There is an interesting firestorm surrounding the Occupy Wall Street protests. It’s interesting to see the diverging viewpoints emerge from a movement that is so undefined and has no clear focus on what, exactly, it is about. A quick visit to a couple of different sites will provide some insight into what is happening. Look at We Are the 99% and you will get plenty of information from those who support the Occupy Wall Street movement. The site is full of complaints and worries, but little in the way of substance. Alternatively, the 53% (in reference to the 53% of Americans who pay taxes compared to the 47% who pay none) posted their information in opposition to the 99%-Occupy Wall Street with stories of success (and failure). What comes from both these views is the fact that each respective site repeats the theme of being upset at the government bailouts.
Both sides reach the same conclusion for different reasons. The Occupy Wall Street group is upset because the banks got bailout money; those with the more Classic Liberal/Libertarian view are upset because the government gave the bailout money. In either case, both sides are unified in their hatred of the bailouts. They both reach the same result but for very different reasons. The 99% want to be, “bailed out” themselves, as compared to no bailout at all; The 99% want business to be “fair”, as compared to failing or succeeding based on merit; the 99% want Wall Street taxed to spread the money, as compared to taxing and spending only for Constitutionally authorized reasons.
It comes down to one fundamental truth: while the 99% are against the bailout they are OK with the taxing and redistribution the bail them out. To them, it’s a matter of where the bailout money was spent, not the fact that it was spent at all.
That reasoning, at it’s core, is flawed. The very problem is giving politicians authority to determine who gets “that which was seized from others.” When the government seizes assets (taxes) and spreads it around it will always fail. Let’s assume for a moment that the bailout did go to the 99% as they demand. Does Billy get more than Sally because Billy had more student loan debt? And, if he does, Sally will be upset because Sally has expensive depression medication prescribed by her psychologist…oh yeah and Sally has the psychologist bill also. Therefore, there is an incentive for Billy to go to the psychologist to get medication so that he can get a bigger bail out. When Tommy sees that Billy and Sally got some bailout money Tommy then has an incentive to go get student loans and get medicated by a psychologist. The 99% are in the 99% for a reason.
The fact is that we should all stand with the Occupy Wall Street protesters because they are correct; Wall Street should have never been bailed out. Their reasons for their conclusions are dead wrong, but their conclusion is spot on. The government bailouts get an epic fail and deserve to be attacked by everyone regardless of political persuasion.