It’s a tricky one. Instinctively I have sympathy for the Occupy ____ movement, but I also have no idea what the right policy response is to the situation we find ourselves in. So what I’m going to do is give you some links.
These charts from Business Insider (yes!) explain the protesters’ grievances in beautifully elegant fashion. What’s most telling to me is how large a proportion of the economic growth that America has experienced over the past few decades has gone into executive pay and corporate profits. This makes me suspicious of those who argue against “punishing wealth creators,” as the growth in wealth has not actually benefited the vast majority of people.
Observing that many people criticised OWS for being incoherent, somebody decided it would be interesting to actually find out what the protesters thought. Really wish I’d been on the ground and had the presence of mind to do this – partly because I think the questions in this mini-poll could have been phrased better… Great piece of work though.
Even The Economist agrees! Quote:
One reason why these protests are so interesting is that their targets, those cheerleaders for globalisation, capitalism and free markets, tend to agree that the system needs fixing. This makes the ‘occupy’ protests, as they have come to be known in the English-speaking world, hard to argue against.
An alternative? Man who lives on $0 a year.
Mother Jones debunks some myths, notably that higher taxes kill economic growth. The charts suggest no correlation.
OK that’s it for the moment. Feel free to rail against big business or big government in the comments, depending on your persuasion.