Wall Street Protests And Their Misbegotten War On Capitalism

Regarding the Wall Street protests, Robert Robb, a columnist for the Arizona Republic, has a recent and fairly interesting article. Here’s an excerpt:

The protesters are massively wrong about the incompatibility of capitalism and social justice.

Social justice shouldn’t be measured on what the rich have, which is the fixation of the protesters. Instead, the focus should be on the lot of the poor. The spread of market capitalism has done more to improve living standards for more of the world’s poor than anything else in human history.

There is, however, a serious social justice problem that has developed in American market capitalism. Two of the bridges to the middle class for those without a college education — manufacturing and construction — have been eroded. Manufacturing jobs haven’t been lost mainly to free trade, as the brief against capitalism would have it, but to sharply improved productivity. And construction wages have been undermined by illegal immigrant labor.

The American economy hasn’t really developed substitutes for these bridges. While the protesters misdiagnose and exaggerate the problem, conservatives shouldn’t be so dismissive of the rising income gap based upon education.

The protesters are occupying Wall Street because they see large investment banks as the heart of American capitalism. They are also wrong about that, but their mistake is shared by the policymakers in both of the country’s major political parties.

Capital is the bloodline of commerce. Businesses produce first, then get paid by those who buy their goods or services. They need money to get from Point A to Point B.

There are an infinite number of ways that businesses get capital. Large Wall Street investment banks play a role, but a rather small one. And almost exclusively for big businesses, which isn’t where the growth in the American economy occurs.

(Read the full article here.)

In related news — and in response to the emails I keep getting from folks who insist that these protests aren’t Marxist — please check out these recent vids:


  • KJJ

    October 14, 2011

    That’s messed up that that kid lost her job for changing sex. Big deal – she will still do the same job, not like her work ethic is going to change just because her sex did.

  • Micky

    October 14, 2011

    Basically they’re just a bunch of Obama fans with buyers remorse trying to convince us all its something, anything else but the bad taste hes left in all their mouths.
    Seriously, think about it ?
    These are his groupies. Should they not be celebrating all the euphoric accomplishments messiah has brought them in 3 years ?
    Well guess what groupies. You got your total transformation and its nowhere near what you were told you’d get.
    Nope, hes not paying your mortgage, matter of fact you’ve all probably got about 90 days to pack it up.
    And nope, even though you’ll be on the streets there’l be no food stamps, no cash assistance, no food banks cuz the two I work at are getting skimpier and skimpier every week.
    And nope, Obamacare wont kick in for another two years so all I can say is, be careful, stock up on band aids and hydrogen peroxide cuz thats gonna be about as good as it gets.
    Dont even think of joining the military just for the check. The messiah has no interest in fighting our enemies as hes downsizing and financially starving the forces into extinction. What you see, the drones, a few dead/assassinated Muslims is just show for the few if any centrist votes he might get.
    Dont bother planting any crops.
    First because eminent domain will of run amok across 95% of the country, your land will become part of the communal collective designated for solar panels to generate electricity we have sell to the Chinese or they’ll nuke us. What land can be tilled will be victimized by some repercussion of global warming.
    Head for the hills. Because living in your car will be possible only if you can afford to rent the government allocated stall at an added value tax of 100.00 a day, and you sure as hell wont be able to cruise aimlessly at 40.00 a gallon,.
    But, you might be able to get a better deal at your nearest Madrassa or Muslim temple or 7-11 or Circle K, send your sons or husbands as females will not be allowed to drive, never mind pump gas.
    Cheer up, theres a silver lining to all this, we’ll be about half way to that kumbaya you’ve all been dreaming of.
    I wonder if theres an Arabic translation for John Lennons “Imagine”

    You’re the biggest clusterf*cked Bohemian screw up I ever seen since Woodstock, cept this time no ones crazy enough to rent you the farm after seeing the way you left the last one.
    Probably all end up as fruitful as Haight Ashbury, but on a national scale.

    Bongs involve a variety of plastics depending on style.
    The plastics are also a petro product subjected to capitalism many times over before they hit the shelf.
    The drilling for the petro, harvesting, transference,design, marketing, and the product that goes in them. Same goes for portapotties

  • ScummyD

    October 16, 2011

    This is one of the most comical videos on these protesters that I’ve seen thus far:


    “You’ve basically written stuff you want on a sign like a Christmas list and then you’re holding it in the air.”

    “Yeah, why not.”

  • Ray

    October 17, 2011

    Sheesus, that clip is (almost) unbelievable.

  • Dale

    October 20, 2011

    The kids filed back into class Monday morning. They were very excited. Their weekend assignment was to sell something, then give a talk on productive salesmanship.
    Little Sally led off: “I sold girl scout cookies and I made $30,” she said proudly, “My sales approach was to appeal to the customer’s civil spirit and I credit that approach for my obvious success.” “Very good,” said the teacher.
    Little Mary was next: “I sold magazines,” she said, “I made $45 and I explained to everyone that magazines would keep them up on current events.” “Very good, Mary” said the teacher.
    Eventually, it was Little Johnny’s turn. The teacher held her breath… Little Johnny walked to the front of the classroom and dumped a box full of cash on the teacher’s desk. “$2,467,” he said.

    “$2,467!” cried the teacher, “What in the world were you selling?”
    “Mouthwash,” said Little Johnny.
    “Mouthwash!” echoed the teacher, “How could you possibly sell enough Mouthwash to make that much money?”
    “I found the busiest corner in town,” said Little Johnny. “I set up a Dip & Chip stand and gave everybody who walked by a free sample.” They all said the same thing, “Hey, this tastes like dog crap!” Then I would say, “It is dog crap. Wanna’ buy some mouthwash?”
    “I used the Obama approach of giving them something shitty for free, and then making them pay to get the taste out of their mouth.”

  • Renee Reed

    October 25, 2011

    I believe that a small change in the legal definition of a corporation would go a long way serving up some “social justice”.
    It’s time to put the human beings who have made poor decisions in the management of their corporations responsible for those poor decisions. Not the “corporation” itself, but the actual human beings who cause these massive economic calamities to occur.
    Make these CEO’s and board members personally responsible for any impending bankruptcies, so that if their personal fortunes are in jeopardy thay may think twice before taking such huge risks with such large amounts of “corporate” money. No longer would the taxpayer be at risk for their bad business practices. (Including any unwise environmental decisions). Let the guise of some intimidating corporate name and logo be gone and put names and faces to the actual humans making these poor business decisions.
    I feel strongly that creating a new legal definition of the meaning of a corporation would go a very long way to improve capitialism and social justice at the same time, thus appeasing both sides.
    (At least until all the loopholes that may be found in the creation of the definition can be found and fixed.) Ahhhh…..but the topic of corporate attorneys takes me to a completely different attitude, not one of diplomacy…

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