who are the occupy wall streeters and is their gripe valid

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

we took the time to gaze deeply at the official occupy wall street website. and we’ve decided that the dude or dudette who authored the homepage neither works in financial services nor studied economics. but he or she was seemingly a social sciences major from some leafy liberal arts college on the east coast.

first, we’d like to know how the organization was able to finagle a .org address. and since they are supposedly anti-capitalists, why are they asking for donations? or is that a sign of anti-capitalists and socialists, that everyone else is expected to work and pay taxes? all cynicism aside let’s pick one of their arguments apart. that neoliberalism has destroyed the economies of spain and greece.

the spanish economy (like that of california) is built on real estate and tourism. tourism took a bit of a hit in 2008 because everyone in europe felt less well off. but that’s bounced back a bit. but tourism only makes owners rich. –like hotel owners or shop owners. but it only creates low level service jobs like cashier and tour guide, which tend to pay poorly.

like ireland, the spanish people bought a lot of property they couldn’t afford. but unlike ireland, for a while this was OK because people around the world were keen on buying houses and apartments in the warm country.

but this lead to a property boom which benefited construction companies, construction workers (hired by construction companies), concrete makers, and persumably all the way down to the local cabinet maker. and when the property boom went bust, everything caved in with it.

the problems in the u.s. are somewhat more complex. yes there are mortgages and real estate involved. but the u.s. economy (minus california’s) has never completely revolved around real estate. it’s actually more diverse.

the u.s.’s non-recovery has more to do with small business owners being spooked about the future. the future that is the healthcare law that u.s. president obama signed into law last year.

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