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Occupy Wall Street: Is It Really The 99%?

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Occupy Wall Street: Is It Really The 99%?

By EconMatters

It looks like the initial public support and sympathy for Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is starting to wear thin.  From CNBC:

“Occupy Wall Street may claim small-business owners as members of the 99 percent, but from Oakland, Calif., to New York, many local enterprises are asking the protesters to pack up.

….the problem with the movement is that it is not hurting the big banks, but rather, it is hurting the small-business owners that are fighting to survive in a recession, says small-business owner Carol Bloom Stevens.”

About a month ago, we already opined in an article that

“While we do not believe the Occupy Wall Street movement is entirely constructive timing-wise with the already troubled U.S. economy, we do understand the elements behind the initiative.”

We have pointed out some of the Wall Street shady market behavior.  However, part of the reason for our “against-the-herd” view regarding the OWS is the observation of a lack of leadership and clear vision and goal(s) of the entire Occupy movement.

When an organized initiative is unable to articulate realistic goals, and solutions related to its cause, it is nothing more than a disorganized idealistic crowd leading to typically nothing constructive.  Or worse yet, if the crowd is big enough as in the case of OWS, “mob mentality” would almost guarantee something destructive would take place.

OWS has now escalated into scary violent outbursts in several metro areas with some protesters reportedly carrying weapons such as AK-47, while others resorting to destroying public and private properties and vandalism. Regardless how frustrated the bankster situation (at least that was the original OWS cause) might be, there’s hardly any excuse for that kind of bad behavior that could harm innocent bystanders, while not only disrupting day-to-day lives of business and private citizens, but also bringing about a “riot contagion.”    For example, if not for the OWS, it is doubtful the Penn State students would have resorted to rioting over a football coach who probably deserved to be fired in the first place based on reported accounts.

Another observation: As part of the 99% “worker bees”, it is also very difficult for us to fathom how much free time these protesters seem to have to just camp out for days, weeks or even months without any concern in the world about family, work, and most importantly, the next paycheck.  So either these people are

  1. Part of the 14 million unemployed, whose time probably would have been better utilized going back to school or sprucing up job skill and resume for the next gig, or
  2. Part of the 1% with riches able to subsidize idealism, or
  3. The term “Professional Protester” may not be that far off.
Some people equivalized OWS to the Arab Spring. America is far from perfect, but it is not Egypt or Libya where an outdated autocratic leader/government had ruled for decades either.  The political and fiscal system in the United States most definitely needs an overhaul, and the entire congress probably needs to be replaced, but that’s where voting and election comes in and what a democratic system is all about. Overall, USA is still one of the best countries in the free world despite its many problems.  That is, name one country in the world that does not have similar or more serious problems….just take a look at Europe.While the cause behind OWS resonates with many in the nation, OWS is not the path to a better America either. The longer it spreads and goes on in a disruptive manner without a clear and definitive mission, and solution, the more likely other parts of the society will start turning against it. Time to regroup, rethink and re-strategize before falling flat on its face once the red carpet gets abruptly pulled out.

© EconMatters

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