The Problem with “Occupy Wall Street”

Wall Street Welfare Checks.
Image by eyewash via Flickr

Occupy Wall Street: A Story without Heroes – Anthony Gregory – Mises Daily.

In an Anthony Gregory of the Independent Institute captures the real problem with Occupy Wall Street in spare paragraph stripped of partisanship or ideology:

But overall the protesters’ message is too vague and heterogeneous — at best — to elicit much enthusiasm. As in the tea parties to which it has been compared, many in this movement are condemning a nebulous conception of the status quo without much of an inspiring alternative vision.

Even Karl Marx understood that you cannot have a better future unless you clearly and truthfully describe the current system and its faults, provide an alternative, and then stand back and let the two sides have at it. It was a problem that afflicted the radical end of the student movement in the 1960s, and it afflicts the radical left and reactionary right today.

And, sad to say, most of the rhetoric that suffuses our current electoral process suffers the same malady.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters make some good points. The collusion between rampant banks and those charged with regulating their activities have, in part, led us to the current financial crisis. But the answer is not to pull the plug on Wall Street. The answer begins with an intelligent debate about the proper role of the financial sector in our economy, and the best way to ensure it is no longer given the opportunity to endanger the nation and the world at paltry personal risk to those set to benefit the most.

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