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TMFBane (45.93)

Should We Be Listening To Occupy Wall Street?

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October 03, 2011 – Comments (25)

Maybe Zuni Tikka (aka: the half-naked lady) wasn’t the most effective ambassador at first. When the Occupy Wall Street protest began a couple of weeks ago, it was dismissed by the main stream media as a leaderless and powerless collection of hippies engaging in street theater.

That view has definitely changed in recent days, however. Regardless of how you characterize the protestors, it’s clear that they are reaching a wider audience, and the movement is gaining in momentum. At the beginning, one of the organizers said to a new recruit, “It doesn’t matter what you’re protesting. Just protest.” More recently, however, the movement began putting together a list of possible demands.

So far, some of the demands seem surprisingly reasonable (where was Ms. Tikka when they were putting the list together?). The first demand calls for the reinstatement of parts of the Glass-Steagall Act, a move that many reasonable commentators would agree with.

The second demand urges that we prosecute Wall Street criminals, which also seems fair enough. Additional demands include support for the Buffett rule, and the need to bolster the SEC. All in all – other than the occasional “it’ll blow your mind…” – this seems to be a fairly tame document.

So far, that is. It’ll be interesting to see if the movement gains even more momentum, and if it will become more radicalized as a result. Regardless of what one feels about the protest, the truth is that Wall Street banks did cause an enormous amount of harm to the economy, and many of their leaders emerged with their jobs and immense wealth intact. The same cannot be said for a lot of other Americans. The biggest surprise to me is that something like this didn’t happen earlier.

Lots of great stuff available on the protest:

Occupy Wall Street Spreads 

Occupy Wall Street FAQ 

What Do They Want? 

25 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 03, 2011 at 4:29 PM, motleyanimal (86.88) wrote:

Whrn they start to get some numbers equivalent to the civil rights and antiwar protests of the Sixties, then they may get the attention of government. As for the SEC, it would be difficult to find a more corrupt government agency. It doesn't need to be bolstered as much as it needs a Congressional and Justice Department investigation.

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#2) On October 03, 2011 at 9:14 PM, outoffocus (23.12) wrote:

I just hope they dont allow a bunch of nutjobs to become their mouth piece or they will just end up like the tea party.

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#3) On October 03, 2011 at 9:30 PM, Bert31 (36.22) wrote:

No.  My impression is that until they get a better understanding of what they themselves are protesting, no one should listen to them.  Glass-Stegall?  Did not apply to Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers, or AIG for that matter.  Why are they not protesting GM who has not repaid TARP?  Where is occupy Detroit?  These kids need jobs, but they won't take anything that does not come with the corner office on the first day.  While I do feel sorry for some of them, I am not going to listen to them until they present a coherent message other then "just protest".  That is immature. 

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#4) On October 03, 2011 at 10:50 PM, SN3165 (< 20) wrote:

They need to get educated. They need a clearer message, not just protesting "corporate greed" because yeah, some of them  are coming off as stupid college hippies. Here are some issues to target:

- How about protesting the fact that a large percentage of our nations politicians are shareholders in the banks they are protesting?? (remember when they released everyones stock holdings a few months back?). Conflict of interest... Also, IMO, banks like Goldman Sachs should not be able to contribute to politicians campaigns. Just my opinion. 

 -They could protest the Federal Reserve system as a whole, and there is obviously a lot to protest there. End the Fed! The Fed is a private company with shareholders! and is NOT federal. Protest that they should open up their books.

- How about protesting the reckless spending of our government??? I haven't seen a direct mention of that. $14.79 trillion debt and counting... Protest Bush, Obama, Greenspan, Bernake, Clinton.... for they are all responsible (and we could argue all day on who is to blame, but it's all of them, and more).

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#5) On October 03, 2011 at 11:03 PM, devoish (97.62) wrote:

soundtrading,

You sound like you you think you know them all individually and personally. One thing I read in the article from the Times that interviewed Miss Tikka was the combination of these two facts concerning NYC.

The Fobes richest 400 included 50 New Yorkers whose combined income was $211billion. And NYC has 20% of its people living below poverty. 

I also found that NYC has an unemployment rate of 8.7%, so that means 11% of its population are working poor. Working or not, if those 50 forbes fellas and ladies were taxed at 50%, NYC would be able to pay those 4 million folks $26000 each to clean the place up. And those fifty folks would have to adjust to living on $211mil each.

Of course SSI is unsustainable. Not executive overcompensation.

Maybe those protestors are on the right block after all.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#6) On October 03, 2011 at 11:14 PM, devoish (97.62) wrote:

From Abby Zimet 

A terrific interview from Occupy Wall Street features Jesse LaGreca giving Fox News an incisive, eloquent, impassioned rant about why he's there. But oops: Somehow Fox forgot to air it.

 

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#7) On October 03, 2011 at 11:48 PM, kirkydu (95.35) wrote:

The folks there are mostly right.  Unfortunately they are boring.

They should probably have more of their attractive members getting naked.  Then maybe they would have a chance of actually getting paid attention to by the media.  Maybe they need to kill somebody in a sex game or give a pop star his last pill before he dies.  Something like that might get some attention.  Who the hell cares that Wall Street helped create the greatest wealth destroying event (for everybody else) in the history of the universe.

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#8) On October 04, 2011 at 12:04 AM, FleaBagger (28.78) wrote:

I agree with holding Wall Street accountable, but not through taxes (which, history proves, will just find their way back to the same politically connected people they were taken from in the first place), but through an abolition of the special favors government doles out, and an abolition of the "right" of government to dole out special favors at all. Wall Street would have to enrich us to get rich if government weren't abrogating our property rights to give them unique, unfree-market advantages.

