The tiny Occupy Wall Street protests look to consist of mostly young people. The young tend to be idealistic, which is a good thing. As Winston Churchill once said, “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” That's what I'm observing at Occupy Wall Street. I see hearts aplenty, but brains...not so much. Yesterday, I watched Reason TV interviewing some of the OWS protesters. One protestor, in true socialist fashion, said the federal government should take over the banks to show those greedy banksters a thing or two. Then the Reason TV interviewer asked the protestor if he'd still want the government to run the banks if the Republicans were in power. The protestor shook his head and said, "oh, no. That would be very bad". Like I said, brains...not so much.
The concerns of the OWSers are nothing new. In fact, they are very old. A friend e-mailed me the following thirty year old video of liberal Phil Donahue interviewing free market economist Milton Friedman. You will find the subject matter very familiar:
Where the OWS protest is lacking is in solutions. The protestors don't like what's going on now, but ask any of them to propose something better, and you will likely get nothing at all better from them. In fact, you're likely to get a bunch of craziness spewed back at you, most of which is tired, rehashed, and long discredited communist rhetoric. I wonder if today's young people even understand what they are actually proposing when they say the government should take over this and the government should take over that. I don't believe they do understand, but if they do, they've reached the point where they take liberty for granted, which is a major mistake in judgement. They are also taking for granted all the blessings offered in this country. How many people in all of human history have had it better than the average American does today ? Very few. Why is that ? Could it be BECAUSE of the free market capitalist system we have in place ??? As Milton Friedman pointed out, no other system has ever lifted so many people out of poverty as has capitalism. All I know is, you can name any country where the government controls everything, and in every one of those countries, the people are much worse off than they are here. Perhaps some perspective is called for before we throw our current system over for something different, because that different thing could be a whole lot worse. Perhaps we should engage our brains as well as our hearts.
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