Even if it’s Amazing, It’s not fair, so I hate everything

Trying to figure out this Occupy thing? Right now, this seems to explain it the best (h/t):


Remember this bit by Louis CK (thanks for reminding me, Will)?


Protest song!


…a sultan and student both have iPhone 4s…it’s not fair
Overall, much of the logic seems to go something like this (h/t):

ADDENDUM: I put this is all under our “On a lighter note….” category because there is humor in the unknowns surrounding the Occupy movement. Still, there are serious questions that haven’t been answered.

Now, a movement that started with no concrete goals as a simple protest of power must decide what to do with some power of its own. Can a leaderless group that relies on consensus find a way for so many people to agree on what comes next? Can it offer not only objections but also solutions? Can a radical protest evolve into a mainstream movement for change?

Unfortunately, from what I have heard of the solutions, they roughly approximate the tongue-in-cheek poster above. In writing about the recent passing of Steve Jobs, Kevin Williamson illustrated that there is a dichotomy:

The beauty of capitalism — the beauty of the iPhone world as opposed to the world of politics — is that…[w]hatever drove Jobs, it drove him to create superior products, better stuff at better prices. Profits are not deductions from the sum of the public good, but the real measure of the social value a firm creates. Those who talk about the horror of putting profits over people make no sense at all. The phrase is without intellectual content. Perhaps you do not think that Apple, or Goldman Sachs, or a professional sports enterprise, or an Internet pornographer actually creates much social value; but markets are very democratic — everybody gets to decide for himself what he values. That is not the final answer to every question, because economic answers can satisfy only economic questions. But the range of questions requiring economic answers is very broad.
I was down at the Occupy Wall Street protest today, and never has the divide between the iPhone world and the politics world been so clear: I saw a bunch of people very well-served by their computers and telephones (very often Apple products) but undeniably shortchanged by our government-run cartel education system. And the tragedy for them — and for us — is that they will spend their energy trying to expand the sphere of the ineffective, hidebound, rent-seeking, unproductive political world, giving the Barney Franks and Tom DeLays an even stronger whip hand over the Steve Jobses and Henry Fords. And they — and we — will be poorer for it.
And to the kids camped out down on Wall Street: Look at the phone in your hand. Look at the rat-infested subway. Visit the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, then visit a housing project in the South Bronx. Which world do you want to live in?

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ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

This is a trial run for violent protests down the road. Arab “Spring”, Greek “Summer”, “Occupy Wall Street” are all part and parcel of a movement that hates producers and western culture. Soros,Hussein Obama and certain labor unions are supporting this. This is what community “organizers” do. They do NOT work for a living nor do they create. They are destroyers.

michael
michael
10 years ago

I have equal contempt for the far left as I do for the far right. These people have some good things to offer, I hope the whole “movement” if you will is not destroyed by misleading news organizations, and irresponsible bloggers whose reporting tarnished the Tea Party.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Power to the people!
Death to the pigs!
Free Huey!
LOL.
Jerzyk must be having an orgasm.
Though come to think of it-he is now a fat, suburban middle-aged 6 figure crony. Maybe he now realizes that as the Fortunate Son of a millionaire Yum Corporation VP he is part of the 1%….
Oh Matt, how far your idealism has fallen!

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Oh, and Morse:
As a 6 figure union pig, plus you’re wife’s income, plus your business, plus your nice suburban house,–you are a lot closer to that 1% than most of us on this blog that are paying obscene property taxes to support your grossly overpaid and overstaffed government union cronies.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

“These people have some good things to offer, I hope the whole “movement” if you will is not destroyed by misleading news organizations”
Michael…what good things are they offering? Shutting down the Smithsonian and public defecation are not good things. Public sex and drug exchanges are not Tea Party ideals. Look closer.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Never made six figures, no idea what you are talking about. Dan did a little background check and found six figures once, that was a result of a few years retroactive pay raises. If my nice two bedroom one bath ranch house makes you drool work harder. My wife is disabled, jackass.
If I have to reiterate the resentments concerning corporations and banks either a. you are not listening or b. you do not care, or c. you are one of the 1 percent.

