Tuesday, October 25, 2011

5 reasons occupy wall st. is bound to fail...,

Video - Brett Arends on why occupy Wall St. will fail.

MarketWatch | The public has every reason to be angry at what’s going on in this country, and every reason to protest. But will the Occupy Wall Street movement succeed in changing anything? Don’t count on it.

Here are five reasons I think these protests are doomed to fail.

1. They are in the wrong place.
Why are they down in Lower Manhattan? Do they think that’s where the power — and the money — really is? Folks: When people talk about “Wall Street,” it’s just a figure of speech.

Even in the days of J.P. Morgan Sr., the real action didn’t take place in the company offices at 60 Wall St. It took place in the old man’s library. Uptown.
Occupy Wall Street won't work

The public has every reason to be angry at what's going on in this country, and every reason to protest. But will the Occupy Wall Street movement succeed in changing anything? Don't count on it, Brett Arends says. Photo: AP.

These days the real movers and shakers aren’t anywhere near Zuccotti Park. They’re out in places like Greenwich, Conn., home of the hedge-fund honchos.

I called the town offices there to see if they’d had any protests.

“Oh, no,” said the polite young man who answered the phone, his tone somewhat surprised. “There’s been nothing like that here.”

It’s hopeless.

If these people were on the ball, they’d at least be moving down south to “Occupy Palm Beach” for the winter.

2. They don’t have an agenda.
And they can’t have one. Talk about a herd of cats. Occupy Boston is a camp of about 100 tents, and on a brief walk through I noticed posters, placards and stickers for 9/11 “truthers,” anarcho-communists, “Jewish Labor,” “stop the marijuana laws,” “stop the U.S. war against Islam” and so on. Some quasi-Buddhists had set up a “sacred space,” and were burning incense. Elsewhere, a sign denounced a new school project out in the suburbs.

Tough to rope all this into a 10-point plan. Or a 100-point plan. Sorry, but it’s reminding me of the days watching the old University Left crowd — right down to the weird sweaters and vegan cooking.

In Boston, one man sat on a deck chair with a sign that simply declared, “Financial markets always make bubbles and crashes.” What’s that, the Hyman Minsky Front? For all I know, he was an investment manager on a lunch break. Famed Boston investor Jeremy Grantham, who’s been making the same point about bubbles and crashes for years, has his offices about 100 yards away.

You want to group these people into an agenda? How?

3. The weather’s turning.
It’s been unseasonably warm and dry out there till recently. Now the rain’s arriving. Wait until the temperature drops and the frosts move in.

According to Weather.com, the average lows drop to 42 degrees for the month of November and 32 in December. Good luck with that. How’s that tent working out?

These protesters made a couple of big blunders.

The first is that they started protesting over the summer, leaving themselves just a couple of months till the weather turns. They should have started in the spring.

They’ve been lucky so far, but it won’t last. Read more on MarketWatch’s Occupy Wall Street blog.

The second is that they made it an outside camping event. I still don’t understand it. You can hold a protest march at any time. People can show up, protest and then go home for a hot meal, a shower and a good night’s sleep in their own bed. Net result: Lots of people can take part. But how many people can — or want to — camp out in downtown Manhattan for three months?

Especially after Halloween.

When the cold and rain really come in force, a lot of these people are going home. Then the opponents of Occupy Wall Street will declare victory.

4. Money talks.
Actually, these days money shouts, and it will drown out whatever anyone else says. The 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling has opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on elections by anybody, anytime — including, of course, any corporation.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, there are now 156 super political action committees that have taken advantage of the ruling. Political operative Mark McKinnon told me last week that he expects them to raise about $1 billion, mostly anonymously. McKinnon, who helped run the Bush-Cheney campaigns of 2000 and 2004, called the amount of corporate spending today “absolutely pornographic.”

And no industry spends like Wall Street. The finance sector is the biggest source of campaign contributions, year after year. Politicians suck up to the banks for the same reason Willie Sutton once robbed them: That’s where the money is.

