Normally I heed this warning and therefore ought not to wade into the Occupy Wall Street movement. While its difficult to comment on the ideas of a mob without concrete goals or ideas, there seems to be recurring themes of anti-greed and anti-income gap coming from this protest.
When Suzanne and I make supper, we often watch Judge Judy. A recurring theme among its litigants involves cheating spouses. Curiously, if a man cheats on his wife, she takes out her rage on the other woman rather than her deadbeat husband earning Judge Judy’s scolding. I see the same thing in these protests. The liberal president these protesters voted for, sold them out and gave away their tax dollars to investment banks but they camp outside the banks and yell? Why aren’t these protests happening in Washington where the corruption is actually taking place?
Another curiosity is the pro democracy voices at odds with the heart of capitalism. Wall Street in many ways is the epicentre of voluntary exchange while Washington is the epicentre of unilateral confiscation yet protestors occupy Wall Street and not Washington. Protestors protest corporate greed, yet voluntarily pay twice the going price for an Apple computer. I guess Apple isn’t greedy if they like the product. Protestors seem unable to extrapolate this voluntary exchange to the greater economy. They extol the virtue of democracy yet fail to see how voluntary choice is the heart of capitalism.
While we all have a vested interest in ensuring that everyone has opportunities and a safety net, I do not understand how protestors are put out when someone makes more money than themselves? Is this protest fueled by petty jealousy? With the top 10% income earners paying 70% of the income taxes and the bottom 50% paying 2.7%, its hard to say with a straight face or informed mind that the wealthy do not pay their “fair share.” It’s certainly not worth my time to explain to these people how excess capital is a minimum required necessity for job creation.
It’s easy to see why people are mad as their economy and standard of living erodes within a generation. But it is so tragic to watch that angst flail and yell, too ignorant to understand what the causes really are. Our education systems utterly failed them. In the absence of any useful education or political leadership or media analysis, the vague boogeymen like “greed” and “big corporations” are held to the fire like a primitive tribe eradicating a demon for a failed crop.