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Dear Powers that Be - you guys would appear to be afraid of the wrong things, or maybe just not afraid enough.  Pissing off nearly everybody is a bad idea.  And the time to fear isn't when people are peacefully demonstrating, it's when you've been stupid enough to drive them out.  Heaven help you if you succeed in that endeavor.  The solution is to try and solve the problem brought before you.  The messenger is not the problem.

Oh, and Google the term "Hooverville".  Then go read Kipling...

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
alohawolf
Nov. 16th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
I said to Tugrik last night that watching the PD pull the Occupy Wall Streeters out, was tantamount to watching the army fire on the bonus marchers.
kayshapero
Nov. 16th, 2011 07:47 am (UTC)
And we got out of that one by luck, FDR's horsetrading prowess, and WWII putting EVERYBODY back to work. Of all the idiotic times to try and shrink the government, the middle of a depression is Not It. To the study of history let us add economics, and the fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs.
rhjunior
Nov. 16th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)

1)they are not "peaceful protesters," they are violent, criminal punks who were doing everything from robbery to rape to vandalism to crapping in the streets.

2)FDR's programs didn't fix anything, they PROLONGED the depression by pulling still more money out of the economy as taxes and putting it into do-nothing federal programs. It was the ugly economic necessities of the second world war that ended the great depression--- and the fact that the government quickly got off everyone's back when the war was over.

3)"Hoovervilles" don't have people with laptops and iPhones.
kayshapero
Nov. 17th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
Point one appears to be a Big Lie, actually - or at least wishful thinking on the part of those who want it to be a smallish mob holding a riot rather than a fairly peaceful assembly. How many riots have you heard of that set up a library? (I was here in LA for both Watts riots - it ain't the same.) As for FDR, things appear to have been beginning to improve until one party decided it was the ideal time to Balance the Budget and cut down on government, not the thing to do when the problem in the first place is too little money in circulation. No money > no buying > no income > no jobs and so we go...

Finally, my reference to the "Hoovervilles" is that their very existance vividly pointed out the problem, when a number of parties really wanted it to remain hidden. As long as you can get everybody to think they are the only one with a problem and that it is All Their Own Fault, they won't notice that in fact the problem has become systemic. But we can't do that any more when it becomes visible just how big the problem really is. The existence of the internet, cell phones and so forth merely makes it that much more visible. This isn't a small group of homeless people - this is a significant segment of society. And acting accordingly.

And no, even IF most of the Middle Class has more money than you do this does not mean that they have no right to continue to exist. That goose that laid the golden eggs... but contained no gold at all once slaughtered - that's not a bad metaphor FOR the middle class, and its effect on the economy. These are the people who do most of the buying - the poor don't have the money and there aren't enough of the rich to keep it afloat all by themselves. The fewer customers you have, the less you can sell. This, of course, is a horrible simplification, but your nearest library probably has appropriate books on economics.
niall_shapero
Nov. 17th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
History lesson
Point 2 is in error: FDR's programs starting in 1933 were actually making progress at correcting the problems of the Great Depression until (after the 1936 elections) the Republicans in Congress put budget cuts into the "top priority" slot over job creation. The result? The economy, which had been on the road to recovery, stopped and it took until a bit after WWII for things to really get back up to speed.
rhjunior
Nov. 17th, 2011 06:45 am (UTC)
Re: History lesson
False again. Economists have confirmed that FDR's social programs did nothing but remove money-- and workers-- from the economy.
niall_shapero
Nov. 17th, 2011 07:25 am (UTC)
Re: History lesson
And what economist says this? Reference?
niall_shapero
Nov. 18th, 2011 01:02 am (UTC)
Re: History lesson
Since you don't apparently have the time to supply a reference, I will:

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal#Keynesian_and_monetarist_interpretations at Wikipedia:
“Most indexes worsened until the summer of 1932, which may be called the low point of the depression economically and psychologically. Economic indicators show the American economy reached nadir in summer 1932 to February 1933, then began recovering until the recession of 1937–1938. Thus the Federal Reserve Industrial Production Index hit its low of 52.8 on 1932-07-01 and was practically unchanged at 54.3 on 1933-03-01; however by 1933-07-01, it reached 85.5 (with 1935–39 = 100, and for comparison 2005 = 1,342). In Roosevelt's 12 years in office, the economy had an 8.5% compound annual growth of GDP, the highest growth rate in the history of any industrial country, however, recovery was slow; by 1939, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per adult was still 27% below trend.”

1929 1931 1933 1937 1938 1940
101.4 84.3 68.3 103.9 96.7 113.0 Real GNP in 1929 dollars
122.5 108.7 92.4 102.7 99.4 100.2 CPI (where 1935-39 is 100).

The statistics show fairly clearly that FDR’s policies were making progress and then, just as the Republican emphasis on budget cutting took hold after the 1936 election, things got worse (although correlation isn’t causation, I think a good case can still be made for the dismantling of FDR’s programs by the Republicans hurt the country). Or, as stated on Wikipedia:

"The Roosevelt Administration was under assault during FDR's second term, which presided over a new dip in the Great Depression in the fall of 1937 that continued through most of 1938. Production declined sharply, as did profits and employment. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938. Keynesian economists speculated that this was a result of a premature effort to curb government spending and balance the budget, while conservatives said it was caused by attacks on business and by the huge strikes caused by the organizing activities of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL)."
rhjunior
Nov. 18th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
Re: History lesson
"Keynesian economists speculated" is about as valid an analysis as "the witch doctor in Boonga Boonga theorized."

The conservatives were right.
niall_shapero
Nov. 18th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Re: History lesson
Unless and until you can provide a source of cold hard numbers, you're basically just claiming that because you claim you're right, you are.

I provided cold hard numbers which would indicate that I (and those Keynesian economists) are right. If you wish to dispute, provide facts that would at least appear to back up your statements.
filkermanque
Nov. 17th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
While I don't agree with rhjunior's characterization of the OWS folk, I do think there is a enormous difference between their situation and the situations of the Bonus Army and of those in the Hoovervilles, that being that most of the occupados have somewhere else they can go.
kayshapero
Nov. 17th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Now.
niall_shapero
Nov. 17th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
NYPD Stupid Moves (Another Hooverville analogy)
The NYPD has gone on a rampage, and (among other stupid moves) beaten up and arrested an NY City Councilman and several reporters. The Councilman was held, apparently, for 17 hours and was not allowed to contact an attorney.

The video of the councilman (where he calls out the badge number of one of the arresting officers) was on the TV tonight.

Whatever position you may hold regarding the OWS movement, the actions by the police (and by whoever gave them their marching orders) were STUPID. Think about it: antagonizing the press by beating up reporters, and antagonizing a member of the opposition party by beating HIM up. Can you say, "Bloomberg was not running on all cylinders" on this one? (I am assuming, for the moment, that a uniformed officer is not going to beat up a politician - even a latino looking/sounding one - without an order, at least from his immediate superior, and that superior is not going to give the order unless he receives a like order from "on high").
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )