10 October 2011

Occupation Digest

ThinkProgress | Matthew Yglesias | Occupy The Admissions Office?
What’s interesting about this, to me, is that while for now this particular complaint [having high student loan debt and low income] is being lumped in with the general Occupy Wall Street message, it seems like the more natural outlet for this particular grievance will ultimately be the universities themselves. After all, while a poor economy is exacerbating the problems with the higher education system, the fact that many degree-granting programs are offering students a poor value-proposition is fundamentally the fault of the universities and not “corporate greed.” Indeed, in a lot of ways, it highlights the limits of some of these anti-corporate frames. It turns out that some powerful and privileged folks who are screwing people over run law schools or crappy no-value-added master’s programs rather than having anything to do with the formally for-profit sector.

On a related note, I wonder how many of the people kvetching about their student loan debt blame themselves for not having also bothered to learn some marketable, productive skills in college, and how many of them think that someone owes them a job just by virtue of having been to college. How often does "shit, I should have taken those accounting classes!" cross these people's minds? To put it more bluntly, how often do these people question their own role in their situation, and conclude it might be at least partially their responsibility?

I'd love to see a poll of all these people complaining about their loans to see what they majored in. If they only consumed education rather than investing in it, I don't find them to be very deserving.

∞ ∞ National Review Online | Josh Barro | We Are the 99 Percent—Even Rich People
A lot of liberal bloggers are drooling over the We Are the 99 Percent blog that is associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. I actually find the blog pretty annoying. Partly that’s because because it is so heavy on complaints from people with college (and even postgraduate) degrees, a group that certainly is not bearing the brunt of the economic downturn. But the bigger problem is that the blog is based on a premise that is unhealthy not just for the left but for our political discourse as a whole.

The 99th percentile of Americans, by income, starts with households earning incomes of $593,000. The “We Are the 99 percent” branding puts somebody making $500,000 per year on the oppressed-and-downtrodden side of the wage divide. Indeed, “99 percent” is so expansive a designation that it includes most of the bankers working on Wall Street.
(0) Very good point to keep in mind.

(1) All movement claim to be global, or nearly so, in their own way. I don't recall seeing one that was so explicit about it though.

(2) As Russ Roberts pointed out in this week's EconTalk,* people talk about "The One Percent" as if it is a static category of people, an exclusive group to which no on else can gain entrance and no one ever leaves. This is not how things work in general. (The exception seems to be some farmers, financiers and prison psychiatrists who figured out how to make the dirigiste plundering of taxpayers work for them on an ongoing basis.)

Does anyone have or know where I can find an estimate of how many people consistently have incomes over $593k, as opposed to bouncing over that line and into the illustrious "One Percent" in abnormal years?

(* With guest Bruce Meyer on the subject of "the Middle Class, Poverty, and Inequality.")

ProfessorBainbridge.com | Stephen Bainbridge | The Absurdity of the Anti-Corporation Movement

Reason: Hit & Run | Matt Welch | Hooray for "fear of extremism and mob violence"!

Errata Security | Robert David Graham | Independent reporting of #OccupyWallStreet

Errata Security | Robert David Graham | I was just threatened by #OccupyWallStreet protesters
The irony of populism is that it’s really the first step of facism.
He's right, but that's not irony. That's just the nature of populism.
The fascist chick’s comments reflected this. Even after I made it clear that I didn’t support the protest, she insist that I help them anyway because they were serving “everyone’s interest”. It’s not true, most “everyone” has made it clear they aren’t interested in the protester’s brand of socialism.
Paging Eric Hoffer.

∞ [unknown]

I don't know where this came from. I'm actually a little surprised TinEye shows no results, since I've seen it all over the internet in the last couple of days, though the first one to bring it to my attention is the lovely Mrs SB7.

Anyway, bravo to whoever made this.

Bng Bng | Xeni Jardin | Occupying Los Angeles: portraits

I don't know what this particular guy's politics are, but I think it's safe it's to assume he buys into the general anti-corporation, anti-market sentiment.

See those stickers on the bill of his hat? There's a reason the fashion in the last decade or so has been to leave those on. Most people who do it probably don't think about the semiotics and only do it because it's fashionable.  But the purpose of walking around looking like a jake with your headwear covered in stickers is to signal that you can afford to buy lots of new (genuine) stuff. It signals "I am so financially secure and I buy so much stuff that even this hat is brand new; Only poor people [ie poorer than me] would be so gauche as to wear a hat that was old enough to be broken in." It's a message that is explicitly pro-consumption, and thus explicitly in opposition to the movement this guy is hanging around with.

Bng Bng | Xeni Jardin | Occupy Wall Street Sign of the Day

I feel like there are so many excellent signs at these Occupy Wall Street (and Everywhere) protests, we should just be featuring one a day on Boing Boing while the movement lasts. All these mainstream news reporters keep saying "But what do they want?," so maybe posting one excellent sign a day is the way to show them.
Okay, cool idea. I'm not above being entertained by some pithy signs, even from people I disagree with. Plus I would like to understand what these people desire, propose and expect.

So what's the first choice Jardin makes for this?

Wh..? Wha? Whyy? WTF? How is this possibly going to make people think this mass movement is anything other than a lump of emotional dissatisfaction decoupled from analysis or plan? This is what she chooses to show people what protestors want? They want "sh*t" to be "less f***ed up and bullsh*t"? There's rational, sound policy proposal if I've ever heard one.

Also, check out the sign in the background that reads "Private ownership of industry is theft!" What does that communist BS mean? Seriously, what does "theft" mean without a theory of private property to go with it?

1 comment:

  1. Re: StickerHatBoi - I think it's genetic and he's the bastard great-grandson of Minnie Pearl.