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I just went down to check out the scene at the https://occupywallst.org/ rally. It was a bit of a disappointment, for a number of reasons. First, there were only a few hundred people there (one of the organizers told me they peaked out at around a thousand on the weekend). Second, the people who were there were the wrong people.

What do I mean by that? The attendees were mainly scruffily dressed young people, whose attire and approach was too easily dismissed by those in authority. The smirk on the face of the Fox News reporter who was interviewing various participants said it all. "These people are easy to dismiss."

I couldn't bear to see him goading these idealistic young people into making bombastic statements (the reporter is a tool of AIG was one comment I overheard), so I stepped over and asked if I could speak to him.

I told him that I run a company with about $100 million in revenue, and that it isn't just kids who think that Wall Street bankers got away with a crime. There are a set of people who constructed a set of financial products with intent to defraud. They took our country to the brink of ruin, then got off scott free, even with multi-million dollar bonuses. I'll be interested to see if Fox runs my comments anywhere.

It seems so odd to me that the Tea Party isn't out in force at this protest. It seems so odd that government largesse aimed at rich corporations seems to be OK with them, while government largesse aimed at the disadvantaged ought to be cut. I would have loved to see blue collar Americans out in force at this protest, not just college students.

(Personally, I'm all for a leaner approach to government that I've described with the geeky vision of "Government as a Platform." Spend strategically in order to catalyze society to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately, in this case that wasn't done.)

I highly recommend Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone reporting on the financial crisis of 2008 http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405 , as well as these recent pieces: http://www.financialsense.com/financial-sense-newshour/guest-expert/2011/09/14/william-k-black-phd/why-nobody-went-to-jail-during-the-credit-crisis and http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/09/obamas_economic_quagmire_frank.html They should make your blood boil.

It's not the American Spring yet, but it ought to be.

Here are some of my photos from the event:
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Courtney Stacey's profile photoJon Harper's profile photoTeresa Ortega's profile photoRicardo Bánffy's profile photo
203 comments
 
Thanks for going down there, checking it out, and talking to Fox. You're right - the Tea Party should be all over this. But they're not. They've been totally corrupted by Wall Street money.
 
You hit the nail on the head - too many lone wolfs, anarchists, and generally disaffected youths. It was a good idea, but the fringes were there in higher numbers than the more mainstream folks were willing to accept - a lot of people left because it wasn't as big as they thought it would be, and many more left because the people attending didn't share their ideologies
 
I think one of the problems is that a lot of people think they know where the problem lies, but aren't really sure exactly what the problem is, or how to fix it. At least that's how I read the protests that have been described by many is disorganized and unfocused.

I'm not at all surprised the Tea Party was not out in force there. But that's because I've never believed the Tea Party's own statements about who they are in the first place.
 
This was something I thought about over the weekend, when people were complaining about the lack of news coverage on the event.
All of the photos I saw posted, depicted youths lounging with hastily crafted signs and Guy Fawkes masks. It did not seem like the sort of protest to draw any sort of attention or serious consideration.
 
The psychological explanations I've seen seem to fit the lack of protest from the Tea Party…you don't criticize giving money to people who you wish you could be some day, and you don't support giving money to people who are the one thing between you and being on the bottom of the economic pile.
 
Still amazes me that America spends billions hunting terrorists - yet the real financial terrorists are the bloody bankers who systematically raped and pillaged the US financial system and walked away with NO ARRESTS, NOT ONE CONVICTION whatsoever. How the hell can that happen and why arent nearly all US citizens beating down the door of wall street and demanding justice to see all involved tried and convicted.
 
+Kee Hinckley, I'd heart that explanation before but never connected it to the Tea Party's hypocritical behavior before. It has the ring of truth, in my mind.
 
Tim, thanks for the report, the statement and the sentiment. "The Wrong Spokesperson" can make it far too easy for even the most deserving cause to be dismissed. The reporting astounds me: Not that Taibbi did such a good job, but that practically no one has seriously followed his lead. It's a multi-dimensional disgrace.
 
Aren't you disappointed that they didn't use real poster board for their signs too?
 
+Kee Hinckley - I will have to add my own 'me too' to this. No matter the Tea Party's stated motives, your explanation seems a lot closer to the mark.
 
A lot of us tea-party types do not see any purpose to rabble-rousing protests, and the press covers what it wants how it wants.

You'll hear us at the ballot box.
 
Everyone agrees. Still nothing happens. Just a "few hundred" people who are easy to be dismissed. No widespread anger. I guess, things are still running well enough for most people.
 
I think the problem is that the "tea partiers" and other small government types, don't think Wall St. is the place to protest. They put out their hands, but the gov't filled them.
 
When will apathy reach critical mass? And what will happen when it does?
 
nice reflexion of the movement, congrats! Here in Brazil we're facing some street protests also against corruption, but im my view the young brazilians that are going to the street these day miss enterily the point, 'cause they point fingers against corrupt politicians but dont give a damn about the big money that keeps the corrupt machine running.

Hope you're right about American Spring. Hope even that that spring spreads all over the world, as happened in north Africa.
 
There is a huge gulf between the folks in Tahir Square protesting getting beat down by government forces for speaking dissent against the government, and these bunch of privileged suburban brats protesting Wall Street. Call it cognitive dissonance.
 
I've just finished the Big Short which, unlike most Taibbi pieces I've read (I haven't read that one) doesn't come across as so irredeemably biased that it can easily be dismissed. It is an excellent story of how the subprime market was built up by Wall Street to benefit Wall Street, how every single one of them would have been bankrupt without US government intervention and how they are rewriting history.

I also had a close personal friend who was involved in the CDO market. He explained to me, at length, about how this was going to explode. (That was in 2007). He quit and joined a ratings agency to try to help rate these things properly. He then realised that no one was listening - or wanted to, and left before it imploded. It's not as if the disaster was unforeseen. It was that too many people were making too much money to want to look into it.

And then the taxpayer rescued them, and is still on the hook.
 
"Government as a Platform" sounds like a great idea to expand on. I'l look up where you mentioned that.
 
Hi Tim,
it may not be the American Spring yet, but Arab spring (as well as Greece, Spain and - as far as I can tell - Portugal, too) started from the young that are "easy to dismiss", too. At that stage of the conflict.

You going there, taking the floor... one more reason why you are in my circle of role models. Thanks!
 
What would you do if you were in Obama's position inside the confines of the laws of this country to punish and rectify or unwind the situation - curious to know your thoughts? Thanks.
 
You should listen to This American Life episodes 355, 382, and 390. Those DO make anyone's blood boil.

Aaaaarggghhhhh!!!
 
I thank you for going there & talking & writing this. The pictures are great. It's good to have different viewpoints on this event.
 
Not a single mention of all the deluded house-buyers buying too much house and believing prices could only go in one direction and that average single-income families can all have million dollar McMansions. Sure Wall Street acted like drug pushers, but we snorted that powder ourselves.
 
