The Lack of Critical Thought in the Occupy Wall Street Movement

I am a conservative-libertarian not because of a belief, but because that is where I have found the most critical thought occurs. Philosophies beget ideas which beget actions, and actions have consequences, both seen and unseen. Over the course of many years of studying politics, I have long come to the conclusion that the Leftist philosophies draw the irrational people far more than those on the right. Yes, both sides have their crazies, but there are far more on the Left, and it is why those on the Left are so dangerous: They make laws which strip people of liberty and the fruits of their labor and ignore the effects their policies have.

The subject of today’s lesson is the “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) crowd. For a primer on the subject from other CDN writers, check out pieces by Deanna Lutz, DJ Redman, Michael J. Fell, and Kira Davis. I am taking a different approach, pointing out their absurdity by using their own words.

First, an advisory. Reading one of their list of demands could cause an aneurysm, heart attack, liver failure, restless leg syndrome, port wine stains, and colon spasms, but no worries. I will help guide you through this quagmire of irrationality and outright savagery. Grab your beverage of choice and we shall begin…

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

Their first demand, and we will see this pattern with the rest, is a clear example of a lack of critical thought. Getting rid of onerous regulations is completely ignored, and they do not seem to be worried that raising the minimum wage to $20/hr would make goods so expensive nobody would be able to afford to buy them. Why stop at $20? Why not go to $30? $40? $50? Why, if everyone was making $50/hr, then nobody would be poor.

We’ll set aside the notion that the minimum wage should not exist as a law and focus on what the minimum wage is. The minimum wage is what is paid to people with no skills and no experience. If you are 30 years old and can only command a minimum wage salary, you have made some bad decisions in your life. Forcing other people to pay for your bad decisions is immoral. I would add that a high school kid stocking shelves after school does not require a “living wage,” which is an arbitrary number based on whom you ask.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Paid for by whom? If they actually believe that the healthcare market’s only rule is to “take money away from doctors, nurses, and hospitals,” then they have not bothered to read the Obamacare bill which, among other things, instituted an arbitrary $50,000 tax on hospitals.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Since they already defined a living wage as $20/hr, this means people can collect that wage for sitting at home. Again, paid for by whom? No answer.

Demand four: Free college education.

I suppose we are to shackle educators to desks and force them to teach for free? I thought we fought a war a century and a half ago that settled the question of slavery, but I could be wrong.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Here we can see they are wanting to take us back to the 18th century. The “fossil fuel economy” has led to the greatest advancements of mankind, the greatest jump in individual liberties, and at the fastest pace seen in history. Not one of the alternative energy sources, save for geothermal, can even begin to match fossil fuels in terms of efficiency, power, or potential…but none of this matters. We apparently need “green jobs,” even though that has proven to be a bust.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

This has actually been bothering me for a while, especially since President Obama announced his jobs bill and went around pitching it in front of bridges. Most infrastructure is handled by the states, as it should be since the states know best which projects should be prioritized. I have driven across Missouri and into Illinois twice in the past two weeks (along I-70) and counted a dozen projects being done by both MO and IL departments of transportation. Infrastructure projects are underway…and none of them had any signs up showing they were a part of any federal government grant.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.

Now we are at our second trillion dollars without mentioning who is to pay for it all. Never mind asking people to plant a tree. They would rather politician take money from you and then hire someone to plant it, and at a “living wage.”  That part about nuclear power plants boggles me, given that nuclear power is the most efficient power source available AND has the least environmental impact. Even the Fukushima plant withstood the earthquake and Tsunami; the diesel generator that ran the cooling was what was damaged and caused the meltdown.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

They apparently missed civics class when the 14th and 19th Amendments were discussed, not to mention the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1870, 1871, 1875, 1957, 1964, 1968, 1991, etc.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

While there is a libertarian argument to be made for the free flow of labor and capital, no borders means no sovereignty. What is to stop any other country from simply walking in and taking whatever they want?

