Wall Street Renters
Posted by aogThursday, 06 October 2011 at 11:01 TrackBack Ping URL

What does OWS [Occupy Wall Street] want? A single term provides the answer: rent. These people are, every last one of them, rent-seekers. They seek nothing other than to be provided with the fruits of other people’s labor, innovation, entrepreneurship and risk-taking.

They do not seek greater liberty to innovate or take risks, nor do they want greater freedom to succeed in enterprise. They do appear to want jobs (some of them), but they seem to believe that jobs are existing, free-floating things that someone can and should be required to give them.

Danube of Thought

The essence of Modern American Left.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Bret Thursday, 06 October 2011 at 12:29

Seeking rent is the essence of almost everybody throughout the ages. Ultimately, might makes right.

Personally I have a problem with Wall Street. Money is a public good (whether that should be the case is possibly debatable, but that’s how it is). Since it’s a public good, everybody should really have equal access to it. That’s definitely not the case and Wall Street has far easier and more profitable access to it than anyone else. Even worse, Wall Street takes those profits and “buys” the government with unbelievably large campaign contributions and other favors. It’s by far the single most corrupt part of our political-economic system. As usual, I don’t think there’s any good solution - the best we can do is to reduce the size of the federal government as much as possible to partially mitigate the effect of the inherent corruption.

erp Thursday, 06 October 2011 at 13:36

Bret, Please explain how money is a public good.

Presumably it belongs to somebody and isn’t free flowing like the jobs protesters think are. If government was out of the financial picture as it should be, those with money could decide what to do with it without needing to bribe government officials.

Doing well by doing good still would still work.

Bret Thursday, 06 October 2011 at 14:39

The Fed, per government mandate, creates it as it sees fit, making it a public good.

Hey Skipper Thursday, 06 October 2011 at 15:08

Bret is right.

We can’t live with, or without, Wall Street.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 06 October 2011 at 15:20

Bret;

Doesn’t this get back to the discussion over on your weblog about economic creation myths? I would say the essence of the mercantile revolution is a change from rent-seeking to productivity.

Bret Thursday, 06 October 2011 at 18:34

Yes. Unfortunately, rent-seekers (“looters” according to Rand) are always waiting in the wings to see what they can take for themselves. The attitude that it’s cool to be productive (make money) is very important. The attitude that it’s okay to rent-seek (take money) really impacts society negatively, in my opinion.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 13:43

Funny, I read their statement, and while there is a lot of nutty stuff in there, like getting American troops out of Egypt, the main points are not about rent-seeking, and some are about eliminating rent-receiving already established.

But don’t let their actual words get in the way of anybody’s preferred narrative.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 14:52

Let’s run through a few, shall we? I take them from here. And by rent-seeking I mean the standard economic meaning of “an attempt to derive economic rent by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activities occur, rather than by adding value”.

  • “Restoration of the living wage.” — check
  • “Institute a universal single payer healthcare system”. — check
  • “Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment” — check
  • “Free college education” — check
  • “Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand” — insane, but not rent-seeking.
  • “One trillion dollars in infrastructure” — check
  • “One trillion dollars in ecological restoration” — check
  • “Racial and gender equal rights amendment” — stupid, but not rent-seeking, although in practice this kind of thing almost always devolves in to rent-seeking. Let’s rate it as ½.
  • “Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live” — probably not, although one could argue the existence of a welfare state makes it so.
  • “Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system”. — not
  • ” Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all” — check
  • ” Outlaw all credit reporting agencies” — ½ as it’s indirect rent-seeking, that is the ability to borrow while legally preventing any check on the ability to repay. A strong legal encouragement at least.
  • “Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign” — not.

So, I will go with “the main points are about rent-seeking”. But don’t you let their actual words get in the way of your preferred narrative.

erp Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 15:10

My personal favorite is debt forgiveness across all boards.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 15:55

erp;

Note that one implies wiping out all bank accounts and retirement accounts. That’s debt too. I don’t know what any one else is watching but I would say debt cancellation (which is pure rent seeking) is at least half of what I’ve read from the actual participants, most of what’s left being “pay me whether I have a job or not, regardless of my skills or work”. Very rent seeking and, as far as I can tell, the other demands are simply ways in which they think their rent seeking can be implemented (such as the union thing).

Harry Eagar Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 13:10

I would describe their outlook as transferring rent-receiving away from Wall St., which is a form of anti-rent-seeking.

The demand to buy the Federal Reserve strikes me as just weird, and I cannot characterize it.

I would say that, overall, their understanding of how a stable, functioning economy works is almost as bad as that of the guy who runs Goldman Sachs, though I was pleased to see them recognize the utility of Glass-Steagall.