+Chris Morgan be careful there partner, speaking the truth has gotten more than one person in trouble!
 
Tim, you are absolutely wrong. I believe a lot of the tea party angst is due to the bailouts and massive government spending benefiting the Big Interests of all types (Big Business, Big Labor, Special Interests, etc)... and they have been all over it... But I think they blame the Pols more than Wall Street. Besides, joining a disruptive engagement organized by people diametrically opposing them really isn't their kind of thing... and why should it be?.

I hope your comments are featured on FOX, because they need to be heard... but I think railing against the banks is much to narrow... The real problem is not Capitalism... Capitalism is the answer. The real problem is that we do not have a FREE and FAIR society. Government very often operates for the few. Not everybody has equal access to markets, opportunities, and benefits. Government programs, laws, and regulations very often exclude and limit access for the many and focus on benefiting the few... and this does not just include the rich.
 
+Chris Morgan - I'm incredibly offended by your remark. I have never had anything but a fixed rate, 30 year mortgage, and always with a monthly payment that is a responsible percentage of my monthly income. I changed jobs, and thus houses, in 2007. Now I find my family in a house that is $50K under water on the mortgage, and I am constrained in my job search to openings in my immediate geographical area because relocating is simply not an option. Why am I -- and so many others like me -- being penalized for the mistakes of others?
 
Hmmm... looking at the IRS reports from 2009, the total amount of profit reported by all corporations was $984B. The deficit this year was very nearly double that. So, you could seize every penny of corporate profits (thereby killing them, entirely, forever) and still not come close to solving our problem.

As righteous as it feels to punish the evil corporations, it does not address the issue of overspending or unfunded, unbounded liabilities.
 
+Mark Stone I'm sorry to hear that, but I would guess it's because you paid too much for your house in 2007. It was an easy mistake to make. My wife wanted to buy back then but I considered anything we could find much too expensive, so we continue to rent.
 
i think the follow up to arab spring is wall street fall
 
Guess what? The government is supposed to be by, of, and for the people. Not corporations. The government isn't a business; its mandate is to protect the commons so that individuals may succeed. The health and general welfare of its people are to be its priority, not the health and general welfare of corporate profits.
 
+Shawn Nunley - I tend to agree with you up to a point. Corporations are only as bad as the laws let them be. In fact, the law requires them to be as ruthless as they can in many cases. A great example is medicine for dying African kids. The pharma comps are only allowed to make a shallow, symbolic donation to end that suffering - otherwise they would be liable to shareholder litigation.

So we should not per se personalize irresponsible corporate behavior ...we should update our laws to make them act more responsibly.
 
Banks knowingly oversold houses for years. They knowingly marketed to and obtained loan qualifications for those who couldn't really afford the mortgages. I thought banks were supposed to be the responsible underwriters of such contracts, but they were too busy dividing, aggregating, packaging, and upselling mortgages into financial devices by which to defraud investors in order to make an almighty buck. Thank goodness for such wise leaders. They sure know how to see past the next quarter.
 
+Shawn Nunley - If you believe that 984B was all the profit these companies made, then I have some land I want to sell you. Water front property even.

There is nothing here about punishing the evil corporations, instead it is about fairness. Last year GE reported that they had earned $10B in profits, the total taxes they paid was $0.

You want to talk about unfunded, let's look at two unfunded wars, 4 years of unfunded tax cuts, 7 years of unfunded and un-bid contracts to a certain company that used to be run by Bush's running mate. etc.
 
Awesome! Great coverage. Could you fly out to Denver for 10-1-11 the Denver US DOR? I'll buy you lunch if you do. :)
 
Why is it odd that the Tea Party isn't there? They're being funded by people like the Koch brothers. You really expect them to bite the hand that feeds them?
 
I agree that I would have liked to see more and a broader group of people there (I would've loved to be there), but I don't think these "college kids" should get discounted. "Blue-collar workers"? Blue-collar jobs don't exist in sufficient quantity for these kids to fill, and those that are blue-collar workers probably can't afford to make a trip to NYC. I'm glad that you came and added your voice--I hope it gets counted among the others, although I seriously doubt it.
 
You guys have a lot in common with the Tea Party - they stand against big faceless government, you stand against big faceless corporations. Newsflash: it's all the same battle.

Don't discount their grassroots elements...and please don't take offense.
Aaron H
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The blue collar workers couldn't be there to protest because they couldn't take time off from their second job to make it down there.
 
Someone should propose we redo this event, and all the young people wear their fancy interview suits. Suddenly it becomes revolutionary.
 
Cardboard signs that look like they were made by the homeless (and are poorly spelled) are not exactly making much of a point.
 
I like that poster: if you don't have a job, protest is your job.

It's stunning to me that as bad as things are here in the States - and for many, many people they are very bad indeed - there is so little protest.

When things started to get bad, there seemed to be a number of murder/suicide, shooting rampage type events that were in part motivated by anger at social and economic ills... It's sort of the individualist/entrepreneur approach to protest. And of course completely ineffective.

We have systemic, structural problems, and groups of people that have had a vested interest in creating these problems and have and are profiting them. But there has not been a systemic social response. Talking heads, such as here, yes. Individual anger, yes.

But the most powerful social movement coming out of this situation is the Tea Party. And they are basically supporting the problem-causers and attacking the solutions... And are to a large extent the tools - unwitting or otherwise - of some of the players.

Where is a new Left when you need it?
 
+Tim O'Reilly Thank you for taking the time to check this out and lend an informed voice to this protest. When I hear about the disbelief people express at the riots in the UK, and elsewhere - and the complete wonderment of "why would anybody want to do that?" and of course the easy dismissal of scruffy anarchists I am not surprised at the lack of movement on this issue. Of course I'm also reminded that "A riot is the language of the unheard" (MLK) - so I don't have a sense of surprise about that. I would also hope that the populist elements of the Tea Party and these "liberals and socialists" can find some common ground - since whether they realize it or not - they have it in spades.
 
Agreed one would think within the age of social media we could do better to create a better protest and get back. But thank you for sharing all this information +Tim O'Reilly awesome job!
 
+Shawn Nunley Not suggesting that anyone seize corporate profits. However, I will note that "profits" are a misleading figure in this context. If you're a Wall Street firm, profits are what's left over after you've paid billions in compensation. If the compensation were fair, profits would be far larger.

Even in companies that don't pay their top people as well as Wall Street, corporate largesse treats as "expense" things that really shouldn't be. For example, when I was in Istanbul earlier this year, I ran across a sales conference for a Fortune 500 company, hundreds of sales executives and their wives, staying at a hotel where rooms were $1000/night, and where to my astonishment, cocktails in the bar were $40-60 each, and I thought, what kind of society allows this kind of thing to be written off as a necessary business expense?

We are in an age of corporate irresponsibility, in which every opportunity to wring costs out of the business drives profits that are enjoyed by a smaller and smaller elite group, the new aristocracy.
 