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#9) On October 04, 2011 at 12:06 AM, BigFatBEAR (29.24) wrote:

+1 rec, and +1 for Devoish's comments. These folks are pretty smart, and I'm glad something like this is finally happening, too.

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#10) On October 04, 2011 at 7:24 AM, djemonk (< 20) wrote:

I had dismissed these kids at first, but then I started to listen a little closer to what they were saying.  I went down there this weekend to talk to them and talk to the police that were around the park and left moved and impressed.

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#11) On October 04, 2011 at 9:48 AM, TMFBane (45.93) wrote:

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, everyone! I believe there's a real need for Wall Street reform, so I'm glad this topic is being revisited.

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#12) On October 04, 2011 at 10:11 AM, sgt1917 (< 20) wrote:

First, tell me EXACTLY what the "Occupiers" want (a list), and follow that up with their PROPOSALS to resolve each of the issues.

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#13) On October 04, 2011 at 10:13 AM, whereaminow (45.39) wrote:

Their wish list reads like a 1930s social planning pamphlet.  They're so out of step with reality it's tragic. 

This is a fight with no courage and no brains on either side.  The financial industry doesn't impoverish anyone.  The government does by picking winners and losers, bailing out their friends, and getting involved in, and hampering, every aspect of the market process.

Meanwhile, the jackbooted thugs of the police state take extra joy in torturing and abusing their fellow disarmed citizens.  These intellectual midgets filled with testosterone need to be made not, if you grok.

The correct answer is always liberty.  It's not very hard.  Instead, Occupy Wall Street wants more tyranny of the State, to deal with corrupt financiers.  These socialists don't know their head from their arse.  When has the American government ever had more power?  Never.  This federal government is the most powerful force in history.  If financiers run amok, it's because the feds want them to.  End. Of. Story.

These poor misguided children would give us more corruption and an even bigger State.  Fools.

David in California

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#14) On October 04, 2011 at 10:19 AM, TMFBane (45.93) wrote:

Here's their list of possible demands:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/ 

I say possible, since they are still just compiling ideas. Then, presumably, they'll winnow it down to the primary demands.

As for proposals for actually getting them done? That'll require some truly "mind-blowing" ideas. For example, the let's throw the Wall Street criminals in jail demand is much, much easier said than done. This stuff is hard to prove and requires a huge government legal effort in a time when everyone is all about budget cuts. So demands are one thing. Getting stuff done is something else altogether. 

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#15) On October 04, 2011 at 10:44 AM, whereaminow (45.39) wrote:

This kid gets it.

David in California

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#16) On October 04, 2011 at 10:51 AM, eldemonio (98.67) wrote:

How can anyone argue with the demand to cap or eliminate corporate donations to political parties?  Or the demand to close the revolving door between DC and big Wall St. firms?

I agree with kirky, this movement's biggest problem lies in the fact that they have a 37 year old, saggy chested spokeswoman trying to sell their ideals.

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#17) On October 04, 2011 at 10:58 AM, eldemonio (98.67) wrote:

Why is this protest taking place on Wall St.?  These people should be protesting in DC, that's where the problem's rooted.

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#18) On October 04, 2011 at 11:54 AM, giantSwan (< 20) wrote:

 I'm supportive of people challanging the status quo, especially given the failure of the economic system in recent years.

My problem with this movement though, is the lack of a clear and cohesive message. I don't think anything can be accomplished without a clear vision. Angry isn't good enough. 

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#19) On October 04, 2011 at 12:11 PM, TMFBane (45.93) wrote:

Just came across this super-helpful timeline that has some key links relating to the protest:

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-protest-map 

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#20) On October 04, 2011 at 1:01 PM, whereaminow (45.39) wrote:

Hahha, Adam Kokesh rules

HT to David Kretzmann

David in California

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#21) On October 04, 2011 at 2:25 PM, AfoolwondersNot (< 20) wrote:

Demanding that justice take place to the corrupt wall street vultures is good enough reason alone to be out there protesting. If someone will take them to task (it's not as if we don't know who they are) the next round of vultures who think it is a good thing to decimate the middle class to fatten their pocket books will think twice before acting.

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#22) On October 04, 2011 at 9:02 PM, Bert31 (36.22) wrote:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/doughirschhorn/2011/10/03/occupy-wall-street-do-you-even-understand-wall-street/

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#23) On October 04, 2011 at 11:11 PM, devoish (97.62) wrote:

David,

That kid says that minimized government is easier to control. He says our gov't is under financial system control.

But he does not listen very well.

And it seems the crowd knows the tea party politics that they have already rejected when they hear them.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#24) On October 05, 2011 at 10:38 AM, whereaminow (45.39) wrote:

That kid says that minimized government is easier to control.

Which one?  The interviewer? The professor-wannabe in his hilarious outfit or the dumb Harvard chick who thinks we are not in Iraq anymore? (Seriously, someone get that moron a refund on her very expensive tuition.)

David in California

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#25) On October 08, 2011 at 7:35 AM, fewl10 (< 20) wrote:

I couldn't agree more with #13.  they should be occupying DC, not wall street.

What's the real problem here folks?  It's that nobody has any moral fiber to do the right thing.  Half these protesters, if elected to public office, would probably be acting the same way. 

What will eventually happen is we'll get another world war, this time millions will die, and then society as a whole will get some humility.  Honesty and true liberty will again become valued.  And then the whole process will repeat itself. 

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