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Recently by Gary North: Lake Wobegon Politics

     

"Occupy Wall Street!"

What does this mean?

Does it mean that people can block off the street known as Wall Street, so that no one can go to work? If it means this, then the movement is based on violence: not allowing people access onto public sidewalks. It has determined that "first come/first served." This was not what voters expected. This is not what the law allows.

I reply: "Move aside. I want by."

Does the phrase mean that the protesters are threatening to block traffic in the streets? For how long? Whatever applies to the sidewalks applies to the streets. The streets are for automobiles. Maybe a few policemen on horseback. That’s it, except for making moving pictures, where the city gets paid, or a one-time protest, which is protected by the First Amendment.

I reply: "Apply for a permit."

Does the phrase mean shutting down a system of voluntary exchange? Does it mean occupying the New York Stock Exchange’s facilities? This would be a violation of private property. On what philosophical basis would such an exercise of violence be allowed? On what legal basis would it be allowed?

I reply: "When you are asked by a security guard to leave the building, leave."

Does the phrase mean steal from the rich? I realize that virtually the whole of modern political economy recommends this to one degree or another. I am waiting for its justification philosophically or morally. This video does not explain this philosophical or moral case.

I reply: "Thou shalt not steal."

Does the phrase mean "regulate Wall Street"? The Securities and Exchange Commission and dozens of other government agencies have done this for over 70 years. If there is a problem, why aren’t these people protesting in front of the SEC or the Federal Reserve Bank of New York?

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Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

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