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Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Stop Dehumanizing the Protestors"

Andrew Samwick:

A note to Nelson D. Schwartz and Eric Dash of The New York Times.  If you are going to put this in your article, put it in quotes and attribute it properly or keep it out of the news section of the paper:

Without a coherent message, the crowds will ultimately thin out, Wall Street types insist — especially when the weather turns colder. They see the protesters as an entertaining sideshow, little more than flash mobs of slackers, seeking to lock arms with Kanye West or get a whiff of the antiestablishment politics that defined their parents’ generation.

I don't think it is incumbent on #OWS to have a coherent message.  They are people who feel that their freedoms are being constricted due to the corruptness of others.  They are joining together to push back against that feeling.  They win just by showing up and eschewing violence.  If the NYPD and branch managers at Citibank can't figure that out and stop dehumanizing the protestors, then #OWS will win even more. ...

The use of the term "slackers" is telling. You see, there's plenty of work for the industrious, our unemployment problem is due to laziness. There are plenty of jobs -- pay no attention to the fact that the number of unemployed is far, far greater than the number of jobs -- people don't really want to work. It has nothing to do with the crash of Wall Street destroying the economy, and the bounce back and present good fortune on Wall Street has nothing to do with the government bailing them out -- it was their hard work that fixed the problems. For the little people to expect the government to treat them similarly -- to bail them out during tough times -- is just plain anti-capitalist. If you are wealthy, a government handout that preserves your wealth is necessary, but to expect the government to provide jobs -- not Wall Street type handouts but the opportunity to work -- is "antiestablishment" and a threat to our way of life.

    Posted by on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM in Economics | Permalink  Comments (90)


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