Wall Street Occupiers do not understand and/or respect property rights

SoCal Street Cart Vendors Hurting After ‘Occupy’ Group Splatters Blood, Urine

There’s a lot I could say about this. But what I will say is that I think this gets at the heart of my beef with Occupy Wall Street. The Occupiers of Wall Street by and large do not understand and/or respect property rights. Instead they advocate for the dumb idea known as positive rights, aka “what the government owes me.” And we know the government doesn’t have anything it didn’t borrow from another country or steal from its productive citizens. I mean isn’t that the basis of the furor over executives’ salaries? So, in a way, OWS is all about the idea that a coercive power isn’t doing a good enough job at taking from productive citizens and giving to entitled socialists.

What they don’t understand is that the government isn’t set up to take from the rich and give to the poor. It’s set up to take from the middle class and give to the permanently dependent lower classes and the well connected. That’s why executives’ salaries are out of control. Because market forces that would bring an executives’ salary in line with the profitability of his or her corporation are skewed by rent seeking and bailouts.

Get with it. These guys are not your friends. No one’s looking out for you but you.

And more importantly: No one owes your ass a hot dog, a job or a high salary.

The sooner you get that, the sooner you can start making your own damn hot dogs or starting whatever profitable business you want, making us all richer with your innovations and value adds. Or, you can keep standing outside yelling at the banks for taking bailouts your precious government offered them. Your choice.

4 Comments

  1. Evan

    While sitting in the streets & complaining about the way gov’t corruption is put into practice can indeed be argued as as a waste of time, would you agree that the media attention gained from it has been significant? Certainly OWS has received much more national media coverage in the past few weeks than the liberty movement has received over the past few months. If the goal was to make a media spectacle & recruit droves of followers, I’d say they’ve succeeded. Is there a lesson for libertarians to learn from the OWS method of civil disobedience?

  2. Cathy

    I would totally agree that OWS has brought national attention to an array of legitimate gripes about the American economy, bailouts, executive salaries, etc.

    Is there a lesson for libertarians to learn here? I’d say hell no. Standing outside chanting does not ultimately change anything. Everyone’s pissed off already. Everyone knows everyone is pissed off already. What changes things are ideas, cogently articulated, about what exactly is wrong with our current system and what a better system would look like. When people are swayed by a clear, beautiful vision (I’m looking at you stateless society) they’re motivated to work toward realizing it.

    And that work involves voting, lobbying, lawsuits, black market participation, and more. Not sitting around violating food vendors’ property rights.

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