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“Occupy Wall Street”

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Without the Tea Party concern about deficits in Congress would be about zero.


Needless to say, Democrats ran against deficits in 2006 and 2008, and then expanded deficits when they got into power.



Sorry, but your comments just sound like crocodile tears being shed to me.

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You are not correct in your statements regarding military research. Much of the technology developed gets into the private sector. Obvious examples are the internet and GPS. The need to stay ahead of our enemies is critical to our existence. If we fail to stay ahead, then all your, my, and everyone else's discussions about Tea Party's, deficit, spending, negative interest rates, etc. will have no meaning. Defense of the country is constitutionally required - entitlement programs are not. While that does not mean that entitlement programs are not important, defense of the country must remain a priority. Instead of fulfilling his campaign promise, Obama has entered the country into another war and ignored the War Powers Act in the process. Getting out of the wars will reduce military spending. Continued support of military research and modernizing the equipment is required for the survival of the country.


The OWS crowd are unruly, nasty (one defecated on a police car yesterday according to a report), and violent. Over a thousand arrests so far. They do not like democracy or capitalism - i.e. they are against our country. That is a far cry from the Tea Party events with no arrests and wanting to decrease taxes, adhere to the constitution, and smaller government. They do not want the US government destroyed and capitalism destroyed. The OWS crowd have every right to protest but they are disgusting. The democrat party is praising their protests which is most disturbing. These are scary times.

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"all of us need to sacrifice and cut back now in order to make tomorrow better."

OK, I'll bite.

"All of us"?

How about the guys who earn millions and don't pay their fair share of taxes?

Are they going to cut back by paying more?

What "Sacrifice" are they making?

"in order to make tomorrow better."

I fail to see how making cuts in education will help this.

I fail to see how having millions of people face old age with little or no money will make tomorrow better?

I fail to see how any civilized country can even think about let alone state on national TV that they would be willing to leave any uninsured person to just die.

Yes, for sure something needs to be done to address the National Debt.

It was just plain fool hardy not to allow the Bush Tax Cuts to just run out.

There is waste and a lot of pork that needs to looked at and dealt with.

There is a couple of wars that need to be ended.

If a better tomorrow is all about a generation of under or un-educated adults who don't have the skills to compete in the global market place, along with millions of people who have no retirement benefits, no health care and who have lost their savings?

I have to think that my idea of a better tomorrow is a lot different.






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Yah, vol_scouter, I wasn't suggestin' that there's no merit to defense spending or R&D. Just that there's no economic merit beyond securin' da country and trade routes. Yep, some military research eventually makes its way into civilian use, but nowhere near as fast or as effectively as regular civilian research funding. It took years before DOD turned off SA for the GPS system makin' it useable for modern civilian applications, for example. Civilian research always yields much faster and much higher return.


Similarly, aside from securin' da country and our trade routes, military salaries are a poor investment. They don't produce anything in terms of economic output or growth. It's a true "governement job", eh? Even a fellow flippin' burgers does more for da nation economically. He produces a product that adds value.


There are a few exceptions, of course. If yeh intend to use your military to invade and steal other countries' assets, for example. That can, under da right circumstances, yield a substantial positive return on investment, at least in da short term. Long term, it tends to be a loser, but not always. Yeh can go mercenary, and rent your military out to a wealthy client state for hire. That's sorta what we did economically in da first gulf war. Or yeh can go arms dealer, and sell hardware to anybody anywhere lookin' to kill each other (includin' folks just as likely to kill us with it). That's been our main route to try to eke out some return for quite a while. Still doesn't pay anywhere near as well as civilian investment, because yeh can only sell your older stuff.


So given a choice between the two, it's clear civilian research, and well chosen civilian government jobs or subsidies is the better investment if yeh care about da economy. Again, provided sufficient government military investment to secure da country and its trade routes.


