Monday, October 17, 2011

One Big Dysfunctional Family

I'm going to wade into dangerous territory here . . . a topic I'm not well-informed on and one that many of my friends are very angry about (on both sides): Occupy Wall Street.

I've been a little frustrated at the coverage I've seen of the protestors (mostly Fox News coverage), because they mainly focus on the weirdos out there, of which there are many. But I assume there are some intelligent, articulate people there, too. It isn't right to characterize the Tea Party by a handful of idiots with racist signs -- and it isn't right to characterize OWS by the hey-wows on dope.

Mike Huckabee had some thoughtful remarks about this movement last night. I tried to find his comments online and couldn't (I kind of suck at that), and we didn't DVR the show, so I can't watch it again. But he basically said that the OWS folks have a right to be angry -- they're just angry at the wrong people.

They're angry, as I understand it, about the banks and corporations and investors and all who took big risks with people's money and futures and then got bailed out by the government with no consequences for their bad behavior. Well, so am I! So are all conservatives! Haven't you heard us all gritching about the bailouts?

Thing is, I blame the government for that. Even the Bush administration. All sorts of government entities, it sounds like, were intervening in the markets to muck things up rather than let it run its natural free-market course. From what I hear, it sounds like they created a problem that they then had to try to fix with ridiculous bailouts.

But the OWS folks are mad at the corporations . . . for what exactly? For taking the bailout money? For not using the bailout money well? For taking too many risks in the first place? I'm not exactly sure. And I'm not exactly sure what they want to happen now to fix it all.

Huckabee said that Wall Street has become a high stakes casino where investors gamble other people's futures and then get bailed out by the government when their gambles don't work out. Like a dysfunctional parent/child relationship. A kid stupidly spends all his gas money on booze every month, and his dad continues to get up in the middle of the night to pick him up when the truck runs out of gas out in the boondocks -- and then fills up his tank for him again. I think the OWS folks are raging at the investors behaving like irresponsible selfish children -- and rightfully so. But the rest of us are more angry at the parents for sheltering the children from the natural consequences of their bad behavior. That's what will force the children to grow up.

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