Erika Johnsen

It's not clear what the protesters descending on Wall Street in New York City this afternoon really want, and I'm sure that even they don't know. "Come together and fight The Man!" or something, seems to be about as far as anyone's gotten. But it's actually rather fitting that this planned "Day of Rage" falls upon the same day that those radical, extremist, racist, cavemen Tea Partiers are thinking about national Constitution Day, which celebrates the adoption of our founding document. If the self-described "raging" leftists, commies, and other intellectual hooligans bearing vague signs like "People Not Profits" actually stopped to articulate their ideas and goals, even just to themselves, they might come to the startling realization that what they and the Tea Party really want is... wait for it... the exact same thing.

There may be some truth to the notion that corporations, businesses, and big monied interests are allowed too large a hand in influencing the direction of our republic, but the corporations are not the problem. The problem is that the government envisioned by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution has been slowly perverted into a massive, sprawling, untameable bureaucracy that unabashedly encourages, as I mentioned in an earlier post, rent-seeking. The antidote for crony capitalism, tax loopholes, et al is not to increase the power of the government to regulate them, but to get rid of big government. Which, funnily enough, is what the Tea Party has been advocating all along. If these protesters weren't blindly committed to socialist dogma, they might actually agree. From the IBTimes:

As the protesters call for President Barack Obama to establish a commission to end "the influence money has over our representatives in Washington," it will be interesting to see whether New York will succeed in transforming Lower Manhattan into an "American Tahrir Square."

Occupy Wall Street, a leaderless resistance movement, was published by activist magazine Adbusters on July 13, and since then people from groups such as NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage have participated to organize the event. "The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%," says the event's official website. ...

While deemed as a mass movement against corporate dominance, the organizers' plan for Occupy Wall Street is to crowdsource the decision of what to demand through discussion.

"More than having any specific demand, per se, I think the purpose of September 17th, for many of us who are helping to organize it and people who are coming out, is to begin a conversation, as citizens, as people affected by this financial system in collapse, as to how we're going to fix it, as to what we're going to do in order to make it work for us again," said an organizer Justin Wedes.

Did none of these enlightened Day of Rage organizers happen to notice that Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE, was an honored guest of President Obama's at his 'jobs' speech to the joint session of Congress? I mean, come on! It's like they're not even trying to hide how easy it is to get in bed with the administration. And if these protesters really hate corporations, I cannot even conceive of how labor unions are avoiding their ire.

To any of these ragingly ignorant anti-capitalists protesters, I would direct your attention to The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, a great read by Niall Ferguson which explains that civilizations with superior and complex financial, credit, and banking systems are infinitely better off than those without. It's just that simple.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.