Occupy Wall Street

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by ryoder, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I remember how excited many in the mainstream media were to describe Tea Party rally attendance as mostly white, yet strangely they're not mentioning that with the same alacrity when it comes to Occupy Wall Street. Meanwhile lots of Tea Party types are becoming supporters of Herman Cain. Interesting times....
  2. HikaruBr

    HikaruBr Member

    For a socialist (and it seems most american "liberals" are becoming socialists), Democracy is only democracy when people chose socialism.

    As a libertarian I definitely don't like the most conservative aspects of the Tea Party and I do have sympathy for some Occupy Wall Street grievances (i.e. Bail Outs, corporations having more rights than individuals, etc...) but it's obvious that the media coverage of both movements shows how totally liberal biased the American media is.
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    You know, I didn't even think about that (Occupy protesters being mostly white). Great point.

    As for Cain, that doesn't surprise me at all. I'm not a Tea Party guy in that I've never attended a rally, but I do agree with many of their points. I like Cain, but I think he's in it for the show, and not the go, and I don't expect him to seriously contend for the Republican nomination.

    My dream ticket is Mitt Romney and Allen West. Romney has the economic background and credentials, while West will allay the concerns of those who don't think Romney is conservative enough, plus he has the military background that Romney lacks.

    And, let's be honest.....it doesn't hurt that he (West) is black.

    Finally, something we can agree on.
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Does anyone know when George Bush III will meet age qualifications to run for President?
  5. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I am familiar with the broken window fallacy (which is more a macro economic opportunity cost argument) and although it “seems” that having a robust war machine in the military industrial complex is indeed either “fixing” something broken or preparing to break something I would argue that it is also one of the if not “the” paramount research oriented organism within our nation. Would private enterprise have innovated as greatly as the military if not burdened with the cost of supporting a military industrial complex? Nobody can be certain but I suspect “no” and this is why. The innovation driven by military need brought specific needs into sharp focus often times under heavy concentrations of demand.

    For example would radar have been a profitable venture in private enterprise? What would the business driver have been? Nobody can say, but this is in common private use daily now and we could not imagine our lives without it. Personally I suspect that if a market could be secured by large, politically connected and financially well to do monopolies who owned railroads and efforts sustained against anything challenging that technology, commercial flight may never have become a reality. The same with ARPANET or even nuclear energy, advances in surgical and medicinal techniques and equipment, jet propulsion (or flight in general), etc. Of course this all comes at huge costs but this is looking at the “bright side” of massive military spending and to my point, disproves at least somewhat the broken window fallacy in that these innovations drive economic growth and prosperity far beyond the utility they may serve in war and are developed and matured in a something of a protected environment against early influences of would be competition in whose best interests would be served by snuffing the innovation out.

    Granted, the broken window fallacy makes sense if we are talking purely of weaponry. For example every AK47 produced has a private entity opportunity cost with little applicable use in the private sector. They are not used to create wealth and generally do not enhance or move an economy further. In purely economic terms an AK47 would have less investment utility than a needle and thread. In pure humanitarian terms however a nation unable to defend itself can (and history shows likely will) fall prey to a nation that has no qualms about investing in weaponry. The AK47 is a hedge against economic growth to be “harvested” (probably not the best term) by a foreign aggressor (think World War 2 France). So even the purest machine of war has a place. I’m not an economist nor do I play one on T.V. but the broken window fallacy is a line of thought that in my opinion, removes human nature from the laws of economics and views life purely in economic terms.

    But the point we do agree on (back to the original topic) is that diverting funds from a wealth generating military industrial complex, however small the return on investment may be has still lead to innovations and growth that no amount of social programs or entitlements ever could, especially since entitlements by nature tend to stifle potential growth, not exploit it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2011
  6. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member


    Did change not occur when:

    **Protestors fought/died for labor/workplace rights resulting in the concept of the weekend, rest breaks, lunches, etc.
    **Protestors mobilized for civil rights?
    **Protestors helped enable women win the right to vote?

  7. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Those who happen to be at or near the top of the current economic food chain are typically there because they're very smart, well-educated, very motivated, very ambitious, and hard-working. That's why they tend to earn a bigger piece of the economic pie.

    And, BTW, their efforts actually serve to grow the pie.

    Now, if you're determined to knock them off their high horse and take them down a notch or two, they'll continue to compete economically against those who were formerly under them on the food chain, they'll likely win that competition, and they'll simply establish themselves as the new top of the food chain - except the new food chain will apparently be shorter than it used to be; i.e. the pie will be smaller.

    Bottom line: You will never create a system involving humans where everyone's outcome is equal. In fact, it's wrong-headed and stupid to even try.

    There is only one way to even attempt to accomplish that ridiculous Utopian dream: Some folks must serve as the Grand Overseers to ensure and enforce equality by raising up the underachievers and knocking down the overachievers.

    When that happens, the food chain still exists - it will never be destroyed - the top will simply be occupied by those who are the Grand Overseers - except that such folks don't contribute anyhing productive or of lasting value to society.

    Trying to make everyone end up equal is a pipe dream.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Maybe some, but I think there are an awful lot of people who are there because they're part of a system wherein corporate executives and government policy makers have cooperated for mutual advantage at the expense of everyone else, especially entrepreneurs.

    Look at Congress. Out of 310 million Americans, those are the best 535 who could be found? You have to be kidding me! And corporate America isn't different. Do you really think that the CEOs of the Fortune 500 are the smartest 500 guys in the room?

