I want to make some observations regarding the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy Wall Street Protest.
First, it is hard to determine what public policy changes the Occupy Wall Street crowd wants. I see many experts claiming they are fighting for their cause, but based on interviews these experts seem questionable. Jesse Watters, from Fox News interviewed several people in the OWS crowd, and they made it clear they want to end capitalism. However, they were unwilling or unable to suggest a better alternative.
Several others said things like stopping corporations from focusing on profit, legalizing marijuana, providing jobs now, ending wars, even more wealth redistribution, and forgive student loans. I think we can sum it up best by stating this group wants to end capitalism and eliminate perceived injustices from that system.
If we were crazy enough to do what it appears these protesters want, it would destroy the country and provide misery for all. Years ago, I heard a quote on capitalism that applies here, “Capitalism is a terrible economic system, but it is the best one man has ever devised.” Capitalism does allow for many rich people, but it also creates more opportunity for all than any other system. Demonizing profits and attacking corporations is counterproductive to fixing unemployment.
Profits should be thought of as a good thing. If this country is not going to be a good place to make profits, it will not be a good place to create jobs. Also, most of the middle class like me, needs our 401K to grow in order to retire someday, and profitable companies are a key to achieving that in 401Ks and pension funds. I do not think the Occupy Wall Street crowd will be a political force pushing the current extreme bunch in the Democratic Party further left, as much I think that would be good for the GOP.
Can this new movement do anything meaningful long term to effect public policy? It is unlikely, since their ideas and behavior are not acceptable to the mainstream. Instead, they will hurt any candidate they support outside of solid Democratic districts.
We can compare this to the clear goals of the Tea Party which wants fiscal responsibility and a return to constitutional principles. The Tea Party may represent the other extreme, but the main demands of the Tea Party would be supported by the majority. Being on the extreme side of fiscal responsibility is not near as dangerous as the extreme irresponsibility proposed by the OWS movement.
Tea Party policy implemented over a reasonable period would be good for the country. For example, plans like Paul Ryan's budget or the "Cut, Cap and Balance Plan,” are the only ideas proposed by either party to avoid a major fiscal disaster. The Tea Party has already shown success at the ballot box in pushing for candidates supporting their views. The Tea party helped put a conservative majority in the house.
However, the Tea Party did have failures in some Senate races with bad candidates, but the message was sent - RHINOS beware. The Tea Party it is the opposite of greed, although I wonder if some don’t realize that fixing the federal government will not be as painless as the fixes for Wisconsin budget issues.
I think it is safe to say that this OWS crowd represents the extreme left and not the majority of America, despite their claims of representing the 99 percent. This movement plays on the greed of people who want a shortcut by taking money from others to solve their own problems. One protester naively stated, “If the rich were willing to share we could all live in prosperity.” The richest 10% right now pay 75 percent of income taxes while they earn 39 percent of the income, so we already have a redistributive tax code. We can’t redistribute wealth to get prosperity for all or even solve any of our issues. The OWS group has lot young people short on common sense. The OWS group is supported by American Nazi’s, Communist Party USA, and other socialist groups.
It is very interesting to compare coverage of both groups. The media was constantly worried the Tea Party would breed violence despite no evidence of any issue. The media attacked the Tea Party as racist, dangerous, and made fun of the Tea Party. Let’s compare this to the cheerleading for the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Brian Williams announced. “While it goes by the official name ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ it has spread steadily and far beyond Wall Street, and it could well turn out to be the protest of this current era.”
In most coverage there is little mention of the anti-capitalist goals of OWS or communist/socialist support for OWS. As always they try to downplay the actual violence or bad behavior that usually is associated with recent left-wing protests.
I have not been to a “Tea Party” event, but I did attend the 8/28 rally in Washington D.C. I met many people who were supportive of the Tea Party. From my experience, the people I met were of many professions and were intelligent on the issues. I have seen some videos of others that were not very well informed, but overall, the people I talked to were there because of conservative convictions and supported a more responsible fiscal policy. I also noticed how well behaved the crowd of 300,000 to 600,000 people was.
I walked back to where the event was held only hours later and I did not see litter or trash except piled by trash cans. Compare this to the OWS people disrupting traffic, defecating on cop cars, littering in the park and refusing to leave and let the city clean and control the situation.
The interviews with the Wall Street crowd show no signs of any more than bumper sticker thought, but then these people were mostly much younger than the Tea Party people who seemed to be over 35 years old in age. I heard on the Mark Levin show, the substitute host pointed out there is hope for many of the OWS crowd to become wiser when they get older. Like we always hear “If you are not a Liberal at 20 people think you don’t have a heart, and if you are not conservative by 40 you don’t have a brain.”