+Porter Woodward The Tea Party and most liberals and socialists have nothing in common. They should have some anger in common, but the whole point of this is that there doesn't seem to be enough anger yet.

But as for anything substantive, no - nothing in common. The Tea Party are right wing, socially conservative and aggressively free market capitalist. I'd have more in common with a normal member of the Republican Party.
 
It almost makes you think the Average American isn't too bright...
 
Criticizing the Tea Party for not being there is more than a little unfair because I don't see the types protesting corporate welfare also protesting the wastes of social welfare. It goes both ways. 
 
It's been my experience that Tea Party/Libertarian types are against government hand-outs regardless of who they go to. I don't think their participation, or lack thereof, in any one protest says differently. 
 
"... set of people who constructed a set of financial products with intent to defraud" ... can you back that up by naming a specific person and a specific act?

Whatever happend to innocent until proven guilty?

The government hasn't prosecuted anyone because prosecutors have not found any actual crimes.
 
I think the american left have long forgotten how to stage a protest, they don't seem to be angry enough or something. Injustice was done of course and is worthy of outrage but carrying signs and shouting slogans needs some sort of resolve that they don't possess. Maybe protesting isn't efficient and is of an era long gone, maybe a modern alternative is needed.
 
+Benjamin Woodruff If you look at changes in the distribution of wealth and power in the United States since the late 70s/early 80s, you will see a massive shift. It's clear that in many ways the period from say 1950-1980, the Baby Boom era, was somewhat unprecedented. A real move towards a more just and egalitarian society. Now, it's all coming undone.
 
I commented elsewhere that protests are, in a sense, putting the cart before the horse; that there needs to be some sort of underlying solidarity, some sort of civic undergirding that can remain binding against whatever it is you're protesting. I'm not sure that Americans have that yet - what opposition there is, is so split up as to be ineffectual. What I've encountered mostly here is that there is a lot of rhetoric but little sustained engagement to back that up.

A wonderful case in point occurred in 2008/2009, when a friend of mine from a Mennonite intentional community in the West Bank, Minneapolis, proposed a housing project - a few communities with experience with taking in the homeless would train members of churches across the metro area, and then act as a filter to give temporary housing to the many, many people suddenly homeless due to foreclosures and whatnot. There was some initial momentum but it ultimately fizzled - and this was at the height of the housing crisis, amongst people ostensibly dedicated to precisely this sort of human aid. It's a steep, steep slope and I don't know that Americans generally will have sorts of social networks and mutual aid necessary for the challenges ahead. There certainly isn't anything close to a coherent challenge to "the system" that won't simply revert right back, at least at this point.

Which to my mind does not justify the present order as much as stress the urgency of developing the sorts of community bonds that would allow a coherent alternative to present itself.
 
Wait this is O'Reily off of fox news right? not some liberal gay hippiefag station?
 
+Tim O'Reilly the main cause of all those people being not present is that the #occupywallstreet hashtag has been removed after 24 hours of being trending on twitter... The removal was so fast that I didn't even notice that hashtag from here in Italy :\
 
Tim, my point was really two-fold. 1) Corporations aren't the problem. Yes, they play the system. They have to play in order to be viable. 2) Looking at the size of the problem makes it plainly obvious that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. The only way to address this is to grow the economy, not punish it. Taxation, by definition, reduces prosperity. It does not achieve 'fairness' ever. It never has and it never will. History should mean something here.
 
The problem is that we made it legal for corporations to sponsor politicians. If we made that illegal, suddenly politicians might have to pay attention to what they were elected to do.
 
Tim, Do you support Ron Paul for President? He's the man to put things right.
 
Well, protesting still seems to be popular - and maybe effective - in Europe.

It's amazing to me to see how people respond now to the horror of a situation we are in - two long brutal wars overseas, massive unemployment at home, crumbling social infrastructure, parks and schools falling apart, violence, diseases like TB and MRSA getting worse and worse in some urban areas... - and seeing how little of the kind of thing we saw in the 1960s and even 70s is happening.

There was an article I read once that showed how UC Berkeley had increased homework loads in response to the protests of the 1960s, to keep students more quiescent. I bet there's been a whole raft of efforts over the last 30 years designed to convince Americans that social forces don't really exist, and social movements shouldn't either.
 
+Paula Jones "She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private)."

--New York Times on Sarah Palin, Sept 9, 2011.

Maybe it's not that black-and-white.
 
Reading the nymag article felt like deja vu. Replace the names with those from the previous administration and change the particulars of the policy and they become indistinguishable. The president has these guys around him who are doing their own thing and he's not really in charge. The big difference is that of blame. For Bush it was easy, just dismiss him as an idiot and all is explained, for Obama the narrative is that he was inexperienced and so unable to prevent his objectives from being derailed. A distinction without a difference to me.

On a random note, I had misplaced this comment on a different article, but G+ made it SOO easy to fix that mistake. gg
 
+Shawn Nunley Are you drinking the cool-aid that is keeping Americans confused? I think you are when it comes to the issue of taxation.
 
We need a separation of state and corporations. Just like we have a separation of church & state. Our government's fiscal ideology is corrupt.
 
If this were 1700's France, we'd have the head's of the rich in Guillotines. Television is an amazing pacifier.
 
+Nick Chapman - I will do you one better. +Shawn Nunley - Can you explain how taxation reduces profit?

Right off the bat that may sound like a "stupid" question, but think about it very carefully and remember what taxes are really for. Not what Bush and buddies spent the money on, but what the taxes are supposed to be spent on. Once you start really looking at what taxes are for, you realize that they actually help to improve profits.

Hell, I am a Republican and I support fair taxation of corporations / Millionaires.
 
+Glen Fossella The comments you quoted from Sarah are fine. The problem is that I don't believe her. I think she's only in it to get rich herself and she's as bad as the Koch brothers.
 
+James Wells The tax issue really isn't about parties. Although both parties try to make it a party issue (that is the sideshow of politics).

Its simply a matter of reality. All those tax breaks WE GAVE THE RICH (and the middle class) for almost two decades have caught up with us, and rendered us broke.
 
Sad to see it fizzle like this, but I can't say it was entirely unexpected. The protestors were aiming for a Tahrir-style takeover, but missed important aspects of what made that approach work:

1) Numbers. The demonstrators had hundreds, they needed thousands, at least, to occupy a major landmark for any long period of time.

2) Surprise. This was announced months in advance. If their point was to grab public attention and sympathy (essential to get larger groups of people to join in and create a "Spring" type environment) by suddenly demonstrating how vulnerable a disliked authority is, letting everyone know ahead of time is a bad idea.

3) Failure to take the target. Wall Street, at least the part of it that's the major target of all this, is unoccupied. The NYSE isn't significantly disrupted.

The tragedy is, a few hundred determined people can actually accomplish a fair amount, demonstration-wise, if they use tactics more appropriate to their size.

Honestly, at this point, I think one of the biggest impediments to an "American Spring" actually happening is existing protest culture.
 
