Below, libertarian economic expert Peter Schiff talks to Occupy protesters. Some of these protesters are confused, barely literate brats riding a bandwagon, but a few of them are clearly very serious, mature, intelligent people. Unfortunately, a video like this has to operate in sound bites, and I wish the forum had been a quiet table and not a public series of rapid fire confrontations, but the exchange of ideas here gives me hope. Future discussions could be fruitful. There is common ground. There is some common sense all around. Kudos to Reason magazine for putting this together.
Cute and clever video via City Journal points out the similar problems on both sides of the economic debate.
- There is, of course, a major strain of thought that connects the Occupy Wall Street crowd and the Tea Party. Though largely representing opposing sides of the political spectrum, they each have at their core an aversion to corporatism–not necessarily corporations themselves (any OWS protestor who says otherwise is likely a hypocrite), but the political culture of favors, bailouts, pork deals, corporate welfare, etc. I’d like to see more of a conversation building on this common ground.
- The biggest superficial difference between the two movements seems to be the penchant for violent rhetoric among OWS. I’m not aware of any actual instances of violence, verbal or otherwise, at tea party rallies, but umpteen such cases have been recorded and broadcasted at OWS protests. Despite the reputation that the tea party has been stereotyped with in much of the mainstream media as being full of racists and militia-types, one must remember how many would-be infiltrators have been caught and exposed as purposely trying to create that impression (remember the Oregon middle school teacher who foolishly admitted online that he was planning one such act). I don’t know if OWS has any similar problem, but certainly I haven’t heard of any, and no rowdy hooligans at these rallies seem to be getting alienated by the rest of the crowd, as they were at Tea Party rallies. Pictures like these, including one of an OWS protester defecating on a police car (warning: graphic), appear pretty authentic, unfortunately. Those who are complaining about all the arrests accompanying OWS protests might do well to admit that some of these protesters simply aren’t living up to the non-violent heritage of civil disobedience.
- Notice the difference in rhetorical tones, also. Continue reading