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(Yawn) Another Occupy “Whatever” day – May 1 – has come and gone with hardly a headline. Oh, there were a few pathetic attempts to blow up bridges (and this helps their cause how?), but otherwise the day apparently passed with nothing more than some broken windows and a few arrests.
It may be that the Occupy movement has lost its steam. I’m guessing that enough people took note of the long-term behavior of Occupy protesters last year and decided it wasn’t worth paying any attention to them this time. Last year’s protests sure looked like a giant excuse to party, act destructively, tap into the sympathy of rich progressives, get free goodies, be appeased by the media and unions; in short, to act like a bunch of spoiled kids having a collective temper tantrum. No wonder this year’s first protests have fizzled.
Part of the shrugging national indifference this week arises from the persistent inability of the Occupy movement to define its goals. One game attempt came from a CNN MoneyTech column, which said, “Occupy Wall Street’s real goal has always been simple. Draw focus to the concerns – and anger – many Americans have about the country’s growing economic gap, plant the seed of an organized voice, and let the protest evolve naturally.”
Well, defined that vaguely, I guess you could say the Occupy movement has been a success. OK, you don’t like the fact that America has rich people. We got it. Next?
The Occupy movement purports to be the 99 percent, yet they’ve acted again and again to destroy or disrupt the lives and livelihoods of those 99 percent, the ordinary folks who are just trying to make a living in a bad economy. What, precisely, will it accomplish to smash car windows or to block bridges and tunnels, which prevents the 99 percent from getting to their jobs?
“Occupy Wall Street is meant more as a way of life,” notes a sympathetic CNN article from last October, “that spreads through contagion, creates as many questions as it answers, aims to force a reconsideration of the way the nation does business and offers hope to those of us who previously felt alone in our belief that the current economic system is broken.”
Well, here’s a news flash: I agree. The current economic system IS broken. But why is that? It’s quite simple. It is the unholy and unconstitutional alliance between the government, big business and banks that has caused the problem in what should be a purely capitalistic system. Get the government the hell out – stop the bribes and the lobbying and the bailouts and other sweet backroom deals between politicians and bankers and Wall Street – and the problems in our nation would begin to sort themselves out.
If you truly want to protest a broken economic system, stop breaking windows and pooping on police cars and trying to blow up bridges. Those are actions that damage the 99 percent. It’s the government that is acting out of its constitutional bounds. Remove politicians from the equation, cope with the resulting short-term upheaval, and things will settle down in accordance with capitalist principles. Stop out-of-control government and you might get somewhere. Occupy THAT, for heaven’s sake.
But that’s not what these Occupy people apparently want. It appears they don’t want the government to be restricted. On the contrary, the Occupy crowd still seems obsessed with wealth redistribution and ending capitalism and obtaining the “freedom” from having to pay back obligations like student loans. (For a better understanding of the Occupy mentality regarding capitalism, take a gander at this video clip. Don’t forget to pick up your jaw afterwards.)
In short, they see the greater hand of government (but only when and where it suits them) as the solution, at the expense of the free-market system that has raised this nation to pre-eminence and subsequently allowed a useless class of people the leisure to protest the greatness it achieved. Go figure.
Here is how one article described Occupy’s goals: “From New York to San Francisco, organizers of the various demonstrations, strikes and acts of civil disobedience said they were not too concerned about muddling their messages. They noted that the movements have similar goals: jobs, fair wages and equality.”
Jobs? You’ll get more of those when you get the government out of things. Fair wages? An employer has the right to pay his employees whatever he wants. If you don’t like it, don’t work there. Equality? According to our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we have lots of equality. What you want is equal outcome, not equal opportunity. That bit of snake oil always leads to bondage. Always. Sheesh, people, wake up.
When the Occupy protesters demand “free” this and “more” of that, what they’re demanding is the government hold a gun to someone’s head and liberate him of his money, which is then funneled through an incredibly inefficient system of redistribution. Or, as John Stossel so succinctly puts it, “Government is unable to give without first taking away.” And guess what, it takes away from the 99 percent.
Microsoft (or any other huge corporation) cannot force me to purchase its products. It cannot take my money away and give it to someone else it deems more worthy. Blue Cross/Blue Shield cannot force me to buy its health insurance. Nor can it force me to buy insurance for anyone else.
But government can. It can quite literally hold a gun to my head and empty my bank account and seize my assets and shoot my livestock and do anything else it pleases in a violent and unconstitutional manner … and there’s not a bloody thing I could do about it. So who’s the greater evil – Citibank or the government?
In short, if the Occupy protesters want the wealth in this nation to be redistributed more “equitably,” then they’re just as evil and mistaken as the banks and politicians they purport to protest. If they want socialism, they have only to look at the massive failures of that system in Russia, in Sweden, in Greece, Ireland, England, Spain, and on and on. And don’t give me the old argument that this time it will be different. That’s the definition of insanity, folks.
So apparently most people are in agreement with the Occupy people about the problems. It’s the solutions they totally and completely miss.