Given all of the hubbub about Occupy Wall Street and our reaction here to it, I thought it worth posting a few points from our Comments section:
So, the point of my post was that the American Dream has shifted, in many respects, from one of “I can accomplish my goals if I work hard” to one where “If America were just, I should be willing to indulge myself in whatever lifestyle I want”
What the protestors on Wall St. seem clueless about is that one of the main reasons that they have the means and the opportunity to be there is because of the American Corporation. Indeed, capitalism is far and away the greatest anti-poverty, pro-human rights and development system ever created. And the apex of that system is the American Corporation.
I’d like to slap around the greedy bankers who contributed significantly to the financial crisis as much as anyone, but this movement seems to be taking on a similar flavor to the usual anti-capitalist, anti-growth nonsense that the idle left usually cooks up.
Sven yet again (he’s very quotable!):
There is a key difference between meaningful self-fulfillment and self-indulgence. And no one is entitled to have others finance their dreams.
Restricting the private sector from earning profits while simultaneously pushing for record expansion of government is a sure-fire way to depression. How this is lost on so many Americans, I’ll never understand … but I blame it on a severe lack of critical thinking in our country.
Libertarians especially should look at this time as an opportunity to educate people and to empathize with the frustration of these protestors. The unifying cause of these guys is that they hate the futility of the situation they are in, and a lot of it has to deal with their own ignorance of economic realities. The last thing a libertarian should do is have a cheap laugh and poke fun — this attitude will only encourage those who empathize and offer the deluded alternative of socialism and regression. Economic hopelessness led to extremism mid-twentieth century Europe. You can already see the trend taking effect in federal politics here.