Third Party & Independents Archives

Missing the Point

Over a month ago groups of people got together to protest Wall Street. The OWS protestors understand that something is wrong. Unfortunately, in their anger they took their message to the wrong people. And as the government started cracking down on their protests, they still seemed to miss the point of where their grievances should be directed, still looking to the very people who were using force against them to solve the problems that they created. But even worse, the protesters fail to comprehend that they are no different than the people they are angry at.

An odd trend has been occurring the past few decades and as a result the current generation has forgotten what separates government for any other grouping of people. The fact that government is the only entity that legally force someone to its will. That is what a law is, the legal authorization of force against a person. Instead, people seem to think that government is a benevolent collection of society's will, a suggestion of how we should all live, as it were. And even when this is obviously presented to the people who are calling for government to enact their solutions in the most demonstrable displays, they still seem to oblivious to that fact.

The OWS crowd are doing exactly what the businesses they are protesting have done, attempted to gain control of the government to make laws that others should be forced to live under. To them, it isn't that the government has obtained the power that it has over the people of the United States, their issue is that the wrong people are in charge. Our forefathers knew better, they understood that the only way to prevent the abuses of government was to limit it to only what was necessary of it, not a way to solve every problem that presented itself. That understanding has unfortunately been lost on the people of today so much that in the face of that power being used against them, they are bewildered.

Worse, they have directed their ire at the notion of free market capitalism as the best way to ensure freedom in a society. By allowing the people to be the ones to make the decision on how they live, what they buy, where they decide to spend the results of their hard labor we have a society that has produced the greatest freedoms in the history of society. At least, until recently.

Today, however, in an effort to solve problems that government can't solve (being hungry, being poor, having good health, having a good education, taking care of our fellow man, being free from fear, even death) many have been willing to give up our freedoms to try to eliminate the things they should be looking at themselves to correct in their own lives.

Business isn't the problem. Even the most obnoxious company in the world cannot make a single person do anything. At least, not without government. A great example is the recent revelation of mass abuse of chickens at Sparboe Farms. When it was discovered what was happening, businesses cut ties with the distributor because they knew that their customers would not want them to continue providing eggs from them. McDonalds, Target, SuperValu and Wal-Mart all dropped the egg distributor immediately. Sparboe is now paying the price for allowing this to occur at some of their farms and other distributors will take notice. This is how to change a company, the laws many thought were in place to prevent such a thing from happening weren't there, and simply because a law is in place doesn't ensure that such a thing won't happen.

Right now banks are seen as 'the enemy' because they received bailouts from Washington. Only, that's not really what the issue is for many OWS protestors. It isn't that they got bailouts, its that they want bailouts too. This is evident since when the bailouts were first suggested in 2008, many Libertarians and some Republicans said no, but the business backed Democrats and Republicans forged ahead with it anyway. Now those same OWS protestors are supporting the very politicians that called for the bailouts in the first place. They aren't upset with the power that the government has to take money from the hard working people of the country and give it to others who didn't earn those funds, they are only upset with who they went to.

The reality is that if our economy is going to be great again, it has to be free to be so. Business is going to try to make a profit, so they are going to continue to make things and sell things and as a result provide people jobs. When we make it easier to do so, not harder, the economy will respond. Until then, we are going to see modest increases as we have seen for years under the control of this increasingly authoritarian government we have allowed to spring up in the place of what our founding fathers intended. Indeed, over the past several administrations we have seen more regulations attempting to control every aspect of business that Canada has moved ahead of the US as a more free market, and as a result have withstood the economic issues much better than we have.

And the OWS protestors are protesting against the very people who are trying to do make their lives better because they see them as the enemy. Not in providing a better existence for everyone, but because business has done a better job of getting control of the massive power that the government has than they have. Again, it's not that the power exists, only who wields it that they have a problem with.

Crony Capitalism is a bad thing. But the answer is not to end capitalism, it is not to tighten even more control of capitalism, the answer is to stop trying to direct the economy in a way that government can never be effective at and allowing the market to do what it does, provide freedom and prosperity to as many people as possible. Yes, there are many businesses that use government as a tool to ensure their success instead of the market, and this practice should be stopped. But looking at the people who are at fault, the ones with the power, is where we should be looking. Not with the minority of businesses that can only exist and operate at a profit with the assistance of government.

The only good thing that I can see coming out of the terrible crackdown on the protestors by the government is that they might finally have their eyes opened to where the real problem lies. Unfortunately, too many people are being led by the populism of those with desires to control their fellow man, not really help them. At it is this that will again deter them from finally understanding the real point they should be seeing.

Posted by Rhinehold at November 26, 2011 5:46 AM
Comments
Comment #332428

You make really good points.

America has been an exceptional country because we ask government to do less. That is also one reason we have usually had a better government than most others, BTW. When you ask government to do too much, it tries. First in the spirit of honestly trying to help and later in tyranny.

I see many countries in the world making the mistake the OWS people make. In much of Latin America, for example, the difference between the right and the left was that each group wanted to control government patronage in different ways. Neither wanted to be free of patronage.

A country like Argentina is a great example. In 1900 it was one of the richest countries in the world. But a succession of bad governments made it poor. The “right” would take over from “the left” and back again, but all would think government was the solution.

I find it amazing here that Watchblog commentators who called Bush such terrible things somehow think that government nevertheless should have expanded power.

As you say, they just think the wrong people are in power, but they believe in the government system, evidently sure that the “wrong people” will never again get in their perfect system.

This thinking brought us big catastrophes like the Nazis and the communists, medium sized ones like Argentina and annoying ones like our over regulation.

I don’t think many people will every learn or new generations will never get the lesson. I think that is why many young people voted Obama. Experience will teach them, but by then it is too late.

Posted by: C&J at November 26, 2011 2:27 PM
Comment #332429

I’ve never understood the penchant many have for wanting to tell their fellow man how to live, and especially how they think it is ok in their minds to use force to do so. Funny enough, most of these same people are the first to scream when the tables get turned on them and they are being told what to do… You’d think if they would reason out the ‘logic’ behind this they would realize their folly…

Not that I expect our government run educational system to teach logical thought or ask such questions of our youth, it would interfere with their own agendas.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 26, 2011 3:46 PM
Comment #332431

Thank you, Adrienne, for providing perfect examples of OWS supporters missing the point.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 26, 2011 7:43 PM
Comment #332432

I think that you are missing the point, Rhinehold. But of course what else should anyone truly expect? Rightwing Libertarianism has always been all about supporting and promoting the elite at the expense of the well-being and happiness of everyone else.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 26, 2011 8:56 PM
Comment #332433

Lobby Memo Reveals Attack on Occupy Protestors: “Undermine Their Credibility”

$850,000 is lot of cash to spend on an attempt to smear protesters who have been and are being attacked relentlessly by the corporately owned mainstream media. And that’s a memo that came from only one of the many lobbying firms that are out there. I guess all that MSM propaganda against OWS hasn’t been working quite as well as Wall Street and Wall Street-owned Washington had hoped it would.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 26, 2011 9:20 PM
Comment #332434
Rightwing Libertarianism has always been all about supporting and promoting the elite at the expense of the well-being and happiness of everyone else.

LOL, I love how right wing libertarianism is for all of the things that the right wing stands against, but hey, when have facts or logic ever gotten in the way of a good ‘burn’. You’ve never understood libertarianism and your attempt to lump people into groups of ‘us’ vs ‘them’ is what is wrong with this country.

And yes, that is precisely what you are wanting to continue doing, ‘us’ vs ‘them’. The class warfare you want to engage in is a construct in your own mind. There are good people who have a lot of money, there are bad people who haven’t got a time. Yet, you are only interested in people as groups of people that you can then attack so you can gain control of the government’s force to employ as YOU want.

In other words, you are no different than the 1%, other than they have been more successful.

Congrats.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 26, 2011 9:26 PM
Comment #332436

Well, the way I figure it, the OWS are going to have to get some real police brutality going or this Astro-Turf movement is going to completely disappear.

Rhinehold, I’m sure you forgot that Adrienne has been out there on the front lines, protesting with the unwashed, lice and flea infested, sexual predator, dope smoking, and thieving protestors.

“With the number of protesters dwindling and winter fast approaching, the organizers of the ‘Occupy’ movement in Indianapolis have turned to the homeless for help, recruiting them to help maintain the ‘Occupy’ presence in the city.

In an audio recording of a web seminar conducted November 9 between Occupy Indianapolis organizers and the demonstrators, one unidentified organizer can be heard saying, “I feel bad, man. I personally feel bad that we have you guys out here. And there’s … there seems to be really no purpose of it, other than … other than to show that Indianapolis has a physical occupation. You know, cause you are pretty much our billboard for Occupy Indianapolis.”

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2011/11/25/occupy-organizers-in-indianapolis-recruit-the-homeless-to-keep-protests-going/

Pitiful, isn’t it? Almost makes me feel like protesting with them, if they knew what they were protesting. But trust Obummer to get out there and keep stirring the pot.

Posted by: Frank at November 26, 2011 11:02 PM
Comment #332445


“the OWS crowd is doing exactly what the businesses they are protesting has done.”

That is ridiculous! The OWS does not have the means to buy the influence.

The OWS is protesting the growing inequity in America and the corpocracy attack on the middle class.

On the opposite side of the equation, the right is trying to portray the poor and their supporters as the threat to America.

We will see how it all plays out.

The primary penchant, throughout history is wealth, in the form of priests, kings and corporations, dictating to the masses.

That primary penchant now has competition and it is growing around the world.

The American middle class is the primary example of wealth’s competition and where wealth is concentrating it’s attacks.

The huge American middle class is not a construct of free market capitalism. Had it been, it would be much smaller and the concentration of wealth by the few would be greater. It is a construct of the people, through the tax code, collective bargaining, the minimum wage, social security and other regulations on the free market and wealth. Middle class conservatives and their families have benefited from the peoples amazing desire to control their fellow man.

The OWS is acting out of fear of the growing power of wealth which is dictating our future.

Wealth is using it’s primary propaganda outlet, Fox News, it’s secondary outlets and conservatives in general to attack the OWS because they fear it.

When both political parties are bribed by wealth to do their bidding, the people lose their voice and only go through the motions of voting for change.

How long can the pendulum swing in one direction before it swings the other way?

Rhinehold, I have not seen one OWS sign calling for the end of capitalism. Could you provide some evidence that the OWS is demanding an end to capitalism?

The people have other problems with the to big to fail banks other than the bailouts. I have no doubt that conservatives will vote for their fair share of bailout politicians. Can you imagine conservatives voting for a Democrat to defeat bailout Shelby? How about Boehner or McConnell, two other bailout politicians? I bet conservatives won’t vote them out even if they have tea party challengers in the primaries. Wealth rules the government and propaganda rules the voters.

Posted by: jlw at November 27, 2011 5:38 PM
Comment #332454

“The OWS is acting out of fear of the growing power of wealth which is dictating our future.”

Most of the OWS protestors don’t evn know why they are protesting. It’s all a sham; the left is jealous of the TP movement and tried to copy it, but as we are seeing, it’s becoming non-relevant.

As a conservative, I would be more than willing to vote out any politician, and I do mean any, who supported TARP, Stimulus, or any other bank or corporation bailout.

Posted by: Mike at November 27, 2011 10:02 PM
Comment #332458

I have been reading “Confidence Men” about the Obama Administration big give aways to Wall Street. I suggest that those among OWS who can read, read that book. They will still be enraged, but they will then be angry at the right people.

I recommend the book to all of you too.

Posted by: C&J at November 28, 2011 6:51 AM
Comment #332465

“Over a month ago groups of people got together to protest Wall Street. The OWS protestors understand that something is wrong. Unfortunately, in their anger they took their message to the wrong people.”

Posted by Rhinehold

The reason the OWS protestors took their message to the wrong people is because the founders or the organizers or the money behind this mocvement dictated where to take the protest. Do you think Soros’ money, or union money would be spent to go after the real culprits of the problems? The OWS protestors are mind dead zombies who just do and say what they are told. There are none of them who can think for themselves.

Posted by: Mike at November 28, 2011 10:50 AM
Comment #332466


“The OWS protestors are mind dead zombies who just do and say what they are told. There are none of them who can think for themselves.”


And yet you guys trot out Newt, Cain, Bachmann, et all, and pretend that these posers might be viable candidates for President.

Yikes!

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 28, 2011 11:29 AM
Comment #332474

At the very least, this article displays the typical naivete of modern libertarianism. It’s far too late. Your political ideology, however well intentioned, has basically been hijacked in order to return this country to gilded age inequality and fecklessness on the part of the upper-class.

But they themselves will never relax the rules and regulations that allow, encourage, even directly reward them for doing what they want to do. It’s easy to think libertarianism is great and wonderful when others are at your mercy, and not the other way around.

The reality is, people who can organize any system to their desires will. The reason we got our kind of government is so that the average citizen could shape the organization of their society to something that was just and rewarding for them as well. There will always be those who can impose their will on other people. That our system has in part regulations and laws written by the people’s representatives is supposed to be the average person’s check and balance against those who can rule their lives informally through corporate policy, in a way that the framers never foresaw happening.

You are expecting altruism when you should simply expect people to act in their rational self-interest. You are lambasting the OWS protestors instead of realizing that they are pursuing their own interests.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 28, 2011 2:00 PM
Comment #332476


The OWS has targeted the right people, Wall Street, Obama, the Democrats, and the Republicans. They have taken their message to the right people, the American people.

Why do you think the right is investing so much time and money into attacking the OWS instead of ignoring these, insert negative adjectives of choice, protesters?

It is the Democrats that have been called out by the OWS and they have no choice but to support the protests even though the Democrats cannot get the support of the OWS by courting them with encouragements and other pretty words.

It takes both parties working in unison to put the inequity issue on the back burner.

The Republicans need to work closely with Obama and the democrats to get the economy up and running so protests over inequity will disappear from our streets and the minds of the people. Will that be sufficient? Will that allow the greed to continue unabated? Time will tell.

Instead, conservatives are holding strong to their own little government, laissez faire ideals, and by doing so are helping the cause of the protests. It is not these protesters, liberals or progressives, but rather the conservatives that pose the greatest threat to capitalism.

Posted by: jlw at November 28, 2011 2:26 PM
Comment #332507

Here is a great story, perhaps someone could explain the double standards?

http://biggovernment.com/cowens/2011/11/28/richmond-city-audits-local-tea-party-after-standoff-with-mayor/

Posted by: TomT at November 28, 2011 11:24 PM
Comment #332511

“Instead, conservatives are holding strong to their own little government, laissez faire ideals, and by doing so are helping the cause of the protests.”

Maybe that is because we believe that this is the solution to the problem.

I know opponents think that “we” are standing in the way of Obama success. I think we are standing in the way of going the wrong way.

Posted by: C&J at November 29, 2011 2:21 AM
Comment #332513

“the OWS crowd is doing exactly what the businesses they are protesting has done.”

That is ridiculous! The OWS does not have the means to buy the influence.

No, your statement is ridiculous. OWS is getting backing by some of the most rich individuals in this country, countless organizations (incorporated ones, btw) and other supporters with means. For example, “Workhouse Publicity, a PR firm that has promoted the Occupy Wall Street protests, represents clients including stalwart capitalist brands Mercedez-Benz, Versace and Virgin Megastore.”

http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/19/occulist-protesters-pr-firm-denies-anti-capitalist-aims-has-made-overtures-to-anonymous-hackers/#ixzz1f60Rxtxj

The OWS is protesting the growing inequity in America and the corpocracy attack on the middle class.

Yes, I believe I mentioned that in the article. And many of the group feel the way to do that is to limit, manage or get rid of capitalism altogether.

On the opposite side of the equation, the right is trying to portray the poor and their supporters as the threat to America.

I could give a whit about the right.

We will see how it all plays out.

Yup.

The primary penchant, throughout history is wealth, in the form of priests, kings and corporations, dictating to the masses.

Through the power of ‘legal’ uses of force. Otherwise, the ‘wealth’ was powerless. That was why our country was set up the way it was, to limit the power that government had so people would be free from that force unless it was a necessity (people violating other’s rights). Other than that, we were supposed to be free to live our lives without excessive government intrusion. Look up the definition of liberty…

That primary penchant now has competition and it is growing around the world.

