Occupy Wall Street – How we got here, etc.

Mistake #1

Several years ago, liberal majorities in the House & Senate (and Clinton as well as a economically left-leaning Bush) urged loose lending standards to borrowers previously considered unqualified.

http://www.swifteconomics.com/2009/08/25/new-york-times-on-fannie-mae-in-1999-loose-lending/

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203633104576623083437396142.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_News_BlogsModule

Mistake #2

Wall Street gambled on this government-backed (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) game, and failed.

http://reason.com/archives/2008/10/01/the-roots-of-the-crisis

Mistake #3

Instead of letting them fail, the Keynesians came in and bailed them out.

http://www.htrnews.com/article/20111014/MAN0601/110140592/Other-views-Why-we-should-angry-Wall-Street

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc&feature=player_embedded

Mistake #4

Enormous U.S. government financial obligations, present and future, helped to precipitate the large economic downturn.

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/03/news/economy/fiscal_commission_plan_breakdown/index.htm?iid=EL

Mistake #5

Then, misguided “economic” policies enacted under the near complete liberal control of the House, Senate and Executive branches of the U.S. government, further entrenched the economy in the existing recession.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-louis-xv-budget/2011/02/17/ABtfSnQ_story.html

Now, seeing their elected President fail to revive economic vitality after 3 years, liberals gather to “Occupy Wall Street,” in an attempt to pin all of the blame on Wall Street.

Rightly, some of the blame belongs with Wall Street.  However, Wall Street only represents Mistake #2.  We The People could have prevented Mistakes #1, 3, 4, and 5 by taking control of our government, which would have greatly nullified or perhaps completely prevented Mistake #2- it is unlikely that Wall Street would have leveraged up so high on Mortgage-Backed Securities, if they hadn’t been guaranteed by the U.S.government.  And even ignoring that, the consequences would not have entrenched the economy this deep in recession for this long had Mistakes #3, 4, and 5 not occurred.

So now we see the Occupy Wall Street protest, a largely peaceful protest movement against social and economic inequalitycorporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government.

The part of the protest against the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government is one that both the political right and left can agree on.  This influence likely contributed to Mistakes #1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.  If that was the exclusive focus of the protest, it would be a much larger and more powerful protest, and one I would whole-heartedly support.

Any part about Corporate Greed above and beyond, or separate from, the government influence part of the protest, is ridiculous.  We live in an economically free country.  But this part of the protest against Corporate Greed is real, and leads us to the 3rd part of the protest’s focus: Social and Economic Inequality

Here’s where the Economic Socialists joined (or perhaps started) the protest.  Many in the Occupy Wall Street movement are active because they believe that the answer to our economic problems lies in government force.  They want the government to step in and take money from some people and give it to others.  This is done in the form of taxes, health care legislation, housing programs (see Mistake #1).  This is called Socialism and has failed in every instance throughout history, often with horrific conclusions.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has garnered greater attention in the recent days, due to reports of police brutality occurring against peaceful protestors.  It is true that some police brutality has occurred in a few isolated instances, which is despicable.  However, much of the police brutality depicted in the media, particularly in online videos and blogs, is dishonestly depicted, leaving out possible motives for police intervention- such as:

“…in New York , Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said police had arrested 14 demonstrators, after they sat down in roadways blocking traffic, overturned trash bins, knocked over a police scooter and hurled bottles.” http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/14/us/occupy-wall-street/?hpt=ibu_c2

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“Cops put barricades up on the sidewalk….As organizers attempted to have an assembly behind barricades…chaos broke out and several people were pepper sprayed. Even more were arrested.

At the same time, a violent conflict erupted between police and organizers spanning the length of the park on Broadway. The tension rose until one man, who demonstrators say threw something at a cop, sprinted through the park.”  http://censorshipinamerica.com/2011/10/06/footage-surfaces-of-police-brutality-at-occupy-wall-street-rally/

Of course there are other incidents that could be shared, but let’s draw some conclusions that all reasonable people can agree on:

In the 2 instances above, police force was instigated only after laws were broken (blocking traffic, crossing barricades), including chaotic behavioral displays (knocking over police vehicle and throwing bottles, throwing an object at police).

In other instances, perhaps most publicly in the Bolognacase, it is likely that real police brutality occurred in a gross way.  Of course these cases are inexcusable.  I was, however,  heartened to hear that an investigation by the DA’s office is already under way. http://www.observer.com/2011/09/did-bologna-use-too-much-pepper-spray-district-attorneys-office-investigates/

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