Its the most uncoordinated long term project I've seen. Let me do the next one, it'll come out better. SHEEEESH.
 
+Astrida Valigorsky - Agree, but a couple people on here seem to have drank the "cool-aid of American Confusion". By pointing out that I am a Republican, hopefully it will make them stop and think a moment... Perhaps the cool-aid will wear off before they say something even more foolish.
 
+Paula Jones That's unfortunate. What specifically leads you conclude that she is a liar? Why do you think the New York Times was not similarly dismissive?
 
I don't know "scruffily dressed young people" should be marginalized in the context of protest & activism. I saw a lot of scruffily dressed young people in all the global protests we've seen the past year. And +***** calling them "privileged suburban brats" is not only a ridiculous generalization but also irrelevant as privileged suburban brats are losing the middle class their parents enjoyed and thus have every right to protest. I saw blue collar protesters next to scruffily dressed kids at the WTO protest in Seattle, and it was those privileged brats who were clubbed and teargassed during the police riot... the WTO protests were marginalized at the time but anyone who's upset about American jobs going overseas should regret not being on the streets of Seattle 12 years ago. I was also at one of the early Tea Party rallies before the movement was co-opted and it was mostly elderly activists who weren't all that much more visually impressive than the scruffily dressed kids. Does every protest have to be a Brooks Brothers riot for it to be taken seriously?
 
+David Forbes Some of you guys missed the "Tea Party spring". Or does that not count as legitimate political protest?
 
A Brooks Brothers riot would however, insert itself more surreptitiously into the landscape and be more 'media-worthy'. Its um-- a clever tactic.
 
+David Forbes I think the main reason this didn't turn into an "American spring" thing was... that it isn't spring ;-) (Your points are quite correct, I think... but seriously, I think the temps do play into this too)
 
+Benjamin Woodruff "Who cares what percentage you lose to taxes when you still make more money than everyone else?" I work in a small business (25 people) and the owner is sitting on his hands, despite profits, because he doesn't know what his costs will be 12-18 months from now. And if his taxes go up, I may lose my job. So I care.
 
Timing and organization matter. They appear to have missed on both counts, which explains the lackluster turnout and the absence of compelling messengers.
 
+Matt Pizzolo You didn't really read what I wrote nor did the analogy I made sink in. Pity.
 
+Matt Pizzolo If you want to be taken seriously, you should dress seriously. I'm a college student and I understand that. There's a reason people still wear suits to work and that's simply because our society accepts that image as "legitimate". These kids probably have a button down hidden in the back of their closet that they could pair with some jeans and a belt. It doesn't have to be Brooks Brothers, but when you try to present your ideas to people who may not be entirely in agreement with you, it helps if you look like what is considered a respectable member of society. I'm the VP of the most active political organization on my campus and I always get the people sitting out in front of the Union for us to wear at least a polo and nicer shorts or a button down and khakis so that we look legitimate.
 
+Glen Fossella: The Tea Party movement is a distraction, rallying its followers against a small subset of issues (some real, some imagined) that do not address the comprehensive change we need. (My opinion.) Unfortunately, you are still correct, it is the best recent example of effective political protest in the US.
 
+Nick Chapman Victims of the shock(s).
I share your thought regarding the poor mobilization. Interesting on this topic is to read and watch Naomi Klein "shock doctrine" from Michael Winterbottom et Mat Whitecross. Extract here :
http://youtu.be/eAlVQ9UAFhk
 
+Alexandra Williamson Right, people not dressing in a suit will never be, say, elected to even local parliament, right? Check out yesterday's election in Berlin (Germany) to get a reality check.
 
+Mark Ryback well I did read it, but maybe I missed context of what you were replying to? were you not saying the protesters are privileged suburban brats?
 
+Thom Stricklin How is starving the beast, including the global corporate blob controlling the federal government, a small subset of issues?
 
+Glen Fossella Sorry I gave a quick answer and didn't properly explain myself. I think that what she said was spot on. I just see her as corruptable as the other politicians even tho she isn't in office right now. I think she is in the Tea Party for the money, and I have little or no proof of that, so it's just a personal dislike.
 
+Alexandra Williamson I suspect people who consider suits "legitimizing" might not be the target audience of the protest (and, to be fair, not everyone wears a suit to work). The Brooks Brothers riot was effective in supporting George W Bush in Florida, but filling Tahrir Square with suits wouldn't have been particularly helpful with that protest. Dress for the job (or protest) you want... wearing a suit to a Wall Street protest would be like wearing a red coat to the Boston Tea Party.
 
+Tim O'Reilly Adbusters Magazine, who pushed the demonstration, is largely targeted at the suburban "activist" (and mostly teen to thirties I'd say). So no surprise there. But I'm glad you were there, thanks for writing about it!
 
+Jürgen Erhard Ich hab das nicht gesagt. Ich hab nur gesagt, dass es einfacher ist, jemand zu überzeugen, wenn man seriös aussieht. Ich kenne die Piratenpartei. Ich mag die Piratenpartei. Ich hab auch nach Berlin gegangen und bei Uni Osnabrück studiert. Ich hab Deutsch seit fünf Jahre gelernt. Du musst nicht mir sagen, dass Berlin liegt in Deutschland. Ich bin Amerikanerin, aber ich bin nicht blöd. Beruhig Sie sich, bitte.
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The Tea Party does NOT, and never has, associated with Communists, Socialists, Anarchists and Code Pinks. And yeah, these were the folks trying to "occupy" Wall Street. Get your facts straight.
 
+Matt Pizzolo Your target audience should be anyone you can convince. If you read what I wrote, I said suits weren't necessary. Just look like what the average person in our society would consider respectable and you'll see that it'll do wonders for your credibility. That's why they make kids in college dress up for presentations and speeches. It's why the Presidents and presidential candidates, even at the least formal events, are still wearing slacks and collared shirts. It gives you credibility, even if it's only unconscious in the mind of the audience.
 
if you're going for the "poor" "jobless" look, you may want to put away the Macbook Pro.. Just Sayin'
 
+Glen Fossella: I don't feel like the Tea Party is actually going after that global corporate blob. I have, however, seen Tea Party folk protesting school board meetings over a tax that (1) is not controlled by the school board (hint: they don't control any taxes), and (2) does not pay into school funds in any way. I feel that Tea Partiers are well-meaning but somewhat misinformed and misdirected. But as I said, it is just my opinion. :)
 
+Matthew Gerring Do you want to be effective? Do you want to be taken seriously by people that might dismiss you as some asshole hipster college student otherwise? Then wear a collared shirt. Or a polo. Or something. Wearing something with a collar isn't going to undermine your entire manifesto.
 
Your observation about the crowd reminds me of environmental protests from 20 years ago. Lots of ernest, scruffy, angry young people who were genuinely concerned, but were also enjoying the confrontational aspect more then was really useful (I was one of them).
 