In 2008 bankers gave half a billion dollars to political campaigns — up from $350 million in 2004.

And they are so outraged even by the toothless Dodd-Frank regulations that they have shifted the majority of their contributions to the Republicans. If they can’t stand Dodd-Frank, what’s the chance they would tolerate real reform?

We’re still a year away from the next elections, and they’ve already handed over $97 million in (disclosed) political contributions. That includes $5 million so far to Mitt Romney and $2.5 million to Barack Obama. How tough do you think politicians are likely to be on Wall Street?

No matter how much anger these protesters channel, the golden rule will prevail: Those that have the gold will make the rules.

5. We’ll forget about it.
Sure, people are paying attention to Occupy Wall Street now. But just wait till something interesting happens on the Kardashians. Or there’s a bust-up on America’s Top Pastry Chef. Or some child pretends to get trapped on a balloon.

OWS will go as stale as last month’s bread. Look! Over there! Monkeys running amok in Ohio!

Many optimists believe the new media world of the Internet and Facebook and Twitter puts more power in the hands of “the people.” I think instead we’ve sleep-walked into a nightmare world of mass attention-deficit disorder and easy distraction.


Tom said...

Wall St is a symbol?   Weird sweaters?   That's what he's got?

CNu said...

#3 is a problem for which there's a solution but it's going to require close coordination and blanket execution nationwide in order to overwhelm the thin blue line - which will be sheriffs instead of municipal popos - for this next cold weather continuity phase of the game...,

umbrarchist said...

{{{   2. They don’t have an agenda.Tough to rope all this into a
10-point plan. Or a 100-point plan. Sorry, but it’s reminding me of the
days watching the old University Left crowd — right down to the weird
sweaters and vegan cooking.  }}}That is pretty much it.  But what is an agenda without economic principles? The economics profession has most people thinking in either conformist or reactionary ruts,  so the debate turns into the usual capitalist vs socialist crap.Neither side ever suggests mandatory accounting.http://www.toxicdrums.com/economic-wargames-by-dal-timgar.htmlAnd planned obsolescence turning our natural resources into trash gets left out.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5DCwN28y8oTrying to understand economics is so BORING.  Is that part of the defense mechanism to keep people out?

CNu said...

umbra, betimes you come across more gratingly obsessive than Coonstructive Feedback the alleged cultural strategerist..., why don't we just focus on a continuity of protest and civil disobedience strategy for the time being? If occupy can persist and grow throughout the election year, it will be a very significant force to be reckoned with. If, on the other hand, it can't get past the growing pain of bad timing for outdoor camping, then this whole and entire discussion is rendered moot.

Dale Asberry said...

Blanket execution. Lol.

umbrarchist said...

 I suggested boycotting Duracell batteries to some socialistS/communists years ago.  It is like the people who do protests want ACTION no matter how ultimately ineffective it is. 

I expect OWS to fizzle out. 

The crashing educational system may be more important than OWS.

I don't think education, technology and depreciation are one dimensional.  They are holistic.  How do people know what to buy and not buy?  If they had known what not to buy for the last 40 years how many TRILLIONS would not have been wasted?

The future is a long time.  For how many decades do we keep doing defective algebra?  But how do we get the economics profession to admit that it has been wrong for the last 5 decades?

So OWS needs to do the math or be ineffective.  Emotional strategies have no effect on things that are basically BORING!

nanakwame said...

Who was Viola Liuzzo again grandpa?

Nigger Lover

umbrarchist said...

{{{  umbra, betimes you come across more one-dimensional and gratingly
obsessive than Coonstructive Feedback the alleged cultural
strategerist..., and I know you can do better.  }}}

I do not doubt that you are correct.  When did you learn that the economics profession ignored Demand Side Depreciation?  When I started posting to this site?

I figured it out for myself in 1976 and made a "hobby" of economics since then.  It is like our economic theory is built on ignoring that issue.  Planned Obsolescence creates the treadmill that the workers run on and the investors invest in. 

