Don’t Let Occupy Wall Street Erase the Tea Party’s Purpose
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The Tea Party movement faces its greatest danger right now.  The future of this country, therefore, straddles a sharp and angry line.  One wrong move and everything that we’ve built over the past two and half years will collapse around us.

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Occupy Wall Street is a communist idea built on the very same factors that inspired the Tea Party movement. If Tea Partiers let their disdain for the messenger distort our message, the American experiment will end.

Occupy Wall Street is recognizing some of the same problems that we recognized 3 years ago.  But the occupiers are missing the biggest problem: government.

Still, the key distinction between Tea Party and Occupy is in the solution we propose, not the problems that animated us.

  • Occupy wants more government regulation; Tea Party wants less government
  • Occupy wants wealth destroyed; Tea Party wants wealth created
  • Occupy wants America diminished; Tea Party wants America restored
  • Occupy wants liberty rationed; Tea Party wants liberty expanded
  • Occupy wants everyone on the dole; Tea Party wants everyone rich
  • Occupy wants equal outcomes; Tea Party wants equal opportunity
  • Occupy wants perpetual childhood; Tea Party wants to be treated like grown-ups

The desired ends could not be more perfectly opposed.  But both movements result from the same problem: Government’s perverted relationship with business has distorted and damaged markets, concentrated wealth, and reduced serious competition of ideas.

Do you believe that the government has rewarded the very people who nearly pancaked the economy?  If you do, then you’re in good company.  According to a brand new Rasmussen poll:

Overall, 68% believe that most of the bailout money went to the very people who created the nation’s ongoing economic crisis. Twelve percent (12%) disagree, and 21% aren’t sure. This level of skepticism hasn’t changed in two-and-a-half years.

Do you believe that more government regulation is the answer?  If so, then you’re in a small minority.  Again, according to Rasmussen:

But when it comes to helping the middle class, just 20% of Americans believe that more government regulation will do the trick. In fact, three times as many (60%) believe that free market competition would do more to help the middle class.

But here’s where it gets tricky for Tea Partiers. Overwhelming numbers of Americans agree with a chant raised by Occupy Wall Street:

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Americans agree with the statement that the “The big banks got bailed but the middle class got left behind.”

If the Tea Party comes to be seen as defenders of Big Banks and bad businesses out of its opposition to Occupy Wall Street’s communist goals, we will lose our credibilityThe Unknowing Believers will look toward the collectivists.

Be careful.  More than three-quarters of Americans are ready to take sides.  They will look for consistency of purpose, viability of solutions, and feasibility of systems.

The ideas proposed by Occupy Wall Street failed in the Soviet Union and everywhere else they were tried.  Our ideas of free markets and free men and women have been tested satisfactorily for 240 years.  Occupy Wall Street believes private business is wrong to accept government money; we believe government is wrong to offer it.

Despite having 180-degree different solutions, both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street recognize some common problems of crony capitalism and corporate executives who put their own wealth ahead of the country, their employees, and their customers. Denying the problem after two and a half years won’t fix the problem; it will make us look like fools.

We have the message. We have the solution. We have the numbers.

**UPDATE:  It seems that Peggy Noonan and I notice similar things a lot.  And Occupy Wall Street includes protesters paid by the hour (h/t @dloesch.

***UPDATE:  Whoa!  Check out this brilliance from The Freeman’s Sheldon Richman:  Wall Street Couldn’t Have Done It Alone

  • Givemeliberty

    No doubt about it…people are not happy, are struggling, and don’t know where to lay blame. 

    There is really a watershed moment here, with the opportunity for the discussion of what the role of government is.  Is government there to redistribute wealth, and administrate all charitable effort (while taking its “cut”, of course)?  Is government there to “keep us all safe” in the nightmare of all mission-creep scenarios?

    I listened to live stream floor debate Thursday (10/6) from Jefferson City on the Economic Development bill.  A (male) state representative said, “The purpose of government is to help people.”

    Really?  Sounds like a recipe for unlimited government. 

    Or is government limited?  Should we try sticking to the Constitution? 

    I say we should.  Devolve the power downward!!!  Free people from the “big government-little liberty” model to the “little government-big liberty” model, and return government to protecting liberty, national defense (not empire), prosecuting fraud, enforcing contracts, and have Congress “regulate the value thereof” (Article I Section 8) of the unit of monetary exchange that the people are shackled to.  Make the centennial year of the Federal Reserve the last!  4% of the 1913 dollar value is low enough, I say.  Government borrowing would be greatly hampered if we could jettison the fiat currency.  Justice demands sound money! 

  • Anonymous

    Dear Bill
    The best way to counter the left on this would be to hold an “Invest-in”.  Lets gather at an open air site while the weather is still good and invite brokers and investment counselors to speak and assist people to open new accounts, along with advisers  to assist people with no money to invest in managing the money they have.  High yield bonds are good right now.
    Cheers

    • I like it. I’d like to hold a workshop on becoming self-employed, too.

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