+Matt Pizzolo It's true that you should dress for the job you want. Well, I don't want the job of "permaprotester." I want to see the country move to address the grievances being raised here and move on. Being part of that means dressing for the part, and that means not being scruffy. Not to rag on the people camping out there: good luck, guys. I just hope enough New Yorkers join them, and come dressed for what I hope will come next.
 
I'm not much of an economist, but I have met payroll for all (used to be 17, now 7) of my employees for the past 17 years.

Here's what president Obama should have done instead of blowing, what, 2 trillion and now wanting to spend another 1.5 trillion? He should have divided that two trillion, or whatever the amount was, by the number of current taxpaying US Citizens (estimated at about 110 million) and cut them a check. I'll let you figure out the zeros. Problem solved.
 
Corporations have taken control over both political parties and have thereby raised the stakes to an extent that 'fighting back' effectively is very difficult. Apathy is entrenched in our society as it seems like the only winning move is not to play.
 
I don't think anybody took the rally seriously. People expected the "usual gang" of anarchist and communist protesters, and looking at the signs, we were not disappointed. Unfortunately for them, anarchists and communists are diametrically opposed philosophies, and so the protest had no coherent message to rally behind.
 
Their only success is their poster/flyer with the Bull & Dancer. That is neat. (on their webpage)
 
Thanks, Tim, for putting your voice out there on this. I'm still wondering why there isn't more anger - or at least interest - in this subject.
 
If Wall Street was filled wall-to-wall with Nobel laureates in tuxedos protesting corporate corruption, the Fox News reporter would find a drunk passed out in a dumpster to interview as the face of the protest.
 
+Matt Pizzolo Oh, no doubt. But at least he'd have to dive in a dumpster, and the world would be a slightly better place, if only for a few minutes.
 
hello i 100% agree with you. I work nextdoor and came down a few times to check it out, it reminded me of woodstock with a bunch of hippie kids running around having innocent fun!
 
It was rather well-known that this was going to be a leftist, anti-capitalist thing anyway. As most Tea Partiers are on the right, they chose not to "officially" participate (as much as a non-centralized group can do anything "officially"). They've protested govt. largesse to anyone enough times before.

The "Bank profits are useless" sign gives the game away. Banks should be run like charities? Indeed.
 
We need the "Liberal Elite" to sponsor their own tea party movement, co opt some of the language, but be truly populist rather than corporatist. who knows, we might even attract some of those other tea parties members, and join forces for some real change.
 
It's the wrong place. They need to go to DC and enter the halls of the capitol. Just like Wisconsin.
 
Freaking hilarious. 1/4 of the signs are in Spanish, 1/4 are written in gibberisch, the rest appear to be written by potheads and people who've been sponging off society without contributing anything useful. Good grief!
 
+Tim O'Reilly said "There are a set of people who constructed a set of financial products with intent to defraud. They took our country to the brink of ruin, then got off scott free, even with multi-million dollar bonuses. I'll be interested to see if Fox runs my comments anywhere."

And why aren't these people in jail?!
 
I respect you, Tim, and I am interested in what you have to say. However, I am very uncomfortable with your idea that "the wrong people" are involved in this protest. It seems like a very undemocratic point of view. I'm also not sure why some commentators are so dismissive of young people's desire to protest. Young people were a vital part of the Vietnam war protests, which I hope we can still agree were important in this country and served a purpose.
 
Bwahahaha what a pathetic display of "righteous anger!". Always fun to see the progressive left fail as they always do.
 
Tim - been to many of the TOC In NYC. I respect your opinion and you have the new think that is necessary to get us off this old tired loop. Please do what you can to help this movement have more people not just the right people.
 
Wouldn't it be great if Warren Buffett showed up?
 
Please follow up with a link to the interview. I'd like to see your take on how it got edited!
 
The idea of able to fight for things you believe in by itself is the pursuit of happiness.
 
+Thom Stricklin Some Tea Party types are misinformed and misdirected. But some know a great deal about the US Constitution and can discuss the Federalist Papers. They understand how government works and how it should work. Probably not fair to generalize.
 
+Benjamin Woodruff First off, calling fellow-posters criminals is probably not a good way to use this forum.

Secondly, by suggesting that my boss spend money on lawyers and accountants to better protect his company from the State really makes my point for me. Of course some companies are doing well, and some are not. That's not news. But the State has added to typical business risk, and millions are unemployed or underemployed because the State has made it impossible for businesses to plan and invest.
 
It's just a matter of time. Spring is coming.
 
Government subsidization of risk is the entire problem. Bankers didn't suddenly become greedy.

Can no one see the pattern of what the tea party protests? They protest government outside of its proper and moral role: the protection of individual rights.
 
How disappointing. Most comments here are so helplessly ignorant even so they come from evidently smart people.

Tim O'Reilly is so wrong in the manner of addressing the grievous influence that the big money has on American politics.

Any "American Spring" will be extremely damaging to the American life. Such political manifestations are working the hand of the very interest you condemn. It is extremely rare that revolutions ever bring anything good. Mob violence is creating nothing but chaos at best. The mob is instigated and highjacked by political agents in order to undermine the rule of law.

The way to fix big money including corrupt politicians has always been the rule of law. In the US, the biggest culprit is the Federal Government that is subservient to big interests (multinational banks, financial systems and corps) as well as the Supreme Court that is deadlocked in erroneous precedent. If you want change for better, contribute, converse, support any organization that works to limit the power of the Federal Government. The only hope is in such ideas as the 10th Amendment, Fair Tax, term limits, state power over federal power, no representation without taxation, nullification - ideals this country was founded on.

The mob is the tool used to introduce statism by destabilization; statism leads to universal poverty and the rule of demagogues rather than law.

Read history. Be careful what you wish for. The Arab Spring is ushering in the sharia law not more freedom, economic or otherwise.
 
It's unfortunate that so many people are being hard on those who actually showed up for this protest. At least they put forth the effort.

Meanwhile, back on Google+ an intense debate over Brooks Brothers vs. t-shirts ensues.
 
+Tim O'Reilly Thanks for writing this up. I was really curious about what was happening over there.
 
The timeline of when moral hazard first polluted the rule of law is a bit fuzzy but one could start with the Great Depression. If banking regulations like the Glass-Steagall Act had not been deliberately dismantled and mostly eliminated by 1999 to 2000 (see CFMA of 2000), we likely would have avoided the same mistakes that LTCM first signaled back in 1998 and again later with Enron (see Frank Partnoy's testimony from 2002 before the Senate committee). By 2008, the great collapse was inevitable as Partnoy warned Congress about in 2002.

Instead of respecting the lessons of the Great Depression, the White House under President Clinton (and a Republican-controlled Senate with Phil Gramm), caved in to the Reagan Era - Alan Greenspan - Wall Street fantasy that deregulation would solve any and all global economic problems because "markets" were smart. They were self-correcting.

The hall of shame for the financial collapse of 2008 is a who's who list of American technocrats, lobbyists, elected politicians and business leaders who led us down the path of de-regulated, free market gambling that leveraged everything. Instead of separating main street banking from casino banking, we allowed super banks that gambled everything starting with CitiGroup and ending with Lehman Brothers (the last one without a seat when the music stopped).

