Occupy Wall Street: More Links

You Say You Want a Revolution
by Katherine Ernst @ City Journal

When life is exponentially easier for you than it was for most of the world throughout most of human history— right up until the mid-twentieth century—boredom creates a vacuum. To be a hero, you have to create your own dragon to slay. But fighting real oppression, the kind ayatollahs dispense daily? Too brutal, too gauche. Mastering the intricacies of credit-default swaps so as to articulate an effective reform of the broken financial system? Way too tough. Better to create a dragon that can only be slain with performance-art zombie metaphors.

Yes. ‘Tis sad that this protest has been hijacked by the idiot anti-capitalist left. Especially when its original mission actually had something of a point:

Apples and Oranges
by Nicole Gelinas (also of City Journal)

When Apple released a product that people rejected, such as the Apple III or the Lisa in the early eighties, the company suffered the consequences. Apple could not expect tens of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury or from the Federal Reserve to save it from its own mistakes. Apple was not too big to fail. Before the iPod, the company was struggling. Apple had to make itself too good to fail—and that’s exactly what it did.

Contrast the capitalist world in which Jobs lived with “capitalism,” as the U.S. government has applied it to the big banks against which the Zuccotti Park crowd is—imperfectly—protesting. If you’re a bank or an insurance firm, and you create a product that your investors and your regulators can’t understand in a crisis, you aren’t punished, as Apple was when it released products too complex for its customers. Instead, you get rewarded with bailout money. It’s hard to argue with the Zuccotti protesters’ manifesto on this point: “They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity.”

In the past few years, surviving banks have “succeeded” not by giving people needed or wanted products, as Apple did, but through their ability to hold the entire global economy hostage… If this is capitalism, we should all be protesting it. The good news is that it’s not.

Indeed not. And that’s what we Tea Party sympathizers have been saying all along. There should be no such thing as “too big to fail.” No corporation or agribusiness should be given tax deductions, federal bailouts, or any other special favors — and that categorical rule should apply to Obama’s “green” and/or union-connected cronies as well as to the businesses that are often associated with the Republican establishment. If you don’t recognize that General Motors and Solyndra have also stolen money that could’ve been put to better use in the general American economy, then you are a rank partisan, not an intellectually honest critic of the “corporate-government complex.”

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