The Tea Party representatives in Congress were willing to destroy or severely damage da country by defaulting. That's far worse to me than a few protesters out of many behaving badly. We've all seen da stupid and racist signs occasionally at Tea Party rallies too, eh? That's just dumb individuals. Yeh can't paint da movement with that brush.


But I do think you're right on one thing, eh? Historically, wide disparities in wealth coupled with economic desperation in young folks and families leads to riots and insurrections if not addressed. And sometimes to worse.



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Sounds like we largely agree on R&D and Defense spending.


Perhaps, I should have been more specific and said the Tea Party rallies to distinguish from the politicians.


Both the Tea Party rallies and the OWS folks have some signs that are offensive but one can draw conclusions by what most of each groups are wanting to accomplish. The Tea Party wants to return to the Constitution, decrease government spending, and the size of the government. They do not want to get rid of capitalism and our government. That is a stark contrast. The equivalent to the Tea Party would be democrats that want more taxes, spending, and regulations. The OWS crowd is dangerous and frightening. As you note, the conditions are becoming ripe for insurrection. Let us hope that our government will decide that it is better to work together to solve the countries problems instead of scoring political points to get re-elected before it is too late.

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Yah, OK, I can buy a distinction between da Tea Party citizens and da representatives they elected. At some point, though, don't the people have to take some personal responsibility for their choices? For the harm they're choices are doin' to civil discourse, and for da near disastrous foolishness of "their" representatives? I haven't yet seen any of 'em step forward and take that responsibility or change their tune. Quite da opposite, eh? They'd prefer to elect more people who would rather run the economy off a cliff than work with their fellow Americans on a solution.


As for da "occupiers", they strike me as about as incoherent as the Tea Partiers were at the beginnin', or even as many are today. Tea Partiers want smaller government, but don't touch Medicare, da military, or Social Security! No socialized medicine, but keep the VA! It's hysterical in its own way. With da possible exception of Ron Paul's folks, ain't nuthin' more than da special interest lobby of us old rural white folks protectin' our personal government subsidies. :p Occupiers I expect will work out to be the same.


Now, da movement that has caught my eye and that I reckon could get some real traction is the "I am the 99%" thing that has grown out of the occupiers. Real, powerful stories of ordinary Americans in hard times. Da expectations aren't the end of democracy or capitalism, but more akin to what OGE and Eamonn's Catholic bishops once wrote in their pastoral letter on the economy, eh? That capitalism is not an end in itself, but a means for serving people and a nation. And those who participate in capitalism at all levels must be bound by honor and loyalty to their clients and their employees and employers - their fellow citizens.




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Eamonn - There's a left versus right paradigm here your mind seems to be stuck in when trying to figure out where I stand on things. I'm 100% for investment in education. Turns out in Wisconsin school districts are saving hundreds of thousands and in many cases millions of dollars each in their annual budgets by having teachers pay into their packages and by going with non-union-affiliated insurance companies. That is money that is lowering property taxes and freeing revenue for investment in education instead of being tied up in compensation. When tax increases that benefit local education come up, I vote for them every time because I believe in investing locally. The same mantra can be applied to the elderly and infirm. People are far more willing to donate time, resources, and treasure to help their neighbors and family. Churches used to play a much more significant role in the community as it promoted collective charity to a much larger degree. Now there's a million federal agencies "lightening the load" of these good-hearted people and creating a rift between the haves and the have-nots.


Politics are local, right? Maybe we should focus on that mantra a little more and realize we do a much better job picking people to run our communities than we do to run our nation. Let's put more power in the hands of the people most accountable to us and take power away from those who live in the mythical unethical land of Washington DC.

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Sorry, while I do not take this OWS thing at all seriously (sorry Eamonn and Beavah, I just don't see whatever it is you see there), I do see the comparison to the Tea Party, at least the members I know.

We had a chance to actually begin to pay down the debt at one time, and a lot of the people I know who claim to be members of the Tea Party today clamored loudly NOT to pay down the debt but rather to get tax cuts. The empty promise then, as now, was that those cuts would help create jobs. And, of course they were right about those jobs...in other countries.

