not start out with a minimum amount of 'Monopoly money,' would have, for example, no public schools. All countries that have industrialized (or want to industrialize) provide minimum benefits for citizens and regulate the economy to curb the worst effects of that system.

    If life isn't fair, then no one should complain about higher taxes on the rich, affirmative action, second-trimester abortions, and gun control...