    Frankly, and I say this as a libertarian, this is something that I simply don't get about most conservatives and libertarians. Yes, in a free market, the cream tends to float to the top. But we don't have a free market! Political influence permeates our society, wildly distorting who becomes successful. This myth that people with wealth all deserve it and got it through hard work -- those on the right should know better.
  9. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Those people had defined goals, which were noble. The OWS people can't even tell you what they're hoping to accomplish, other than whining about other people's success and wanting everything handed to them.

    True conservatives are against government regulation, other than for the public safety (food & drug, airline safety, etc.).
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2011
  10. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    You have to kind of laugh at the "education" that is going on during these protests though.
    Last Updated: 7:05 AM, October 27, 2011
    Posted: 1:43 AM, October 27, 2011

    The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday -- because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters. For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad. They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

    TUMMY TROUBLE: Protesters and hangers-on were disappointed in yesterday’s fare supplied by cooks who plan to serve only brown rice instead of fancy feasts in protest over an influx of “professional homeless” eaters. To show they mean business, the kitchen staff refused to serve any food for two hours yesterday in order to meet with organizers to air their grievances, sources said. As the kitchen workers met with the “General Assembly’’ last night, about 300 demonstrators stormed from the park to Reade Street and Broadway, where they violently clashed with cops. Officers made at least 10 arrests when rowdy demonstrators refused to get out of the street and stop blocking traffic. A dozen cops on scooters tried to force them back to the sidewalk. There were no reported injuries. The demonstrators said they were angry over the violence in Oakland.

    After making their way to Union Square, many of the protesters returned to Zuccotti. The Assembly officially approved the three-day menu crackdown announced earlier in the day -- insisting everybody would be fed something during that period. Some protesters threatened that the high-end meals could be cut off completely if the vagrants and criminals don’t disperse. Unhappiness with their unwelcome guests was apparent throughout the day. “We need to limit the amount of food we’re putting out” to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer. A security volunteer added that the cooks felt “overworked and underappreciated.”[/B] Many of those being fed “are professional homeless people. They know what they’re doing,” said the guard at the food-storage area.

    Today, a limited menu of sandwiches, chips and some hot food will be doled out -- so legitimate protesters will have a day to make arrangements for more upscale weekend meals. Protesters got their first taste of the revolt within the revolt yesterday when the kitchen staff served only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips after their staff meeting. Organizers took other steps to police the squatters, who they said were lured in from other parks with the promise of free meals.

    A team of 10 security volunteers moved in to the trouble-prone southwest section of Zuccotti Park in a show of force to confront them. "We’re not going to let some members of this community destroy the whole movement,” a volunteer said.

    Some arguments broke out as the security team searched tents -- but no violence erupted. Overall security at the park had deteriorated to the point where many frightened female protesters had abandoned the increasingly out-of-control occupation, security- team members said. Rumors swirled that one homeless man had pulled a knife in a dispute the night before -- and that there had been yet another case of groping. But protesters and a cop on duty told The Post that most of the crime goes unreported, because of a bizarre “stop snitching” rule. “What’s happening in there is staying in there,” said the cop.

    Sounds like an article from the Onion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2011
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    They can't even see their own hypocrisy.
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I think that the OWS protesters have good intentions but I'm thinking that America is getting tired of it (it's that short-term memory problem we seem to have.) In my own opinion they need to turn the corner, get more organized, put out a concerted message complete with goals, an action plan, etc. or this whole thing will become as boring as the NBA lockout.
  13. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    From what I hear, they realize this, and will remobilize and change their strategy soon.

  14. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't say that they don't know why they're protesting but if all they're going to do is hold up signs that say "End Corporate Greed," then their message will never actually create change.
  16. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    EDIT: I deleted my previous post in favor of brevity and simplicity.

    The conservatives on this board have so far said absolutely everything they can think of to try to discredit the Wall Street protesters except for either of these two things:

    1) Correctly portray what the protesters' message is.

    2) Disagree with it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2011
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The protesters seem to think that they're entitled to other people's wealth, but apply the same concept to them (homeless eating their food), it suddenly doesn't seem like such a great idea.

  18. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Short concise, and accurate. Do any of our members refer to themselves as Republicans any more? . Just wondering.

    Abner :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2011
  19. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    When I first registered to vote, it was as a Republican, but I switched to unenrolled (the MA terminology for independent) many years ago. Massachusetts is basically a one-party state, with Democrats controlling the Governor's office, secretary of state, state treasurer, state auditor, attorney general, and both houses of the legislature, so it was pointless to remain Republican.

    Now unenrolled, I can take any ballot during the primary election. That way, I can try to limit the damage that the Democrat candidate can do by voting for the most moderate one in the primary, as I know they're going to win the general election anyway, simply because of the Kool-Aid drinking blind loyalty the sheeple of MA have towards the (D) after a politician's name.
  20. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I am a registered Republican (because I voted in their primary which in Texas automatically registers you as such). Anyhow the term "Republican" means absolutely nothing anymore...there's the Romney type (liberal), the McCain type (neo-con), the Bush Sr. types (neo-con light), the Reagan types (big govt. is bad except when it's good), the Ron Paul types (all government is bad except the post office), the Rick Perry types (I played a conservative on T.V. once), and of course all label themselves as being "conservative". In fact the only thing more confusing to me are the OWS protesters. They do not have a unified message, a singular leader or voice but they are pissed. I know in Dallas we had flashers and we had a rape case in their camp (with a 14 year old girl). Had that been a Tea Party it would have made global news so there's a lot of bias there.

    Anyhow, if any of you care to articulate their position I'll listen.

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