If and when Europe's banks collapse, prepare for TARP, Part 2. It's probably already underway given the total lack of transparency by our financial leaders and the FRB.

What's the answer? Start with the wisdom of Justice Brandeis who knew exactly what the issues were when bankers played with other people's money. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Brandeis

There are still some dedicated, civic-minded leaders among us who can help reform our financial system ... starting with Elizabeth Warren, Brooksley Born, Michael Greenberger and Frank Partnoy.
 
I think I just threw up in my mouth as I consider how smug that Fox reporter looks.
 
this is just the beginning!!! fight back
 
Is it odd that the Tea Party prefers big companies over poor people? Aren't these the same people who prefer trickle-down economics and are funded by millionaires?
 
Is some ways its sad that the only people that care enough to protest are the ones that are the most comfortable with themselves. On top of that they are getting ridiculed for, in a way, not being part of the thing they try to fight. Not dressing as themselves can also be viewed as a sellout. It is absurd that you need certain types of garments in order to convey a message that I think most of us agree with. A message has no dress code, so why should protesters have one. In the end they might be hurting them selves, but it is not their fault for not fitting everyone else's box.

They dress how they feel and they don't let the society dictate what they wear. I would call this a argumentum ad hominem and it does not belong in a system where we have to play by the same rules.
 
Kudos Tim - you're forgiven for all that 'healthy competition' nonsense. :)
 
The war supply industry provided many jobs, at least during the Bush era. 8-)

Time to get back to earth, to not wait for employers and help from government anymore but to start with little businesses by ourselves.

And, of course, to only buy what we can really afford. On a governmental level but also our very private ones...
 
Thanks, Tim, for taking the time to go there and to talk to the Fox reporter. Even if your interview never makes into their report, you may have planted a seed of doubt in that reporter's head. That may change him into a better reporter in the future.
 
+Shawn Nunley If I cut your income, you'd have a spending problem too. A huge part of the deficit is that we cut the government's income, not just that it's spending too much. People forget that Reagan raised taxes as he increased spending. Bush cut taxes and raised spending. And started two wars that he put on the country's credit card. (Every prior war has been paid for by a tax increase.)

It's misguided and misinformed rhetoric that the deficit is solely due to a spending problem, and that cutting taxes will restore the economy. Anyone who is numerate and looks at the historical record knows that this is a right wing political fiction.

We do have some long term spending problems in medicare and health care in general. But cutting taxes in general won't fix that.

The real problem we have, and that the Tea Party is exacerbating, is the same problem that is bedeviling Greece. People want government services, but they don't want to pay for them via taxes.

When I see a credible plan from anyone on the right to cut expenses by eliminating programs that would really move the needle, I'll take these arguments seriously. Right now, they are pure voodoo, claiming again and again that if we cut taxes we'll eliminate the deficit through growth, when the historical record shows that just not to be true. Take us back to the tax burden of the Reagan/Clinton era, and we'd be a lot better off than we are with current right wing proposals.
 
+Anders Alm My point was simply that the protesters were easy for the media to dismiss, especially when the only media that appeared to be there was Fox News (which has an agenda to do precisely that). I wasn't wishing for the protesters who were there to dress better or act differently, just wishing that they weren't the only ones to come out. If there had been a richer cross-section of people, it would have been harder for the media to dismiss this protest as "fringe." I would have liked to see cops and firemen and teachers and secretaries , not to mention entrepreneurs and developers (my crowd).
 
+Florin Wisemart Seems to me that the protesters are precisely asking for the rule of law: that the law be applied to people who acted like criminals, selling products designed to fail.
 
Great post... I would like to add that the makeup of the protestors seems to reflect that younger generations are literally facing a bleak/morbid future; and the older generations are far too complacent in allowing the status quo to persist. The complacency & fear of the people is why our country is a mess to begin with, so no... im not surprised most of the older folks have yet to show.... look at their track record thus far...
 
It's funny. I think the "American Spring" happened when the Tea Party came out en masse and tipped the scales in the mid-term elections. I don't agree with their politics but they got organized and influenced the election. Considering all of the harm that came out of the financial crisis of 2008 and that no one was held accountable, why isn't it considered reasonable to protest the privatization of profit and the socialization of the losses? None of the banks cried "socialism" when they were taking our tax dollars. Why does the Tea Party condone this kind of behavior? Why are so many conservatives against this kind of protest? This should be one issue where the left and the right have some agreement. If the American people, not the politicians, can't find common ground on this issue then we are in big trouble.
 
+Collin Anderson +Tim O'Reilly Your both partly wrong. Tahrir was started by youth.
The Youth Showed Up, You Older Guys That Let This Happen Didn't Show

Second the tea party is the religious right captured by large corporations.

Unfortunately the real fact is that unless violence happens to a group of protestors trying to block people from entering wall street, or because the police get tired of their presence nothing will happen.

If you want to help donate to their food fund so they can stay their longer.
 
+Steven Van der Werf I don't agree. Creating financial products that were designed to fail, and then betting against them (proving that you knew they were going to fail) seems to me to be quite adequate grounds for a lot of criminal cases.
 
+Teresa Ortega I agree that "the wrong people" was the wrong way to say what I meant. I didn't mean that the people who were there were "wrong" somehow, but that the mix of the crowd was "wrong." I was looking for a much broader cross-section of the American public, which is being punished for the wrongdoings and hubris of a greedy industry that took us all to the cleaners, and got away with it.
 
This was a stupid futile protest. Yes everyone's upset but watching a bunch of hipsters gather to whine accomplishes nothing. The only way to be heard and recognized is with a run on the banks. Those bankers and politicians get their power from money - your money. Take it out of their banks for a while and watch how quickly they bend over backwards to listen and obey the people they are supposed to represent. The reality is we keep borrowing money to overspend. Individuals, companies, AND the government. We need to live within our means. Stop playing partisan politics, stop spending money you don't have, and stay away from the pundits. Analyze and defend ideas on their merits, not people or parties because of ideals. Ideals are hypothetical, solutions are real. http://www.kpcb.com/usainc/ breaks it down in a non-partisan manner.
 
I'm continually dumbfounded by the inability of so many Americans to do basic arithmetic. The government is like anyone else, they have income (taxes) and expenses (this includes funding for not just social programs like welfare, and schools, but also for things like military spending, and pure pork barrel like the wallstreet bailout), and in order for everything to be kosher these two need to be relatively close to each other. On the "Left" we've got people screaming for more social programs (spending) but wanting to keep taxing the same (generally speaking, a lot of the "common people" want increased taxes on the rich, but the actual politicians aren't saying any such thing), leading to increased spending with no increase in revenue. On the "Right" we've got people calling for reduced taxes (income), and no reduction in social programs (once again generally speaking, lots of "common people" are calling for reduced social programs, although it's important to note mostly in the cheapest like welfare, not the really big money sinks like military spending, but once again the politicians are saying no such thing), leading to reduced income but no reduction in spending. Both the "Left" and the "Right" are trying to push the balance further out of alignment. The solution as anyone with even half a brain should be able to figure out is to increase taxes (income) and reduce spending (preferably in something heavy that won't be missed much like military spending).

