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Occupy Wall Street Dirty Hippie Meme Won’t Go Away

Even those sympathetic to the causes that have sparked the Occupy Wall Street and related movements continue to express frustration with the squalor and other negative externalities of the protests.

The notion came to my attention last Tuesday, when Huffington Post recounted some of the complaints in a report called “Occupy Wall Street Causing Problems On Main Street.” I wrote about it it a post called “Occupy Wall Street Hurting the 99 Percent.”

I thought this was a one-off but “The Daily Show” featured this segment from Samantha Bee called “Wall Street Occupied” on Thursday’s show:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Wall Street Occupied
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Friday, the New York Times followed up with “For Some, Wall Street Is Main Street,” which recounted some of the same anecdotes that have appeared elsewhere about broken sinks and befouled restrooms.

The anticorporate participants in Occupy Wall Street, which began three weeks ago, say they have no intention of leaving soon. The protest has been building in size, with sister demonstrations erupting in other cities, and politicians, labor leaders and celebrities adding their support. But for many neighborhood businesses, the protest’s end cannot come soon enough. In interviews, business owners said they were especially annoyed that the organizers of the grass-roots movement neglected to include portable toilets in their plan to bring down Wall Street.

Residents, too, say they are losing patience.

Mothers have grown weary of navigating strollers through the maze of barricades that have sprouted along the streets. Toddlers have been roused from sleep just after bedtime by chanting and pounding drums.

Heather Amato, 35, a psychologist who lives near the protest area, said she felt disturbed by some of the conduct of the protesters. She said she had to shield her toddler from the sight of women at the park dancing topless. “It’s been three weeks now,” Ms. Amato said. “Enough is enough.”

Local politicians have expressed sympathy for the residents’ complaints, even as they try to avoid offending the protesters. The speaker of the State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, a Democrat whose district includes Zuccotti Park, the site of the protests, said on Wednesday that the neighborhood had been burdened enough by the protesters’ takeover of one of the few parks in the area. “I would suggest that they move their message to other parts of the city and state,” Mr. Silver said.

Of course, it’s hard to occupy Wall Street unless you’re occupying Wall Street.

Mike Keane, who owns O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub, said that the theft of soap and toilet paper had soared and that one protester had used the bathroom but had failed to properly use the toilet. Both Ms. Tzortzatos, owner of the Panini and Company Cafe, and Mr. Keane said the protesters rarely bought anything, yet hurled curses when they were told that only paying customers could use their bathrooms.

Steve Zamfotis, manager of another nearby store, Steve’s Pizza, said: “They are pests. They go to the bathroom and don’t even buy a cup of coffee.”

Mr. Zamfotis closed his bathroom after it repeatedly flooded from protesters’ bathing there.

Kira Annika, a spokeswoman for the protesters, wrote in an e-mail that she had not heard such complaints: “We were under the impression that the local business community appreciated our patronage.”

In a widely distributed pamphlet, “Welcome to Liberty Plaza: Home of Occupy Wall Street,” participants were instructed where to find relief. “After you’ve dined,” it reads, “feel free to refresh yourself in the restrooms of neighboring businesses like Burger King and McDonald’s without feeling obligated to buy anything.”

NYT columnist Gail Collins piled on in “Wall Street Weeks.”

The Occupy Wall Street encampment in Lower Manhattan is covered with damp sleeping bags, interspersed among piles of wet, abandoned clothes. Molding stuff is everywhere. It looks like a scene from “Outdoor Hoarders.”

“How about one big cleaning day?” someone asks during a morning meeting.

The others in the group respond by raising their hands and wiggling their fingers. This is a silent cheer, and I cannot tell you how well it works. You can also boo silently by pointing your fingers down and wiggling them. Why have they never used this in the presidential debates? Rick Perry could be standing there explaining his immigration policy while Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum point to the floor and wiggle like crazy. So much more civilized. Once again, youth has shown us the way.

Collins is at least sympathetic.

Waves of nostalgia swept over me. This was exactly how I spent my college years, which were theoretically dedicated to creating a more humane society and stopping the war in Vietnam, but, in reality, mainly involved meetings.

I’m guessing Collins wasn’t living outdoors in squalor, occasionally bathing in the sinks of fast food restaurants. But I wasn’t there.

Yesterday, the UK’s Daily Mail piled on with “Stinking up Wall Street: Protesters accused of living in filth as shocking pictures show one demonstrator defecating on a POLICE CAR.”

This are the shocking scenes that have led some people to accuse the Occupy Wall Street protesters living rough in New York’s financial district of creating unsanitary and filthy conditions. Exclusive pictures obtained by Mail Online show one demonstrator relieving himself on a police car. Elsewhere we found piles of stinking refuse clogging Zucotti Park, despite the best efforts of many of the protesters to keep the area clean.

The shocking images demonstrate the extent to which conditions have deteriorated as demonstrations in downtown Manhattan enter their fourth week. Further pictures seen by Mail Online have been censored, as we deemed them too graphic to show.

[...]

‘Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every week night. . . because the protesters refuse to cooperate. . .the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels,’ CBS News reported. Although many of the protesters are understood to be making strenuous efforts to clean up after themselves, after three weeks of occupation, the strain of hundreds of people living on the street has begun to take its toll.

Some of the stories–including the hyperbolic Daily Mail piece–at least try to maintain some balance, pointing out that many if not most of the demonstrators are trying to be civilized members of society. But it’s interesting that even sympathetic venues like HuffPo, The Daily Show, and the NYT are focusing more on the “dirty hippie” angle than on the cause itself.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Catfish says:

    Clean ‘em out.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 17

  2. @Catfish:

    If nothing else, when the first late fall Nor’Easter hits the NYC area, they’ll clear out of there pretty fast. After all, they wouldn’t want to get their iPad’s wet

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 12

  3. Catfish says:

    Yea – their ipads, tablets, Happy Meal boxes, and most of all, their Halloween costumes.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 13

  4. john personna says:

    An unfortunate photo, and a whacked out dude, no doubt, but I did find this:

    In consultation with and approval by the NYC General Assembly and the local Community Board, The City of New York should immediately allow — if not provide as emergency services — temporary toilets and erection of tents in Zuccotti Park as a municipal health and safety (extended police) service. Electrical service should be provided with capacity for heating units. Emergency stand-by services for health and sanitation should be provided by local, state and federal governments and aid agencies like the Red Cross. And bill the cost to Silverstein Properties, developer of Ground Zero, Brookfield Properties and the National 9/11 Memorial Foundation, all in cahoots to monetize the area.

