Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and Me

My natural inclination would be to scoff at the "kids" putting on this Occupy Wall Street event. In general the proclamations I've been hearing from the participants leads one to believe they aren't really serious. It sounds like "we want everything, for free of course". Of the list of actions they are demanding almost none of them are reasonable or even realistic, but if I really listen what I hear is extreme frustration. Back in 2009 I myself participated in a rally where the overarching feeling was extreme frustration. It was the initial Tea Party rally in my area.

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are two sides of the same coin.

The Occupiers are upset about Wall Street bailouts, so is the Tea Party. The Occupiers oppose bailouts because Wall Street is "the rich" and the rich are the reason they are poor. The Tea Party opposed the bailouts because it's bad policy (so they say) and because it was done with deficit spending. The Occupiers are upset about corporate lobbyists because corporations are rich and the rich are the reason they are poor. The Tea Party opposes corporate lobbyists because they steer public policy so that it enhances their bottom line instead of ensuring that policy is good for the public.

The Occupiers sees corporate America as the enemy, the Tea Party sees an out of control government as the enemy. In some ways they are both right. The truth is the mega-government and mega-corporations are in bed together. It's a symbiosis that ensures riches for the prime movers in both entities. The worker and middle management in both government and corporate America are fungible and ultimately anonymous.

There is a divergence depending on on which side of the coin lands face up. While the Occupiers believe the government should give them the basic necessities of life just because they are breathing - not realistic or reasonable. They see rich corporations walking off with millions and billions while human services worthy or not are getting cut. Whereas the Tea Party sees government, particularly the Federal government as out of control as it exercises extra-constitutional power and enriching the elites inside corporations and by symbiosis the elites inside government as they move from one to other.

The rules are made by the government - and the rules are rigged. This is the source of the frustration for both.

Wouldn't be interesting if they somehow came together? Nah.