That is water under the bridge now. But when those same persons complain loudly today about the national debt and fiscal responsibility, I'm sorry. I see it as disingenuous. I see it as little more than, as Beavah noted, keeping millions out of work to put one man out of a job. This is nothing more than a continuation of the selfish political interest that put us in this situation in the first place.


I part from Beavah, however, in my continued claim that all we have to do is glance over our shoulder briefly and we can see that cliff receding at 9.8 m/sec**2 in the distance, as the gravity of our past decisions works its marketplace magic and accelerates us toward the consequences. It doesn't matter who is at the wheel now. We are hurtling to an outcome that has already been set in motion and all we seem to be able to do is continue to fight pointless, empty, stupid fights for pointless, empty, stupid political advantage. We are going to get the government, economy, and society we demanded long ago...and deserve.

Have a nice day! :)

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To answer an earlier question of yours, I among others criticized President Bush for spending too much money. If I recall correctly, Obama spent as much money in 2 years as Bush in 8 or something to that effect. Neither were sustainable but Obama's spending made the problem immediate.


As someone said, the American revolution started with rabble rousers so another group that wishes to overthrow the government and economic system must be taken seriously especially in a time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty.


I share your concern that we have fallen off a cliff and are about to be dashed at the bottom (which once again means that the OWS group could become a very dangerous group). While I disagree with you over the party that is most to blame, we agree that both parties are working for their self interests rather than working for the country.




The Tea Party politicians were right to seek cuts in spending but should have been willing to compromise over taxation.

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Hey there, vol_scouter! We're in complete agreement!


BS-87, I agree with yeh that local folks are apt to be more responsive, and that da churches and private charities are apt to be more responsible. So local action works, but only for a fraction of the country. Da problem we have in da country with only acting locally is mobility. By and large, folks move into like-minded and economically homogeneous communities. Rich folks live together in the wealthy suburbs. Poor folks live together in the ghetto. Working-class folks live together in subdivisions.


So what yeh get by only acting locally is wealthy suburbs with great schools, working-class suburbs with mediocre schools, and poor urban and rural areas with lousy schools. That in turn leads to wealthy municipalities with good administrators and lots of government services, working-class towns with mediocre managers that are doin' OK in up-times, struggling severely in downturns, and scrapin' by the rest of the time. And of course, da poor urban and rural areas end up with da corrupt and incompetent officials and the worst resources. The result is a weak economy where we're makin' very poor use of our human and other capital, eh? Especially when those rich suburban folks are havin' fewer kids and gettin' older, so they're contributin' less to the economy.


Same with da churches, eh? Most churches are congregation-based. Wealthy congregations do fine, but da congregations in working class or poor areas don't have da resources to be able to help in substantial ways. The exceptions are the hierarchical churches that can pool resources across different congregations, but even they are gettin' strained. Da Catholics and Lutherans together used to educate somethin' like 15% of the country in their parochial schools, now it's down well below 10%. Hard to compete with da funding of government schools with a shrinking pool of people who have taken vows of poverty. ;) And we all know da country is aging, and older folks as a rule are much less willing to vote for education than young people like yourself.


So while I agree with your sentiment, simply relyin' on churches and local governments isn't enough, given da other forces and factors involved.




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"These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people

With that in mind, maybe Wall Street should have been occupied a long time back?

Sure many of us feel that we are obliged and obligated to help our neighbor's.

We can donate to food banks, support local charities and so on.

Still the truth is that unless things change and we as a nation start feeling that we are only as strong as our poorest and weakest instead of making these groups, the people who end up suffering the most when greedy banks and right wing twits mess up.

Nothing is going to change.

Could it be that the OWS are really taking all this talk about the ruling of the people, by the people...

To heart?

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It seems you're going on the basic assumption that we need to save everyone Beavah.