    What’s that ‘should allow’ in there?

    Did the city deny toilets?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  5. john personna says:

    (It would be an underhanded, but shrewd, tactic for the city to deny permits for toilets, and then to highlight the “dirty hippy” meme.)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  6. banshee says:

    The quoted piece doesn’t establish whether Silverstein Properties was volunteering to finance electricity and portable johns for the protestors. Was it someone else’s idea that Silverstein pay? Why would they? Why should the city?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  7. banshee says:

    Portable toilets are something the organizers should have thought about and paid for. Seems more like a “freeloader” meme than a “dirty hippie” meme to me. But it gets cold as hell in the Wall St area in winter. They’ll all leave then.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  8. JKB says:

    You know what they need down there at their protest against corporations? Some corporation to come in with hotel services. All paid for by taxes on the poor non-college credentialed working stiffs of course.

    And someone please donate a few cases of these:

    Sour Baby Pacifier Lollipops: 12CT Display
    Calm your nerves — suck on a baby pacifier lollipop! Sweet and delicious, these fruity sour lollipops will keep you from crying because you’ll be puckering instead.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 11

  9. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    They should riot. Bloomberg said there would be riots or should be riots, he wasn’t clear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Occupy Wall Street??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  11. JKB says:

    It appears that the class war has stalemated into a no-class occupation

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    And once again Glenn Beck is ignored for predicting all this…

    Dang I miss his show:( Gonna have to try to double my overtime and get GBTV!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

  13. G.A.Phillips says:

    That comedy chick teaching that useful idiot how to use the bathroom was good….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  14. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Obviously that guy hurt his movement far, far, more than he could have imagined. But then, we can probably presume drugs and/or mental illness.

    As for how the rest shakes out though, I am interested whether toilets were forgotten, or not allowed by the city.

    [no pun intended]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  15. Mr. Prosser says:

    This conversation reminds me of the scene in Pasternak’s “Dr. Zhivago” when the peasants are singing outside the formal, white tie ball. Komarovsky says, “Perhaps after the revolution they will all sing better.” Well, they didn’t sing any better but the changes were pretty radical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  16. steve says:

    Populist anger is never pretty. However, this is, in many ways, the first group to really protest the bailouts. Wall Street has gotten off pretty easily considering the damage it caused. Too bad they cant get into the banks and off the streets.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  17. Stan says:

    Thirty years ago families bringing in less than the median income collectively earned twice as much as the top 1%. Now it’s equal. Thirty years ago the average CEO of a large company earned 40 times as much as the average worker in his company. Now it’s 300 times as much. We have, by far, the greatest amount of inequality in the developed world. Maybe this is what’s motivating the dirty hippies occupying Wall Street.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

  18. ketchup or salsa says:

    Ask: “What did they do in Cairo?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. JKB says:

    @steve:

    Wall Street took bailout and benefitted from the cronyism from DC. But they simply took the benefit, if they want to protest someone, protest the White House and the Congress, or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even Sallie Mae. Those are the places that populist anger could have stopped the bailout and the problem to begin with.

    Instead, the protestors embrace the Democrat politicians who approved the bailout, who influenced the regulators, who blocked reform efforts.

    If these protesters want to occupy something, they should occupy their time with real critical thinking of where pressure can do the most good. Hint, it isn’t Walls Street, it’s Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  20. JKB says:

    @Stan:

    Come back when you’ve done the same comparisons between Director, President, etc. of the non-profits and Universities and their average worker pay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  21. An Interested Party says:

    Occupy Wall Street Dirty Hippie Meme Won’t Go Away

    Indeed, especially with people like James and Doug pushing that meme…

    Gonna have to try to double my overtime and get GBTV!!!!

    Wow, now there’s something to work extra hours to be able to pay for…

    Instead, the protestors embrace the Democrat politicians who approved the bailout, who influenced the regulators, who blocked reform efforts.

    If these protesters want to occupy something, they should occupy their time with real critical thinking of where pressure can do the most good. Hint, it isn’t Walls Street, it’s Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Oh, very nice…it’s all the fault of “Democrat” politicians…every other politician has completely clean hands, of course…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  22. john personna says:

    This article was kind of interesting, about a bunch of 50, 60, 70 year-olds doing an “Occupy” protest down in Florida. If they pooped, it was hushed up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  23. G.A.Phillips says:

    However, this is, in many ways, the first group to really protest the bailouts.

    lol…Its not a protest, is a stinky mob of useful idiots that are programed to do this and only do stuff like this….

    But I have been seeing it all spring and summer here in WI. Welcome to the Alinsky’s America, all the rest of you.

    Maybe you can wake the **** up now?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

  24. jpe says:

    Did the city deny toilets?

    No one’s asked. The entire thing is permit-less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. G.A.Phillips says:

    Oh, very nice…it’s all the fault of “Democrat” politicians…every other politician has completely clean hands, of course…

    lolI would go with “Democrat” politicians, media, teachers, hollywood, authors, religious leaders,unions,celebrities(including Obama) bloggers and commenters. And any other half a$$ communist that writes or speaks in or to the public!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 13

  26. Stan says:

    @JKB: Obviously, it’s not just corporate bigwigs who are raking it in. The president of the university from which I’m happily retired has a base yearly salary of $500,000 plus added compensation of about $250,000, and the director of the university hospital makes about $200,000 more. People at the top in the US do very well. So your point is well taken, but I don’t see how that affects my argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  27. Barb Hartwell says:

    The reason these people are protesting or at least or at least one thing is they have nothing, how can they show just how little they have if they can get portable toilets. It shows how much compassion the wall streeters care for anyone but themselves. If they had done the right things in the beginning this would not be happening. So suck it up because that is what you wanted them to do for so long.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  28. michael reynolds says:

    From the NYT:

    A manager of the Burger King in question said he had no trouble with the protesters, though a maintenance worker at the McDonald’s, Deon Cook, said that in recent days he had been forced to clean the bathroom every five minutes.

    “I’m looking forward to it being over,” Mr. Cook said.

    Some businesses do welcome the newly arrived neighbors.

    A woman who tends the Dunkin’ Donuts kiosk a block from the site said coffee and doughnut consumption had jumped.

    Yves Delva, a manager at a nearby Modell’s Sporting Goods, said sales had been brisk for sleeping bags, sweatshirts, hand warmers, sweatpants and goggles — that last item presumably bought to protect the eyes from pepper spray, which has been used by the police in response to the demonstrations.

