Monday, November 14, 2011

the squeeze on Occupy movement

-- Here it comes -- the next step in the adventures of the Occupy Wall Street movement that began on Sept, 17, 2011, and spread across the world. Police in Portland, Oregon, and Oakland, Calif., are moving to evict the protesters who took up residence in various 'public' spaces. The counter-moves are gaining force and the Occupy movement will be increasingly squeezed into issuing clarified positions, concrete positions, more narrowed and confrontational positions. Fight or flight? Who knows?

-- On the political front, The Washington Post has a nice article about the undercurrent of disdain that Republicans can display when describing the floundering economy. Regulation is the enemy, the Republicans can chant. Regulations kill jobs. Lose the regulations and everything will improve. As far as I know, the economic meltdown that began in 2008 can be ascribed to the lack of regulation of banks and other financial institutions. But I guess that isn't worth remembering.

And in a column, E.J. Dionne Jr. asks a question I like: "...Where’s the outrage about a conservatism that is losing both its intellectual moorings and its moral compass?" Further, he writes:

This is a long way from the conservatism I used to respect. Although I often disagreed with conservatives, I admired their prudence, their affection for tradition and their understanding that the intricate bonds of community are established with great difficulty over time and not easy to reweave once they are torn asunder. At their best, conservatives forced us to think harder. Now, many in the ranks seem to have decided that hard and nuanced thinking is a telltale sign of liberalism.
Well, Dionne's words speak my language. Conservatism used to be a way of gauging and revamping and being careful about my own, generally-lefty way of thinking. This is no longer the case. On another front United Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerard suggests that a tax on Wall Street transactions (a suggestion made by a number of economic, political and moral leaders) be made ... and let the 1% bail out the 99% as the 99% once bailed out the 1%.

-- And in one last note among economically-top-heavy notes, Warren Buffett, the billionaire chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway (and a man who seems to realize that caring for people is a way of caring for business and therefore his income stream), has said he has no interest in investing in European banks as he did in the faltering Bank of America Corp. in this country. Buffett said he doesn't really know enough about European banks to make them attractive as investments. Somehow I imagine uncertain bankers in Europe being saddened that a Buffet-bailout, however unlikely, is now off the table. Buffett also said he had made an uncharacteristic investment in the technology sector.

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