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

America set the standard of democratic elections. Giving legitimacy to a set of standards devised and voted as legitimate by nations such as Russia, China, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe is a slap in the face. Never mind that the OWS crowd is suddenly giving legitimacy to the very nations it wants to impose a trade war within their first demand.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Translation: Buy what you want, live beyond your means, then stick it to the people you depend upon to give you access to all of those things.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

While some of the credit reporting regulations are onerous and lack sense, such as a simple credit check causing you to lose points on your rating, such a move would deny lenders the ability to gauge whether someone has a history of paying back their loans. We should all go to NYC and start asking the protesters for money and then promising to pay it back. Then, when they ask how we can be trusted, we can simply cite this demand.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

This one is not clear, though I imagine it has something to do with right-to-work states. They do not bother to mention the enormous problems unions have caused in terms of America’s ability to compete with the rest of the world (i.e. your sweetheart deals are fine when your competitors were bombed to oblivion during WWII, but when they rebuild and the economy globalizes the gravy train must stop or it will derail).

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.

Lloyd J Hart 508-687-9153

If you haven’t clicked the link, that final statement, name, and phone number appear just as it does on the OWS site (at the time of this writing). In fact, everything in the block quotes was taken directly from their site. Feel free to call him and give your thoughts.

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  1. Seems the “beverage of choice” around here must be…. Koolaid? Your talking point notes need updating. I noticed that the “individual rights” advocate conservative libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul… commented that he has no beefs with the Occupy Wall Street folks. Makes sense that he’d be okay with individuals peacefully protesting.

    You’re going to have to do far better than this article’s bit. If you’ve been too busy worry and ridiculing to keep abreast of the ferocious growth around the country of the fledgling democratic unfunded movement a month old who managed to march 15,000 to 20,000 people down Wall Street this afternoon – here’s a little flavor of what’s going on. It’s a map of some of the planned Occupy Wall Street events across the country:

  2. The link I’ve shared below is of course not “all-inclusive” as Occupy Wall Street events are being planned from hour-to-hour (literally) and Occupy groups are NOT obligated to report to this site nor are they affiliated. This is merely what the article’s author has been able to research and track for the article.

    The point of sharing the link is to suggest that the divisive approach you’ve taken in your “critical thinking” article firmly positions you, and your camp, away and apart from having a credible voice in hard-fought changes coming to the political landscape in this country. You might have contributed a set of demands that, in your opinion, made more sense. But the article was not about changes needing was it? It was an attack. Your attacking makes perfect sense, those victims down on Wall Street need all the free help they can get. (Unless of course they pay you to write this stuff.)

  3. Here’s what scares you: There were 15,000 to 20,000 joining Occupy Wall Street in the streets of NYC today. That, without any billionaire funding or network media to promote. There was only a rag-tag bunch of volunteer “simpletons” having less than a month’s experience as the umbrella organizer of the event.

    Despite attempts to make the Tea Party “movement” appear organic, the principle organizers of the local events were actually the lobbyist-run think tanks Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. The two groups were heavily staffed and well funded, and provided all the logistical and public relations work necessary for planning anti-tax (or rather, extend tax breaks for the rich) protests. It did not hurt turnout that Murdoch’s FOXed-up NEWS was promoting Tea protests every two hours, for weeks, leading up to them. Glenn Beck pushed the tea party talking points, while claiming that the protests aren’t “coordinated” and are fully organized by “regular” people. (?)

    Americans for Prosperity was run by Tim Phillips, who was Ralph Reed’s former partner in the lobbying firm Century Strategies. The group is funded by Koch family foundations — a family whose wealth is derived from the oil industry.

    The Wall Street Journal exposed Freedom Works for building “amateur-looking” websites to promote other lobbying interests of Dick Armey, the former Republican Majority Leader who lead Freedom Works and a lobbyist for the firm DLA Piper.

    Newt Gingrich, leader of the corporate-funded American Solutions for Winning the Futures (ASWF), blasted an e-mail to his supporters with a reminder to attend protests, along with a “Toolkit” of talking points. Gingrich’s ASWF is funded by polluters and helped orchestrate the “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign. ASWF has been an official “partner” in the tea party effort early on.

    I’d say that if you actually believe what you wrote in your article above, you probably have quite a bit to concern yourself about in Occupy Wall Street – at least until you educate yourself or by default share in the benefits the movement is about to secure for you as one of the 99%, assuming you don’t earn more than $350,000 a year.