As for the Tea Party, I'd love to be able to support them, but I can't for a great many reasons, not the least of which is they've got their economic peanut butter mixed in with their religious jelly. I'm not about to oust one set of greedy abusive con-men only to replace them with a set of greedy manipulative nutters backed by Dogma. As our founding fathers knew, government and religion should never mix, but that's a lesson the Tea Party is all too eager to overlook. Also as others pointed out I have doubts about the sincerity of the things they say. There's also the problem that most of the supporters of the Tea Party are fervent believers in a "Free Market" while overlooking the fact that if we had a truly free market a large chunk of our society would collapse. None of them seem to realize that copyright, patent, trademark, and some portions of contract law are all against Free Market economics and would have to be eliminated in order to achieve a true free market. How long do you think American mega-corps would last without copyright and patent to shore them up?
 
+Jim Feig I'm of the same demographic group as the protesters and took the train from DC for the sole reason to spend the first twenty-four hours in the plaza. The older people didn't show because no one made an attempt to convince them that it was worth their while.
 
+Jeff Snyder No I don't think he was. I assume that +Tim O'Reilly knows how to string words into a sentence; "It's not the American Spring yet, but it ought to be." lacks any allusions to metaphor.* +Florin Wisemart
*Can one allude to a metaphor?
 
+Tim O'Reilly There is simply not enough revenue to support (without drastic cuts) the unbounded and limitless appetite for government services. This cannot possibly be solved by only addressing it on the taxation side of the equation. You could take it all (every dime of income over $10M, every dime of corporate 'profits') and still you wouldn't have enough.

All of this nonsense that Obama is spewing about 'millionaires and billionaires paying their fair share' is just a distraction, and even Obama said two years ago that raising taxes during a recession costs jobs. John F Kennedy said that in order to create jobs, you have to lower tax rates.

As for the wars being the problem, you realize that the wars have cost us about $1T over the course of 10 years. Our national debt stands at over $14T. You could stop the war spending today and still not move the needle. Another red herring. And Obama claiming that he's going to save another $1T by stopping the war is complete nonsense. The wars are winding down and that money wasn't going to be spent in any case. In order to believe it is a savings of $1T, you'd have to believe these wars would be prosecuted at the same level for another 10 years, and nobody believes that.

So, I think we've reached a tipping point. Not sure there is any solution that doesn't result in riots. It's so easy to vote for handouts (but think of the children!), but try taking it away from the masses and you'll see violence. We are in for turbulent times ahead.
 
Agreed. totally agree with what you said here. Why isn't the Tea Party and Anarchists and Jobless Hordes and MoveOn and all religious people and everyone who hates Mammonist Oligarchy and financial immorality marching against the fraud and crimes of Wall Street?
 
This axiom holds true for all debates like this one... For those who "get it", no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible.
 
+Tim O'Reilly The scruffies are getting their bones broken. Another visit from you would greatly help their safety.
 
I was arrested in front of the White House protesting the XL Pipeline, which was amazingly organized. We were strongly encouraged to dress well and not draw attention to ourselves in order that the focus remain on the pipeline, not the credibility of the protesters.
 
There is a silent majority that will wake up one day... and that day is coming fast!
 
I created what is probably the first (super alpha) web application for these people. Please see: http://jordanarsenault.com/occupywallstreet-demo - looking to pull it off my server and deploy it somewhere more permanent... then start plugging it in all major online occupywallstreet outlets. Could use some help. I will be open-sourcing it later tonight, First announced on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/occupywallstreet/comments/klf3w/protesters_a_web_app_has_been_built_for_you/
 
+Richard Frost "beating down the door" - It's some kind of cruel irony that when you give people the freedom to stand up for their rights, they mostly don't.
 
Thanks for the photos and for talking to the fox, it's great to see some of what people have been writing. Back when plaza catalunya was occupied here in Spain, I took some photos as well. Some are gathered here: https://n-1.cc/pg/photos/album/263961/posters-y-slogans-del-15m-barcelona + https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150203232826673.308190.685461672&l=3138fa0277&type=1 and others here together with this blog post about my first contact with the camp: http://tziteras.blogspot.com/2011/05/is-peaceful-cohabitation-with-self.html
 
Scruffy dressed young people not taken seriously... That is one of the fundamental flaws with American culture. If you are (or were) a hard-working person then you probably make shit money and no one takes you seriously even though its people who actually produce something who *should [if things were actually fair or just] be the ones making the money. Trouble is that we all pretend to believe in a system that caters to the rich and only allows those with money to make more money and those who have work for a living stuck in the rat race. I work a full-time Machinist job and a part-time Flight Instructor job, have an [older] car that is paid-off, a girlfriend who pays her fair share, and I am living paycheck to paycheck almost to make my mortgage and credit card. I'm not pretending to have it bad at all, but I don't understand how anyone else (besides the rich) survive. Without my girlfriend, both jobs, and keeping my fingers crossed that my car doesn't have major mechanical issues I think I would seriously default. This is not the America I grew up in. When I was teenager I made about $250/week for 35 hours. $7/hr was plenty though when gas was barely over $1/gal (and everything else proportionality the same). Not to mention that jobs actually had good benefits back then. The price of everything just keeps going up while college students can hardly find work at McDonalds. I don't know what happened to the dream but it seems like our country and its people have been taken for a ride that just won't stop. I don't know anyone who is happy or content with the way things are. How can a government whose people are desperate to make ends meet spend trillions bailing out the rich, fighting unending wars without clear enemies, and violating these same citizens civil rights on money it doesn't even have!? It's like we've been hacked. I don't know if it is the super-rich or foreign spies or its just become so bureaucratic it can tell which way is up or what but the disconnect between the government and the people is unreal. Ironically the riots are in the middle-east while here its just a couple people peacefully protesting which will never get taken seriously.
 
The last sentance of your post is a shining example of truth. The truth we don't want to face. The truth that is contradictory to our vision of the way the world should work.

Violence comes in many, many forms. Sticks and stones, corporate monopolies, government intimidation, etc... Sadly, peaceful protests rarely render results against the ones who use the various forms of violence as a tool to progress thier own agenda. And, in cases where peaecful protests do render the results that the public desires, it takes years and years. The abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement are classic examples of that.

George Carlin ~ "It's a big f**king club...and you ain't in it!!!"
 
So the gist of what you are saying is that the hard-working Americans have been outsmarted by the "ruling class" and/or the rich?
Seems to me that if the hard-working were a little smarter they would put that intellect to use to learn the game as it's played here in the United States, or at the other end of the spectrum, stop it from happening by ousting the politicos. (Two term limit for every office.)

