Opinion : Occupying Wall St. is Like Invading Russia

The Swedish, the French, and the Germans tried to occupy Russia and failed. Even then the target was clear and centered in one place. Now, a group protesters want to tackle an even more absurd goal: the profitable American enterprise.

We’ve written extensively about how the Occupy Wall St. movement has developed, how the media coverage has caught up to the public, and how what were once demonstrations now have an air of cohesion sufficient enough to call then “movements”. There’s really not much of a point in trying to further analyze the protester’s demands because, after all, there are just so many of them. Demands range from the reasonable (e.g; not letting foreclosed homes get filled up with trash) to the impossible (indicting the CEO of every major bank). Oddly enough some OWS goals even line up with those of the tea party. If we are to look at the predominant theme of “ending corporate influence of government” then it turns out the Tea Party movement has a similar idea. Mind you, one group of people want to accomplish this by shrinking the government and the others (i.e. OWS) want the corporate spectrum to stop being greedy (what ever that means).

To think that Lloyd Blankfein is going to bow down to the protesters, cash out all of Goldman Sachs’ holdings, and throw it into Zucotti park is, at its core, an absurd proposition. In fact why should he? Something that the media has been ignoring (and hence the vast majority of protesters) is the rampant confusion going on as to who is actually ‘evil’ and at fault. Where is the anger toward unscrupulous payday loan lenders? All of the anger seems to be directed at the wealthier investment bankers who have nothing to do with the recession or somehow shifting the income distribution. The lack of anger would seem to be, if anything, an indicator that the true goal of these protesters is not, in fact, finding where the true blame lies. Has everyone in the “99%” really been hurt by the major financial institutions? No. They haven’t. If you buy a gun and then shoot someone, the gun manufacturer isn’t guilty of murder. You are. If you use a credit card in a reckless manner and end up in an inescapable amount of fault that’s YOUR fault, not the bank’s fault. Now, it’s a very different situation if the bank is intentionally misleading about fees, but has everyone in the 99% been mislead into debt and misfortune? We must ask ourselves: is the 99% really less greedy than the 1%? No. For those concerned about corporate greed in general (rather than the existence of a banking system) the anger is (understandably) directed to companies for causing layoffs in order to increase profits. But here’s a question many are afraid to ask: were all those jobs/people even necessary to begin with? It’s not corporate greed to react to demand–even if that demand is created purely by people spending money they don’t have. People SHOULD have jobs. That’s not going to happen if they protest the very existence of the companies that may want to hire them. Then again, it also won’t happen if the current legislature continues to be so ineffective. But that’s another issue entirely. Occupy Wall St. wants change from places where it won’t happen. They won’t cause it. Americans have a strong history of fixing their problems, so surely there must be a better way?

Posted By Alfredo Luque

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