If ever there was a time for outrage, this is it – NYTimes.com


News flash: The New York Times is listening, and getting it. Proof that we still have some populist media left that actually can have their own opinions about what’s going on – opinions that aren’t formed by the status quo or the “you decide” bullshit. Mark Bittman sees the connections to revolutionaries in other countries:

Those scenarios are spreading because, as Naomi Klein wrote in The Guardian last week, “[E]veryone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control.” The struggle for positive change is being defined by groups as diverse as the revolutionaries in Tunisia and Egypt, the strikers in Greece (“Erase the debt and let the rich pay”), the indignados in Spain, the misled but occasionally well-intentioned members of the Tea Party, and certainly those occupying Wall Street (and, in case you missed it, some 1,500 other places, and growing, as of this writing). Now it’s even being embraced by the Democratic leadership.

Read the rest here: Welcome Activism On Wall Street – NYTimes.com.

Occupy Wall Street: “We all complain, but they showed up.”


Gail Collins has an interesting take on the protests. I think she’s wrong in her conclusions, but there’s food for though here. While she, and many in the media, have focused a little too closely on the mess, she also has some insight:

Democrats are hoping that Occupy Wall Street will become their version of the Tea Party, firing up the troops into the election. But the Tea Party was bankrolled by big Republican donors and cheered on by a big Republican cable network. Also, it is composed mainly of middle-aged and elderly people who have far less energy for meetings.

My bet is that these folks will only be remembered for having been there, taken a stand. But that’s no little thing. We all complain, but they showed up.

Read the rest: Wall Street Weeks – NYTimes.com.

 

The 1% VS. Occupy Wall Street: Anyone who points out the truth must be demonized


 

 

In Paul Krugman’s latest piece for the New York Times, Panic of the Plutocrats , he lays out how the 1% are in panic about the protests, and why they know they must immediately attack the relatively small group of protesters before this thing gets out of hand. Occupy Wall Street “must be demonized and driven from the stage”, or the ruling class’s house of cards will begin to fall apart.

What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage. In fact, the more reasonable and moderate a critic sounds, the more urgently he or she must be demonized, hence the frantic sliming of Elizabeth Warren.

Will it work? It is up to the American people, who haven’t shown the best judgement lately. But a vocal minority might still be able to change things. Or at least a vocal 1% of the 99; it won’t take that many if they are out in the streets making their voices heard. With the stagnation our political system is in, the difference makers don’t have a be the largest group (hence the power of the Tea Party). Specifically, I think it is up to the 18 – 27 year olds. If the new generation of voters can stand up and fight for the future the current regime is destroying, we have a chance. I’ll march with them.

Read the rest: Panic of the Plutocrats – NYTimes.com. It’s a must read.

Paul Krugman For President? He Supports Occupy Wall St. Read Confronting the Malefactors – NYTimes.com


Look, he’s too smart to ever run (he’s a Nobel Winning economist, for christ’s sake) but I’ve been reading his stuff for several years now, and he also foresaw this whole debacle as well as anyone. And he also gets Occupy Wall Street:

“With unions and a growing number of Democrats now expressing at least qualified support for the protesters, Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.

What can we say about the protests? First things first: The protesters’ indictment of Wall Street as a destructive force, economically and politically, is completely right.”

Read the rest: Confronting the Malefactors – NYTimes.com.

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