Opinionated @ CFE

Occupy Wall Street and Missed Opportunities


Right now, large protests are going on in New York City and are starting to spread to other cities. People fed up with being out of work, with losing their homes, and with the powerful interests who caused the problem getting all kinds of favors have hit their breaking point. After a few years of changing out the bums in Congress (I won’t go so far as to say they were thrown out), they have no faith left in the political system to resolve their problems. And yet, somehow, the reform-minded economic right has completely blown the opportunity to sell their solutions.

What are many of them doing? For the most part, they’re busy insulting the protesters. The endless barrage of jokes about worthless liberal arts degrees, living in mom’s basement, and not showering are a sophomoric and demeaning way to reply to anyone who is suffering. In contrast, the left is out there standing in solidarity selling the illogical idea that the government that caused and perpetuates the problem can somehow fix it. If you were one of those people, who would you be listening to?

This is a missed opportunity to push for the destruction of crony capitalism and the decentralization of public and private power that creates and reinforces it. People are angry for the right reasons. Banks got trillions of dollars for destroying the economy so that they can now foreclose on the people to whom they fraudulently sold bad mortgages. Colleges are calling loans on degrees they’ve been hyping, overselling, and over-pricing for decades, a collusion across an entire industry. Congress is continually passing laws with no relevance to the problems of the common man despite having been significantly turned over in the last several elections. It’s the perfect storm to finally dismantle the systems that are killing the country.

By blowing this opportunity and engaging in tone-deaf messaging, you can almost bet that the solutions will be more of the same. More regulation that will be manipulated to create winners and losers. More ruinous over-spending on programs that promote dependency instead of independence. More members of Congress who say they feel our pain but simply create it. I suppose I shouldn’t expect any better from the guys who have been promoting the low-information tea party.

5 Responses to Occupy Wall Street and Missed Opportunities

  1. They dont have any ideas. Theyre just happy to have a scapegoat to blame.

  2. Melanie McCoard

    Exactly. I listened to Rush Limbaugh by accident yesterday. What a hater. Hate for pay. Professional hater.

  3. “the left is out there standing in solidarity selling the illogical idea that the government that caused and perpetuates the problem can somehow fix it.”

    Government had nothing todo with the problem, you can point to failure of the political idea’s of those in government but the 2007-8 crash entirely has todo with ignorant deregulation and political barriers placed onto the governments ability to react to problems.

    The unlimited universal banking system we have as a result of the gram beach billey act, and the how did you put it “the reform-minded economic right” under Alan Greenspan leveraged their position at the federal reserve bank who could then test their supply side economic theories having borrowers that no longer had any limits to their ability to borrow infinity through the fed discount window. Followed by the destruction of the CFTC’s ability to regulate derivatives in 1999 created the corrupt edifice known as modern banking in America.

    Their is one big positive thing out of all of this, “the reform-minded economic right” can’t hide the failures of their economic policy by using another credit bubble in the banking system for at least another 10 years, maybe after we dump Obama in 2016(2012 if republicans can find their Jesus moment(not looking up on that one)) we can get another FDR, or JFK.

    • Government has everything to do with the problem. They use bank-approved regulation to legalize fraud and then lavish the banks with taxpayer funds when it doesn’t work out. It’s a repeat of the savings and loan collapse of the 80s, but worse. That melding of corporate and government power takes two to tango.

      And yes, there is a reform-minded economic right who recognizes that when you give the government too much power, moneyed influences will pounce all over it to shape it to their advantage. Telcos do it, banks do it, health insurance companies do it, heck, everyone does it, and it’s rarely to the benefit of the general public. We can either wish for the unicorn that is a powerful government without corrupting influences or work towards removing that oft-abused power.

      • They didn’t legalize fraud, they repealed glass steagall(the firewall they used to separate consumer, investment banking, and insurance companies). And at the same time they removed leverage limits on banks(which where 10:1). Both of these things where done in the 1999 gram beach billy act. As mentioned in my previous post they gutted the CFTC that same year, this was all part of the “reform-minded economic right” reforms!

        The crash that resulted is from the complete abdication of government responsibility as opposed to their being to much of it. Leverage limits, separation of the different kinds of banks to stop conflicts of interest, market clearing requirements for derivatives, etc, these are all extremely important to a functional banking system.

        The Dobb-Frank reform does re-implement some of these features, it places 15:1 leverage limit(with 3% derivatives carve out*sigh*), allows regulators to choose whether or not to implement the volcker rule(sorta weak replacement for glass steagall at least with respect to government insured money(FDIC insured savings accounts etc)), kills the entire junk AAA bond market by forcing banks to keep 5% of any CDO products they create, puts new regulations on the ratings agencies, new market clearing rules for derivatives.

        Maybe after BOA goes down we can obtain the impetus to re-implement the full glass-steagall, tighter leverage limits, and bank size limits, any banks whose assets is greater then 10% of GDP is just simply far to big.

        The model of the government simply standing to the side and letting them do their thing failed, and spectacularly so. It is time to reregulate the banking industry, Dodd-Frank is a start not an end point.

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