Monday, October 10, 2011

99%ers and the Tea Party: NOT 2 Sides of the Same Coin . . .

There is a narrative out there that the Tea Party and the 99%ers (Occupy Wall St.) crowd are basically the same phenomenon. The 99%ers are now extending invitations to the Tea Party to join their protests. Certainly both movements seem to have "organically" grown out of disgust for actions that favor the "1%" at the expense of everyone else.  But looks are deceiving and that is where the similarity ends.

(1) The Tea Party's objectives have always been clear: downsize government, reduce government's influence on our every day lives, cut government spending and indebtedness, and make government follow the Constitution.  The 99%ers? . . . It's not clear what they stand for other than whine that the "greedy" top 1% is responsible for all of their problems.

(2) While painted by the Main Stream Media and Democrat pundits as a group of rich old white Republicans, close examination of photos of events and scrutiny of news stories reveal the Tea Party as a diverse group of adults. (Locally, some of the organizers have been Democrats). . .  The 99%ers, however, have been overwhelmingly white jobless college students or recent graduates carrying huge student-loan debts that they are unable to pay off, now being joined by Labor Union members.

(3) The Tea Party works within the system, using the tools provided by our system of government to effect change.  It has achieved some success by getting more conservative candidates into office.  The 99%ers are working to collapse the system and have created disruption.

(4) The Tea Party targets the source of many of our problems: the elected officials who control the government -- which controls us.  The 99%ers target Wall St. even though Wall St. does not make the rules.

It is false that both movements are "organic."  The Tea Party movement clearly is, having started with Rick Santelli's rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The 99%ers, on the other hand, have been orchestrated from day one, even though most of its members don't know it. (Followers of conservative media have known  for months that these demonstrations were coming.)

To "Occupy Utica":   Let your voices be heard on 10/13 -- but then, please, go home.  All you will accomplish by camping 24/7 at the Busy Corner is sticking Utica with the cost of policing and protecting you, and later picking up after you.

Utica has enough issues to deal with without "Occupy Utica" adding more.

If you want change, be part of a solution, not a revolution: Work within the system.

9PM Update:  Freedomworks has an interesting take on the difference between the Tea Party and the Occupy crowd. . . . And Utica Uprising has a completely different take on the Occupy Utica event.


Anonymous said...

Apparently, you believe that the T.P. has "achieved success" because they have gotten some conservative candidates elected. The T.P. is nothing but an arm of the Republican Party. So much for a "grass roots" effort which it claimed to be. And so what if white college students protest? I didn't hear you complain when Tea Party protestors had to be policed & cleaned up after. And the protest is expanding to include middle class working people who have lost their homes & suddenly found their 401k's disappear after Wall St. bankers & speculators destroyed the economy of the country. I guess it's ok to protest as long as a T.P. banner is being flown & your idealism has a conservative slant to it. If these people could work within the system that has screwed them over, & ignores their plight they wouldn't have to resort to protesting on Wall St. in the first place. It's too bad that the top 1%'s on Wall St. have their noses out of joint because they have to face people who now have nothing while the above enter their halls of power after stepping out of their BMW's paid for with bonuses thanx to the taxpayers via TARP bailout funds.

Anonymous said...

Listen Anonymous-the truth is the 99%ers are looking for a free ride, mistakenly thinking it'll come from the 1%ers if they cry loud enough. They're demanding, amongst other things, a $20/hr minimum living wage-whether working or not and total elimination of all debt including student loans and mortgages. I consider myself one of the 53%ers, ya know the ones that got an education (paid by me), work hard and actually PAY TAXES. To suggest I would want to continue to pay taxes to be given to freeloaders is absurd and I'm willing to bet the rest of the 53%ers feel the same. We got some big names (Pelosi, Soros, Obama) supporting these worthless idiots yet I don't see anyone of them willing to give all or a sizable amount of their wealth to them to ease their situation. Take a tour of any third world country and then come back and tell me how badly even the poorest of the poor here have it.

Also Anonymous

Anonymous said...

I don't believe all are looking for a free ride. I remember when I finished grad school in '92' was in debt with school loans, economy sucked and I made less than 20k per year because no work in my profession. Taxes took s hefty chunk of my wages - so I have some compassion for the 99 % .

The so called job creators are businessman who get a leg up in the form of bailouts and tax loopholes. Turn the greedy loose without regulation and you have a situation akin to schoolyard bullies without supervision.

I agree too much deadweight in society is detrimental. However, when millionaires are saying tax me more (Buffet) something is wrong. Mr Buffet has learned from Marie Antoinette - when the rabble riot in the street, the necks of well healed tycoons will be on the block.

Anonymous said...

Listen Annonomous,ever taken a good look at some of the slums in this Country? If they weren't in the U.S., they'd be considered Third World.

Anonymous said...

