Friday, September 30, 2011

Five ways #OccupyWallStreet has succeeded

#OccupyWallStreet has accomplished a great deal in the past week and a half, with virtually no resources. The following are some of the things the participants have done that allowed what might have been a negligible and insignificant protest to achieve a remarkable level of success:

1. They chose the right target.

2. They made a great poster.

3. They gave their action time to build.

4. They created a good scenario for conflict.

5. They are using their momentum to escalate.

Read the whole post at Energy Bulletin, Five ways #OccupyWallStreet has succeeded by Mark Engler


Ryan Harris said...

How the hell do these people rationalize blaming banks instead of the politicians?
Wall Street merchants are supposed to have larger altruistic motives than politicians in charge of regulating and creating the financial system?

What are the primary problems we face:

1.)Unemployment & lack of demand
Who is in Charge of fiscal policy? Congress.
Who is in Charge of trade policy? Congress.
Who is in Charge of tax policy? Congress.
Who set monetary policy?
Fed empowered by congress.

2.)Housing Collapse
Who created the entire mortgage system? Congress.
Who regulated the mortgage industry? Congress.
Who de/regulated the finance industry?
Who caused unemployment and income deflation at the root of foreclosure crisis?
Who required loans be made based on geographic location rather than credit worthiness? Congress.
Who required loans be made to the poor?
Who filled out false loan applications?
Local Mortgage Agents & Voters.
Who ignored the false applications?
Congress & Wall Street & GSEs.
Who profited from fake value assessments?
Local governments & voters.
Who took all the money from the banks and investors? Voters.

4.)Slow income growth for blue collars.
Who set fiscal policy? Congress.
Who set trade policy? Congress.
Who set labor law? Congress.
Who set tax laws?
Who set ultra-regressive property & sales tax law?
Local & State govts.

If Wall Street bankers are responsible for the well being of the public, then McDonalds is responsible for your health. And Apple is responsible for labor and pollution standards in China. The government sets the rules and enforces the regulations.

Tom Hickey said...

Ryan, I suspect they are going on the principle, "Follow the money."

Matt Franko said...


You have a very good point.

If Federal fiscal policy was set correctly, how much of these problems would exist?

Above, I posted a picture of a poster a young person made lamenting they were 22 and had like 100k in debt between school and meds. What was not said probably was that they didnt have a job too.

How would they feel if they had a 75k/yr job? and Universal Healthcare?


Ryan Harris said...

Jobs and Income were understood to be available to the students when they took on the un-bankruptable loans. Congress defaulted on that promise.

You hit the mark on universal health care. That congress can't devise a system to spread the costs of health care across all age groups and ensure birth-to-death coverage is in-excusable.

These basic system designs for society, the laws, regulations and enforcement that ensure the efficient operation of the system as a whole are where congress appears to stumble.

Tom Hickey said...

"These basic system designs for society, the laws, regulations and enforcement that ensure the efficient operation of the system as a whole are where congress appears to stumble."

They stumble for two major reasons. First, they have no clue of how the monetary system works and are dominated by "affordability." Secondly, there are strong interests shaping institutional arrangements to their advantage and the political process being what it is, politicians cave to these interests in order to get the contributions they need for future campaigns.

It is ridiculous to point the finger at either special interests or politicians separately, when they constitute a single overarching system that dominates the economy and economic policy. It's called corruption.

I don't think that the protestors are focused on Wall Street alone. Most are well aware that politicians are bound up in the mess, too. The real point of contention is the bailout of the financial sector while Main Street got hung out to dry. That bailout was a bailout of Wall Street by politicians of both parties.

So I think this goes beyond right and left. There are some Ron Paul signs among the protestors, for example, even though many are progressives.