Patterico's Pontifications


Why Dems can’t quit Occupy Wall Street

Filed under: General — Karl @ 7:25 am

[Posted by Karl]

The “Occupy movement” has devolved into Hipsters of the Flies — dens of crime, squalor and internecine power struggles.  As health and safety concerns grow, city officials around the country are moving to break up protest encampments.  The movement is not popular, even with the young or the poor. 

Democrats, from Pres. Obama on down, once sympathetic, may try to rhetorically distance themselves from the protest themselves as the public mood sours.  However, they really cannot avoid aligning themselves with the OWSers.  Ideology and the reflexive turn to class warfare in an election year are big reason for this, but the answer is both more complex and more simple than that.

It is more complex because — as noted by Kenneth Anderson, David Brooks and Walter Russell Mead among others — the Occupy protests are primarily an intramural fight among the factions of the Left.  As Brooks would have it, this is a fight about Blue Inequality, not Red Inequality.  But these analyses  — perhaps because they are primarily intellectual pursuits — tend to gloss over the more simple aspect.

The Occupy protests are about jobs.  The Occupiers are unemployed and they tend to have a certain class of college degree and cannot find a certain class of job.  Anderson strikes close to the heart of the problem with Blue Inequality:

The lower tier is in a different situation and always has been.  It is characterized by status-income disequilibrium, to borrow from David Brooks; it cultivates the sensibilities of the upper tier New Class, but does not have the ability to globalize its rent extraction.  The helping professions, the professions of therapeutic authoritarianism (the social workers as well as the public safety workers), the virtuecrats, the regulatory class, etc., have a problem — they mostly service and manage individuals, the client-consumers of the welfare state.  Their rents are not leveraged very much, certainly not globally, and are limited to what amounts to an hourly wage.  The method of ramping up wages, however, is through public employee unions and their own special ability to access the public-private divide.   But, as everyone understands, that model no longer works, because it has overreached and overleveraged, to the point that even the system’s most sympathetic politicians understand that it cannot pay up.

The upper tier is still doing pretty well.  But the lower tier of the New Class — the machine by which universities trained young people to become minor regulators and then delivered them into white collar positions on the basis of credentials in history, political science, literature, ethnic and women’s studies — with or without the benefit of law school — has broken down.  The supply is uninterrupted, but the demand has dried up.  The agony of the students getting dumped at the far end of the supply chain is in large part the OWS.

The part Anderson likely gets wrong is the part about “everyone” knowing the model no longer works.  As Mead wrote pre-OWS, the Blue Model was very much about selling people security within that model.  And while it’s true that model has been crumbling for some time, the establishment was still selling gullible youngsters on the dream of permanent jobs, however much Matt Welch might be correct in calling them on it (the dysfunction of higher education fuels this phenomenon).

This is why Dems cannot pretend to ignore the Occupy movement, but must at least express sympathy with its general thrust.  The angst of the OWSers echoes within the class that currently occupies the types of jobs the OWSers want; that class encompasses the Democrats’ core constituencies.  It is the street iteration of the “emerging Democratic majority” versus the collapse of the Blue Model.  If progressivism stops being a jobs racket, it loses much of its power.


57 Responses to “Why Dems can’t quit Occupy Wall Street”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (f8f210)

  2. The Dems will use them, as they are just another group of pawns to be used to work toward the Dems’ end-game: expansion of The State.

    It doesn’t matter that they deal in dope or murder, it doesn’t matter that they carry disease and it doesn’t matter that they employ bottles, rocks or nail-studded clubs.

