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Protesting for the problem they're against

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are voicing a very real and understandable grievance. Corporate America is far too involved in politics. I agree wholeheartedly. What these protesters do not understand is how or why corporations got involved in the government in the first place. In their calls to end capitalism they are showing a basic historical ignorance. We haven’t been a capitalist country in a long time. We started transforming into corporatism during Teddy Roosevelt’s reign and were done with the metamorphosis by the end of FDR’s presidency. Wasn’t Teddy a Trust-Buster? He certainly was. But a close look into US Steel during that time shows that they welcomed government intervention.  Carnegie even wrote an article in the New York Times asking for “Government control” of the steel industry. The collusion is due to the fact that the free-market involves risk, and government control means they do not have to worry about their smaller competitors who were hot on their heels. Third–party intervention into business favors the largest companies and often bankrupts the smaller companies.

This basic idea can be seen in the story of Upton Sinclair and his book “The Jungle.” In the popular narrative, his investigative journalism changed the meat packing industry. What is not known is that the industry itself wanted regulation. A Big Meat, as it would be called today, spokesman said as much to Congress. Government regulation behooved the major packers because the regulation pushed smaller and ironically more sanitary meat packers out of business due to the cost of the regulations, and also provided the commercial benefit of a federal seal by which to further sell their product.

Government meddling in business in fact causes corporatism. The free-market keeps business at a safe distance from the government. In other words, capitalism is what the Wall Street protesters should be begging for, not protesting against. The story of Microsoft is a modern example of this idea. For a long time Bill Gates bragged about the fact that his company, Microsoft, had no interest in government. He was being honest- Microsoft had but a single lobbyist- that is until he was attacked for being a monopolist. Now he has a veritable army on k-street. Wal-Mart is another enlightening example of this. In 2000, the company was ranked 771st in direct contributions to Federal politicians. After being attacked by unions and politicians, Wal-Mart had developed the single largest corporate political action committee by 2004.

The only people that are helped by government intervention are large companies and politicians. Small companies and consumers take the hit: consumers in paying higher prices and small companies by being pushed out of the market. It seems that the protesters are protesting for what they claim to be against. Economics and civics are complicated and the people funding these protests rely on those who join them to be too lazy or ignorant to understand either. For now it looks like they are right.

 

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  1. Max says:

    Brady,

    You need to look at this event recorded in Atlanta. In attendance is Rep. Lewis. He has asked permission to speak at a drone event, and in the video the drone-master is seeking unanimous consent from the drone-audience for Lewis to speak (far from democracy). Needless to say, he doesn’t get it.

    This isn’t a movement. It’s brainwashed people who chant-repeat what has been said, all without any thought of their own. Need proof? Look at time 3:45, the drone in the pink jacket states “Senator Lewis” and all the brainless drones repeat her idiocy… “Senator Lewis”.

    Lewis isn’t a senator. This alone proves these people have no brains of their own… they regurgitate, over and over again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QZlp3eGMNI

  2. WillofLa says:

    There is also a very important fact that Mr. Boyd left out that people need to know in order to be more able to put two and two together. And that is there were a couple of things that took place after Teddy Roosevelt left office and that was in 1913 Socialists in our government created the Federal Reserve Act, which by the way was unConstitutional. Only Congress has the authority to mint money, make tax laws(being very careful to not violate the Constitution), and regulate the markets keeping them fair for everyone. That would have meant that Big Meat would have been forced to compete with the smaller companies and self regulate in cleanliness, and efficientcy. If they didn’t want to do that, then to bad. But since something else happened some time after 1913 that gave the rich an automatic in, with those in the government that gave them the economic that protected the big corporations from having to compete in the open market.

    Right after World War I our government was broke due to the extreme cost of supplying the military and navy with equipment it needed to win the war. The government had only one choice since there wasn’t any China back in those days to borrow huge amounts of money from like it is today. And the only choice they had was to borrow the money from the wealthy, like the Carnegies, and Standard Oil owners and on and on. The wealthy agreed to meet with the government. Once they agreed to the amount that government needed, which was a drop in the bucket to them at that time, there was only one thing left to talk about. And what that was, was how much control would the wealthy have on how the government operated, and what laws it wanted to pass for the people of America.

    And looking back we can see why a decade later we had the “collapse” of the stock market. Why? I believe that the wealthy didn’t want the middle class to have the free market to allow them to build their own wealth and in doing so could, could get themselves where they were financially self sufficient. The wealthy couldn’t have that, so the wealthy took a big chunck of the value of the market away by having agreements with European bankers and investors to pull the plug on the market over there while our wealthy pulled the plug on our markets here.

    It took over 50 years for the markets to make up the difference from the stock market crash in 1929. That would be 1979 and we see that when Reagan took over and cut taxes how the markets were more than ready to take off like a rocket providing the prosperity of the bankers and investors both here in America and overseas.

