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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Paul Krugman, "Panic of the Plutocrats": Paul Claims Occupy Wall Street Has Goals

In his New York Times op-ed "Panic of the Plutocrats" (, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman appears to take pleasure in the discomfiture of those troubled by the protests of the Occupy Wall Street movement:

"It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.

. . . .

Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor and a financial-industry titan in his own right, was a bit more moderate, but still accused the protesters of trying to 'take the jobs away from people working in this city,' a statement that bears no resemblance to the movement’s actual goals."

Paul says that Occupy Wall Street has "actual goals." Perhaps he would care to delineate them for us. Do those uniform goals, coming from a broad spectrum of extreme leftist factions, consist of anything other than to occupy Wall Street and dismantle the nation's financial system? Occupy Wall Street and then what? Throw out the baby with the bath water? Start afresh in a brave new utopian world?

A desperate-to-be-reelected Barack Obama is unwilling to dissassociate himself from this movement, which apparently would put an end to the American free market system. In his October 6, 2011 press conference, he sought to explain their motives:

"What I think is that the American people understand that not everybody has been following the rules; that Wall Street is an example of that; that folks who are working hard every single day, getting up, going to the job, loyal to their companies, that that used to be the essence of the American Dream. That's how you got ahead -- the old-fashioned way. And these days, a lot of folks who are doing the right thing aren't rewarded, and a lot of folks who aren't doing the right thing are rewarded."

Well, I've got news for you, too, Barack: Life isn't fair. As I have tried to impart to my children, working hard never ensures that you get ahead. I can dig for oil everyday in my backyard with a spade and shovel, and I can promise you that I will come up dry. Even Herculean efforts demand thought and direction. Yet, I remain appreciative that I can still decide for myself where and when to dig.

I don't care for the Tea Party, and I am appalled by the predatory trading tactics, bundling schemes and novel derivatives which have helped bring the US to its knees. I am also in favor of reinstating Glass-Steagall and the Uptick Rule. However, I have absolutely nothing complimentary to say about Occupy Wall Street.

These days, there is very little room left for those in the middle, as aptly illustrated by my most recent transatlantic flight.


  1. Yes, I have a problem with Krugman and his piece.
    I must admit I differ from you - I am a Social Democrat and in the past I liked Krugman or tolerated him or occasionally fought him (when he ventured into areas of his ignorance with usual arrogance and area of my expertise (antisemitism, for example).
    But his stubbornness combined with ignorance and arrogance is irritating.
    Like you, I don't like anything about Occupy Wall Street (beginning with the name), even though I believe the protests are needed.

  2. To get a better feeling of where you stand could you please answer these questions:
    1)Are you also in favor of increasing the marginal rate above $250000 by around 5%?
    2)What about a new bracket for incomes above $1:000.000?
    3) Do you favor going back to tax capital gains (which for the majority of the people means money made by doing nothing) at 25%?
    And finally,
    4) do you think it is ok for Wall Street firms to funnel unlimited money for the reelection of the members of congress and the Finance committee because corporations are people?