    ColonelHaiku (09a0f9)

  3. Simpler explanation, they took Naomi Klein seriously;
    It’s interesting in one of Le Carre’s few droll moments this decade, he had the character who was citing Klein, Roy, and Chomsky, turn out to be a government provocateur

    narciso (ef1619)

  4. What if the Occupier has been given $35K to pursue an advanced degree in puppetry? Where’s his goddam job!?!?

    ColonelHaiku (09a0f9)

  5. Are the Democrats willing to give up the “jobs racket” for the “entitlement racket”? If so, will swing voters go along?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  6. The purpose of Obamacare was never healthcare reform in the sense of “helping” the uninsured. Obamacare was always meant to be the means to create millions of new government jobs for a new generation of bureaucrats, regulators, monitors, assessors, analysts, approvers, penalty throwers, taxers, and suers.

    elissa (d3d356)

  7. Excellent, thought-provoking point, elissa!

    ColonelHaiku (09a0f9)

  8. So, basically, the blues are employing misdirection and sleight of hand, telling the OWSers, “It’s not our fault you’re unemployed; look at all of these wealthy people hoarding their money! Here’s some expanded unemployment benefits to tide you over while we fight to increase their taxes and make things more equitable.” And the stoner tools in the drum circle respond by thinking what? that the guvmint is gonna get more money so that they can then get a guvmint job?

    Icy (bba215)

  9. Aren’t the Dems the ones who get money from Wall Street>

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  10. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics by the political left. They do not understand where money comes from. They think that, if you work at a job, some one will pay you. The concept that the job must create some value for someone has been lost. There was a time when people made pins, a useful object. Adam Smith wrote a book about making pins in the 1700s. That was pretty easy to understand.

    Today, someone works at a job doing data entry. It’s easier to understand the helping professions. like medicine or nursing. We are actually establishing a cash value for these services through various nursing agencies and doctors choosing to drop all insurance. Some people have been able to establish the value of data entry such as companies that handle payroll and various deductions.

    The OWS kids are mostly outside that economy that is logical. How do you value social work? or human resources aspects of feminist theory ?

    There is a lot of people who need a crash course in basic economics. I doubt it will help.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  11. _____________________________________________

    Democrats, from Pres. Obama on down, once sympathetic, may try to rhetorically distance themselves from the protest themselves as the public mood sours.

    In light of the things like the following, it always was the height of folly and phoniness (or the epitome of limousine liberalism) for leftists like Obama to have ever attempted solidarity with the OWS crowd. Then again, many OWSers are more into satisfying their liberal compulsions than whether the rhetoric (or philosophy) they spew is even cogent, consistent and sound., November 13, 2011:

    Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

    Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world’s richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor., October 24, 2011:

    A former Energy Department official [Steve Spinner] linked to the failed Solyndra solar enterprise deal continues to raise campaign money for President Obama and helped plan a fundraising luncheon that the president will attend in San Francisco on Tuesday.

    His participation is controversial, even among Obama supporters. Some think Spinner should take a reduced role in the campaign given the uproar over Solyndra, but the White House considers it a manufactured controversy being exploited for partisan reasons.

    Emails show Spinner pushed for a prompt decision on the Solyndra loan as his wife’s law firm was representing the company.

    Solyndra, a now-bankrupt manufacturer of solar cylinders, was a showcase for the White House initiative to develop green energy. The California firm received a $535-million loan guarantee through an Energy Department program that Spinner helped oversee. The FBI and Republican-controlled House committees are looking into Solyndra, which declared bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 employees this summer. Taxpayers may be on the hook for the full amount of the loan guarantee., October 10, 2011:

    Despite his rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, a study by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project shows that President Barack Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years, including former President George W. Bush. In 2008, Wall Street’s largesse accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s total take, according to Reuters., William Kristol, February 2010:

    [New York Times columnist] Paul Krugman is, I think, right to be amazed by Obama’s embrace of the $17 million bonus given to JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

    If Obama’s idea of moving to the middle politically is to embrace Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks, he’s crazy. Usually Republicans are the party of Big Business and Democrats of Big Government, and the public’s hostility to both more or less evens the politics out. But if Obama now becomes the spokesman for Big Government intrusiveness and the apologist for Big Business irresponsibility all at once—good luck with that.

    Mark (411533)

  12. In fact at some point Obma can politely seperate, if only nominally, from OWS.And he is beginning to do that as they keep crossing lines of decent behavior. And besides come November 2012 his leftist base will be back in his column. He knows it and they know it too. As Col. H notes OWS are simply more pawns in the blue coalition.