    Oh, I left out the ordinary people and that small businesses, didn’t I. Well, you see who it is who has taken the hit from the collapse of the banks and investors again after Freddie/Fannie went haywire, don’t you? And the wealthy have been in control of our country since 1918-20. And that would be right when the Socialists and Communists came in also, isn’t it? I wonder how much of that history the protesters down on Wall Street know anything about that?

    What needs to be done is the elimination of the Federal Reserve and cut the running of our government by the wealthy. They are also the ones who are driving the train to hell of the New World Order, where the control of the rich will transfer from the United States to the UN and that will also suck in the Europeans as well. It’s the power of the money of the wealthy that have taken all opportunities away from American’s and to be our own guide as to where our efforts would take us. America would be full of Steve Jobs if we could get loose of the wealthy. But they would have to be made to cooporate with what the Constitution says they are to do.

  3. Anonymous; expect us says:

    The difference between my message, the one that this protest is a protest movement against…

    …against greed and a corrupted system

    and your assertion that protesters are protesting against capitalism is….

    the average american understands exactly what I’m talking about.

    Think about it.

    • DJ Redman says:

      A friend of mine up in DC points out that if ANON here is not in fact Mr. Jesse Lee, the White House progressive [[propagandist ] media director, they certainly look like they work for him. The pattern fits, posting on every article trying to claim that the “occupy park benches’ crowds are a grassroots movement, while supporting the underlying Liberal talking points of class warfare favored by the Obama administration 24/7. Meet Mr. Lee:

      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/meet-the-white-houses-new-story-squasher-director-of-progressive-media/

      • Anonymous; expect us says:

        DJ,

        Sorry. not even warm. Not sure yet if I’m flattered or not in the accusation. (?) I suppose it’s better than the last accusations ~ being a “simpleton” and a “violent mob.”

        I’ve not held a job with the government with two exceptions: a summer job as “park technician” while augmenting veteran’s educational benefits, (earned from my other government job as a soldier in the military) as I paid my way earning my undergraduate degree as a young person, what some 30 (?) years ago.

        But keep up the guess work surrounding some “boogie man” behind the Occupy protest… rather than outrage at Wall Street (more generally: greed and a corrupted system) being what is “behind” the protest. It’s working to heighten MSM visibility of our protest message.

  4. Anonymous; expect us says:

    You might very seriously reconsider a more thoughtful examination of your understanding of what Occupy Wall Street is protesting if to you…. it seems that the protesters are protesting for what they claim to be against.

    And simultaneously when you are told by someone who actually is protesting, stops and says “Hey, you got our protest messaging all wrong!”

    If you don’t bother addressing that little point – your article is all straw-man. Sorry.

    Thanks….

    • Brady Boyd says:

      The article is obviously over your head.

      • Anonymous; expect us says:

        Bradly,

        Right…. obviously too deep for me. Despite an undergrad degree in political science, 20 years ago, having included a dozen political theory classes. Damn. All that money wasted. But maybe not. Maybe it imparted some critical thinking skills despite my obviously low IQ. Seems this article’s depth requires that a reader accept your assignment of what protesters are protesting rather than their own protestation. That’s clearly too deep for me.

        Their protest is against greed and the corruption of our system. If you want to frame that as a protest against democracy or against capitalism – that would be your prerogative – not theirs. ;)

        If you want to argue about one protester’s sign or six protesters signs, as being inappropriate please do that too. However, your assigning a couple of individual’s cardboard signs onto the entire movement is about as valid as picking a couple of the interesting signs seen at Tea Party protests and assigning those to the Tea Party as what they were protesting. I clearly understand what is being done in an exercise of assignment like that… as is being done in your article. The only remaining question is do you? I’m not sure if my learning that you understand it completely would be a better thing… than my learning you did not understand what you were doing. (?)

        • Anonymous; expect us says:

          Bradly,

          If you’ve never studied the topic of “fallacies of logic” used often for devising an argument, I suggest you look up the term (and some examples) of “straw man.” A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. Generally, the straw man is a highly exaggerated or over-simplified version of the opponent’s original statement, which has been distorted to the point of absurdity. This exaggerated or distorted statement is thus easily argued against, but is a misrepresentation of the opponent’s actual statement.

          Try instead an article arguing against our genuine protest message: “We are in the streets protesting greed and the corruption of our system.” If you can put together a coherent argument against our protest message, I’d be very interested in reading it and responding to it.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s really cool u know what a straw man is. But the article is over your head. That is why you are focusing on defining what the protesters are “for.” the vast majority are anti-capitalist. You may not be, congratulations. By the way, by holding up credentials through an anonymous avatar makes you seem either stupid or untruthful. You can’t see it but I am golf clapping for your “achievements” right now.

  5. Anonymous; expect us says:

    Brady Boyd,

    The article’s premise is flawed from the start. Occupy Wall Street is not calling to end Capitalism. Occupy Wall Street is calling to end greed and a corrupted system.

    Try again,
    A Protester.

    • Brady Boyd says:

      Yet you want more government intervention, which causes more corruption. Also maybe you should tell the majority of protesters to stop calling for the end of capitalism, if that is not what the protest is about.