2011-11-21

Worth Reading

Richard Posner has written an excellent critique of the OWS mob. Unlike the typical analyses you'll find in the mainstream media - or on blogs like mine - Posner does a good job of summarizing the movement and its critics and manages to draw some effective conclusions.

Many of his views parallel mine. For example, Posner believes that the police should never have kicked the protesters out. He writes:
The police I think made a tactical mistake in routing the “Occupiers” from Zuccotti Park near Wall Street. That is the lesson of the 1960s. Arrests, whacking demonstrators with billy clubs, dragging screaming women to paddy wagons, and other police just create anger, martyrdom complexes, and sympathy for the demonstrators. 
Posner also believes that OWS would have self-destructed, anyway. (Gee, where have you heard that before?) He supports this claim by citing an example from an old protest at the University of Chicago:
In January 1969, student radicals occupied the Administration building of the University of Chicago. The police were not summoned, and after two weeks the radicals abandoned the building; almost 100 were then expelled or suspended from the university. The university was largely spared the turmoil that continued for years at other major universities.
Posner sums up the financial industry saying something I believe, but have never written about. He says that what was observed in the financial sector in the wake of the "deregulation" that occurred is natural and "Darwinian." They took risks because they had to, competition required them to do it.

Unlike Posner, though, I would add that this is precisely why I see the financial sector as victims in all of this. They never would have engaged in that kind of behavior were it not for the inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve. When currency is perpetually being debased, the financial sector has no choice but to engage in ever-riskier market choices in seek of the highest returns possible.

We cannot exactly fault people for doing the best that they can subject to the current state of the universe. Everyone does that. It's not "corporate greed," it's human behavior. Should we suddenly expect everyone to sell themselves short so that a bunch of dirty college students don't slap the "greed" tag on them? Get real. Life is about making the most of oneself and one's situation. If any federal agency decides to distort our ability to reliably plan and calculate economically, then we are all victims, including the people who appeared to "profit."

A victim who mitigates against bad circumstances is still a victim. That other people could not mitigate does not mean they are "even more victimer."