October 31, 2011

Would Hayek, A Capitalist Icon, Have Sided With Occupy Wall Street?

The article above suggests Friedrich Hayek would have empathized with the “occupy wall street” protesters. Really? Empathy for a bunch of hippies that when asked what it is they want to accomplish, end up giving incoherent “answers” which have no rational basis. Take a look at this interview to see what I’m talking about. Granted, that’s just one protester’s thought process, but I would assume it is fair to say that most of these protesters are just as clueless. I think what the article is trying to confer is Hayek would vehemently disagree with some of the actions that the government has implemented, such as bailing out failing corporations that should have otherwise filed for Chapter 11. But this notion of thinking is clearly not the same as that of the protesters. How is Wall Street to blame? Am I missing something here, because as far as I am concerned, these protesters should shift their focus to the government, and in particular the FED. It’s the Federal Reserve that bailed out these companies that were supposedly “too big to fail.” That’s the real root of the problem. An analogy: Let’s say a stray cat comes to my doorstep and so I decide to give it some milk. Well what’s going to happen the next day? The cat’s going to come back and expect some more milk. It’s not the cat’s fault for getting a free handout; it’s me for giving it. In relation, these businesses are the cat and the FED is the one providing the milk, so to speak. Who’s not going to take a free bailout when provided with one? Not many, so if people want to protest then they should protest the Federal Reserve. These people on Wall Street are doing nothing more than exercising their rights to act within the free market. And when some of them end up making extraordinary gains, what do we do? We cry foul. The fact is, we live in a country based on capitalism, and in any capitalistic society, there are going to be people who benefit from the system more highly than others. Why else would people take risks if this were not the case? Chastising a businessman/woman for succeeding within the free market makes absolutely no sense to me.

To reiterate, I think the real problem is with the Federal Reserve and not with Wall Street. And to give a word of advice to these protesters; if you want to be taken seriously then you need to implement some form of discipline and/or leadership. Come up with a unified message and deliver that message to the media in a professional manner. Doing this, while also focusing more attention on the inadequacies of the Federal Reserve would, in my opinion, be a much more productive movement. Obviously people are upset with these bailouts, QE protocols, etc. but it’s hard for people to get behind a movement which at the moment carries no validity. I mean honestly, what is a drum circle full of hippies going to accomplish.

1 comment:

Sarah Ward said...

The occupiers are angry about the bailouts, but aren't those bailouts mostly paid back already? This arguement seems a litte delayed. That problem has already been solved, but they're protesting against it. They do have another request that all debt should be forgiven. Perhaps that originated from the idea of a bailout, but still, most of the bailouts have been paid back. I don't really understand the logic behind their arguements. It's almost too easy to pick them apart...