This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison
Over the weekend, Metropolitan Police removed Occupy DC protesters from “a barn-like structure” a few blocks from the White House. More than thirty arrests were made, including one young man who was charged with indecent exposure for urinating from the roof.
Occupy DC protesters have been squatting in McPherson Park, in the middle of one of Washington’s key commercial and government hubs, since October. And what have they achieved?
They say they want to draw attention to income inequality. They have. We all now know that they claim to represent the 99% against the income gains of the 1%. They say they want a more open, more democratic government.
Occupods—as one radio talker calls them--seem to find President Obama’s administration insufficiently socialist. A few Occupy Wall Streeters even protested, albeit feebly, the president’s fund-raising trip to Manhattan last week. It seems to have dawned on some of them that even Mr. Obama’s “spread the wealth around” policies have not lifted their particular boats.
Despite having nationalized banks, insurance companies, automakers, the health care system, and student loans, the Obama administration has proved unable to brighten the prospects of these young protesters. We know Mr. Obama doesn’t like Winston Churchill. An economy in the doldrums may be one reason why. “Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings,” Churchill once said, “and socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
Well, not all Occupods want to share equally. When generous donors delivered food to the Occupy Wall Street contingent a few weeks back, one of the youthful Occupods was incensed that the homeless guys crowded in to claim a share. “Hey, they have no right to our stuff!” After all, we are busy squatting on our butts, chanting, and making speeches against the system. We worked for that stuff.
But isn’t a claim to other people’s “stuff” the whole point of the Occupy movement? They dismiss the idea that you ought to work for your stuff. They don’t like an economy that rewards you for effort and not for just standing on the roof piddling.
That “barn-like structure” line is instructive. To urban cowboys, to Occupy DCers, and the mainstream media, that building may look like a barn. And some media outlets have even called the erection of that structure “a barn raising,” but it is anything but.