They lucked out, too, in having the TP get into the game first, attracting much of America’s population of free-range kooks, who are like remoras, always looking for a big fish to hitch a ride on.

What they really are is the 21st c. iteration of Coxey’s Army. Every time the market screws over the helpless people, they complain. I don’t blame them.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 13:57

From that well-known commie rag, the Daily News:

‘Solidarity hero Lech Walesa is flying to New York to show his support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

’ “How could I not respond,” Walesa told a Polish newspaper Wednesday. “The thousands of people gathered near Wall Street are worried about the fate of their future, the fate of their country. This is something I understand.”

‘A former shipyard worker who led Poland’s successful revolt against Soviet communism, Walesa said “capitalism is in crisis” and not just in America.

’ “This is a worldwide problem,” he told the Lublin-based Dziennik Wschodni newspaper. “The Wall Street protesters have focused a magnifying glass on the problem.” ‘

Well, that oughta make some heads explode.

erp Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 15:03

Harry, you might want to wait to see what Walesa says when he get here. I doubt he’ll want his name associated with the free-loaders and union thugs making pig sties out of our parks.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 17:54

I would describe their outlook as transferring rent-receiving away from Wall St., which is a form of anti-rent-seeking.

If your mission is to redirect rents from other group A to yourself, you’re a rent seeker. By your logic, any one who wants lies to be told about the other side’s politicians instead of their own politician is against political lying.

They lucked out, too, in having the TP get into the game first, attracting much of America’s population of free-range kooks, who are like remoras, always looking for a big fish to hitch a ride on.

Unlikely, given how far weirder, incoherent, and fringe these people are compared to Tea Partiers.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 14 October 2011 at 09:25

Hmmmm, where are the crazies? Occupy Boston spits on Coast Guard member

Had even one Tea Party rally resulted in 140 arrests, defecation on police cars, speakers calling for a violent French Revolution-style change in society, or members of the military getting attacked with spit and epithets, would the national media have offered such a balanced report — or would the media have used any of these incidents to warn America about the latent hate and violence in the movement?

I suppose for some people, it is not doing those sorts of things, and cleaning up after yourselves, that marks one as a “free range kook”. Or not harming the little people for whom you are putatively protesting. We know who is going to have to clean up after these people.

P.S. You can’t be a MAL protest group without some Judenhaas. After all, haters hate. They just can’t stop themselves.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 14 October 2011 at 09:52

Occupy Wall Street in its own words

You can become immortal … you can have sex with animals How main stream and unkooky, especially the chanting in unison!

erp Friday, 14 October 2011 at 10:54

IMO these antics aren’t focus-grouping well for lefties, so they’ll just disappear from view like the homeless do as soon as a Republican leaves the White House.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 14 October 2011 at 11:46

It’s doing well among the Eagar demographic, though.

Meanwhile, an MSNBC “analyst” is looking to break some eggs to get the movement started.

Harry Eagar Friday, 14 October 2011 at 12:30

Who knows? Maybe if they eliminated the Wall St. rent seekers, the results would be good. They could hardly be worse than what we’ve got now.

I was amused, this morning, to listen to an NPR report about the new free trade agreements. It will cost working people jobs, but they are expected to buck up for the team.

Compare that to Wall St. where the idea that it would become more efficient if banking moved offshore has been treated as an existential threat.

If you are going to chide rent-seekers, it would behoove you to lay about in all directions equally. Otherwise, you look like a defender of the ancien regime.

It took rather a long while, didn’t it, for the free-floating crazies to attach to part of the OWS crowds. Probably because they had to tear themselves away from the TP first. I was impressed that for over a month, there were no silly animal costumes, no breaking of McDonald’s windows etc.

The TP, as I say, soaked up the Stormfront crazies, so that may explain the delay.

erp, I will be very surprised if Walesa turns out to be antiunion.

erp Friday, 14 October 2011 at 13:45

Harry, I’ll be surprised if Walesa isn’t surprised when he learns that the unions here control the government and take money paid by taxpayers to their members to buy politicians that support socialism.

Poles are very pro-US and religious and probably have had their fill of lunatic lefties like those trashing our parks from sea to shinning sea and the implicatioin that the loonies are really disgruntled tea party members is so ridiculous it doesn’t bear comment.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 14 October 2011 at 13:53

Mr. Eagar;

They could hardly be worse than what we’ve got now.

You write some truly bizarre and outrageous things, but that’s a whopper even for you. You think we’re doing worse than, say, Greece? Mexico? Somalia? North Korea? I think it could be far worse. That you can’t imagine things that already exist seems rather parochial.

an NPR report about the new free trade agreements.

