The “Occupy Wall Street” protestors seem, mostly, to be against rich people.
But it’s not wealth as such that sparked the protests, is it? The ranks of the self-proclaimed 99-percenters may be filled with miseducated anti-capitalists, but the occasion of their ire seems fairly clear:
- It’s the depression, stupid — or the stupid depression. The enduring character of it.
- It’s the bailouts. A lot of borrowed money was thrown at “successful” people to make sure they remained “successful.”
- It’s the frightening instability of our basic institutions, including government itself.
So of course folks protest.
Too bad they have barely two clues to rub together.
The general cluelessness does not end at the overflowing toilets and excrement-stained police vehicles. When the protests went global, the New York Times reported on the “thousands of people marching past ancient monuments and gathering in front of capitalist symbols like the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.”
Jeffrey Tucker of the Mises Institute expressed his incredulity:
A government-created institution that creates a government-issued paper currency that is a shabby piece of paper thanks to government intervention in order to bail out government-subsidized and government-sustained institutions. And they call this a capitalist symbol?
Obviously, “capitalism” today means “state capitalism” or “crony capitalism,” not laissez-faire. That some folks still think we live in a “free market” — and blame everything now not working on that system — demonstrates the need for careful distinctions from those of us who know better.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.