October 22, 2011 by Mike Landry
For several weeks, thousands of people across the country have been participating in what has become known as “Occupy Wall Street.” These protests have been described as either an angry, undefined mob or the beginning of a new political movement. From your perspective what does “Occupy Wall Street” mean.
Hang around leftists enough and it’s easy to understand how the people in Occupy Wall Street feel.
The Occupiers’ claim of representing 99 percent of the people and of being against greedy bankers and evil corporations and of trying to take a stand against joblessness, foreclosures and a stagnant economy represent much of the leftist claptrap that got us into our economic mess to begin with.
First of all, Occupy Wall Street does not represent 99 percent of the population. They’re just using a play on words relating to the wealthy top 1 percent who pay 40 percent of the taxes from which so many of the Occupiers derive their student loans, food stamps and government union paychecks.
Secondly, those so-called greedy bankers did not willfully drive us into the housing bubble and its resulting foreclosures. Rather, the federal government, stretching all the way back to Jimmy Carter, strong-armed banks to make loans to people who could never repay them. All in the name of “fairness,” a favorite word of leftists. Even George Bailey, great – and presumably fair — guy that he was, exercised prudence in loaning money to the people of fictitious Bedford Falls.
After the housing bubble derailed the economy, it wasn’t the corporations preventing its recovery. Rather, the obsolete economic dogma pushed by President Obama and his advisors — the out-of-control growth of pointless regulations and the continual findings of costly absurdities hidden in the Rube Goldberg monstrosity that is Obamacare — caused businesses to hunker down, hoard cash and not hire.
Except for perhaps some sincere people who are truly ignorant of economics, Occupy Wall Street is basically an opportunity for people who like this kind of stuff – disaffected students, young and old radicals, greedy union members and various Communists and anarchists. It’s adventurous and romantic — take to the streets for some meaningful times at the barricades. That, and some sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
Some have tried to paint Occupy Wall Street as the left’s version of the Tea Party. Hardly. Where Tea Partiers root their activism in the Declaration of Independence and especially the Constitution, the Occupiers more resemble the French Revolution (one of them even called for guillotines for Republicans). Despite millions of Tea Partiers gathering around the country and in Washington at various times there has not been one – not one – reported arrest. Yet, hundreds of Occupiers have been arrested and some have resorted to violence. And unlike Occupiers, Tea Partiers clean up after themselves.
Some have said opposition to Occupy Wall Street means being against freedom of assembly. Of course not. However, street demonstrations need to be curtailed when they get violent or, as in the ongoing cases of some New York City businesses, interfere with the rights of others.
The President has extended his blessing to Occupy Wall Street. He may see the masses in the street as part of his re-election campaign. Why not? He probably identifies with this.
It’s what a community organizer dreams about.
A Washingotn County resident, Mike Landry is professor of business administration at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. He co-hosts “Tea Time in America,” sponsored by the Washington County Tea Party, 9.30 a.m. – 10.a.m., Thursdays on KURM 790 AM and 100.3 FM. He also blogs at wildcatcreekreview.blogspot.com
Click here to read Richard Drake’s reponse, a view from the Left