They should Occupy Prison


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They should Occupy Prison.

I haven’t commented much on the Occupy Wall Street movement, mostly because I’ve been too busy moving. However, though I fully support their right to demonstrate and protest, I find the contrasts between these protests and the Tea Party protests to be striking. The differences are even highlighted in their names. “Occupy Wall Street” implies a right to impose its will on others, to take over without permission other people’s property. “The Tea Party,” though inspired by an equally illegal act of stealing British tea and destroying it, now implies the much more benign activity of a gathering to express one’s opinion. And the Tea Party protests proved this by the fact that to this date no tea party protester has been arrested, and no laws broken. In fact, the only documented violence at any tea party event that I have found was committed by opponents of that movement.

As to what these movements believe in, I readily admit that I am in agreement with the Tea Party ideas of smaller government and fiscal responsibility. I will also say that I oppose the calls for socialism and even communism from some Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Nonetheless, there are many in this latter movement who are expressing the same kind of rage and frustration at the recent partnership between big business and big government that led to bad policy, unaffordable bailouts, a collapsing housing market, and a suffocating economy that have been similarly expressed by many Tea Party protesters.

The protests of both groups are merely a reflection of the anger that ordinary people feel about the failure of both government and business to act responsibly and with some common sense in these last years.

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  • The housing market collapse came about not so much because of a partnership between government and business, but as a result of business responding to government mandates. It’s not a partnership when one party acts like a Mafia enforcer:”Nice bank you got there. It’d be a shame if anything were to happen to it because you didn’t make loans to people we think ought to have them.”

    I’m no big fan of the derivative mess that banks brought on themselves, but bright people are over-represented in the financial world, and bright people like to fiddle with things. Especially when they’re trying to protect their assets.

    To my mind the primary difference between the Tea Party and OWS is that the Tea Party is for something: country, personal responsibility, fiscal restraint. OWS is against, well, they’re not even sure, but by God they’re against something! What they seem mostly to be against is reality. If some banker makes $10 million, that affects me not a bit. If the government spends more than it has, that affects me, and my children, quite a lot.

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