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Occupy upon Others at Their Expense

Posted by heyrandy on January 19, 2012

The Occupy (place-name here) movement has inflicted itself upon my town. Occupiers have pitched their tents in a city park. The city government, acting on orders from the Department of Homeland Security, has once expelled the camper from the park. The park needed “cleaning” was the excuse. The movement, originally called Occupy Wall Street, has spread to many cities. The original idea of the movement was to address what the movement called disparity in wealth distribution. This perceived disparity is expressed in the 1% verses the 99%. These percentages referred to the movement’s claim that 1% of Americans hold most of the country’s wealth. Those in the movement believe that the 1% hold this wealth in detriment to the 99%.

When the movement spread from Wall Street to other areas, the movement’s demands became broader. The movement never said how to redress what it considered an unfair imbalance of wealth, but the movement did begin to make issue of what they considered other injustices. Their demands We Want. This theme is not unique to them, but the Occupiers have a list of specific items. The list includes free health care, free tuition, free student-loan debt payoffs, and free mortgages. This is a free lunch.

The Occupiers are so far unsuccessful, but they remain undaunted. The Occupiers seem to have no obvious plan on how to get the free stuff. So far the movement has been a minor nuisance and a petty public health problem. The movement has been mostly peaceful. The lack of violence is to their credit. The Wall Street Occupiers did one time make some employees of some Wall Street firms late for work, but there was no riot.

The problem with the movement is its lack of understanding of how an economy works. Beneath all the demands is the presupposition that everyone is equal in all areas. The communists tried this (in theory) before. Its results were disastrous. Even if we disregard massive killings in Eastern Europe and China, the misery of state enforced equality in those areas was horrible. The Occupiers do not show any understanding of this history.

Occupy is also built on the envy principle. It is a case of “If I can’t have what you have, neither can you.” This does not lead to wealth for the poor. It only leads to poverty for the less politically connected. Making the rich poor has never made the poor rich. Occupy forgets that money is portable, and the rich are willing to travel. What would you do?

The Occupiers forget that America, and the West in general, is middle class. This is the group that will most suffer. There is irony here. The Occupiers are mostly middle class. You can tell by their stuff. The latest high-tech gizmos are very prevalent among the campers. To make their message heard, the movement uses this technology. They fail to see the obvious.

They also fail on the personal responsibility front. The outrage at the bailouts for the bankrupt mortgage bankers is just, but the other part of that is the personal responsibility of those who took out the loans. There were plenty of naïve people, but no one signed under duress. A share of the responsibility goes to those advocacy groups that militated for mortgage loans for those people who were obviously unqualified. Do you get a pass if you were only trying to help?

Where is the Occupy the Federal Reserve? The easy money policy of the Federal Reserve made possible all those bad mortgage loans. Here is where the movement could do real good. Focus upon the Federal Reserve. It is the source of much of the monetary problems we have. The Federal Reserve has been given carte blanche since its 1913 creation.

The Occupy movement is naïve. It lacks focus, has unobtainable goals, is wrong-headed. It espouses the tried-and-failed socialism that made many suffer but made a few powerful. Until the movement offers a coherent, obtainable agenda; until it understands the problem and not just the obvious symptoms of the problem, and until abandons its core tenet of free everything for everyone, its only hope is for martyrdom through heavy-handedness by the local authorities. That and a mild winter.

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