    Some residents said the noise, the crush of out-of-towners and the resulting delays were to be expected in one of Manhattan’s most famous neighborhoods.

    Julie Menin, chairwoman of Community Board 1, which serves Lower Manhattan, said that the protesters had been responsive to concerns from the board and had agreed to stop drumming at 10 p.m. and to enforce quiet hours.

    Hmmm. Doesn’t quite sound like the apocalypse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  29. JKB says:

    @Stan:

    Of course, many, if not most, for profit corporations provide value to their customers in a voluntary exchange. University presidents on the other hand increasingly draw high salaries by duping foolish children to take out crushing levels of debt for credentials in fields that are known not to offer a return on investment that will service the debt. And as many studies, increasingly show, these victims rarely obtain the much ballyhooed, “education” either.

    So who should we protest, the corporation that offers value in a voluntary exchange or the university that has sells snake oil to gullible rubes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  30. michael reynolds says:

    Just for fun, James should write a blog post from the point of view of an upright conservative on some of the civil rights marches of the 60’s. After all, they usually didn’t have permits, they expressed contempt for established law and order, no doubt there was some litter left behind, and certainly local residents were inconvenienced by the attack dogs and fire hoses. Plus all that singing.

    I wonder where they went to the bathroom?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  31. Ron Beasley says:

    The US is becoming a very large banana republic. CEO pay has gone from 40X the pay of the lowest payed employee to 400X in 30 years. The attempts to vilify this movement show that the plutocrats are afraid their message will catch on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    The attempts to vilify this movement show that the plutocrats are afraid their message will catch on.

    Absolutely.

    I have to say, nothing has endeared OWS more to me than James and Doug’s desperate attempt to dismiss them. Frankly, I wasn’t paying much attention to the whole thing. It wasn’t really on my radar. But the more James and Doug attacked the more I had to trudge off and learn something about the movement. And the more I learned the more I liked. Now I count myself as a supporter of OWS.

    I wonder how they’ll fit me into the meme? Not dirty. Not poor. No student loan debt. Oh, wait: I do have an iPad. That should do it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6

  33. Ron Beasley says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Not dirty. Not poor. No student loan debt. Oh, wait: I do have an iPad. That should do it.

    Ditto here except I don’t even have an iPad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    All the lies you guys told and regurgitated about our T.E.A. Party rallies are really truly happen now and all you got is support and admiration for it and can’t tell the difference or make a comparison.

    lol….

    Damn that must be some good kool aid….

    Liberals are a complete waste of time and energy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

  35. michael reynolds says:

    Kurt Vonnegut:

    America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  36. @michael reynolds:

    There seems to be a false dilemma out there that you must like either Wall Street or OWS. I don’t find either of them particularly worth supporting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    I never liked the anti-war demonstrators in the Vietnam era, either. I disliked them so much I ended up voting for Nixon in ’72. Just a few weeks later I was demonstrating in front of the White House for Nixon’s impeachment. And in retrospect the dirty hippies of the 60’s proved to be awfully right about that war, however incompetent and even counter-productive their demonstrations were.

    I suppose you and I and people like us — family men, earners, guys who own nice cars and know how to order wine — should be organizing the demonstrations, no doubt we’d do a better job. But we never do. We’re busy or tired or too cynical to try.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  38. Ben Wolf says:

    In other words our elites and their servants find the protests aesthetically unpleasing, and we’re supposed to give a damn why, exactly? Oh yes, James Joyner thinks protesting should be done by zoot suiters doing a Mr. Roboto impression as they silently blend into a background their masters can ignore. Wonderful suggestion in the other thread, that was.

    I’m sure we’ll soon have a posting that protestors being pepper sprayed shouldn’t have opened their eyes, or demonstrators beaten shouldn’t have their heads at the same point in space the nightstick was swinging through. “Dissatisfaction may only be expressed through the approved channels”. The authoritarian mindset of conservatives and right-libertarians never ceases to amaze.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  39. ponce says:

    But it’s interesting that even sympathetic venues like HuffPo, The Daily Show, and the NYT are focusing more on the “dirty hippie” angle than on the cause itself.

    It’s no surprise that big corporations are against the these protesters.

    Unless you buy into that whole “librul press” lie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  40. @michael reynolds:

    The problem with the Vietnam War protestors was that after correctly identifying the problem, they completely flubbed coming up with a solution, which resulted in the movement becoming less “The US needs to get out of this war” and more “This US needs to lose this war”. I feel a similar way about OWS. On one hand I think that there was a lot of fraud going on on Wall Street, which they have yet to be held to account for, and when it blew up in their faces it was made worse by making me pay for cleaning up the mess. The problem is that all of OWS’s solutions seem to be more about making sure I get an equal share of their suffering than it is about actually addressing the problem.

    To give a personal example, my college degree is in Computer Science. When I was applying to schools, I got into Carnegie Mellon (which is pretty much the best compuer science school in the country and Penn State (which has a good computer science program as well, but is definitely second tier). Even though Carnegie Mellon was my first choice, when I looked at the numbers I came to realize I was looking at the difference between being $20k in debt at graduation or being $100k in debt. I chose to go to Penn State, because as much as I wanted to go to Carnegie Mellon, it wasn’t worth the additional $80k in debt. But as the years have past, I occasionally find myself wistfully wondering how my life would have been different if I’d made the other choice.

    Now I look at OWS and see a lot of people who decided, “damn the expense, I want the gold plated education”, and now want me to, in addition to paying off my student loans, pay off theirs as well. And in reality, that has nothing to do with Wall Street, and it pisses me off to no end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  41. Terrye says:

    Hey, they don’t care about those businesses or the people that live there. After all, people in that area are probably all capitalist pigs and corporate toadies anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  42. Terrye says:

    @steve: Steve, they are not protesting the bailouts, they are just pissed that they did not get their cut.

    The truth is those banks that took money under TARP actually paid that money back…when these people say they want a bailout for their school loans..do you think they actually believe they should pay that money back too?

    I doubt it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  43. Ben Wolf says:

    @JKB:

    Come back when you’ve done the same comparisons between Director, President, etc. of the non-profits and Universities and their average worker pay.

    Ahh, more of JKB’s “two wrongs make a right” palliative, philosophically related to his “nana-nana-boo-boo” theory of political economy. Now it makes sense why third-graders are running his party.

