Sunday OWS Notes, by Paul Krugman, in NY Times: A couple of scattered notes on what’s going on.
First, Suze Orman endorses the protests:
I want to publicly say thank you to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Thank you for not accepting the status quo. Thank you for not assuming there is nothing to be done. Thank you for rattling the cages. Much coverage of Occupy Wall Street has cast this as the beginning of something new. That’s only partly true. What I find so encouraging is that Occupy Wall Street’s more important message is that this marks an end point. An end to just shrugging and putting up with the inequity. An end to patiently waiting for government to get its act together and take steps to reduce the pain felt by millions of Americans who are unemployed, the millions more who are underemployed, and the millions more again who worry that if we indeed slip into a double dip recession they will soon become unemployed. An end to letting Washington just continue further down its dysfunctional dark hole without being called out.
I think we can definitely say that the effort to dismiss the whole thing as a bunch of smelly ignorant hippies has failed.
Second, I’m a bit behind on this, but the Times had an excellent piece yesterday on what the lords of finance are saying in private. Whiners take all!
I especially liked the guy who said that we must treat finance nicely because it’s the only thing America is still good at. Aside from the fact that this is an insult to American workers, who are actually quite productive in a lot of areas given a chance, how, exactly, did we become a society in which so many of our elite students end up going into finance? Was that, you know, sort of a choice — and a bad one?
It’s also useful, for a bit of perspective, to go back to another good Times article from the summer of 2007, The Richest of the Rich, Proud of a New Gilded Age :
These days, Mr. Weill and many of the nation’s very wealthy chief executives, entrepreneurs and financiers echo an earlier era — the Gilded Age before World War I — when powerful enterprises, dominated by men who grew immensely rich, ushered in the industrialization of the United States. The new titans often see themselves as pillars of a similarly prosperous and expansive age, one in which their successes and their philanthropy have made government less important than it once was.
The prosperity, such as it was — it never did trickle down much — is gone. But these guys still think they earned it all, and the rest of us should be grateful to have them.