    1. 15 to 20k bused in Union astro-turfers doesn’t impress me one bit just like in Madison. Ferocious? What a joke. DailyKos? Another joke.

  4. Wonderful job Ryan. Notice the propagandist from the left hiding from the truth under the name ANON here? Such cowards do not impress me one bit. They must be a paid political operative Parrot.

  5. DJ,

    Nobody pays me for sharing my political perspectives. It’s flattering that you’d suggest I could be. Thank you. I assume that if the message is unapproachable being too powerful and valid on face, there’s always the fallback of attacking the messenger’s credibility.

  6. I feel a need to reiterate my reply to Kira Davis who, like you, is misrepresenting this “list of demands”.

    This is not a list of demands by or representing the “occupy wall street crowd”. It is a proposed list of demands someone posted to their website. At most you could say this was laundry list by one person.

    This list seems to be a result of the occupy wall street website and movement not being concerned about censoring input even when it may involve venting, brainstorming, ironical expression, or whatever this list of supposed “demands” was intended to express.

    You are doing yourself a disservice by inventing a straw man and framing it like the last word rather than trying to understand and report on reality. If you ever desire to leave this conservative cocoon to perform a useful a job as a real writer or reporter, get real.

  7. DJ: Re: Your comment, “15 to 20k bused in Union astro-turfers doesn’t impress me one bit just like in Madison. Ferocious? What a joke. DailyKos? Another joke.”

    Couple things. First, trash the so-last-century claptrap model that your analysis of a protest’s success relies upon. Seems DJ, that in the 21st century protest does not need masses in the streets to transmit it’s political message or garner support. That is so 60’s! I offer the #OWS in the 21st century for proofs: In under one month, starting with zero billionaires backing or funding, starting with zero mainstream media networks promoting… there are now nearly a half-million subscribers to facebook “Occupy” pages (way better for sharing information and organizing than was a 60’s street march!) and 759 meet-ups planned internationally:

    That’s in less than a month DJ. Starting with zero resources but for cardboard, markers and a tiny area of parkspace. Do you suppose that kind of success might be due to how the message resonates… rather than the message carriers? Hey, keep slamming the messengers… but we both know you’re shooting at the wrong target.

    DailyKos: a subscriber-policed online progressive political community where any subscriber may contribute an article which is read and rated by the community and if valuable and worthy elevated in status by recommendation. Articles are ignored if not worthy. Two million unique visitors per month and 300,000 registered users. (?) Not sure if your joke… was “tongue in cheek” or not. Perhaps the fact that it is progressive is all the reason you need to ridicule it. It’s an excellent site for historical and up to the minute breaking political news information, regardless of whether or not you subscribe to progressive ideologies.

    1. On-line Numbers:
      The problem with on-line protests is that it is to easy. People half-hear something, or even just because their friend or family member joined or told them to join, they join – not really knowing what they joined and/or what it stands for. I’ll bet you a whole lot of people that joined on-line do not know what the OWS “list of demands” are. Some just know they don’t have as much money (or things) as they would like, the organization is against the people who have a lot of money, so they throw their hat in the ring too.
      Is this true for all who join online? – No.
      …but not just knowing the list of demands, but what the complete consequences (as the above article scratches the surface of) are if all or some of these demands were to be met (which they won’t).

      Realistic Demands:
      I know that disposable income is currently being eaten up by people having to pay-back loans – mortgage, car note, student loan, credit cards… etc. but it would be impossible to globally forgive all debt. Not just the banks and Wall Street would be affected.
      I believe, at least on this one demand, that a partial forgiveness (including late fees) and/or reduction in interest rates. Doesn’t make sense, especially in the economy, to beat a debtor into the ground with bumping up the interest rates and well as piling on late fees. It would make more sense to work with the debtors to make mutually acceptable forgiveness, partial forgiveness, and/or reduction in interest rates so that the debtor doesn’t default and the lender gets nothing.
      The sooner Americans can get out of debt, the sooner the money will start flowing and the economy will pick up.
      The U.S. (government) and it’s citizens should only buy what they can afford and save up for future emergencies. Borrowing makes you a slave to the lender and you end of paying 3 times or more of the original purchase.

