Free Markets, Free People

teachable moment

OWS is a “teachable moment”

The Washington Time carries an editorial that discusses the ongoing Occupy protests and it contains a paragraph which I think is a good summary of why I want these things to go on and on and on:

Your efforts serve to paint a clear contrast between the two sides currently waging war for the future of America. On one side are those who believe in the income redistribution of socialism and feel entitled to “social justice,” fueled by a victim complex instilled in them by the very politicians who create and perpetuate their dependence. On the other side are the independent, self-respecting, hardworking Americans whose income and old-fashioned values of personal responsibility sit squarely in the cross hairs of the slackers and the Democratic Party that coddles them.

Many Americans are frustrated with the situation we now find ourselves.  And they want things changed, obviously.  But you have to ask yourself, as you look around, do I want it overthrown?  

In other words is the current system such that it needs to be entirely replaced?  That’s the Occupy movement’s belief.  It is, essentially, an anti-capitalist movement.  And that becomes clearer every day they thrash around looking for something fresh to scream about to keep themselves in the eye of the media.

For instance, today we hear about the announcement that the group who launched OWS is calling for a “Robin Hood tax”:

An anti-capitalist group which sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement has called for global protests Saturday to demand that leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations impose a "Robin Hood tax" on financial transactions and currency trades.

[…]

"Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3 trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day—enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world," the activist group said on its website,www.adbusters.org.

[…]

"As the movement matures, let’s consider a response to our critics," Adbusters said on its website. "Let’s occupy the core of our global system. Let’s dethrone the greed that defines this new century."

Take in the language.

“Casinos”.  “Robin Hood Tax”.  The inference are all quite clear.

That’s not the language that will endear a movement to most Americans.  Most Americans are not going to embrace an ideology that would condone redistribution like the OWS folks are talking about.  But that’s what continues to emerge as their answer to the world’s problems. 

The “greed that defines the new century” provides the communication power for their outreach among any number of other things. They have no clue what it might be like without that system though.   It is this system that has built the unprecedented wealth and standard of living that no “Robin Hood” could ever match.  But in reality, “Robin Hood” is a central character in their brave new world.  Robin Hood is government.

Their ignorance about how economies work knows no bounds apparently.  And they demonstrate that point fairly regularly.  Most Americans know what caused the wealth, affluence and power we enjoy, and it wasn’t redistribution of wealth through government.  In fact, as some polls have shown, it isn’t “Wall Street” most Americans blame for this – it is the very institution that OWS is calling on to impose the Robin Hood tax.

We often hear people talk about “teachable moments” when situations present themselves.   OWS is just such a moment.  It brings together a collection of misfits, malcontents and economic luddites whose entire mantra boils down to “we want what you have and that’s fair”.

Most people divest themselves of that nonsense when they’re about 7. 

Others like those involved in OWS are apparently forever slow learners.

And they therefore provide us with a wealth of “teachable moments” about why what they want doesn’t and won’t ever work.  That’s worth having them around for a while.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO