Friday, October 28, 2011

Why They Protest

You have to wonder sometimes of these right wingers actually believe what they say or if in fact they are cynics telling what they know to be lies in service to power and privilege. For Mark Perry by OWS logic protestors should object because the average Texas Ranger salary is a mere $3 million and should be more. They should be mad at Michael Moore because he's rich. They should protest in Washington DC because it has the highest per capita income.

I think the real objections should be obvious, but if you don't think so read Taibbi and/or Greenwald for a description. The problem is not that some are rich. It's that some get rich by cheating and breaking the law and yet the law doesn't apply to them because they buy influence in Washington. What lawbreaking? Read this article from Taibbi.


Chad said...

My favorite clips this week came from Peter Schiff down at I want what you have - occupy. Holding a huge sign saying he was the 1% he simply destroyed every arguement that the so called 99% had in the crowd. My favorite line - Wall Street simply drank the alcohol that the government poured - brilliant.

Jon said...

How would you like it if I told you your reasons for wanting deregulation and it's that you're a sadist that likes to see people suffer while swimming in pollution. That would be unfair. I know why you want deregulation. You think the regulations are unnecessary and inhibit job growth. That's what you tell me. I believe you. It would be pretty unfair of me to just say nope, you're just a sadist and like to see the poor suffer.

You have to let people tell you why they are mad and you have to listen. Don't impute to them motives that they don't claim. They do not claim that they are just jealous of others. Read Taibbi. Read Greenwald. At least start with the presumption of good faith. Most people aren't cynics. I don't regard you as a cynic. I figure you really believe what you are saying. You're wrong, but you don't really have nefarious motives. You should treat people on the left the same way. Let them tell you why they are protesting. Don't invent wicked reasons and attribute them to them. They believe what they say just like you do.

A lot of people on the left do exactly what you are doing. That is, they invent wicked motivations for conservatives and attribute those to them. I object to that as well and say no, people on the right are good people that have good intentions. They're wrong, but they mean well. Can you do the same for people on the left?

Chad said...

Have you gone to an occupy event yet? Have you put boots on the ground to listen to these people?

Well I have - I wanted to hear the message first hand so I went to the Occupy Dayton and will be going to Occupy Columbus tomorrow as well (after Michigan game of course).

The message is muddled at best - groups chant and repeat the speakers words in a cult like mannor. About 1 out 10 people we tried to speak with had anything to say worth hearing. In fact it was more like talking to a fellow Tea Party member than an occupyer when they made any sense. Then to listen to some of those idiots saying F*ck America, F*ck the Police and Military (I was standing there) made me sick. Then there was the groups that were promoting Communism - openly, the groups demanding free education and then there were the laborist - aaahhh the labor force there to fuel the fire.

There was a group of about 10 of us there - one of which is my buddy who is part of the 1% and has a economic degree as well as a degree in business - at one point we drew a large crowd of the so called protesters. By the time he finished speaking those 25-30 people listening were agreeing with everything he said. He broke down how business works, free markets and how they should be marching on gov't not wall street. It was like taking candy from a baby to be honest - a great majority of these people did not have a single clue about the issues they were just there because they felt like they were owed something - just part of the mob.

Jon said...

The fact that some people said F*ck America doesn't give us a single clue about why they are here. Did they say "I'm jealous that some people are rich and I'm not" as you pretend?

The one thing you said they wanted was free education. Fine, they should want free education. That's called equality of opportunity. That's what Milton Friedman talked about. He's for vouchers, meaning we take money from tax payers and give it to others so they can get an education. What's wrong with that? That's not the same as saying that I'm just jealous because you're rich and I'm not. Right there they are saying they want a chance. Just a fighting chance. Everybody looks up to people that earn their own success. There's no objection to that. What's happened is people got rich not by innovating, but by breaking the rules. Read the Taibbi article.

And to complain about the fact that it is a muddled message is I think unfair. You can go up to a random tea partyer and find people that aren't good at articulating why they are there. But I still respect them because underlying things they recognize that something is wrong, and they are here to let us know they are not happy with the direction of the country. Let them know that the politicians don't really represent what they want. They're right about that and I'm very sympathetic to them. I don't just pretend they are all jerks. Like they just want to harm homeless people. That's nonsense.

I think you need to get over this notion you have that those on the other side are evil. They aren't. Maybe they're wrong. Argue with them if you like. But don't put words in their mouth that make them look evil. "I'm just jealous because you have more than me." That's total nonsense.

Jon said...

Tell your 1% friend to come to this blog so I can see what is so persuasive about his arguments.

HispanicPundit said...

Oh, what a surprise, another article recommendation about matters of economics from a non-economist. It's certainly a trend on this blog.

Jon said...

You're embarrassing yourself with a comment like that. Journalists are a perfectly good source on questions of the motivations of OWS. You don't have to be an economist.

So for instance we could get the opinion of David Frum. Maybe John Stossel. Maybe there's an English Lit major out there we could ask. A certain friend of mine that will remain nameless (let's call him HPundit just for grins) likes to get their insights on economic matters all the time and posts them at his blog. I wonder if you would agree.