Nov. 21, 2011
I recently saw a picture of an Occupy Wall Street poster that read, The Game of Capitalism Breeds Dishonest Men. Over the past three months, the Occupy movement has seemed to push a sentiment of anti-capitalism that has blocked city streets, cost local NYC businesses nearly half a million dollars, and created an atmosphere of hostility in various OWS protests across the country. Its a bit troubling to see such a movement that seems to go against every economic principle that has directed this country.
The more and more I see my Twitter feed full of the term #OWS or #OccupyDC, I become a little more disheartened. However, Ive recently come across a few articles that have made me feel a little bit better about my beliefs and show what economic principles this country runs on: capitalistic ones. In article on Mark Levins website, Gary Wolfram shows that, through the ages, capitalism seems to be the economic structure of choice. He points back to his experience as an educator. He would ask his students where they would like to be born, if they had the ability to chose. Never did students state that they would want to have grown up in North Korea, Zimbabwe, or Cuba. Time and time again, his students chose countries whose governments are based on free market principles that allow choice, competition, and growth.
According to Wolfram, The Wall Street protesters, in their hatred of capitalism, overlook things including the fact that over the last 100 years capitalism has reduced poverty more and increased life expectancy more than in the 100,000 years prior.While many may argue that these people are merely exercising their right to protest, it seems as though many of them do not even know what they are protesting about. One video Ive watched was an interview with a recent college graduate with a sign that read Throw me a bone - Pay for my tuition. The sentiment of the young man seemed to be one of protesting for the sake of protesting.
Another video showed a protester arguing about the racial inequality in the United States. Lilttle was even spoken of the economic inequality - his argument was geared towards various races mindsets towards others. Without any ideological coherence, the Occupy Wall Street movement has proven to be a showcase of those who do not see what capitalism has done for the United States.
It should also be stated, as a point of fact, that Wall Street is not an entity. It is a literal street with corporations that conduct business on a daily basis. From the arguments and protests that many have been making over the past two months, one might think that these OWSers are inclined to believe that Wall Street is actually an entity. To roughly paraphrase Herman Cain, in a speech at the 2011 Values Voter Summit in Washington DC, the policies of this administration are the reason for the economic problems in the United States today. The place these protesters should occupy is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Cain certainly seemed to hit the nail on the head.
The current presidential administration in this country has taken the side of Occupy Wall Street, both verbally and legislatively, inching further and further away from capitalism. In just under a year from now, voters will have the chance to make a change in regards to the political makeup of the country. They will have a chance to occupy voting booths across the country. Seize that opportunity to occupy.