    University Presidents average $400,000 salaries, ten times the average salary, not 300 times like CEO’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  44. Terrye says:

    @michael reynoldsThese young people are no happier with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi than they are with anyone else. It is interesting to see people on the left jump on this bandwagon because a bunch of young socialists are demanding free stuff…but when the Tea Party demonstrated against crony capitalism and statism the left had not one good word to say about them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    They have very poor message discipline. I hope the addition of the unions will help them with that.

    Is there some incoherent, “Waaah, my degree is useless!” ranting? Yes. We as a society assured them this wouldn’t be the case. We laid out the prerequisites: stay in school, work hard, go to college. We left off the part where once they were done with all that the system would pull the rug out from under them and billionaires with bailouts would laugh at them for struggling.

    We as a society said quite clearly: do A, B and C and everything will be fine. That message has been hammered into their head since kindergarten. Every politician and political party has agreed. Every parent. Every movie and TV show. Every fat cat who ever gave a commencement speech has agreed. The message discipline from American society has been perfect: we were all saying the same thing. Do A, B and C, and everything will be fine.

    It turns out now that we were lying. It turns out that American society isn’t for working people or college kids or even the middle class. American society is owned lock, stock and barrel, by billionaires who deny even the suggestion that they might behave responsibly. The GOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary, and the Democrats aren’t far behind.

    So there’s going to be some anger when people realize they’ve lived their lives thus far in service to a lie. There’s some resentment when it becomes clear that their true position is not citizen but serf.

    We are seeing the barest beginnings of the realization that we as a society have been peddling a lie, and that we’ve already bankrupted these kids by pushing our debt off onto them to pay in the future. So now they owe 100k in loans, they’re down more than that in future taxes to service our debts, and they have no jobs because billionaires need to keep every single last penny to themselves. Safety net? Noooo, billionaires need that money, too.

    The surprise is not that we have these demonstrations. The surprise is that they aren’t yet hunting fat, rich baby boomers down with baseball bats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  46. Ben Wolf says:

    @Terrye: Why would anyone with sense ally with the same people who are denying health services to women and trying to force the U.S. to default?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  47. michael reynolds says:

    @Terrye:
    The Tea Party is not the same as OWS. The Tea Party wants their own welfare (medicare) and tax cuts while at the same time denying a safety net to anyone else. The Tea Party is just the latest round in the Greatest Generation/Baby Boomer looting of America. That’s why the Koch Brothers and their ilk support the Tea Party: they don’t threaten the rich, they threaten the middle class, and that fact must be wonderfully entertaining to the billionaire bail-out club. The TP are the classic useful idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  48. @michael reynolds:

    We left off the part where once they were done with all that the system would pull the rug out from under them and billionaires with bailouts would laugh at them for struggling.

    That’s my problem though, I don’t think the OWS protestors ARE by and large the people who had the rug pulled out from under them. It’s an argument between the iniquitous and the irresponsible, and I don’t really feel like I want either side to win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  49. @michael reynolds:

    The Tea Party is not the same as OWS

    Actually, I think the Tea Party is the same as OWS. The both represent people who want to reoganize societies to benefit their narrow tribe at the expense of society as a whole. The only difference is that in one case the tribe is urban hipsters and in the other ist rural babyboomers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  50. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    I don’t see where the OWS are that narrowly selfish. Are you buying the notion that this is all about student loans? Sorry, but that’s the propaganda line that OTB is happy to repeat. But it’s not reality. Here’s a different bit of Jon Stewart video on OWS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  51. WR says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “Urban hipsters.” Oh, goodie. You’re quoting from our resident racist troll, Superdestroyer.

    Instead of relying on JJ’s caricatures, why don’t you listen to the voices of the protestors? They’re not all in New York, they’re all across the country. And they’re not all young, they don’t all have iPads, and despite what Terrye thinks, they haven’t been magically whisked through a time machine from 1967.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  52. Scott O. says:

    @James Joyner

    Occupy Wall Street Dirty Hippie Meme Won’t Go Away

    You seem to be doing your best to hype that meme with that picture you chose. Looks like a homeless guy to me. Was he part of OWS? Where was that picture taken? Lots of sites that are known for less than factual reporting are implying that he’s one of the demonstrators. But is he? The only other report I could find about it was this. It makes no mention of any occupy wall street connection.

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  53. steve says:

    @Stormy- Genius son is attending Carnegie Mellon. We had the same decision to make but chose CMU. Hope it owrks out.

    Terrye-” Steve, they are not protesting the bailouts, they are just pissed that they did not get their cut.

    The truth is those banks that took money under TARP actually paid that money back”

    My interpretation is that they are mad that banks got bailed out, but they are not getting bailed out on their student loans, when it was the bankers that created and profited from the banking crisis. We did get most of the money back from TARP, thank goodness, but it was still a bailout. Those banks were severely undercapitalized. The next medium to large sized bank going down risked banks runs they could not have managed. It is still pretty amazing to think that the people who brought down the world economy, this transcended the US, were making record bonuses a year or two later. For whatever reason, in the eternal battle between creditors and debtors, the US has largely favored the creditor class. Yet, we have lead the world in the number of banking crises for the last 200 or so years. Go figure.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  54. Scott O. says:

    @James, I tried to post a comment with a link and was told it was caught by the spam filter. The gist of it was, do you have any evidence that the picture you put at the head of your article isn’t just some homeless guy with no connection to the protest?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  55. superdestroyer says:

    @jpe:

    Thanks for noticing that the protest does not have permits. I guess for progressives hipsters, the rules apply to others. Image an economy where mom-and-pop business have to get multiple permits to open but hipster progressives just do whatever they want. Why would anyone want to invest or even work in such a country.

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  56. john personna says:

    Of course the ironic thing for me is that I was told in these very pages that I was too had on liberal arts degrees, that those still were a path to wealth, and worth the loans.

    I believe James leaned toward supporting the degrees, but now leans away from supporting the graduates.

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  57. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    M.R.

    The protesters are not poor. They are the children of the upper middle class who are mad because their liberal arts degree cannot get them a good enough job to be able to afford to live in Manhattan.

    Why does liberal arts graduates fromm NYU believe that they are entitled to higher pay and a higher quality of life than graduates of nursing, pharmacy, and engineering schools? If you answer than question, you will understand the hipster protestors.

