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Occupy Wall Street--Skeel

My favorite piece on the Occupy Wall Street movement thus far is a commentary by John Gapper in last Thursday’s Financial Times. (In good capitalist fashion, FT puts articles behind a paywall, so I can’t link to the commentary here).  For Gapper, there’s nothing wrong with the movement’s confused messages—the mostly young protesters are angry at Wall Street and worried about the future, and appropriately so. He would be much more disappointed if the movement devolved into violence, as has occurred in Greece and London.

If OWS is like a Tea Party movement from the left-- I agree with commentators like Gapper who have suggested it is-- Democratic politicians should hesitate to assume that OWS is wind in their sails. Much as the mostly Republican Tea Party criticized President Bush’s spending and bailouts, the mostly Democratic OWS may indict President Obama for underestimating the seriousness of the economic crisis and failing to rein in the largest banks.
 
I don’t think a massive new stimulus would solve the economic malaise. Continuing to rely on government funding, and keeping the market at bay, seems more likely to prolong than to end this period of low growth and few jobs. If OWS is as varied and multi-faceted as it seems, perhaps one or two of the protestors might even agree.

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Comments ( 6 )

If Occupy Wall Street movement is the only solution the people can be heard, then it must continue worldwide.

I don't know for sure, but my sense is that the Tea Party is different from OWS insofar as the latter seem to be younger. The Tea Party in my neck of the woods seem older: many have kids and are well into their 30s or 40s. They seem to have more life experience. But I could be wrong.

I love John Gapper. I think his work with Nicholas Denton, on "All That Glitters" in 1995,an account of the collapse of Barings was great. I agree with Gapper stating that young people do have a right to be angry and rightly so but as long as it stays safe and no violence escalates then all is good.

In Spain this movement started back in May and it was huge there as well. There were many issues with the police using excessive violence to dismantle the camps and, as a result, the movement gained even more momentum. Since then, not much has happened though, and I wonder what is really needed for change to take place. If tens of thousands of people protesting is not enough, I don't know how we will be able to change the world ...

There were many issues with the police using excessive violence to dismantle the camps and, as a result, the movement gained even more momentum.

I don't know about in the US, but in the UK most of these kind of protesters are students and it has to be said that by far the majority of them come from privalaged backgrounds as it seems do a lot of "anarchists".