michael
michael
10 years ago

“Tea Party people blame all their woes on government. They want to tear apart the state or at least tame it to their sense of what it should do. The anti-Wall Street protesters blame government but they also target the financial-industrial complex.
The system that got rich laying off their parents now is closing the door on them.
Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party reflect something deep and disturbing about the way people are being left behind and how their sense of belonging to a greater good has been crushed. That’s what links the disparate protests: the sense of helpless outrage over the inequality of what the haves are accumulating, seemingly by looting it directly from the have-nots. That’s going to get way worse.
Just because the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators don’t have a pithy manifesto doesn’t mean they have nothing to say. Just because they aren’t unanimous on every subject doesn’t mean there is no common message, because there is. It’s all about the growing inequalities in the economic status quo and a demand for meaningful change.”
~Dan Leger
Something ain’t right in this country, and you folks here can pontificate all day long and blame the unions and welfare crowd, but me and most American’s are not buying it. Not quite sure what is happening on Wall Street and elsewhere with the Occupy thing, same as the original Tea Party, but things are beginning to move, and I’m hoping battle lines are not being drawn between the people.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

“Something ain’t right in this country, and you folks here can pontificate all day long”
Michael… exchanging ideas is not pontificating. The country was founded on those principals. As for something not being right…about half of all wage earners do not pay income tax. About 49% of the country is receiving some sort of govt. assistance (check). You are correct the country is being divided between the haves (producers) and the have nots. Which side are you on? You don’t have to be rich to be a producer.

Andrew
Editor
10 years ago

Michael,
Here’s some plausible common ground (bit.ly/qBSKYQ, h/t Instapundit)…

The West once was capitalist, but today it is a corporatist juggernaut in it’s death throes, whereby corporations and banks control the government in their favor, inevitably leading to corruption and decline.

…though I think the problem goes much deeper than what various dissenting groups are protesting. I will try to post on that subject in the next day or two.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

The “corporations”today don’t MAKE ANYTHING except money.
Compare Caterpillar,US Steel,etc with”hedge funds”.
Still-the “occupy”people are nothing but resurrections of the scumbags of Chicaago ’68.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Hi Anthony, sorry about that, not everybody here pontificates, I stand corrected.

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
10 years ago

Mr Bernstein
Right wingers at the GOP presidential debates
Applaud Rick Perry’s record numbers of executions.
Shout “let em die” when asked about uninsured Americans.
Boo an active duty Military member, who is putting his life on the line while serving in Iraq, when he asks a relevant question . (while not even ONE candidate for Commander in Chief chastises the Booing Troop haters)
But you all know perfectly well that reight-wing-nuts hate America more than Al-Qaeda does.
And have damaged it FAR MORE !
Happy Columbus Day

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Here is a copy of my comment on the Projo editorial seeming to favor the “occupiers”:
It has been suggested that these “Occupiers” be called Adullamites, after the Biblical description (Samuel 22:1-2) of those who gathered around David when he escaped Saul and went to the cave of Adullam: “everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented.” It seems a perfect fit .
For a ist of their “demands” go here.
occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-for-occupy-wall-st-moveme/
Sorry I can’t link it here.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

About the non link above, it is worth the effort to cut and paste the adress. Some of their demands are pretty amusing.
“Living wage for everyone, employed or not”
“Completely open borders”
“Elimination of credit reporting agencies”
“Elimination of all debt, student loans, mortages and all other debt. nationalor international”

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Michael – You are easily in the top 5% of earners in the United States and you own a business. Do you really think these college Marxists would leave you alone in their utopia when they were done socializing all the banks and corporations? Michael Moore, their unofficial spokesman, says he wants to “democratize” the economy as demonstrators cheer in the background. Most of these people have never worked a day in their lives and don’t understand how organic soymilk gets to their dorm refrigerator. It’s not surprising but it is alarming that the rich Marxists in Big Labor are throwing their support behind them.

Justin Katz
Justin Katz
10 years ago

My current goal in life: to find a Rhode Island Remy.

Phil
Phil
10 years ago

All that’s missing on this thread is one of Monique’s comments.

