Last week, the Occupy Wall Street protesters were kicked out of Zuccotti Park, after an ‘occupation’ of two months. They were allowed to return, but not to set up camp, a judge having determined that the First Amendment right to free speech does not include tents, sleeping bags, and generators.
On Thursday, they staged further protests, including a march into lower Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge. I actually had a meeting in lower Manhattan that day, and passed right under the protest on the subway, totally oblivious to what was happening. The protest march unfolded on the evening news, with people making their way slowly towards the bridge.
Beyond that, I don’t know what happened. I suspect the movement had realized it was reaching the point of diminishing returns, but didn’t know how to deal with it.
For my part, the biggest problem with the Occupy movement was that it didn’t have any solutions. They’re right: the richest 1% are sucking the wealth from the remaining 99%. OK: what do we >>do<< about it?
The unions attempted to latch onto the Occupy movement for their own ends, but it never really took, from what I could tell. Alas, the traditional left-wing approach (tax the rich and share the goodies with the rest of us) has its own issues: merely tweaking the tax rates would not raise enough revenue to make a dent in our problems.
Until someone can suggest a compelling alternative to the yowling from our elected officials, we’re stuck.
This morning brought word that the super committee formed after August’s budget brouhaha failed to come up with a plan to cut $1.2T over the next ten years. The cut in question is hardly Draconian: it’s about 3% of overall Federal spending, and represents merely a dent in our enormous continuing deficits.
Alas, the yowling continues….