Larry Tanoury thinks occuping Utica is a great idea!!

Come on Larry! lead the chant:

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Wall Street's got to Go!!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe anyone had to "clean up" after any Tea Party rallies. On the contrary, they usually left the areas cleaner than they were before they were there. Also, I agree with Anon 2 who states that the Occupy group is mostly looking for a free ride. One such individual who was interviewed and on TV recently actually said that although he had been offered employment he wasn't about to work for "a lousy $7 an hour". I don't believe any of the Tea Party people would have made such a statement. These 2 groups seem polar opposites. The Occupiers want more handouts and big government solutions to every problem and the Tea Party wants smaller government and more personal accountability/responsibility.

Anonymous said...

How is the T.P. going to achieve a smaller govt. when it is now a wing of the Republican Party? The GOP is as much to blame for the state of this country as anyone else is.

Anonymous said...

One has to marvel at some of the comments. Even if you do not agree with the "bail outs" , they were democratically approved and most of the Wall Street loans have been repaid. The nation, for better or worse faced a panic driven credit/ banking freeze up which threatend to cause a bank run and an economic collapse. Only hind sight can guess what would have happened without TARP. Second, corporations are people, the stockholders. If they are mismanged, fraudulent or ineffective it is the stockholder who should be taking action with government oversight. Where do these self proclaimed, self righteous protestors think goods, services and economic interaction comes from, the air? Capaitalism has produced the wealthiest, most advanced society in the history of the world. Socialism has failed throughout history. The comparison to the Tea Party is lame, at best.The Tea Party arouse from the belief that government was too big and costly. These tiny bunch of no nothings simply want a larger government to give them more. Who do they think pays the bills? Finally, I am amazed at those who hold Obama and Democrats reasponsible for nothing. True leadership mans up!

Strikeslip said...

To Anonymous above, I agree with much of what you say which is interesting and thought provoking. Yes, TARP was a decision that was democratically arrived at. Democratic approval of anything, however, does not mean that the decision was a correct one. Obamacare, like TARP, was also democratically approved -- with ADMITTED lack of knowledge of what was in the bill, and with NO BUDGET enacted to ensure it could be paid for.

While corporations are persons in the sense that their shareholders, directly or indirectly are persons, their actions and political views represent those of the top managers and boards of directors rather than the shareholders that are people. In a sense their leadership is like that of labor unions, deriving their powers from their collective memberships (or ownerships). The power in both derives from people, but winds up vested in leaders which can either exercise it for the members/oweners gain, or their own personal agenda. The latter can happen when votes are controlled by large blocks (pension funds, mutual funds, other corporations, etc.) and the individuals controlling the blocks can "trade favors." This is where there may need to be better government regulation to prevent the abuse that upsets the "99%."

Capitalism has time and again demonstrated itself as the best system for delivering the most benefits to the most people with individuals having the most personal freedom. But, as noted above, its structures can be manipulated to transfer wealth FROM THE "BOTTOM" TO THE "TOP".

TPers and 99%ers both recognize that this is happening. Where they differ is the TPers go after the rules and rulemakers that allow bad thing to happen, where the 99%ers go after the root "greed." However "greed" is a human vice -- it can never be eradicated. That is why the efforts of the 99%ers will be futile.

Those in power, whether Republican or Democrat, have to acknowledge that that manipulation to transfer wealth *from the poor to the rich* does occur. To effectively govern, leaders need to identify HOW that manipulation takes place, and take measures to prevent that from happening.

Readers of this blog understand how our local governmental systems have been manipulated to result in a poor city subsidizing wealthy suburbs -- and certain developers in particular -- a wealth transfer from the poor to the rich.

Simply taking from the rich and giving to the poor, however, is not the solution because it is unfair to the "rich" who have worked hard, have not manipulated the system, and have earned their wealth.

Dave said...

It is unclear to me how a primal scream of anger at businesses and government that nickel and dime us to death, cheats us and lies to us, has been turned into "taking from the rich and giving to the poor." Nonetheless, it would be rather unrealistic to expect such an outpouring of disgust from so many people to initially have an organized presentation and eloquent expression. Some entity may yet capture the raw emotion of the Occupy zeitgeist and structure it into a compelling political platform. That will be a powerful force to deal with. My opinion is that we may ... emphasize "may" ... be witnessing the messy birth of a new populism rooted more in ideas than in the stale personalities we elect today who change nothing.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to fathom why so much attention is being given to a small group of people who rally around the call for "free" everything. There is no such thing as "free". Someone pays. To mask the current socialistic chant with a new populism rooted in ideas is foolish, at best. It is the idea of socialism that is stale and failed. If one listens closely to the majority of those occupying, the socialistic dream is exactly what they are promoting. Talk about boring. But, even more boring are the feeble attempts to make the "movement" something it is not.