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  58. OWS and the Tea Party both have the same annoying habit of assuming they’re the only legitimate American voice and that anyone who disagrees with them must be some evil force intent on destroying the country. Both are primarily devoting to winning benefits they directly benefit from from the government and trying to disguise that wrapping tons of high minded political philosophy around their special pleading. Both are prone to lapsing into violent rhetoric and worry me that if they don’t get their way they’ll lapse into actual violence. And just as the Tea Party has been subsumed by corporate interests who see them as useful idiots, so is OWS being subsumed by corporate interests who see them as useful idiots.

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  59. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The protesters are not poor. They are the children of the upper middle class who are mad because their liberal arts degree cannot get them a good enough job to be able to afford to live in Manhattan.

    You are making that up. There are national demonstrations now, including (as I linked) the Over The Hill Gang protesting in Florida.

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  60. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:
    Evidence?

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  61. @steve:

    Genius son is attending Carnegie Mellon. We had the same decision to make but chose CMU. Hope it owrks out.

    I hope it does to, but if it doesn’t, should others be expected to make up the tab? You chose the increased oppurtunity at the cost of increased risk. Part of the problem with Wall Street is they want the ability to take risky gambles, and if they pan out keep all the money and if they don’t, stick me with the bill. The problem is there’s a lot of college students who want to do the same thing.

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  62. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If you want to demonstrate that the protests are not about hipsters not wanting to pay back their college loans (so that living in NYC will be easier) , the i would not be linking to the Daily Show. The Daily show is almost ground zero for NYC hipsters. Jon Stewart is the ultimate hipster.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  63. john personna says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    If they can craft a complaint consistent with the data … doesn’t that validate their claim?

    The data is that the 1% own more than they did 10 years ago, and the 99% own less.

    This page includes a graph showing the share of U.S. wealth owned by the top one percent of income earners. It is at a high not seen since the 1930s.

    Now that might not be bad if the ol’ trickle down was working, and the poor were getting richer as well, but we know that’s not true. We know from other OTB threads that income and wealth for the bottom groups (esp. the bottom half) are falling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  64. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Any white living in NYC is by definition is not poor. The NYC public schools are less than 10% white. That is the sign of a city that does not have many poor whites.

    You can also google all of the articles about parents supporting their children who live in NYC. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/nyregion/08trustafarians.html Those are the hipsters who think their liberal arts degree should allow them to live an upper middle class lifestyle while working as an event planner or freelance writer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  65. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You are steadfastly ignoring this article, aren’t you?

    While the Occupy Wall Street group was founded mostly by young people, Saturday’s event in Lake Worth attracted many middle-aged and older citizens. World War II veterans Jack Walker, 85, and Eugene Nusbaum, 87, were among them, wearing their campaign caps designating them as vets.

    “Wall Street is taking over and it’s our own fault,” said Walker. “People need to get out to vote.”

    Perhaps Jack and Eugene will get a kick out of being called hipsters, at their age. Lock up your daughters!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  66. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:
    So in other words, you got nothing. As usual.

    I am entertained however by your obsessive use of the word “hipster” as though that would serve your purpose wonderfully. Of course “hipster” is actually a derisive, mocking term most often used by the very people you think you’re referring to.

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  67. michael reynolds says:

    You know, I do sort of have hipster glasses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  68. @john personna:

    Again, I agree with their complaint that the distribution of wealth is getting dangerously lopsided. I disagree with them on 1) them being the victims in this and 2) what the solution is.

    They may be poor in terms of personal income, but I don’t think they’re by an large lower class. I’m betting the vast majority come from familiesi in the top two quintiles of the income distrbution and that they’re more worried about making sure they stay there than the are about helping the bottom two quintiles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  69. steve says:

    “I hope it does to, but if it doesn’t, should others be expected to make up the tab? ”

    Nope, I am paying out of savings. But, if we continue our current trend of income stagnation for all but the financial class and top 1%, with them getting rescued when they take excessive, I expect him and other grads to attempt do something about it. Hopefully, more constructive than the current protests.

    “The problem is there’s a lot of college students who want to do the same thing.”

    Kind of. I would say that these students, and a lot of homeowners for that matter, wonder why very wealthy people who caused our problem got bailed out, while no one is offering them aid.

    Steve

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  70. ponce says:

    Jon Stewart is the ultimate hipster.

    /eyeroll

    Jon Stewart is 50 years old.

    He’s not a hipster, he’s the Baby Boomers’ Andy Rooney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  71. john personna says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    They may be poor in terms of personal income, but I don’t think they’re by an large lower class. I’m betting the vast majority come from familiesi in the top two quintiles of the income distrbution and that they’re more worried about making sure they stay there than the are about helping the bottom two quintiles.

    The original core? Who knows. As soon as student loans became big business, the game changed. When a warm body can get a $70K loan for a MFA, it stops being about parents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  72. @michael reynolds:

    You icon always makes me think more aging T-800 than hipster. Although if you really want to do the aging hipster thing, you look like you could pull off the “I have a pony tail even though I’m going bald” hair do. ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  73. john personna says:

    @ponce:

    [Jon Stewart] is not a hipster, he’s the Baby Boomers’ Andy Rooney.

    lol. this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  74. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    M.R.

    Please tell me what you accept as evidence that the OWS protesters are hipsters. Please define what you would find as acceptable instead of playing the progressive game of nitpicking the other guy. Young whites in NYC who are complaining about their college loans are, by definition, hipsters. Do you think the people with PhD in biological sciences who work at Rockefeller university are out there protecting. Do you think the people with pharmacy or accounting degrees from SUNY-Stony Brook are out there protesting. The only people I have heard interviewed on NPR where all private university graduates who were complaining about their college loans.

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  75. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds: Your quote from Vonnegut reminds me of one from Frances Trollope’s diary, after she arrived here in 1827:

    Nothing can exceed their activity and perseverance in all kinds of speculation, handicraft, and enterprise, which promises a profitable pecuniary result. I heard an Englishman, who had been long resident in America, declare that in following, in meeting, or in overtaking, in the street, on the road, or in the field, at the theatre, the coffee-house, or at home, he had never overheard Americans conversing without the word DOLLAR being pronounced between them. Such unity of purpose, such sympathy of feeling, can, I believe, be found nowhere else, except, perhaps, in an ants’ nest. The result is exactly what might be anticipated. This sordid object, for ever before their eyes, must inevitably produce a sordid tone of mind, and, worse still, it produces a seared and blunted conscience on all questions of probity. I know not a more striking evidence of the low tone of morality which is generated by this universal pursuit of money . . . Yet the Americans declare that “they are the most moral people upon earth.” Again and again I have heard this asserted, not only in conversation, and by their writings, but even from the pulpit. Such broad assumption of superior virtue demands examination, and after four years of attentive and earnest observation and enquiry, my honest conviction is, that the standard of moral character in the United States is very greatly lower than in Europe. Of their religion, as it appears outwardly, I have had occasion to speak frequently; I pretend not to judge the heart, but, without any uncharitable presumption, I must take permission to say, that both Protestant England and Catholic France show an infinitely superior religious and moral aspect to mortal observation, both as to reverend decency of external observance, and as to the inward fruit of honest dealing between man and man.