A delusion that I find intriguing. Tell me, how does this play out in your mind? What is the final ‘end state’ that gets you the society you think would fix all of that? What would life be like under that system?

The best way to ensure freedom and liberty is with a lightly managed free market. If, however, your concern is RESULTS, then you are going to be diametrically opposed to those concepts.

I know many people who are very vocal and vote for the government to fix wrong, tell others how to live their lives, etc. Until the table gets turned and they are being told by others through the government what to do. Then they are all about ‘where are my liberties’. It’s that hypocrisy you are seeing on display at every OWS ‘event’.

The American middle class is the primary example of wealth’s competition and where wealth is concentrating it’s attacks.

The only ‘competition’ is in the mind of those who really don’t understand the concepts of freedom and private property rights and instead cling to a jealousy for people who have given up non-monetary things in their life to make a better life for them and their families.

The huge American middle class is not a construct of free market capitalism.

Actually, it is. Unless you don’t understand what a ‘free market’ is…

The OWS is acting out of fear of the growing power of wealth which is dictating our future.

You mean out of jealousy and fear. If they are afraid of what ‘wealth’ will do to them, they would be looking to limit the power of government, that is the only place ‘power’ can come from. But that isn’t what they want, they want to have that power themselves to direct the OUTCOMES, not provide OPPORTUNITY.

How long can the pendulum swing in one direction before it swings the other way?

Hard to say, we’ve been losing our rights and freedoms in this country for some time now, when does it swing the other way?

Rhinehold, I have not seen one OWS sign calling for the end of capitalism. Could you provide some evidence that the OWS is demanding an end to capitalism?

Sure, here’s one for you, let me know if you need more information about your own movement…

http://images.sodahead.com/polls/002201849/1145607033_Anti_Capitalism_xlarge.jpeg

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 29, 2011 7:29 AM
Comment #332521


Rhinehold, so, the OWS will have enough money to out spend the corporations in the next election and take over control of the government. Well good for them.

So, the socialist World Workers Party is getting in on the act. That is good as well, everyone is supposed to have a voice in this country and I am sure that America is not going to be harmed by allowing that to happen.

I doubt seriously that the vast majority of the OWS is affiliated with any socialist or communist organizations but it is good fodder for the right wing, which you could give a whit about, and you to use in your attempt to discredit the movement.

Supposedly the American people will decide what they agree with and disagree with in relation to the OWS and organizations like the WWP aren’t going to have much of an influence on them.

I know enough about the free market to know that some very non free market programs like those I listed above and including the G.I. bill played a major role in the creation of the large middle class. I know enough about the free market and the free will of men to know that without the peoples intervention, using their government as the instrument, that the amount of the wealth going to the middle class and lower class workers would be significantly less.

Posted by: jlw at November 29, 2011 1:33 PM
Comment #332561
Rhinehold, so, the OWS will have enough money to out spend the corporations in the next election and take over control of the government. Well good for them.

You make the invalid assumption that money spent = victory. As if the electorate are unwashed masses with no intelligence or ability to think for themselves given all of the information available. A typical failing of the ‘let’s censor our opponents’ left.

A closer look provides further evidence that Republicans did not win by outspending their opponents. They got substantially more votes in House races, where they spent less than Democrats yet picked up more than 60 seats (and control of the chamber), than they did in Senate races, where they spent more than Democrats and added half a dozen seats.

The squandered money included $46 million that Linda McMahon, the Republican Senate candidate in Connecticut, spent out of her personal funds, which amounted to nearly $100 for each vote she received. She lost by 12 points. Less dramatically, John Raese, the Republican running for a Senate seat in West Virginia, spent $4.6 million of his own money ($20 per vote) and lost by 10 points.

But the 2010 poster child for the lesson that money can’t buy you love was former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who blew $140 million of her own money ($45 per vote) in her race for California governor against Democrat Jerry Brown, who won by 12 points. Also in California, a marijuana legalization initiative lost by eight points even though its supporters outspent its opponents by 10 to 1.

