What is the OWS complaint?

The philosophy of Left-ish people is that economic decisions should be political, not private — made by government rather than by the market. Lefties also believe that public interest, not profitability, should be the criterion.

The response to the financial crisis was:

a) made in the political sector,ows-wheres-mine
b) to help firms that were not profitable but judged to be socially necessary, and
c) by elected officials and appointees overwhelmingly supported by the Left.

Broadly, the Left got what it’s been demanding. So let me ask the naïve question: What exactly is the complaint?

Is it:

1. The politicians should have let the bankrupt firms fail?
2. The politicians made bad economic judgments about which firms to bail out?
3. The politicians should not have been influenced politically by lobbyists for firms?
4. The politicians should be bailing out other people too, e.g., those who can’t pay their debts of other sorts?
5. The politicians should or should not have done something else?

5 thoughts on “What is the OWS complaint?

  • November 11, 2011 at 10:20 am
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    That’s very capably put Stephen. It sums up in a few short words the way many of us feel and think about the absurdity of the OWS movements. Thanks for that. I’ll be sharing and airing… Cheers!

  • November 11, 2011 at 11:30 am
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    I am not sure I agree with your basic premises. I suggest the political spectrum can no longer be neatly divided into people who want government to run the economy (lefties) and who want the market to prevail (righties).

    I would argue that the people who made the initial decisions about which firms to bail out were in the Bush administration, e.g., starting with Hank Paulson. It would be hard to call them lefties. On the other hand, they were hardly libertarians. Maybe they could best be described as corporatists, in favor of the government working cozily with certain big corporations (and other large private organizations.)

    Of course, the Obama administration also decided about bailing out other firms. On the other hand, some people would call them lefties. However, one could also argue that they have proven mainly to be corporatists too.

  • November 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm
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    There is no “Occupy America complaint.” Some Occupants judge hypocrisy on the part of the Center/Right. Others judge that the bailout did not serve the “general welfare.” Others are libertarians or Republicans, as I am. All of us are united in opposition to the reverse Robin Hood practices of government, and in being governed by consensus and coexistence.

    Nothing else unites us. We are (mostly) not Communards, although we have at times evoked the Paris Commune. Nor are we monks, although we have endured poverty and a few of us chastity as well. This is not to say that we have not used a system of mutual aid, as we have. It is to say that we are no organization, but only an unorganized, unarmed militia.

  • November 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm
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    Good points, Roy, though my question is about what’s going on in the minds of the OWS crowd. I don’t sense that they understand or buy into the corporatist analysis — they are not occupying the place where Bush/Obama operate.

  • November 11, 2011 at 9:13 pm
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    I think the OWS mob didn’t think the Government went far enough with bailouts,..They want the nationalization of banks and then selling their assets ala Swedish style. They essentially want more statism.

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