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  76. Ben Wolf says:

    @superdestroyer: Hipsters are people who put on a show of rejecting popular trends in a shallow attempt to appear culturally and artistically sophisticated. Hipsterism is unrelated to debt even though you insist on redefining the word to mean whatever you want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  77. Stan says:

    @JKB: I’m not objecting to corporate profits. I’m objecting to the high salaries that CEO’s pay themselves with the connivance of their corporate boards and the tender way they’re treated if they lose their jobs. It’s unfair, for one thing, and it makes a mockery of the idea that we all have to sacrifice during the recession to get the nation back on track.

    For what it’s worth, the president of my university refused to accept the salary increase the regents recommended in 2010 and accepted the increase but donated it to charity in 2011. If more corporate CEO’s behaved this way I’d feel better about the state of the country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  78. superdestroyer says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Hipsters want to be seen as cultured, cool, and urban. And to look cultured, cool, and urban, there is only three places to live NYC (only really means Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn), Boston, and SF. See http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/26/26-new-york-city/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  79. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You icon always makes me think more aging T-800 than hipster. Although if you really want to do the aging hipster thing, you look like you could pull off the “I have a pony tail even though I’m going bald” hair do. ;)

    Given a few months I could rock the pony tail thing. I’ve chosen instead to follow the example of that great baby boomer philosopher, Bruce Willis, who taught us that when you’re going bald you should just embrace the new reality.

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  80. anjin-san says:

    I have to say, nothing has endeared OWS more to me than James and Doug’s desperate attempt to dismiss them.

    Roger that. Sing for your supper fellas…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  81. anjin-san says:

    complaining about their college loans are

    Interesting that people who don’t seem to be bothered in the slightest about corporate welfare for Exxon & Chevron, already rich beyond the dreams of avarice, are holding on to the student loan thing like a dog with a bone.

    I wonder how much of the protests are, in reality, about student loans, and to what extent this is simply a bait & switch by paid shills and useful idiots on the right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  82. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    I’ve run into this very often in Europe. In conversation I’m always the first one to talk money. It’s an American compulsion. It defines us the way food defines the French.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  83. superdestroyer says:

    @anjin-san:

    The people saying that the government should be smaller understand that the government should not be handing out welfare to any company. The left has no problem with corporate welfare, the left justs wants total control over who gets the goodies and who does not.

    It is all part of the theme that, to progressives, the rules are for others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  84. anjin-san says:

    @Super

    If I want the party line, I will tune into Fox. Why don’t you and the other useful idiots run along and play in the sandbox? I am sure Jay Tea and Bithead would be happy to join you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  85. superdestroyer says:

    @anjin-san:

    If the government has less money, there would be less money to pass out as corporate welfare. Raising taxes instead of cutting the budget just means that progressives support corporate welfare and want more of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  86. WR says:

    @superdestroyer: SD — What you say is entirely true, as long as the only thing government does is give out corporate welfare. Since it’s obvious to anyone with at least one brain cell that this is not the case, your argument is not only specious, it’s a complete waste of the energy required to type it.

    So I’m just wondering — do you really expect to convince anyone with such lame attempts at constructing an argument? Do you have so little respect for others that you’d think anyone could ever take this argument seriously? Do you have so little respect for yourself that you put even your silly pseudonym on such twaddle?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  87. superdestroyer says:

    @WR:

    OK, what is the best example of a high tax state that does not hand out corporate welfare.

    Your argument is that if the right people are in charge then the government will be able to maintain a very high tax rate without the government handing out corporate welfare.

    Do you really think that it is an effective argument to say that if taxes are raised this time and the government receives a huge amount of new money that the government will still be able to cut wasteful spending and only spend taxpayers money in a cost effective manner.

    The best argument is that is the government is giving away corporate welfare then it has more than enough money but just chosses to spend it in a wasteful manner. As long as the government gives special tax breaks, corporate welfare, 8a contracts, or pays a single person to be a diversity coordinator, then the government is not spending it money wisely.

    When everything that can be cut it cut, then we will know how much taxes should be raised. Until the cuts are made, there is no point is talking about tax increases.

    Look at Mayor Bloomberg in NYC. We the city was receiving a huge amount of tax dollars, Mayor Bloomberg managed to find new ways to spend the money instead of putting it away for the inevitable economic down turn.

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  88. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:
    We had tax increases and a balanced budget under Mr. Clinton.

    We cut taxes under Mr. Bush the Younger and had exploding deficits followed by a meltdown.

    In point of fact a major part of our deficit is interest payments on the money borrowed because Republican administrations refused to match taxes to expenditures. It’s Republicans who invented the magical thinking on taxes that if we somehow had less we’d have more. It’s Republicans who have convinced people they can have services, weapons systems, wars etc… without ever having to pay for them.

    As for the libertarian nonsense: so long as the top 1% holds almost all political power we can reduce government spending until the poor are starving in the streets and the 1% will still manage to get their corporate welfare. The 1% are demanding that anything not going to them be cut; they are not going to countenance cuts to their own gravy train.

    As a matter of history, you’re wrong. As a matter of logic, you’re wrong.

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  89. michael reynolds says:

    The utter idiocy of the core libertarian dogma on the size of government is so transparently false it’s hard to avoid accusing its proponents of dishonesty rather than simple stupidity. Given that people like the Koch Brothers finance so much of this ideology of lord and serf it’s particularly hard.

    Libertarians hold that the only way to reduce corporate welfare is to cut the overall size of government.

    Let’s walk that through. We begin cutting. We cut drastically.

    Whose money do we cut first? Obviously those with the least political muscle. And who would that be? The poor.

    Whose money gets cut last? Obviously those with the most political muscle. And who would that be? The rich.

    So we start cutting the poor first, and we cut the rich last. That’s no more arguable than the law of gravity. That’s just the way the world is. We’ll cut the poor.

    The pressure to cut comes from whom? From the rich, who pay the most taxes. Does the pressure to cut come from the poor? No. The pressure is from the rich.

