Rick Akin: I am an Occupier


I am an Occupier. Well, sort of.

Hearing the reports about the Occupy Wall Street crowd, I decided to try to figure out what it is they are demanding. I ran across the 99 percent declaration that purports to lay out their areas of concern. I am a little cautious about relying on something like this because, as is the case in the tea party, the objectives of the participants vary, but I thought this would give at least some insight.

Some of the points of concern are entirely legitimate. It is clear the group does not like corporate bailouts. They do not want politicians to receive undue perks. They favor term limits for congressmen. They want a tax code with fewer loopholes and deductions. They want the national debt reduced. They want border enforcement and immigration reform. They want campaign finance reform. They want the Federal Reserve reformed or eliminated. They want public education reformed. They want to end China’s currency manipulation.

Despite these valid concerns, the group goes off track in a number of respects. The common thread in their concerns is a distrust of government. This is well-founded. In crafting bailouts, the government picks winners and losers. Those making the choices are influenced by financial interests, in the form of campaign contributions and otherwise. The government is prone to dole out favors in the tax code, by selective enforcement and otherwise. The government often is ineffective, inefficient and a poor enforcer.

However, the Occupiers want to solve the identified problems with more government — more regulation and higher taxes. If your irritation is a government that doles out favors, is ineffective and inefficient and is populated with corrupt officeholders, why would you want to give it more power? You don’t trust the government, but you want to put it in charge of health care, you want it to guarantee that every American has a job and you want it to ratchet up regulation substantially. This is a prescription for disaster.

Characterizing yourselves as the 99 percent also is disingenuous. If you were really 99 percent of the population, you could enact whatever you want with virtually no effort. You are, in fact, a small, dissatisfied minority. And that evil 1 percent that you revile — who are they? You may be a bit surprised to learn that few of them populate Wall Street. The most recent data I can find indicates that about one-fourth of them are doctors, lawyers and similar professionals; about 5 percent are technical professionals; about 4 percent are blue-collar workers; and more than 4 percent are in sales. In other words, these folks are spread all over and are folks you meet every day.

The Occupiers are the result of a few unfortunate trends. They are the result of whipping up class envy and the glorification of protesters that seems to have started in the press in the 1960s. I have no doubt that in the vast majority of cases, their motivations are good, but their solutions are horrific. Go to a tea party meeting. There you are very apt to hear analysis of Austrian economic theory, natural rights and any number of other theoretical foundations for the policies that are promoted. You also will see folks who are not motivated by envy. As they know, and as studies prove, people from top to bottom are most prosperous where government is least intrusive and markets are freest.

Occupiers, the solution to your grievances is less government, not more government.

Finally, my Occupying friends, violence, while sometimes justified, is a last resort, not a first resort.

So, Occupiers, I admire your idealism and your exuberance, but I reject your illogical solutions and your offensive tactics. If you really mean to effect a change, to make a difference and not just get on the nightly news, you can do it. Any number of us will help you do it because in the end, we are all trying to solve the same problems.

The Occupiers seem fond of quoting Thomas Jefferson. They should consider this Jefferson quote: “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government.”


sledneck 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr Akin is, of course, correct.

Funny thing: A banker can turn a couple million and it's some sort of a crime while the OWS crowd (and others) give a season pass to another group of high earners. I'm speaking of the college sports coaches and professional atheletes who are worshipped by a lot of the out-of-work OWS college crowd. Not to mention some of the highest earning, filthyiest living, most decadent 1%ers of all... Hollywood. Neither group performs any vital role in society but they are paid and worshiped like gods while others making the same $$$$ are villians.


rhys jones 4 years, 3 months ago

The funny thing is, the Kobe's and Elvis's represent the epitome of capitalism, the cream which has risen to the top. It's good work, if you can get it. Budweiser and Lexus pay them, after taking their cut, long after trucks brought it to B&K, and shortly after you cash your check.

Sports and Hollywood are yet more Opiates For The Masses, and they're a durn sight more entertaining than Warren Buffet, Congress, or the Federal Reserve.


rhys jones 4 years, 3 months ago

Two quick afterthoughts: Kobe is both emblematic, and symptomatic, of what ails America and makes her proud. His athletic skills earn top dollar, while his union milks the owners, typical of all unions, which will trickle uphill until drafts go up a quarter at the OTP. Wouldn't want Kobe to miss a meal.

And if he ever gets back on a court, think of the taxes he'll pay!! Which started at your Bud.

It's a beautiful thing.


1999 4 years, 3 months ago

sled...where did you get the idea that the entire OWS crowd "whorships" hollywood and pro atheletes?

what does someone actually do when they "whorship" and athelete or hollywood type?

where did you get this info?

if it's a wild guess....why do you feel this way?

can you give some examples of OWSers "whorshipping" these two groups?

thanks in advance


sledneck 4 years, 3 months ago

College kids were rioting the other day when a coach got fired, no? Isn't that an example??? Chanting "We want Joe" and "F**k the board" when they didn't even know (and still don't know) the coaches exact role in this scandal seems a bit like blind worship to me.

When referring to the out-of-work OWS College kids, I did not use the word "entire" as you did. I used the words "a lot of...". And I stand by that. I also clearly said OTHERS give the same type pass to these professions. I DID NOT say OWS was replete with hypocrites on this issue nor did I say they were alone in this hypocricy.

I will grant you that "worshiping" might be an overstatement. But the hypocricy of damning bankers while giving a perennial pass to other professions who earn ridiculous amonuts of money does exist among the OWS crowd and the left in general. I stand by that as well.


Brian Kotowski 4 years, 2 months ago

Those rioting Penn staters... worthless punks, every last one of them.


Phoebe Hackman 4 years, 2 months ago

Careful, bubba. I was actually criticized for being ABLE to spell ("Steve Ross: Educated parents needed", November 7, 2011 at 4:23 p.m. post). It seems we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. You gotta let the small stuff go ... evreybody makse typos once in awihle :-)


1999 4 years, 2 months ago

so where does OWSers = ignorant PSU rioters.

where did you get the info that the PSU rioters were also OWS protestors????


1999 4 years, 2 months ago

By that logic...since Sandusky was a conservative republican all conservative republicans are homosexual child molestors.

Thanks for clearing that up.


sledneck 4 years, 2 months ago

I actually saw the typo but hit "post comment" button anyyaw.

1999, OWS is made up of a lot of college kids. Penn State is made up of a lot of college kids. I know leftists have a hard time with "if/ then" logic but c-o-n-c-e-n-t-r-a-t-e...

As far as I know conservative republicans might indeed be child molesters. Fine with me. Call 'em whatever you want.

I still stand by my assertion: A pass is given BY LEFTISTS to a lot of people who make more $$$$ than bankers. Furthermore, it is my personal opinion that this is due, in no small part, to the fact that those individuals tend to tow the leftist party line.


1999 4 years, 2 months ago

so in your eyes... all college kids are clearly supportive of homosexual pedofiles masquerading as charity workers who enjoying raping 10 year olds in college showers...

again thanks for clearing that up.


1999 4 years, 2 months ago

and there fore since OWS is comprised of mostly lefties and PSU has college kids who might be lefties.... all lefties support the rape of 10 year olds and support the rights of 60 year old pedofiles to rape 10 year olds.

again..thanks for clearing that up


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