A Question for Occupy Sympathizers

Let’s imagine that there are no billionaires.  None of the world’s super rich exist, and no one else has taken their places.

How exactly would people in the American middle class have more wealth if, say, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet or Rupert Murdoch had never been born?

Without the major industrialists , innovators, and, yes, capitalists of modern times, wouldn’t we all in fact be very much poorer?

5 comments on “A Question for Occupy Sympathizers

  1. I think you misunderstand the Occupy movement. They aren’t opposed to capitalism, corporations or profit. They are opposed to corporate control of the government. The government should respond to the needs of the majority of the populace, not merely to the small percentage who can spend millions on campaign “contributions” and lobbying. Unfortunately that cannot be accomplished through our current political system and the Occupy movement is born of that frustration.

  2. Actually, we’re all on the same page for the most important point here–yes, “corporate control of government” is bad. It equals corruption, absolutely. But even groups of people operating businesses–corporations–have a right to participate in the public arena.

    And while there are clearly many intelligent, wonderful people in the Occupy movement, there are also undenaibly some wackos, losers, and degenerate hangers-on who would exploit it and who do give it a bad name. That includes plenty who openly DO “oppose capitalism, corporations or profit.” Occupy Oakland has hung a huge banner outside city hall that says “Death to capitalism.” Kind of hard to misinterpret that.

    The best single expose of the problems in the Occupy movement that I’ve seen is here at Daily Kos (yes, THAT Daily Kos!): http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/29/1031198/-PROOF-the-TEABAGGERS-are-RACIST,-VIOLENT,-and-DISGUSTING

  3. There are wackos, losers and degenerate hangers-on in every movement, right or left, and every movement that has even a modicum of success attracts those who want to exploit it. The Tea Party movement was exploited by groups that wanted it to become a cheering squad for the Republican Party. The Occupy Movement is being exploited by groups that want it to become a cheering squad for the Democrats (MoveOn, DailyKos, Working Families Party, and others). The failure of the Tea Party is largely due to its failure to prevent itself from being co-opted. So far Occupy has resisted the many attempts to co-opt it, but there are certainly lots of Democratic Party hangers-on who want to use the energy of the movement for their own fund raising.

    Yes there most certainly are anti-capitalists among the Occupy groups and its easy to see why. We have come to a point in this nation’s history where “We the people” exist only as consumers of a political process paid for by corporate interests and run for their benefit. It has become clear that changing the politicians will not result in substantive change in policy. On the economic front, “We the people” exist for the market, the market doesn’t exist for us. We serve the needs of the market, and when we have needs, the market and the political system ignore them. So with all its many flaws, the Occupy movement is the only significant force in our political life that acknowledges the depth of the problems facing our nation and looking for a way to solve them.

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