    The incentive of the rich to cut money to the poor is obvious. Now explain to me, having cut off the poor, what the incentive is for the rich to cut their own hand-outs?

    Exactly.

    The poor get cut off, the rich keep their hand-outs and they get a tax cut. They will still be able to run to the government and get the government to borrow money to bail out the rich. But the poor will die.

    That’s libertarianism.

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  90. CB says:

    @Stan:

    im not really in disagreement with you about CEO compensation and the like, but i always felt like it amounted to a cheap talking point, and a relatively minor symptom of a larger problem. in my opinion, you need to tackle the entire corporate mindset that values shareholder profit above all, either through a rediscovery of the American social contract, or through frank and honest discussion about our contradictory social impulses. so yeah, not much chance of that.

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  91. Rick DeMent says:

    The fact is the financial sectors cut of the pie has been growing by leaps and bounds. The scandel is that very broadly speaking, the only useful thing they provide is liquidity. The rake they are getting to provided this for the rest of us is way out of line. If I were to sum up the problem with the banking and financial sector in a short phrase it would be something like…

    The liquidity is too damn high!

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  92. ponce says:

    So we start cutting the poor first, and we cut the rich last. That’s no more arguable than the law of gravity.

    While I share your sentiments, I have to point out that, even after 50 years of wasting humanity’s time and money on a dumbass wild goose chase, physicists still have no idea what causes gravity.

    The Higg’s boson circle jerk only has a month or so before it’s finally shut down.

    If there was any justice, every scientist involved in it would receive lengthy prison terms.

    Idiots.

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  93. jan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Actually, I think the Tea Party is the same as OWS. The both represent people who want to reoganize societies to benefit their narrow tribe at the expense of society as a whole. The only difference is that in one case the tribe is urban hipsters and in the other ist rural babyboomers.

    Here’s another difference from the OWS and the Teas — debris and cluttering the streets. Bloomberg is now saying that OWS is hurting NYC by their protests. This also didn’t happen with any of the teas events/rallies/protests.

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  94. WR says:

    @michael reynolds: Superdestroyer is not a libertarian. He is a racist. More specifically, he is a coward who lives in terror that his white priveliege — that is, feeling superior to other people with lives just as crappy as his but skin that’s darker — is going to be taken away by demographic shifts. He sometimes tries to hide this in whines about “corporate welfare,” but soon can’t help himself and starts yapping about “diversity counselors.”

    There’s no point engaging him, since he can’t be persuaded of anything. Those who are not white and of northern European descent are less human than him in his mind, and that’s all he cares about.

    It’s one of the great tragedies of the miracle of new communications technologies that losers like this were freed from their Klaverns and allowed to pollute the rest of the dialogue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  95. WR says:

    @CB: It’s worse than shareholder profit above all, since shareholder profit is what drives the market. It’s shareholder profit next quarter. That’s what’s killing innovation. Look at the idiots complaning about solar and wind power research — we shouldn’t do it, because it will take a long time to make it profitable. (Or listen to some of the brilliant capitalists around here pronouncing how terrible it is that car companies invest in battery powered or hybrid cars when they aren’t selling many of them yet… because the only product worth investing in is the one that sells a jillion units yesterday.) Wall Street has lost all concept of long-term investing and longlasting businesses. And the CEOs love that, because they cash in quarter by quarter…

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  96. Stan says:

    @CB: The ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay is just one metric among many, and you’re absolutely right in what you say.

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  97. anjin-san says:

    Bloomberg is now saying that OWS is hurting NYC by their protest

    I remember the powers that be whining endlessly about how the civil rights protests and Vietnam war protests would be the end of mom & apple pie.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  98. WR says:

    @jan: Wait a minute! Bloomberg — the news source owned by a multi-billionaire Wall Street investory — is saying the OWS is hurting New York??? Oh, my God, it must be! There can’t possibly be any self interest here! It’s got to be one hundred percent the truth, just like when Mayor Bloomberg claimed that OWS was protesting against innocent investment bankers who only made 50 thousand dollars a year. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention.

    Next up: Jan quotes NYPD officers complaining that the damb protestors are using up all the cops’s pepper spray on their eyeballs and haven’t offered to pay for a single can of the stuff….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  99. WR says:

    @jan: By the way, no member of OWS has murdered a museum guard in an attempt to kill many Jews at a museum or flown a small aircraft into an IRS building. Another difference between OWS and the Tea Party.

    Oh, they haven’t murdered any doctors, either. You’re right, the Tea Party is much better.

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  100. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The Clinton went the entire eight years with no new entitlements, and went six years with no new spending programs, no new regulatory programs, and maintain the same. The clinton Administration also benefited from an economic bubble that ended before the end of the Clinton Administration.

    If Clinton had had a Democratic control Congress for eight years there would have been no welfare reform, entitlements would have expanded, and spending would have gone up.

    Maybe President Obama would follow the lead of the Clinton Administration and throw the Congressional Democrats under the bus and agree to spending cuts.

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  101. superdestroyer says:

    @WR:

    I have always found it amazing that people who say that everyone should be treated the same are called racist today but those who consistently call for separate-and-unequal are the people who claim that they are for equal rights.

    Anyone who tries to discuss politics, education, crime, economics, or culture without understanding demographics will always look like a fool. Just like Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winners, was shown to be a fool when he tried to compared Texas and Wisconsin public schools without considering the demographics of the two states, anyone who wants to discuss OWS, the Tea Party, or anything in politics without discussing demographics will also be shown to be a fool.

    The real question is why do progressives treat the citing of demographics facts as a hate crime and refuse to face reality?

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  102. superdestroyer says:

    @WR:

    To use a progressive tactic, do you have any cites to prove that James von Brunn was connected to the Tea Party in any way. In looking at several cites, Mr. Von Brunn was an anti-semetic who believed that the government should be able to treat people depending on their race or ethnicity. I do not see how that fits with modern conservatives or the Tea Party but I do see some resemblence to the groups that argued that the government should be able to discriminate against people because they are white.

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  103. jan says:

    In this time of economic hardship, jobs going south, families struggling to keep it all together there is this occupation on Wall Street, being duplicated in smaller venues around the country. While their message may have merit, their presentation is destroying their credibility. Negatively effecting other people’s ability to function, do their jobs will turn public sentiment against them and their cause. When you act disrespectful, like many of these protesters are doing, you will only receive disrespect in return.

    What they’re trying to do is take the jobs away from people working in this city,” the mayor declared in his harshest criticism of the three-week-old protest that has caught the attention of the nation.