NPR, the same place that went called the agreements “stalled” when it was simply that President Obama refused to submit them to a vote? Why should I believe anything they say on the subject? If you read the people who actually support the agreements, you would find they uniformly think they will create jobs and improve the economy in general. I view NPR’s statement as the sort of disinformation typical of the MAL, given the clear disinformation I already noted.

If you are going to chide rent-seekers, it would behoove you to lay about in all directions equally. Otherwise, you look like a defender of the ancien regime.

Yes, that king of thing is typical of the MAL and the OWS types. After all, they’re not protesting the people who created the bail out, are they? And they’ll all vote for the political party that gets far more banker cash than its opposing party. The Tea Parties, by contrast, are following a far more intelligent path of opposing rent seeking in general by starving the beast that creates it.

It took rather a long while, didn’t it, for the free-floating crazies to attach to part of the OWS crowds.

Uh, no. They’ve been there from the start. Check the Breitbart emails for examples. It’s simply that it took a while for their presence to be reported. Even now you’ll find very little about that in Old Media.

there were no silly animal costumes, no breaking of McDonald’s windows etc.

And where in my comments have I mentioned any of those things? When did any of that happen at any Tea Party event? Your logic is “no one did that at a Tea Party event, it’s the kind of thing very typical of a MAL protest, so when it happens at OWS it’s clearly Tea Party refugees”.

The TP, as I say, soaked up the Stormfront crazies

That’s why Herman Cain is a Tea Party favorite, and there is far more open Judenhaas at OWS events that Tea Party events?

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 14 October 2011 at 14:41

OWS shows that laws are for the little people. This is really just another form of rent-seeking, which is hardly surprising.

Harry Eagar Friday, 14 October 2011 at 16:11

Well, since I have an actual TP in my backyard and have been invited to take part, I know who is in it. And, via a number of sources, I know who has attached to OWS.

It looks this way:

TP: birfers, Birchers, Nazis, gold bugs, gun nuts, antiblack racists

OWS: troofers, greenbackers, peaceniks; one-worlders.

As a follower of Hoffer, I am not particularly surprised at either list, nor do I think all members of either deserve to be tarred with the excesses of either list, although the TP, which claims to be a political movement with an organization, has shown zero ability to protect itself from the crazies; whereas the OWS, as an open movement, has no particular organization to defend.

One is a failure of administration, the other of concept.

Your admiration for the TP does not speak well for your insight.

erp is just hallucinating again. Parks are not being trashed from sea to sea, and unions do not run any government.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 14 October 2011 at 17:33

I am a Tea Partier as well and associate with them and have seen nothing of what you describe. Why does your personal experience trump mine? Beyond that one need merely look at the behavior in public places to see which description is more accurate.

nor do I think all members of either deserve to be tarred with the excesses of either list

Clearly untrue, you’ve been doing exactly that since we started discussing the Tea Party on this weblog, if not before. You’ve been particularly fond of the epithet “racist”.

which claims to be a political movement with an organization […] has shown zero ability to protect itself from the crazies

No, actually it doesn’t. It generally claims to not have one. I also think it’s done an amazing job of protecting itself from the crazies.

Your admiration for the TP does not speak well for your insight.

Probably not, if by “insight” you mean “narrative over facts”. I note that when you challenged my assertion in the original post, I was easily able to demonstrate that your assertion was incorrect using the movements own words. You seem unable to cite any countervailing facts. Not to mention, isn’t this yet another example of you tarring all members with the excesses of one of the lists? The OWS movement is so chock full of crazy that I can’t even keep up with posting stuff here. Contrast that with the rarity of any equivalent on the Tea Party side, to the extent that even Congressmen have to make stuff up in order to smear such people.

erp Friday, 14 October 2011 at 19:24

Harry, union thugs run this president and his government and parks are being trashed by spoiled brats aided and abetted by Obama’s army of union thugs. Why do you deny it? They’re your people doing what you think should be done. You should be proud of them.

One thing the media haven’t done is pointed out the lily white nature of the anti-whatever movements. Nary a tawny face in any of the pictures I’ve seen. Odd that.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 16:03

I forgot to add to the list of TP crazies, YECs and end-time propheteers.

There is a website (I don’t have the address) that aggregates all the TP incidents of antiblack racism. They have also been extensively reported by the Los Angeles Times, at least as regards leaders of the various local chapters or whatever we should call them. If you don’t know about them, it’s because you refuse to know.

Since the TP does have incorporated chapters, I fail to see how you can say the TP claims not to be organized.