    Bugg (ea1809)

  13. new government jobs for a new generation of bureaucrats,

    Cui bono doesn’t explain everything. Bureaucrat jobs were a feature but not the purpose of Obamacare. There are a whole bunch of people, self employed artistes and writers and “entrepreneurs” (think yuppies running a bed and breakfast or scrapbook store), and out of work boomers who are facing years until Medicare eligibility.

    They would love to have a Canadian system where they didn’t have to worry about health insurance and pay a big premium every month.

    Those people are everywhere. I see them whining on blogs and forums, pining for someone to do this great thing for them, so they can follow that dream! and by God all the other countries have it (not) and we deserve it, wah wah wah.

    carol (bd1042)

  14. No, he cannot, he is them, and vice versa, but it’s curious the point that always is addressed as a nonsequitor, illustrated by this piece;

    note who’s paying attention, and who isn’t it, and if one inquires further, the host of this shindig
    was one, who’s contribution to finance, was one who by 2005, already bringing AIG down.

    narciso (ef1619)

  15. ?*

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  16. Soros, is the cat looking at the canaries, ahem marks, in the scams, but not at Obama.

    narciso (ef1619)

  17. elissa (6),

    Obamacare as a jobs program is one of the things I was getting at. Also, the stimulus, which went to propping up state and local govts instead of mythical shovel-ready infrastrucrture projects. The administration really didn’t care about the latter, because that’s closer to Red Inequality (even though unions would likely be involved).

    Karl (f8f210)

  18. “There is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics by the political left…”

    One of many misunderstandings that are the result of their abysmal education*:
    History, Math, Science…
    do I need to continue?

    *that it seems that the taxpayer will end up paying for.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  19. A Jobs Program…

    You just have to look at that 1099 requirement that was buried in ObamaCare.
    That alone would have required the IRS to add tens of thousands of clerks to sort through the paper-blizzard that would result.
    Not counting the tens of thousands needed at HHS to compare and colate the various private health insurance plans that would be available, to ensure that they met the minimum requirements.

    Once you set out to “regulate” something, you got to get you some “regulators”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  20. No matter how make bad choices you have made, no one is responsible for their own sorry plight.

    —First rule of progressiveism

    AZ Bob (26b8e0)

  21. Being a Leftist means never having to say “I’m sorry”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  22. Rich Liberals don’t have to work for their money they are lazy insufferable and cocksure.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  23. _______________________________________________

    There are a whole bunch of people, self employed artistes and writers and “entrepreneurs” (think yuppies running a bed and breakfast or scrapbook store),

    The Catch-22 is that such people also will be required to pay a new “fee” listed on their tax returns, as required by the IRS and its expanded workforce of big-nuisance, PITA pencil pushers.

    One reason why some health insurance companies aren’t too put off by Obamacare is because they theoretically will be able to glom onto all the new monies coming their way via the IRS.

    In the meantime, the “undocumented” will be able to walk into any ER, get whatever treatment the doctor recommends, and walk away without paying a cent. “Oh, but they’ll now be dinged on their income-tax returns!,” proclaims boosters of Obamacare. Yea, right, but that’s assuming the large underground economy — which is rife in societies like Mexico or Greece — isn’t full of transactions that are well beyond the scope and reach of the IRS. IOW, the middle-class working stiff in the US again ends up as the big soft touch, the big sucker.

    Mark (411533)

  24. Being a leftist means you can project your military hatred onto the right.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  25. Liberal Arts undergraduate majors are useless. I knew that 20 years ago when I went to College.

    I always found funny how much time and money Upper Tier Businesses spent educating these (mainly) Ivy League know nothings when many of the guys running the place were CUNY Grads who did Grad School at Ivy’s.

    At the lower end of the professional spectrum, those same liberal arts majors from low end school are the Teachers, Cops, Firefighters and Gov.t Union aparatus who got an education for no real reason other than to qualify for life long employment on the Gov.t tit.

    Frankly, we have way too many kids in college with moderate intellectual capacities, no drive or work ethic who are simply delaying growing up by 4-7 years.

    The onyl good news with Education being so expensive and more so by the day is hopefully we re-evaluate this belief that somehow college is a must b/c frankly 2 years a JCC is enough for 95% of Government work Federal/State/Local.