    “They’re trying to take away the tax base we have because none of this is good for tourism.”

    Although he expressed sympathy for “some of their complaints,” Bloomberg warned that addressing them has to be accomplished “without hurting people and making the problem worse.”

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  104. jan says:

    @superdestroyer:

    To use a progressive tactic, do you have any cites to prove that James von Brunn was connected to the Tea Party in any way.

    That is such a common tactic WR uses to shift the conversation by inserting a completely disingenuously comparison. He, more often than not, is not a serious poster — more like a shock-jock.

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  105. ponce says:

    Just like Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winners, was shown to be a fool …

    It always amazes me how much Paul Krugman, arguably America’s most reasonable liberal, gets the wingnuts’ panties in a bunch.

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  106. Eric Florack says:

    @jpe:

    Did the city deny toilets?

    No one’s asked. The entire thing is permit-less.

    And so let’s postulate a Tea Party gathering in NYC.
    Does anyone suppose that the city shuld provide emergency services for these as well?

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  107. ponce says:

    Does anyone suppose that the city shuld provide emergency services for these as well?

    Other than psychiatric care?

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  108. WR says:

    @superdestroyer: Because we’ve seen the kind of people who like to “discuss demographic facts,” and they generally wear brown shirts or white hoods.

    Just because you choose to live in fear of people who look different doesn’t mean you have special knowledge. It just means you’re scared.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  109. WR says:

    @jan: “When you act disrespectful, like many of these protesters are doing, you will only receive disrespect in return.”

    And yet, when you show up en masse in Koch-purchased buses at town halls and then scream and shout so that the congressperson holding the town hall can’t be heard, that is respectful. When you threaten armed revolution if you don’t get your way, that is respectful. When you bring guns to a political rally, that is respectful.

    It’s only when you disagree with the message that Jan was told not to like that you are acting disrespectful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  110. WR says:

    @jan: A shock jock? Whatever. At least I compose my own sentences. I don’t cut and paste from hack right wing sites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  111. jukeboxgrad says:

    he had never overheard Americans conversing without the word DOLLAR being pronounced between them

    The US is a quite religious country. And this is the main religion: the worship of money, and of those who have it. Lots of people have internalized the idea that being rich is a form of virtue. The rich are rich because they are virtuous, and they are virtuous because they are rich. And the opposite for the poor.

    Wall St is our Mecca. Criticizing Wall St is a form of sacrilege. These dirty hippies are heretics, apostates, infidels. This is the true reason why certain people are offended.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  112. Ron Beasley says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    And this is the main religion: the worship of money, and of those who have it. Lots of people have internalized the idea that being rich is a form of virtue.

    It’s called Calvinism and the US is the only Calvinist country left. Not a really good example of US exceptionalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  113. jan says:

    @WR:

    when you show up en masse in Koch-purchased buses

    Where do you get your material WR? First talking about a crazy guy slamming his plane in a building, linking it to the teas! Now buses purchased by the Kochs???? You must be running out of political spam!

    All you do is attack everything in sight. — people, places, groups. There is no differentiation in your points, when directed to people you label as the opposition to your POV. Your stuff is like a barking dog, lots of noise and no reason or sense to the yelping.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  114. jan says:

    @ponce:

    It always amazes me how much Paul Krugman, arguably America’s most reasonable liberal

    Please show me where anyone is saying that Krugman is America’s most reasonable liberal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  115. ponce says:

    Please show me where anyone is saying that Krugman is America’s most reasonable liberal.

    I just did, Jan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  116. superdestroyer says:

    @WR:

    If fleeing from blacks and Hispanics makes one a racist in the U.S., then most Americans including virtually the entire leadership of the Democratic Party fit your definition of racist. Why else do you think that progressive Democrats spend so much money to send their own children to majority white private schools instead of the 10% or less white public schools of NYC, Boston, DC, SF, LS, Chicago, etc.

    The easiest why to identify a deep blue county is to find the counties with few if any white children in the public schools. It is more than irrational fear driving the behavior of whites in the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  117. john personna says:

    This post, Straight Out of Antiquity, by James Kwak is very nice for understanding OWS, as well as those who actively oppose them.

    He suggests that the TP response, “it’s all your fault,” only feeds OWS more energy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  118. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:
    I live in Marin county. Deep, deep blue. Couldn’t get any bluer. My son attends a public High School. My daughter has special needs and is in a private school. Neither decision had anything to do with race.

    People like you are the last dregs of the useful idiots of Jim Crow. It was vital in slave times and later under Jim Crow, for wealthy whites to ensure that blacks and poor whites never made common cause. Your racism is an artifact of that era. You think you’re doing the “white man’s” work, but you’re just another brainwashed sucker serving the needs of the rich.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  119. WR says:

    @jan: Nope. I merely point out the loathesomeness of the cut-and-paste lies you try to spread here. Apparently you think it’s wicked to point out the fact that you’re lying when you spread your corporatist propaganda here. Sorry, if you want your own soapbox, start your own blog and preach to the fools who want to hear what you’re peddling.

    Frankly, I have no patience for those who are trying to destroy the United States of America, and I believe you and your little Tea friends are doing just that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  120. Lyn says:

    The interview of the shop owners and others who have to deal with the protesters is good. It shows the entitlement attitude so prevalent among some Americans. Stealing soap, bathing in business’ bathrooms, and then cursing these business owners when the owners try to assert their property rights. It really shows the disrespect the protesters have.

    For me, though, the true nature of the problem is this: in cities across the US there are people who for weeks have been protesting while not working or otherwise supporting themselves. Instead, they’re living in the street squatting in private businesses using services but not paying for them. There is no way I’d inconvenience anybody like that for a day let alone 3 or 4 weeks – and counting. I couldn’t do it I couldn’t afford to do it. If they’re not doing it already the protesters will be “commandeering” or “appropriating” food, camping supplies, and whatever the hell they want from local shops and stores.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  121. sam says:

    @Lyn:

    For me, though, the true nature of the problem is this: in cities across the US there are people who for weeks have been protesting while not working or otherwise supporting themselves.

    How does one deal with cluelessness of the magnitude?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  122. Jon Stewart is just jealous because people have caught onto him – we are supposed to deal with hard times by acting sensibly – the way he tells us to act – and to watch him and laugh at him and make him richer. People are catching on that he’s not progressive, he’s reactionary, and he doesn’t like this one little bit, so he does stuff like. He’s just another PJ O’Roark when all is said and done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1