I live in a county that is 2/3 non-white. The TP here is close to 100% white. It may be 100%, but I have to allow for the possibility of some non-white adherents I have not met.

erp, if the administration is run by the unions, why did the administration push the free-trade bills against union opposition? Why are there movies of the OWS people cleaning the parks?

Hey Skipper Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 17:17
if the administration is run by the unions, why did the administration push the free-trade bills against union opposition?

Because the administration is less pig-ignorant about economics than unions. Granted, that is a low bar …

Why are there movies of the OWS people cleaning the parks?

Hmmm. Have to fire up the memory banks here. A year or two ago, wasn’t there a conservative rally in DC?

Glaringly absent from that rally was any video of conservatives cleaning the place up afterwards.

There’s a reason for that.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 19:01

Mr. Eagar;

There is a website (I don’t have the address)

Of course you don’t.

They have also been extensively reported by the Los Angeles Times

Then it should be trivial to link to at least one of them. Like this one — Black conservatives say ‘tea party’ isn’t racist.

Or perhaps this one — Myth-busting polls: Tea Party members are average Americans which states

A new Gallup Poll out this morning of 1,033 finds nothing fringe about self-proclaimed Tea Party adherents; they are slightly more likely to be employed, male and definitely more conservative. But otherwise Gallup’s Lydia Saad writes, “their age, educational background, employment status, and race — Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.”

Hmmm. LA Times says Tea Parties are not fringe. Still want to use them as a reliable source? I spent a good number of minutes using Google to search the LA Times archives for articles such as you describe without getting a single hit, although I did find articles (cited above) contradicting your claim. Such a result, IMHO, casts some doubt on your claim of “extensively reported”.

Why are there movies of the OWS people cleaning the parks?

Because after 4 weeks, the mayor said clean up or we’ll boot you out.

the mayor visited them tonight to say they had to be out of there by Friday, according to the mayor’s office. The reason given by the mayor tonight was that the park needs to be cleaned.

And suddenly cleaning and videos thereof. How coincidental!

I live in a county that is 2/3 non-white. The TP here is close to 100% white. It may be 100%, but I have to allow for the possibility of some non-white adherents I have not met.

Again I ask, why does your personal experience trump mine? Or Gallup polling? Or Kenneth Gladney?

Also, does this criteria apply to, say, OWS? Will you label any group with a higher percentage of whites than the Tea Party as “racist”?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 22:57

Communists and Nazis back OWS. Blair’s Law in action.

Harry Eagar Monday, 17 October 2011 at 13:03

Will you label any group with a higher percentage of whites than the Tea Party as “racist”?

If they’re Birchers, yes.

erp Monday, 17 October 2011 at 14:06

Really Harry, Birchers? You’re dating yourself and you’re wrong. The group with the highest % of whiles is that old Democrat favorite the Klu Klux Klan aka KKK.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at 12:34

You may think the Birchers are outdated, but the Tea Party uses Bircher texts to teach its version of the Constitution.

Even if they weren’t religious bigots and (some) racists, that ought to make people stop and wonder what they are up to.

erp Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at 13:36

I have no idea what Bircher texts you’re talking about, but it’s doubtful that tea partiers have them at their fingertips to indoctrinate the newbies. You lefties are so deep into to projection, you do really think we’re doing the same underhanded stuff you’ve been doing for darn near a hundred years now.

We aren’t.

The Constitution is written in a little more formal language than we’re used to, but it’s still pretty easy to understand and needs no interpretation, so we’re safe from those dastardly Birchers for now. I wish I could say the same for the commies orchestrating the rich-brats/union-thugs’ “spontaneous” Anti-Whatever trashings in parks across the fruited plain.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at 14:34

erp;

I have no idea what Bircher texts you’re talking about

I am sure they are extensively covered at a website whose address Eagar has misplaced. But even if true, what does it matter if those texts are accurate? If they’re not accurate, then one should attack those inaccuracies which IMII are independent of the source. Hmmm. Maybe IMRK? Which do you think, erp?

Mr. Eagar;

Even if they weren’t religious bigots and (some) racists

Ah, more of that not thinking all members should be tarred by the fringe. I need to tell those people who think I’m an atheist that I’m actually a “religious bigot”. The things you learn on the Interwebs!

that ought to make people stop and wonder what they are up to.

One should always wonder what such groups are up to, that’s simple prudence. Fortunately that’s easy with the Tea Parties. With OWS, I am still waiting for any coherence about what they are up to except as street action groups for the Democratic Party and its union allies (31% favor violence in pursuit of their agenda).

erp Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at 15:02

Personally, I like SMIRKU (Senility is Memory’s Innate Refusal to Knuckle Under).