Do the workers want to create more jobs by having more planned obsolescence?  I think we should have been on a 3-day work week by the 80s.  But some system drives up our own housing costs when a country with a low population density like the US should have low housing costs.  The voters are not controlling the politics to manage the land.

So strategies cannot be developed if the economic paradigm is wrong.

John Kurman said...

Who is this smarmy little fuckface named Brett Arends? Does he not realize that there exist people whose thinking is not as brittle as his? Has he never heard of "Adapt, Improvise, Overcome"? Does he know that there are always Plan Bs, Cs, ... Zs... Alephs.... Omegas? I don't even really like doing a point by point comment as the guy comes across as too fucking stupid to breathe, let alone feed himself. How do these kind of guys get their jobs? Good fellatory skills?

umbrarchist said...

Of economists?  LOL

DD said...

Seeing as I'm the marketing arm of this operation...

Simply distributing a list of addresses that are on the chopping block to OWS, and leaving some literature in those locations for the occupants or motivated passersby, a la the Gideons or Jehovah's Witnesses, as to the options for those who would choose to take them, would be both protected speech and an actionable bit of knowledge.

Occupy Bank Assets, v1.0?

CNu said...

Dale and I have been discussing this in the context of sizing up requirements for a mobile app that would facilitate 1.)parliamentary quorum sensing (so they could rely a bit less heavily on the call-and-forward group messaging/decision-making) and 2.)crisis communications (i.e., so individual members could send out a distress notification and automatically cue up an online bail-raising effort in the event of arrest.

As winter sets in, consolidated occupation efforts thin out, and hopefully, as distributed occupation of foreclosed properties gets underway - such a mobile application could in fact prove to be a critical tool in helping the OWS to shift to distributed yet closely coordinated and collectively supported and underwritten tactics.

CNu said...

I learned that the economics profession exists to concoct and sustain a canon of just-so storytelling in service to elite capital governance about 8 years ago on one of Jay Hanson's Die Off lists. http://dieoff.com/#economic_theory_for_scientists_and_engineers

Jay has done an infinitely more colorful and engaging job of educating thousands of thinkers and doers on the most vital political and economic issues facing us all today, yet he has still failed to achieve anything approaching mainstream awareness, acceptance, and traction for the truths he has personally championed and embodied.

Have you set up a google site yet for your recommended reading list(s)?

CNu said...

John, remember that Goddess Glory is local and I'm almost certain that she could help you to ease some of these Excedrin moments you've been having lately. (^;

John Kurman said...

Ah, yes, the lovely goddess.

You know I've gotten to the point where I can emit blue flames so casually as to forget that people actually read this and take it semi-seriously. And I do have a lot of fun trying to come up with inventive invective.

That said, I don't see how the visitation of an intense cholinergic episode ever hurt anybody.

DD said...

Looks like it's #2 is done


Apps are cool but the connected technorati is a smaller group than the "X-Factor" viewing  unwashed masses. A bit of door-to-door, street team, with good old-fashioned paper distribution, to those in foreclosure but not yet disposessed, wouldn't hurt.

nanakwame said...

The best way to help the disadvantage is NOT to treat them as disadvantage, and let go of those, who just going. The salesmen of the 1950's - 1970's "Mad Men" is dead. The organizers of today have to deal with the fact that America is sick, and over 55% are old mofo, including me. There has been no event of prosperity in human evolution, I let Doc give the numbers. We blew it. Where we go from from here is on the ground, and not focused yet.
Door to door is just political methods, good for elections, at this point I say keep Obama in, we know the mofo; we really need to bring as many folks up to what will now be considered: the culture/psychic of a human being, with our gadgets and imagination. They have just created an "Ironman" soldier where he carries much more rounds on his back, and if you seen some of these killing machines up front, they thick and build to carry this "killing" machine. They getting ready to monitor the brains waves for medical problems. hmmmm? O yes they can read memory.
Obama is our apex as black folks, but he is a "replicator" The present future is clear.

Uglyblackjohn said...

And that it occured two or three years too late.