Trying to save everyone is a futile battle that cannot be won. So long as our communities, families, and congregations are happy and functioning, what business is the world outside of that to anyone?


It's depressing to feel so out of control as we all do when looking at the national picture. However, for the part of the world we can change, like our neighborhood or city, it's actually motivating and rewarding to make changes.


There's a reason I'll encourage my son to plan an Eagle project like remodeling the kids playroom at the community center. This is because we can affect change best right where we live. This is what we teach our Scouts.


What's easier to make work, your unit or your Council? Can you achieve more by volunteering with your District, or by calling, emailing, and badgering National to try and change their opinion on something?


You're right communities will split into homogenous groups, and they will never be completely equal. However, these communities find happiness by working together to solve problems in their community far more than they'd ever realize happiness by redistributing wealth and trying to prop up some people at the expense of others.


We should know better than others that service is the best means towards happiness. I'm not sure about you, but I sure feel better about 2 hours planting trees on a Saturday than I do looking at the thousands of dollars big government has taken from me so far this year to help out other people.



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Yah, hmmm....


Da problem, BS-87, is that those "other people" in those poorer communities are our countrymen. Yep, for a bit it's possible to withdraw to our gated upper middle class suburban pseudo-Christian enclaves and plant trees for da local community center and pretend that those poor urban and rural folks don't matter.


Da thing is, our economic fate is linked to theirs. If they aren't workin' and buyin' goods then they aren't supportin' da white collar jobs keepin' us in our gated communities and suburban enclaves. Or they're goin' to be entrepreneurial and start sellin' drugs to our kids or stealin' our cars. ;) Economic collapse and deflation through lack of general employment disproportionately affects da upper middle class and upper classes, eh? By and large, it levels the playing field again, because almost all well-off folks have confused birthright and a bull market for their own ability. When it comes down to actually havin' to demonstrate their own ability they get clobbered. Wealth disparity after da Great Depression was a lot less than before it. "Do unto others as yeh would have them do unto you" is ultimately a social law written into da very fabric of the universe by its Creator. Sometimes da lesson is learned and practiced with civility. Other times, it comes with a whiff of grapeshot.


Or, to put it another way, packsaddle's Darwinian selection doesn't just apply to individuals, eh? Natural selection also works on groups and societies that fail to function well.


Now you're quite right that there are lots of other and probably better ways of addressin' these issues than government involvement and taxation. Basic business ethics and responsibility for one. Judeo-Christian-Islamic call to self-sacrificial personal charity for another. There was a reason why the Creator ordained da Jubilee, eh? Every 50 years, a massive transfer of wealth from da rich to the poor in the form of forgiveness of all debts and return of purchased lands, ordered not by big government but by Big God. ;) In da Christian world, it can also work when some of da population answers Christ's challenge and in their personal life gives more than their 10% tithe to help those in need by takin' vows of poverty or otherwise livin' a life of holiness and service. Like da Christ, they redeem the greedy of society for their sins against God's natural order by their personal sacrifice.


Problem is, I haven't seen many of da Tea Partiers goin' off to live in da urban slums with their fellow Americans to demonstrate how well livin' da real Christian message works better than "big government." Better to let those uninsured workers die and reduce da surplus population, eh? Leastways, that's what seems to be garnering their applause.




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It will be interesting to see if left wingers can give up their law breaking "civil disobedience" mode in order to gain political power by not alienating a lot of people who might be tempted to support them.


For nearly a half century the left alienated most labor union members and leaders by trashing American values. Ten years ago, union leaders in Seattle supported World Trade organization protests in Seattle until they turned willfully violent.


Union leaders in Seattle are again giving cautious support to the current protests. I await with interest whether lefties can avoid violence and attacks on police. So far, they are doing so, and gaining support for their protest.



Personally, I expect they wont be able to avoid turning it into a fight with police, which will destroy this as a possibly serious political movement.

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