Capitalism on Trial

10.06.11 | Bob Price | Comments[5]

I don’t know how to take the occupy wall street protestors who’ve been camped out in lower Manhatten for the better part of 3 weeks now. Lacking a coherent message, it seems to me a hodge-podge of malcontents unhappy with their plot in life and with way too much time on their hands. I understand the anger and frustration over the bank bailouts and multi-million dollar bonuses to fat cats. Railing against greed is good, but this is something different.  I don’t understand the venomous jealousy directed at the wealthy. The idea that American capitalism is evil appears to be the major theme of this arab-spring inspired demonstration. For the record, the best way to help the poor is not to redistribute wealth.  Anyone remember Stalin’s 5-year plans?.  How’d that work out?  As they say in the south, that dog won’t hunt. Consider this, the top one percent of wage-earners pay 40 percent of the federal tax burden.  The bottom 50 percent pay zero percent..  I fear these demonstrators do not quite understand how fundamentally essential capitalism is to democracy. What makes America great is the ideal that if a person is willing to work hard, there’s no limit to their economic potential.  Our free market society is our birthright as Americans.  No matter how tough and tight things get, depressed markets, economic downturns, and high unemployment.cannot compete with ingenuity, perseverance, and hard-work.  I believe we will bounce back from these duldrums, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. My message to the Occupy wall-street crowd is this ….rant and ridicule if you must, but the problem with America is not it’s wealth or it’s wealthy.  The problem with America is it’s entitlement mentality and the idea that you can get something for nothing. Somewhere along the way we lost our way and rights took precedence over responsibility.

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on 10.06.11 Caleb Irwin commented

Its interesting, I've been bouncing back and fourth in my head what to think of it. I know one thing we have to remember is that although capitalism is necessary for democracy, we are not a democracy, we are a republic.

I agree with them in regards to people manipulating their monetary power for political influence. But I'm not so sure that they are to blame for ruining our system.

In my political philosophy class we've been going over why the "Occupy Wallstreet" movement is right, but I can't fully agree. I think that the issue has become not only our entitlement mentality, but also the idea that the government has to provide for us. The TV just finished talking about how more american's than ever are living on government support. Is that the governments job?

Someone else on that same TV is discussing about how it's the President's Job to respond to the lack of jobs and to create jobs, but last time I read his job description that is not the case.
We spend more than we have as a nation and that poor spending, has cascaded (along with other factors) to what we have today.

Ultimately, the American's are looking for people to blame, and many want to blame others, but when they look at how they've allowed our government to respond in these ways over history, they have no one to blame but themselves.

on 10.07.11 mark commented

Our left leaning/liberal college teachers have taught the young people and most likely encouraged these kids to protest those things that make our country great. Socialism does not work ! Rather this generation needs taught capitalism gives everyone a chance to succeed with hard work and determination .

on 10.09.11 Banker Mom commented

I have had it with these leftist losers protesting capitalism. They blame the "greedy bankers". Let me tell you about "greedy bankers".

The bank that I work for has over 60,000 employees who make a decent wage and the majority of them have health benefits and in large cities, there are childcare centers on premise and many other fantastic benefits.

These 60,000 plus employees own or rent their residences, play taxes, buy products and have disposable income and the majority of "greedy bank" employees are not the "fat cats". They are tellers, admin assistants, and other hourly employees.

Are their executives at the top who make a good buck? Of course there are, but they earn it. I couldn't do it and neither could the majority of the population. Think of the money that IS pumped back into the economy.

The bank is also required to give back to the community and this is regulated. There is the Community Reinvestment Act that if a bank doesn't comply, they face heavy fines. That is one of the reasons for the mortgage crises. Many banks complied by giving mortgages to people who didn't who couldn't and shouldn't have one. Many banks took a different route. One instituted a $100MM, ten year program to help the education of children birth to 5 years old. Darn those greedy bankers giving money to at risk children!

The protestors should step back and look at our government before they single our the capitalists. Banks face an alphabet soup of regulations, Reg, D, Reg E, Reg EE, Reg Z. I could go on and if they fail to comply, they are smacked. So who is to blame?

Also, as far as holding back money and not lending it goes...do people REALLY think banks don't want to lend money? That is how they make money. The problem is that they need to find qualified borrowers and it is getting harder and harder. Many of them have poor credit or are over extended. At times,it isn't in their best interest ( no pun intended) to give them a loan. It is like giving an alcoholic a drink.

I don't know what the answer is, but people need to step back before the put all of the blame on the "greedy" capitalist. I never got a job from a poor man.

on 10.12.11 dale commented

The waste we have in washington is disgraceful,we dont need 500 plus people spending our tax dollars,on many projects that only help a few. we need to seek better people to speak for us.pray and seek wisdom ..please!!

on 01.19.12 Kevin commented

One of the Colson commentaries dealt with this issue....

The response at this link might interest some readers:

http://proto-protestantism.blogspot.com/2011/11/envy-straw-man.html

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