CN
CN
10 years ago

I predict a congealing around the themes of regulation and a tax on the “wealthy”.
The Dodd Frank Bill did nothing to correct market abuses, and the abolition of the ‘up-tick’ rule in 2007 has exacerbated market volatility which erases cash-from every wallet.
Unfortunately, few of these protestors know anything about the financial markets, and knee-jerk reactions of any sort tend to end in bad legislation.
For some reason, it just seems that the globe is getting dumber and dumber, from politicians down to protestors.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

sammy-you’re sort of an ass,but there’s a cure right there in Arizona-go kiss a Gila monster-be well.

Ron
Ron
10 years ago

The problem with the ending argument (and indeed with all of free-market libertarianism) is that the Apple Store world the author seems to envision does not and will not ever exist – at least not for most of us. The liberal reliance on the state comes from the realization that it is the only social structure – imperfect though it may be – that can mitigate the more negative effects of the natural stratification of society which results from material inequality. A committed free-marketeer necessarily must demonize the poor as unfit for membership in a competitive society, otherwise they might give weight to the argument that material wealth is a poor prerequisite for citizenship. And don’t fool yourself into thinking there is no link between money and social power. A society with no state will have great schools, great roads and great police, but only for those who can afford them. The liberal position is that this not good enough. If you know a way the free market can provide all that the state provides at Apple store quality WITHOUT excluding anyone, I’m all ears.

mangeek
mangeek
10 years ago

That list of demands is frightening.
How about these three:
1. Scale-up bank reserve requirements relative to the assets held by the banks to prevent banks that are ‘too big to let fail’ from coming into existence.
2. Legislation limiting corporate influence in elections. I think most people would agree that ‘free speech’ doesn’t mean unlimited spending by non-persons with regard to elections.
3. Change dividend income to count as ‘regular income’ and be taxed as-such. I don’t see why a trust-fund baby making $100K a year on his $2M in the bank should pay a dramatically lower tax rate than a ‘regular Joe’ working hard to make $100K.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

“The liberal reliance on the state comes from the realization that it is the only social structure – imperfect though it may be – that can mitigate the more negative effects of the natural stratification of society”
Ron…LBJ’s “War on Poverty” resulted in… more poverty. Govt. largesse (AKA entitlements) takes from producers and redistributes with disfuntional accountability. There are now record food stamp recipients and almost 2 yrs. of unemployment benefits. The govt. you seek to empower is taking the country down the path of socialism. Witness Europe and it’s failed socialist countries (see today’s news).

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Ron – Nobody ever said that a free market economy would be perfect. What decades of economic study and countries as laboratories have shown is that relatively free markets consistently outperform “planned” economies or sectors, which is what many of the Occupy movement want. They want people to be able to vote on how much bread is produced and how much money people make. This has been tried before and the results are disastrous. These people don’t understand basic economics – price systems are necessary in a modern economy and Joe Blow in middle-America doesn’t know how to invest capital or distribute resources.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Ron – Nobody ever said that a free market economy would be perfect. What decades of economic study and countries as laboratories have shown is that relatively free markets consistently outperform “planned” economies or sectors, which is what many of the Occupy movement want. They want people to be able to vote on how much bread is produced and how much money people make. This has been tried before and the results are disastrous. These people don’t understand basic economics – price systems are necessary in a modern economy and Joe Blow in middle-America doesn’t know how to invest capital or distribute resources.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Dan, most people who support this demonstration believe that our government is bought and paid for by powerful corporations, that our justice system works only if you can afford competent representation and the average citizen has zero power.
Labeling them liberals and focusing on fringe demands such as voting on how much bread is produced is not productive, or accurate.
I’m hearing a message of simplicity, same as I did with the original Tea Party.

Max D
Max D
10 years ago

“A society with no state will have great schools, great roads and great police, but only for those who can afford them.”
Does anyone else have a problem if that’s all the ‘state’ was providing? Ron, I think maybe it’s mostly everything else that taxpayers have a problem with footing the bill.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Michael – Last week I witnessed an Occupy DC rally take place in the park outside the White House while I was taking my lunch break. This isn’t the same as the odd “Go back to Kenya” sign at a tea party rally, which tended to be ostracized and criticized by the rest of the crowd anyway. A great many of the signs were against capitalism as a concept and the speakers were what I would characterize as radical socialists. I know what the term means, and I do not use it lightly.

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