BTW: When did "The Government" become something other than us ruling us?
 
+jack seal That's part of the problem. So many of the hard-working have converted to "playing the game" that very little actually gets done anymore. Those that are left are either too uneducated to get in on the scam, are so far in debt that they can't meet the minimum price of entry, or realize that eventually the whole thing is going to collapse and refuse to get involved with it. There's also so many trying to run scams that the whole system is teetering on the brink of collapse. Wallstreet has managed to turn our entire economy into a giant pyramid scheme with a couple slot machines tossed in to spice things up. That by itself wouldn't be all that bad, it just means the next higher level of the pyramid becomes the new bottom (which is already happening, look at the erosion of the middle class). The problem is that the government, or more accurately the political elite who have been running the government for at least 50 years now, have also been busy running their own set of scams which are also on the verge of collapse.

Importantly, all the people running these schemes don't want to be the ones left without a seat when the music stops, so all of them are trying to do everything they can to keep the music going as long as they can, which is just causing the whole situation to spiral even further out of control. What's worse is that the ones who actually see where things are headed, in general, lack the power and influence to do anything about it. Right now Wallstreet and Washington are looking at each other and trying to figure out how the other guy is going to save them now that their scams are falling apart. Washington already bailed out some of the scammers, but they can't afford to bail them all out, and that still leaves the question of who's going to save Washington.
 
Here's an actual blockade to compare to the pretend one.

It's a shame we don't see 200 comment long discussions about these so much. http://libcom.org/news/longshore-workers-attack-grain-terminal-08092011

Blaming the crisis on 'greedy bankers' is a very dangerous route, it immediately takes the entire discussion into the territory of corruption rather than looking at the system as a whole. So Tim is right that the protest should appeal to a much wider group of people than those who showed up for it, but that's part of the problem with it. All these crazy financial instruments are a symptom of wider issues, not their actual cause.
 
I would have liked to see some tea partier's our there as well. Most of what I have seen the Tea Party involved with has been in an effort to turn around something forth coming instead of protesting something that has already happened. Good Post..thanks for sharing.
 
while I am unable to attend, given that I am a blue collar American living well below median income and can't afford the 700 mile trip from Indiana OR to take the time off, I am an ardent supporter and have talked and posted about the protests so much that I'm pretty sure I've alienated friends who are sick of hearing it (I hear the sand is a comfy place for your head). I have seen that it has grown a lot in the last days and it looks to spreading to other cities, which I'm glad to see. If we all pull together, this could be the start of real, significant change.
 
Kool photos. Occupy Wall Street worldwide.
 
These folks should totally get a job making sings. Or complaining about stuff.
 
Look, Tim, the Reuters guy is right, you seem to be implying that if only these guys dressed up in suits, or at least chinos, and had powerpoints, they might get more traction. But most people don't want communism or socialism and don't want to overthrow Wall Street or the capitalist system. They might want to reform it, they might want to remove corruption, but in fact the corrupt are removed and tried and sentenced (Madoff). What do these street commies (and you technocommies) think you can replace this system with? Internet platforms that make you boatloads of money, give us free time-wasting services, and enrich marketers with our data? You don't even create jobs, Tim. Open source software isn't creating a job, it's creating expenses for many small businesses that are forced to high high-priced coders to make the damn free stuff work.
 
@Karim Guessous - the silent majority isn't the sectarian left, it isn't what you imagine, and people don't need "awaking" like its the goddamn Comintern coming. Honestly, these old Marxist memes have got to go.
 
you know, in my mind this sort of thinking, "only those who are well-dressed, articulate according to the status quo, business owning "grown-ups" according to a certain defacto (and broken, in my opinion) value system have valid perspectives" is what led to this bullshit in the first place
 
Why is it odd that the Tea Party isn't protesting Wall street as well? If it weren't for the government bailing these crooks out they would have got what they deserved. Protest the government for essentially telling Wall Street it was no big deal.
 
+Tim O'Reilly, has your view of the protests shifted as we're moving into day 14? Larger constituencies are beginning to coalesce around this nebulous core of passionate kids.

Some reading:
- What they're doing right, despite not having explicit demands and having not started with institutional support: http://dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=563
- Why they deserve the support of those who agree with their aims, not scorn for their inexperience: http://politics.salon.com/2011/09/28/protests_21/

Thanks for getting out there last week and moving the protests further into the public eye. The length of this thread is testament to how important the debate is right now.
 
Let the newscasters scoff at the appearance of the young people who occupied Wall Street. These "scruffily dressed young people" got their butts out and DID SOMETHING and that will lead to others stepping up and doing something more and more...Tired of people not taking each other seriously just because their appearance isn't "up to par." What you're wearing has NO bearing on how you think. Do suits make you smarter?
Tea Partiers are mainly Republican, don't forget that, and they are the proprietors of trying to make things stay the same in what they like to refer to as "the good old days" that really never did and never will exist. Their motto is "Change it BACK"...I don't want to go back tyvm.
 
Wood Stock was a lot of young people doing something and looked the same. Telling me that not getting an ed. or retooling or trying to find work but hanging out playing a gutar and surfing the internet is doing something. Hell, if your that good at the internet, start a company. Yes it can be done, Jobs did it in his garage.
 
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as "scruffily dressed young person", I think I should weigh in. you see, LIKE COMMENT ETC ETC,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
I wear a collared shirt, and I also agree that FOX news is a big pile of shit. I eagerly await your response .
 
First, thanks for checking it out and reporting back, and also for articulating your points to Fox News.

It's a shame that the "wrong" people are down there, but as far as I understand, everyone is welcome, so the "right" people should head on down and try to turn this in the right direction, rather than waiting on someone to craft the 'perfect' movement that suits them before getting involved.

In my opinion. issue #1 needs to be total reform of campaign finance laws, taking private money out of the equation. Currently, PACs and campaigns that are funded via private fortunes and private donations are working to pervert our country's democratic system, and this is where we need to start if we're going to make progress in the myriad of other areas that require attention.
 
+Matt Kuenzel

This is absolutely false

"Whatever happend to innocent until proven guilty?

The government hasn't prosecuted anyone because prosecutors have not found any actual crimes."

When guilt is admitted under oath before congress there is no presumption of innocence.

Even Citibank's chief risk officer testified before congress under oath that 80% of their mortgages were defective by 2007.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/10/80-of-citi-mortgages-defective.html

Prosecution hasn't happened because the government is bought off.
 
WHEN WILL US AMERICANS, become
" United we stand"?
Are we doomed to disaster, one after another? How many lives will be lost?
How many wars will our government start, quit, or finance with OUR tax dollars? When will we ALL become fed up with dishonest corrupt and incompetent leaders and politicians as well as commander in chiefs??
How many constitutional rights do we lose? While in the background, quiet little counter moves are being set up right in front of our eyes. Drones, a new head of FCC, presidential orders being written every day! Knowingly and incompetently allowing Americans to die!!!
I pledge allegiance to the flag...... 
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