In Nothing We Trust: Protest Everything!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by California Girl, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    What do we want? We don’t know! When do we want it? Now!

    That’s a joke that’s been bouncing around the internet in relation to the OWS protesters and with some good reasons. The protesters have lacked any cohesive message. And, while I have mocked that, there is also a part of me that high fives these people – whether I agree with their ‘cause’ (whatever that may be) or not. It’s cool that people are passionate enough to get out and make themselves heard. That goes for the TEA Parties and OWS alike. Unlike the partisans, I will not deride either group… although I did at least understand the TEAs.

    Anyway… to the point… and I apologize in advance, this might be a tad long winded.

    So, while watching news coverage of the protesters, I decided to do some digging, in the hopes of shedding a little light on the causes. If not for you, at least for myself.

    The Western world has, for the past couple of decades, seen stable economic growth. And Governments generally ignored the warnings coming from the economist, William White*, and chose instead to listen to his rival, Alan Greenspan. I think we can all see the consequences of that particular global error of judgment.

    *For those who don’t know who White is, he is a Canadian banker who at the time of his warning was the chief economist for the world’s most respected central bank… International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland. Since 2009, he has been much listened to, traveling from country to country speaking to business leaders, bankers and Governments.

    OK… back on topic:

    Austerity is known to bring with it the instability, and protests, that have spread around the western world. Research by Jocopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joachim Voth (Barcelona University) provides a data set of protests (strikes, marches, revolts and even assassinations) that show a link between fiscal austerity measures and social unrest. No big surprise but it’s nice to have facts to back up opinion. From that research, spending cuts of 5% GDP lead to twice as many episodes of instability.

    There is another study from Latin America where Mr Voth studied the period from 1937 to 1995, which shows the same outcomes – a tightening of fiscal policies and civil unrest. Interestingly, this unrest occurs in both democratic countries and autocracies. So, it ain’t about democracy, folks!

    What research also tells us is that people are more likely to protest austerity than any other cause. Samples from Europe show that austerity related protests attract hugely more support than, say, anti-war protests. Basic human selfishness…. We care most when it affects us directly.

    What other factors should we include when trying to understand these protesters?

    Well, let’s throw into the mix the research that links high levels of debt and high unemployment. The International Labor Organization warned in 2010 that high levels of unemployment, particularly young people, were likely to cause social disorder. And, when you consider what happened in London in August 2011, they were right about that. Young people took to the streets in their thousands, looting, burning and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. Was it organized or spontaneous? Who knows, but the UK courts are currently packed with kids paying the price of those nights of mayhem.

    There is also a great paper (albeit from 1994) by Alberto Alesina (Harvard U) and Roberto Perotti (Bocconi U) that reviewed 71 countries from 1960 to 1985. Their findings included the link between income inequality and social instability. In the view of the researchers, unrest erupts when the wealthy middle class is undermined.

    So… how do we satisfy these protestors (assuming they have a coherent ‘demand’ other than the ridiculous crap bandied around in the media)?

    Well, research (being a right wing, I might add that I am supposed to ‘hate sceince’ LOL) from Daron Acemoglu (MIT) and James Robinson (Harvard – again!) shows that (and here is a big surprise people)….. redistribution of wealth can quiet public unrest.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why, in my opinion, there is nothing spontaneous about this protest.
     
  2. The T
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    The T George S. Patton Party Supporting Member

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    In a nutshell? Tinkering and manipulation?
     
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  3. AquaAthena
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    AquaAthena INTJ/ INFJ

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    Here are some of the ideas the Flea Parties represent and the Independents have quit listening...*.*


    Contempt for the U.S. Constitution
    Historical revisionism and trash-talking America
    An end to our free market system
    Gutting our national defense
    Disrespect for those who defend our country
    Marxist ideology
    Class warfare
    Racism
    The destruction of our ally Israel
    Rabid socialism that attracts even Nazis
    Communism
    Government domination of the economy
    The elevation of victimhood
    Narcissism
    Spite for the engine of our economy that produces all our modern conveniences
    Violent revolution
    Hostility toward the rights of others
    Doing nothing better than spreading misery.
     
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  4. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    that's a long way around to get to the bolded part.

    i'll disagree. these protesters don't have a cohesive message because they aren't a homogeneous group like the koch brothers funded tea party. (you can like that or not, btw... facts are facts, even if individual members may have purer motices).

    these are largely people who tried to do everything right... got the education... got the grades... and now there's nothing for them.

    it used to be that high tide lifted all boats. now it only lifts the top 1%.

    you can think that's ok or not. and i tried to treat this thread seriously...

    despite the rightwingnut hacks.

    you opine that austerity leads to instability. i would say that's partly true. the problem with this particular paradigm, is that it's also been proven that if there is a common goal, austerity becomes a rallying point for cooperation, as it did during WWII. Where austerity becomes a problem is in circumstancs where that austerity disproportionately affects the people who can afford it least... as is the case with the current pretenders to fiscal responsibility....
     
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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  5. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    I didn't 'opine', mo chara, the research shows that. That's not my opinion, it's research. I know the left love science.... which I why I used scientific studies to make the relevant points.

    And.... while we're talking about who's a funded group.... so is OWS... just not by the Kochs. Y'all have the same issue on the left... if only you would research it and realize it. Your puppet master is Soros. On the day the left boot Soros out, you can bitch about the Koch boys. Until then, I'm afraid it's a case of "do as we say, not as we do" and I don't accept that 'argument'. And I suspect you could work out why. I don't do hypocrisy.
     
  6. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Everything right is getting a degree and high grades? Are you seriously arguing that?

    So we get good grades and a degree and life should be easy?

    What about, you know, work? Offering value to people. Etc.
     
  7. Utilitarian
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    Utilitarian co-Cain Manager

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    The Tea Party hasn't exactly been coherent either.

    Granted, expecting coherence in this country is usually a fool's errand.
     
  8. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    So lower taxes, cut spending, cut regulation, follow the Constitution and get the heck out of our way aren't coherent enough for you?
     
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  9. The T
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    The T George S. Patton Party Supporting Member

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    True Liberty is indeed a noble concept. Too bad far too many will never know it if this keeps up.
     
  10. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I intend to do what I can to change that. And God willing, Ill have some success.
     

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