At the other end of the spending spectrum, reason Contributing Editor David Weigel, writing in Slate, identified five House races in which extremely thrifty Republicans beat well-funded incumbents after raising far less than the $1 million that is commonly accepted as the threshold for a serious congressional campaign. Four of those Republicans also benefited from significant independent spending, ranging from about $200,000 to almost $1 million.

http://reason.com/archives/2011/01/21/cant-buy-you-love

So, the socialist World Workers Party is getting in on the act.

If by ‘getting in on the act’ you mean ‘there on day one’ then yeah, they are.

That is good as well, everyone is supposed to have a voice in this country

Except people who work for corporations and unions, right?

I am sure that America is not going to be harmed by allowing that to happen.

Of course not, just as America is not going to be harmed by letting people who pool their money to make political messages available (NRA, NAACP, ACLU, Citizens United, etc) being allowed to speak either.

I doubt seriously that the vast majority of the OWS is affiliated with any socialist or communist organizations but it is good fodder for the right wing, which you could give a whit about, and you to use in your attempt to discredit the movement.

Apparently you think that pointing out flaws in logic, missing the point of their own arguments and pointing out that they are for the most part completely wrong in their thinking is ‘discrediting’ them. I suppose that by your reasoning you attempt to discredit all Republicans, Libertarians, Socialists, etc who disagrees with you then?

Show me one time that I ‘discredited’ them…

I know enough about the free market to know that some very non free market programs like those I listed above and including the G.I. bill played a major role in the creation of the large middle class.

We can debate from now to the end of time how I disagree with much of what you ‘know’ about such things, but that is a deflection and it really isn’t the point, now is it? Of course, you seem to think that by ‘free market’ people like myself mean ‘no regulations’ without understanding that no one is saying that… It’s a straw man argument. When we have more regulatory economy than Canada, don’t you think maybe we might have too many?

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 1, 2011 1:44 AM
Comment #332573

GOP message man “frightened to death” of Occupy
Frank Luntz frets the movement is damaging Americans’ perceptions of capitalism

OWS is winning — and this why people on the right can’t stop talking about it.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 1, 2011 4:58 PM
Comment #332576


Rhinehold, I think you are the one making the invalid assumption. The discussion is about the decades long status quo of government actions that have been rigged to favor wealth and the growing disparity in the distribution of wealth in favor of the wealthy. Legislation to this end has not been dependent on the number of Democrats or Republicans that have occupied a seat in the legislature.

The Republican party has long been known as the party of wealth and the Democrats the party of workers and the poor. It is reasonable to assume that wealth would have to provide more money to Democrats than Republicans to get them to go against the wishes of their constituents. Neither political party could do this alone. They need each other to keep the voters in a Catch 22 scenario.

You say that money doesn’t always determine the outcome of a particular election. Thus the necessity to finance both candidates.

When the OWS has enough wealth to usurp the power of the corporations perhaps they will have to give more to Republican politicians to get the results they desire.

A straw man argument?

The private sector is capable of self policing without the government getting involved.

Workers have become lazy and won’t work for a fair wage.

A subminimum wage and a relaxation of child labor laws.

Collective bargaining has to go. Mono a mono is the only way to negotiate, dictate wages and benefits.

Unemployment compensation, Social Security, Medicare have to be privatized.

Work place and environmental regulations are major deterrent to doing business.

It is no ones business how much the wealthy have, but the poor are receiving way to much in the way of benefits.

I have heard all of this and more from the right sprinkled abundantly with liberal, socialist and communist condiments.


Posted by: jlw at December 1, 2011 5:14 PM
Comment #332580

“OWS is winning — and this why people on the right can’t stop talking about it.”

Posted by: Adrienne at December 1, 2011 4:58 PM

I hope they keep it up; I have no problem with these idiots living in squalor.

Posted by: TomT at December 1, 2011 7:36 PM
Comment #332586

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Posted by: Raymond at December 1, 2011 11:44 PM
Comment #332587
OWS is winning — and this why people on the right can’t stop talking about it.

Intresting, is that why for several years the left couldn’t stop talking about the Tea Party, cause they were winning? Or how many years it took you to stop talking about Sarah Palin, she was winning?