  8. Ryan,

    Day 20 of Occupy Wall Street: Rapid online growth continues: there are now over 689,000 “likes” for various Occupy Wall Street groups on Facebook, a growth of well over 100,000…… since yesterday. Gosh… added provision of local info and resources to 100,000 more interested people… since yesterday and at zero cost. Not too bad for a bunch of “simpletons”. Simpletons as a recent article…… on this site….. characterized the protesters of the “Occupy” movement. By the time the movement’s growth plateaus, that particular characterization will have reached beyond just “out of touch, tone-deaf, vision-less”, perhaps past laughable and maybe into empathy. But don’t count on the empathy part while fighting for Wall Street.

    As one example, #OccupyPortland launched today, a weekday, with a crowd of over 3,000 on day one (1) of this City’s protest movement according to local press that was reporting police crowd-estimates:!/Oregonian/status/122060235664916480

    Lack of critical thought? Occupy Wall Street today on Day 20: there are 1,823 article entries linked here: I recommend you take opportunity to read something from the “highest recommended” articles submitted. You have almost 2,000 articles to choose from. Or, pick from the least recommended article and tear em’ apart. Based upon your article (above), it is a reasonable guess that you would choose to attack rather than learn something, but I’ll reserve judgment for later. I’m equipping you now.

    1. “there are now over 689,000 “likes” for various Occupy Wall Street groups on Facebook, a growth of well over 100,000…… since yesterday.”

      It will never exceed 1% of the population. And thats the irony here… these morons who have hijacked “99%” only speak for less than 1% of the entire U.S. population. These people represent the truly “lame” among us.

      1. Max,
        This movement will easily reach more than 1%, as much as I hate for it too. These college “Useful Idiots” are chanting the mantra’s all throughout college…. “The Living Wage”

        I believe the conditions of our hostage takers will be a collapse of our financial system and a new Constitution. Hitler and Lenin exercised similar revolutions.

      2. You can buy a 100,000 “likes” on Facebook from the Chinese for a few hundred bucks. Overnight. Don’t use Facebook “likes” to gauge popularity.

  9. Communism which came from a man in the late eighteen hundreds, from a country which only ever had two levels of society, the haves and the never haves. Karl Marx was from the haves, which like most all the people in the world were about as racist as you could be. His manifesto is actually a racist ideology which declares that there is always one way to make sure that the have nots are kept in their place, and that is with “class envy” of the haves. Marx used his own position which he knew so well and turned it around and designed a way to tap into the minds of the common man. Marx believed that the have nots could not ever get out of their poverty but there was a way to keep them there forever and that was to make sure that they were continueously stirred up about why they had so little and the haves had so much, and to add alittle spice, why didn’t they think they shouldn’t give some of their wealth to them so life wouldn’t be so hard, because it was back then, incrediably hard in Russia.

    But what Marx was tapping into was basic human behavior which says, it’s a lot easier to think badly of someone than to think kindly of someone when you just let your self go. It takes being responsible for your behavior to think good of someone especially when you aren’t doing so well yourself, and would like to have some of that prosperity yourself. But all you have to do is say just a few words of ill about somebody having a few more potatoes grow in their garden to someone whose garden failed, and the next thing you know the person whose garden failed has gone over to the other man’s house and burned his garden to the ground. This is the hate and hostility that the Marxist are using on a bunch of people who are envious of how much bigger somebody else’s bank account is than the bank account of those on the street, who probably don’t have a bank account at all, and would like nothing better than to force the haves to have to cough up a lot of that money they worked so hard to make, or who inherited it and invested it and it grew a lot, and have to give it over to the government. It’s this idea of a “giving government” that these people are hoping that once they have taken all the money away from these rich Wall Street fat cats, that the government will give it to them on the street. This is some of the ideas that Marx gave to the poor in Russia to help them believe that they might get something from the wealthy who ruled over them for so long. Of course what Marx knew was that the poor weren’t going to get a dime of what the poor would help Marx take from the rich and give it to the government.

    And that is who would and will end up with any money that is taken from the rich on Wall Street if Obama gets his way and passes his tax the rich bill, the so-called “Jobs Bill”.

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