Ya gotta admire these lefties of the old school. They were indoctrinated young and they’ve never faltered from the party line.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 14:15

I know where you got the 31%, and it’s a fake poll.

I agree that OWS lacks coherence and blogged about that before you did.

I don’t know what your Tea Party group does, but the one here has a weekly class to study the constitutional theories of the Bircher Cleon Skousen. They don’t just occasionally encounter a Bircher text. It’s their Bible.

(I recently learned that Skousen taught Mitt Romney, who is a big admirer of his. In fact, you can learn lots of interesting stuff on the Interwebs.)

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 14:51

I know where you got the 31%

You actually clicked on my link? Well done!

it’s a fake poll

because …?

Do you have any better polling data? Given the other incidents (including mass arrests) that are occurring this data seems quite plausible.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 20 October 2011 at 16:40

Oopsie. This really is funny.

erp Thursday, 20 October 2011 at 18:34

What’s funny is that anyone would believe moveon.org.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 20 October 2011 at 19:07

Mr. Eagar;

This is why the Tea Parties’ relationship with the GOP is as an insurgent movement, and a big part of why I support them.

erp;

He has to have something to avoid responding substantively to any of my points.

erp Thursday, 20 October 2011 at 22:40

IMO the whole Anti-Whatever movement of rich brats and their union thug muscle was created and funded by Soros et al. for the express purpose of tarring the tea party with the same brush of their disgraceful actions and coming violence. Other than claiming the tea partiers are really Birchers (something few voters and certainly no media types would have even heard of) or racists (absolutely no evidence of it), the media have little dirt with which to smear the tea party ergo creation of the faux quid pro quo movement.

Poor Harry, carrying water for the left all his life has robbed him of the ability to see things as they really are. The analogy of the cave comes to mind whenever I read one of his convoluted analyses and I want to yell out, turn around man and look at the sunshine.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 20 October 2011 at 23:29

erp;

Well, Soros is a big funder (far more than is generally realized, through various cut-outs and front organizations) but in the end he’s just a user of useful idiots. These protests and, frankly, many of the protesters, were going on exactly like this long before. Soros is just picking a wave and riding it. I haven’t yet determined if he believes any of that stuff or he’s just moving markets of various sorts through his machinations.

I think the OWS folk are mainly about street violence and civil disturbance, a well used technique when normal political means no longer work and you are desperate for power. Obama has said it himself, that his administration is all that’s standing between kulaks bankers and pitchforks. That’s a lot more effective when you’ve stirred up violence prone gangs with pitchforks. It’s even better if the gangs are inchoately angry.

erp Friday, 21 October 2011 at 15:16

I think Soros believes in power — for himself. Those occupying our parks are useful idiots who are being paid to get in people’s faces. The question is what’s next? Will the police move them out or will they stand in solidarity with the union thugs in the occupation and if Obama declares martial law, will the army carry out his orders against We, the People? Never thought these questions would need to be asked in the U.S. and I can’t predict which way it’ll go.

erp Friday, 21 October 2011 at 19:51

erp Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 15:03

Harry, you might want to wait to see what Walesa says when he get here. I doubt he’ll want his name associated with the free-loaders and union thugs making pig sties out of our parks.


Using biggovernment.com plus other news sources, rapidly we painted an accurate picture of the groups training, leading, and organizing the “movement.” The movement is organized by anarchists, Code Pink, the American Communist movement, jihadists, anti-Israel, socialist, and anti- free enterprise interests. OWS folks are politically to the left of President Barack Obama.

At the Lech Walesa Institute Foundation in Warsaw, they were thankful to receive this information.

Based on our discussion and intervention, President Walesa is not going to get involved with the OWS. He is not comfortable with the “organizations” behind the movement. It was not a difficult discussion.

Told ya!

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 21 October 2011 at 23:30

Now, erp, do you want to see Eagar’s head explode?

erp Saturday, 22 October 2011 at 10:31

That could be messy. I’d rather Harry just join the tea party and work to defeat lefties from one end of the planet to the other.

______________

BTW - I tried to reference the comment via Permalink, but it didn’t work. How does one go about it?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 22 October 2011 at 11:57

erp;

You can right click the icon and select “Copy URL” or “Copy link address” depending on your browser. Or you can click through and get the address from the address bar. It should look something like

http://blog.thought-mesh.net/archives/2011/10/wall_street_renters.php#comment_23610

Basically the entry URL with a ‘#’ followed by “comment_NNNNN” where NNNNN is some number. If you want to do a quick link, you can type

"text":#comment_23610

which works on the same page (it won’t work to reference a comment on another post).

erp Saturday, 22 October 2011 at 13:18

Thanks

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