    Or simply put, OWS are the losers from High School who went to College.

    ODB (0f13a8)

  26. Occupy Portland is hysterical. OWS is just like the TEA Partiers. Except for the filth. And human microphones. And droning chanting. And filth. And rape. And up twinkle fingers. And sexual assault.

    JD (84c177)

  27. See, there you go, they’re just like teabaggers, if not TEA-Partiers.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  28. Oh, and the violence. And general lawlessness. And patchouli. And stinky filthy nasty people. Other than all that, just like the TEA Partiers.

    JD (318f81)

  29. “There is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics by the political left…”

    Yes, and Peter Schiff beautifully, if unintentionally illustrated this in his man-on-the-street conversations with the OWS crowd. There is a stunning misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about basic economics. Warning: watching this will make one cringe. It’s hard to imagine these people see themselves leading economic reform and revolution.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  30. Don’t fergit the drums, JD.

    ColonelHaiku (09a0f9)

  31. trained lice on trapeze
    a plus could still be wrung from
    Occupy Wall Street

    ColonelHaiku (09a0f9)

  32. Carnegie Deli
    hippie tongue on rye, mayo
    a taste of New York

    ColonelHaiku (09a0f9)

  33. colonel just threw up in mouth…

    ColonelHaiku (09a0f9)

  34. they slashed a police officer in the face


    EricPWJohnson (c5f1fc)

  35. That perp will have the next ten years to think about his future, and past.
    I hope he thinks his “sabattical” is worth it.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  36. They did slice that Officer in the face to combat gorebull warming which causes ice to slice in half and create bigger iceburgs.


    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  37. Every time President Faggoty Ann can’t do anything lower he proves me wrong.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  38. Every time I think President Faggoty Ann can’t do anything lower he proves me wrong.


    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  39. The dems support FARC but yet they call the paramilitaries ruthless murdering machines.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  40. They also call Uribe a dictator.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  41. Well Santos, is the former Defense Minister, so you can imagine what they think of him.

    narciso (ef1619)

  42. Whole bunch of reasons to leave these mooks alone Benign negelect guys. Let Darwin deal with them.

    f1guyus (877ee1)

  43. So Uribe is corrupt but Mugabe is not…………..gotta love dems considering Marxists not corrupt.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  44. Santos was also the newspaper editor, who didn’t knuckle under to the cartel, when they were threatening all the papers.

    narciso (ef1619)

  45. But you gotta love the left accusing Santos of killing people of ruthlessly killing gays and people. They have no problem with FARC running around kidnapping anyone. I forgot unless your kissing up to the Marxist FARC your corrupt like Haiti.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  46. If you harm their economy you’ll not be allowed including of your white catholics.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  47. I’m not saying Uribe and Santos are perfect but still They are better than any FARC-aligned Colombians period.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  48. Hearing Obama is torture.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  49. NY is in so much debt because we have so much lazy twats on welfare when they are perfectly capable of working.

    Not only that Bloomingidiot is a tax and spender.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  50. And I wish the human rights organization who go after Uribe and Santos would go after the communists as well but they won’t.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  51. that’s because the communists will kill you if you irritate

    same reason they will talk trash about Christians, but never see a thing wrong with Isslime….

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  52. AD-RtR/OS! wrote:

    That perp will have the next ten years to think about his future, and past.
    I hope he thinks his “sabattical” is worth it.

    Well, think about it. The fleabaggers think that they shouldn’t have to work, but that the government should support them. Sounds like he had a workable plan to achieve his goal.

    The Dana who is gratified to see one of the fleabaggers get his wish (3e4784)

  53. they slashed a police officer in the face. unbelievable…
    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 11/13/2011 @ 4:26 pm

    — You falsely accused Herman Cain of running a disgusting ad that called his fellow Republicans “klansmen”.


    Icy (c571cf)

  54. Only 4 days away from the 33th anniversary of the November 18, 1978 Jones Town “Punch-a-thon”
    A model for #OWS ?

    #OccupyAnthonyWeinersShorts (d1c681)

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