The lack of logic is astounding…

But let’s look at REAL facts…

A 2007 Treasury Department study showed that 58 percent of households that were in the bottom quintile in 1996 moved to a higher level by 2005, and of households in the top 1 percent during the same time, more than 57 percent dropped to a lower income group. And Shikha Dalmia recently pointed to a study by the University of Chicago’s Steven Kaplan that “shows that, despite government bailouts, in 2008 and 2009 the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent—a disproportionate number of whom work in the financial industry—fell to 1997 levels.”

These numbers show great mobility, upward and downward, and it’s why “class” as a political wedge issue hasn’t typically held traction—though the Obama administration is doing its best to change that dynamic.

You want to say there is no ‘mobility’ but there is. You want rail at the 1%, but forget that those people aren’t the same people that were there just a few years ago. And you want to complain that some number of people increased their wealth without acknowledging how much wealth they created while doing so, how many people got jobs, careers, new businesses were started, technology was discovered, new ways of doing things were discovered, because of them…

If you want to go to a different economic system, please tell me what that would be exactly?

Myself, and libertarians, have never been a fan of crony capitalism, but the suggestion that it is just the ‘right’ that is doing it is laughable, at best.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 2, 2011 12:06 AM
Comment #332618

Perhaps OWS should take Gingrich’s suggestion of a bath and a job. I would add a Tetanus shot to this.

Posted by: Frank at December 2, 2011 6:35 PM
Comment #332625

Great post Rhinehold. You’re absolutely right that many don’t take income mobility into account. As with most things in life, income is not static, it’s a moving target. Poor people get richer, rich people get poorer and many of the folks in the lowest quintile are new to the workforce. Over time, they will typically move up through the income range so if we don’t look at the issue as being dynamic, it really doesn’t mean a whole lot.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at December 2, 2011 8:50 PM
Comment #332643

So 58% of the “poor” in 1996 that didn’t pay income taxes that year, just the SS and medicare taxes, then went on to become the middle class and paid taxes within the next few years. Yet the right harps on the poor not paying their fair share? Have I go this right Rhinehold? This scenario seems to make the case for a progressive tax system.

I wonder how the scenario changes during the 2008 to 2018 period what with the financial meltdown and all.

Since this is just income we are talking about and not wealth retention I wonder how many of the 57% that fell from the upper quintile of wage earners actually fell from the ranks of the wealthy as time went on.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 3, 2011 9:02 AM
Comment #332652

j2t2

People don’t pay their way when they are poor. If they work hard and stop being poor, they start to pay their way.

I think the reason we point to taxes is to counter the liberal assumption that somehow the poor are oppressed and that the rich are rich because they are taking from the poor. In fact, the poor are robbing the rich. This is not necessary a bad thing in the aggregate, but it does take away the oppression argument.

Posted by: C&J at December 3, 2011 12:16 PM
Comment #332660


The laws and policies that have created the growing disparity in wealth between the few and the many are in place. Unless they are reversed or adjusted, we can expect this trend to continue and the discontent associated with it to grow.

Posted by: jlw at December 3, 2011 3:25 PM
Comment #332663

jlw

It is mostly globalization that is causing the rise of inequality. It has also given us access to lots of products that we all want and use. We can trade dynamism for equality, but it is a choice we need to make.

I truly dislike the idea that people can make millions of dollars. I think a lot of people get money they don’t deserve, but I don’t know if I am the one to judge and I don’t know what the solution would be. You could TRY to tax people like Soros, Oprah or Charlie Sheen, but they have tax experts who figure out how to get around it.

The best solution would be to lower rates but close loopholes that the rich use to avoid taxes. This would get more money from them, but lots of people prefer the appearance of getting money from the rich to the reality of doing it.

You may be happy to learn that the recent slow growing economy has reduced inequality. The rich have not done well during the downturn. I suppose if the economy gets bad enough, we will be on the way to real equality.

Posted by: C&J at December 3, 2011 4:24 PM
Comment #332666
The laws and policies that have created the growing disparity in wealth between the few and the many are in place.

And those are specifically?

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 3, 2011 6:47 PM
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