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Where the Occupy movement missed the mark. A brilliant ten minutes with Daniel Hannan.

In this must watch video, British MEP Daniel Hannan addresses the Oxford Union as part of its debate on the Occupy Wall Street movement. The act of bailing out the banks with the taxpayer’s money, he says, will one day be viewed as a generational crime. The Occupy movement was correct in that something had gone horribly wrong, but completely missed the mark when it came to identifying what the root causes actually were. Hannan sets about correcting the three primary misconceptions held by the Occupy movement:

  1. The crisis of 2008 was not a failure of capitalism. Using taxpayer money to bail out failed businesses has nothing to with the system of capitalism. Letting failed businesses go bankrupt, and having their assets sold to more efficient operators, while bondholders suffer the losses, is capitalism. This is the complete opposite of what happened in 2008. Under no circumstances do taxpayers suffer the losses of a business in a capitalist system.
  2. More regulation isn’t the cure. The massive existing regulations serve only to eliminate small and medium sized competition from the marketplace. What’s left is a series of politically connected zombies banks whose existence only impoverishes taxpayers. There is no such thing as too big to fail in a properly functioning marketplace, as healthy competitors are present to quickly fill the void. In the current system, only the largest entrenched players are able to handle the regulatory overhead. Competition is effectively priced out of the market by too much regulation.
  3. Greed is not a product of capitalism. The desire for material things is hardwired into the human psyche. The free market system is the only one that utilizes this basic instinct for the greater social good. In other words, if you desire to become richer, you must do so by providing a product or service that is utilized by others through voluntary exchange. This can only take place when both parties feel they are leaving the transaction better off. In any other system, the process of becoming wealthier involves ingratiating oneself to those in power instead of becoming a valued producer.

In closing, he says that the Occupy movement failed to identify those who were truly responsible. Instead of targeting what it deemed to be a failure of capitalism, it should have been occupying the central banks that were printing the money used to keep the banks alive and the homes of the politicians that voted for the bailouts. These were the underlying forces that failed capitalism and not the other way around.

2 Responses to “Where the Occupy movement missed the mark. A brilliant ten minutes with Daniel Hannan.”

  1. Larry

    Sorry, the writer of this article Missed the point.

    When Big Bankers and Lobbyists go back and forth with jobs in the government, then the system you have is missing any and all credibility. The system in place is not a capitalist system, it is a Fixed Crooked system. When bankers get bailed out by the taxpayers after their company has failed, and they then demand large bonuses (or any bonus), then we have a totally fraud system. When the regulators do not even attempt to assign blame and bring the culprits to court, we have No accountability and a sick system. When our politicians are beholden to this group of CROOKs for political contributions, then we have more than a flawed system. We have a crooked system.

    Frankly, the Occupy movement did a better job of pointing out the major flaws within our system, then (sic) the author of this article. I suggest the author of this article take a basic class in common sense.

    I could go on and on. I could mention that my Grandfather owned a business that employed over 1,200. His # 1 goal was to employ as many people as possible, not make as much money as possible. Some people are not so hard wired that they are completely ruthless. Human psyche–BS!

    I only wish I could talk to this author one on one. He sounds like a mercenary!

    • cmiadmin

      Frankly, after re-reading Paul’s post, I don’t see how Larry can draw the conclusions he has. Paul wrote nothing that praised the Corporate Cronyism that dominates our political system.

      As for Larry’s grandfather seeking to employ as many people (I assume Larry meant Americans), there was a time in America when an inventor came up with a new invention and set about opening a new facility, complete with the mayor (sometimes the governor) turning the soil with a spade or cutting a ribbon. Nowadays, such inventors jump on a plane to Asia to get their products manufactured.


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