Category Archives: Economics

Fright Month on Wall Street

The 1960s are back in vogue.  Banana Republic and J. Crew are pushing slim wool “Mad Men” suits, skinny ties, pencil skirts and cardigans.  Even television networks are pushing the era of Camelot with hit series such as Pan Am, which depicts the glamorous age of commercial air travel.  The common thread here is that these emerging trends seek to highlight the early 1960s, when culture valued work, men strived for success, and women enjoyed the excitement of work while also enjoying the attention of stable, ambitious men that didn’t play video games in Mom’s basment all day.

Contrast this with the  hippie wannabe members of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement which, instead of seeking that which our Baby Boomer generation parents denied us-that is, intact families, realistic expectations for life (despite popular belief, everyone doesn’t go home with a trophy), work ethic, and patriotism, they are seeking to reenact the disastrous policy and fashion protests of the late 1960s against a yet-unspecified enemy; they have gone from targeting Bank of America’s $5 fee, which arose out of the Dodd-Frank effort to redistribute pennies for electronic transaction fees from banks to retailers, to targeting all people not collecting food stamps.  Rather than dressing for success and seeking knowledge from those who lived the American dream and achieved wealth, the “Occupy” protestors are seeking to-well, no one quite knows.

OWS protester tackles NYPD Officer

The American media has sought a concise description of the movement for over a month now.  Protestors have destroyed Zuccotti Park and turned it into a public health risk.  Tents have been lived in for weeks, protesters have avoided showers throughout the duration, and of course, they have been successful only insofar as assaulting police officers who sought to clear the park so the city (aka the taxpayers of New York) could clean the cesspool of filth they had created.  Brilliant.  When journalists seek grievances or solutions from protestors, they receive a ranting, discombobulated drivel that sounds something like,

We’re here to protest um, uh, global warm-greed, uh, wealthy individuals that have stolen from the 9-wait… Steve! Hey Steve! Did your mom send us more cash for pizza?!-free college, F*&@ the yacht owners; um, George Bush…wait, Obama’s cabinet is full of Goldman Sachs employees?! Well, I mean, the Israelis…free sex-change operations…mom HEY-MORE DRUMS! WE NEED MORE DRUMS, AMY!”


Despite the hysteria and utter disorganization of the “OWS” mob, the media has been tripping over each other to present the movement as the equivalent of the Tea Party movement.  In contrast to the photographs of protesters waving obscene signs and gripping cops in headlocks amidst a sea of Anarchy symbols gracing the front page of national newspapers, the Tea Party was largely made up of educated, hard-working, middle class taxpayers who wanted less government, not more.  They also went home to shower each night, I might add.  Whereas Nancy Pelosi quickly condemned the genuinely-organic Tea Party movement as “Astro-turf…well dressed in Brooks Brothers…and un-American,” she couldn’t wait to congratulate the mob that gets more violent and deranged with each passing day by saying “God bless them for their spontaneity!”

I suppose spontaneity is the only fitting word for the Occupy Wall Street hysteria.  Just when Obama started tanking among independents, young people and the middle class, when his own party failed to get behind his “American Jobs Act” tax bill, a bunch of spoiled, unkempt 20-somethings armed with iPhones and iPads came out to protest “Wall Street” while expecting their parents to keep making deposits for food, “OFF THE PIGS” buttons (as featured at “Occupy Raleigh”),  iTunes downloads, and bail payments. 

Having failed to turn around the economy with an $857 billion stimulus, a government takeover of health care, and a $535 million loan to “green energy” company Solyndra, even Democrats were reluctant to take up a bill loaded with the redistributionist policies Obama failed to win passage of even when his party controlled both houses of Congress.  So, to distract the nation’s attention from the flailing president, a bunch of kids started an unruly mob to protect their Messiah, funded and supported by the unions and their Messiah himself.  Ironically, the labor unions have been the biggest beneficiaries of the Obama administration’s divide and conquer class warfare policies.

Obama’s presidency, specifically in regards to his economic policies, has been a disaster.  His goal is not to, as he claims, create jobs, but to “spread the wealth” by imposing an ever-growing weight of government regulations and taxes on entrepreneurs, savers and investors, whose capital is needed to grow the economy through market forces.  Acknowledging that raising taxes correspond to decreases in federal revenue in a 2008 debate moderated by ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Obama said, “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”  Forget that this policy benefits no one, least of all the federal treasury; at least liberals have that warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing those “rich bastards” are losing money.

Clinton pollster Douglas Schoen released the results of a poll of 200 “OWS” protesters in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.  Far from representing millions of unemployed Americans, Schoen reported that “in interviews, protesters show that they are leftists out of step with most American voters.  Yet Democrats are embracing them anyway.”  Specifically, Schoen found that among the protesters, most had jobs.  What binds the protesters together is not the lack of jobs, but “…a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas.”  As little as twenty years ago, the above agenda had a name: Communism.

What protesters refuse to talk about is reality. 

The reality that failed liberal social policy embodied in the Community Reinvestment Act that mandated banks to lower lending standards and underwrite subprime mortgages to low-income borrowers to increase homeownership led to the global financial mess we’re in. 

 The reality that we live in a world in which entitlement programs in their current form are woefully outdated. 

The reality that free-market capitalism is what led to the invention of the technology aiding the “Occupy” mobs, such as iPhones and iPads. 

 The reality that most wealthy Americans started at the bottom and earned their way to the top.

 The reality that the top 1% pays 20% of the taxes. 

 The reality that the bottom 50% of earners pay zero federal income taxes. 

The reality that the social welfare state has created generations of broken homes, poverty and despair among ethnic groups for the sole purpose of maintaining political power.

The reality is most Americans want to succeed, to become entrepreneurs, and to create their American dreams.  The bad news for the protesters who are yet again trying to institute the radical, un-American policies of utopianism will only drive the American majority further into the Conservative fold, just as their parents’ hysteria drove Middle America into the arms of Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972. 

The good news for the protesters is that they’re already frightening, which saves them from taking precious time from their “Flea Party,” as Coulter so fittingly coined them, to shop for a Halloween costume.  Now, I just need to find a fedora to complete my Don Draper costume.