Why the ‘Occupy’ Crowd Should Be Thankful

Note to self: Need to come up with something Thanksgiving-themed to post before traveling for the holidays. Hmmm, what to write, what to write…? Ah, I know…

“Everybody’s been too damn polite about this nonsense:

…’Occupy’ is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.

‘Occupy’ is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the ‘movement’ -– HAH! Some ‘movement’, except if the word ‘bowel’ is attached — is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.”

Occupy protesters in PortlandAhem. Yes, well, don’t hold back, dude…. That was from the award-winning comics/screen writer and living legend, Frank Miller. Never afraid to speak his mind or be provocative, Miller expressed his, er, frustration with the “Occupy” movement in his blog a few days ago. He’s getting a bit of flack from his industry buddies and some fans, but I doubt Miller’s too worried about it. He’s been called names before and lived to tell about it and continue making a good living as a writer. (Whether the quality of his writing is still top-notch is debatable.)

Miller does come across a bit harsh, but he’s got a valid point. In his blog rant, he also strongly asserts that the Occupiers ought to be a lot more concerned with threats like al-Qaeda and Islamicism than with the need to put on childish displays of anarchy. But, the point I’d like to address is about these (predominantly) young people who have largely been the beneficiaries of capitalistic endeavors, from the schools they attend(ed) — often at parents’ expense — to the iPods, Abercrombie & Fitch duds, and frappaccinos they enjoy. Yet, their primary beef seems to be against “the banks” and corporate greed and the free-market, capitalist system in general. (Oh, and apparently some think they should have their school loans totally forgiven. How, exactly, have they demonstrated that they deserve such a multi-thousand dollar gift?! Or, is this just all about punishing the banks?)

Last post, I quoted from Steve Forbes on the superiority of capitalism. Here’s another bit from the recent article “Occupy Wall Street Crowd Blind to Benefits of Capitalism” by Gary Wolfram, William Simon Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Hillsdale College:

“The Occupy Wall Street movement has shown a lack of understanding of how the market capitalist system works. They appear to think that the cell phones they use, food they eat, hotels they stay in, cars they drive, gasoline that powers the cars they drive and all the myriad goods and services they consume every day would be there under a different system, perhaps in more abundance.

But there is no evidence this could be or ever has been the case. The reason is that only market capitalism solves the two major problems that face any economy — how to provide an incentive to innovate and how to solve the problem of decentralized information. The reason there is so much innovation in a market system compared to socialism or other forms of central planning is that profit provides the incentive for innovators to take the risk needed to come up with new products…. [C]learly a system that provides monetary rewards for innovators is much more dynamic and successful. The profit that the Occupy Wall Street protesters decry is the reason the world has access to clean water and anti-viral drugs….

Market capitalism is the key to the wealth of the masses.”

I’ll buy that! And I am extremely thankful that I live in a country where we are still, for the most part, free to pursue the American Dream, thanks to a representative democracy government and free-market capitalist economy.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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