–Anyone heard from #Occupy lately? Does anyone care?

Mitchell’s laws: The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes. Until the 99% understand the need for deficits, the 1% will rule. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity = poverty and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

It began with “Occupy Wall Street” and it had such great promise. It was going to be the antidote to the nutty and damaging Tea Party. It was going to lift the 99% from the slavery imposed by the 1%.

But something happened on the way to freedom.

I wrote about the Occupy movement several times. There was:

Nine steps to prosperity; a short message to #Occupy Wall Street,
Oct 7 2011
Do not devolve to class warfare. Punishing billionaires, banks and businesses does nothing for the underclasses or for the overall economy. In fact it would hurt the economy.

Far better to focus on helping the “little” people:

1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)

Shortly thereafter, I wrote:

An open letter to #OWS — or in my geographical case, #Occupy Chicago
Oct 19 2011
Today, you are seen as leading an amorphous mob, a group threatening to bring down civilization. That’s why the politicians have been slow to back you. They don’t know what you want. You need to focus, focus, focus, so the world can visualize where you want to go, understand why you want to go there and how you will achieve it, and in that way, join you.

You need to understand, then teach, Monetary Sovereignty, first to your followers, then to the rest of the world. Those are your next steps. And there are plenty of us who can teach you. You have but to ask.

And again:

“Two views of the #Occupy movement,” or “These guys are a riot.”
May 3 2012
If they had read and understood Monetary Sovereignty, they would have proposed specific solutions to the growing gap — solutions such as: Eliminate FICA, provide Medicare to everyone, increase Social Security payments, annually increase the standard income tax deduction, etc. And they would be able to answer the typical, debt-hawk “inflation” concerns about social spending.

But no. #Occupy prefers protest-and-party to learn-and-propose. So “#Occupy” will fail the legitimacy test, the gap will grow, and Mr. Greenwald will continue to blame the class warfare on the victims.

And most recently:

#Occupy, to get ahead, get a head, and stay the hell away from Chicago during the NATO summit.
May 15 2012
If #Occupy wishes to make a statement, first it should have a statement to make — a sharp, clear, focused statement. And then it should make that statement, not in the maelstrom of a thousand screaming children, but on a calm, clear day, when their voices are the only ones to be heard.

In short, #Occupy, to get ahead you need to get a head, preferably one with enough good sense not to try painting a picture while standing under a waterfall. Sure, come to Chicago, but not at a time when you’ll be blamed for every misdeed, and accomplish nothing, except to have your message drowned out. Come when yours is the one voice, so the media can support your ideas.

So I decided to look in on them again, and this is what I found on the Occupy Wall Street web site:

The Silent March to End Stop and Frisk
On Father’s Day, let’s stand together to show that New Yorkers refuse to let our children be victimized by racial profiling.

Learning from Wisconsin
The massive uprising last winter in Madison, Wisconsin, that was spurred by Walker’s plans to balance the state deficit by slashing public workers’ benefits and wages. . .

Infinite Solidarité with Infinite Strike!
Last night, thousands of people across hundreds of cities once again rallied in solidarity with the Québec student strike.

Occupy Lakeview Elementary School – Closed by Oakland School District
At the end of this school year, the Oakland Unified School District plans to close five public elementary schools. . .

At Senate Hearing, Jamie Dimon confronted by Occupy Our Homes DC
Deborah Harris, a disabled former paramedic who lost the title to her home due to J.P. Morgan’s unethical business practices. . .

Ocupa Rio+20: Occupy the Earth Summit
Occupy the coming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (the Earth Summit) on June 20-22.

Call for Solidarity from Mexico
. . . nonpartisan marches against political and media corruption in Mexico.

It goes on and on, protest after protest. Anti-racial profiling. Anti-union busting. Anti-tuition increases. Anti-school closings. Anti-mortgage fraud. Anti-unsustainable development. Anti-corruption. Anti-this, anti-that, anti-the other thing.

For reasons unknown, the Occupy movement seems to take a perverse pride in being leaderless and directionless, preferring to run hither and yon, protesting whatever strikes their fancy. No focus. No plan. No idea. Just protest.

The Tea Party has a simple, easily understood focus: Lower taxes. What is Occupy’s simple, easily understood focus?

The business and political leaders, against whom Occupy protests, have learned one thing: Do nothing. Occupy will protest and then they will be gone, and we can resume business as usual.

The public grows weary of ineffectual, random, aimless protests, and Occupy, which began with such great promise, becomes last week’s newspaper. A lost opportunity is a step backward, as people become discouraged and slide into lethargy.

Somewhere, in board rooms around the world, the 1% is laughing.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption + Net exports


8 thoughts on “–Anyone heard from #Occupy lately? Does anyone care?

    1. I hope you’re right, Tom. I still haven’t seen any actual accomplishments — just a lot of protesting. As I said in the post, the belief may be, “Occupy will protest and then they will be gone, and we can resume business as usual.”

      Lacking knowledge of economics, their protests easily are countered with the words, “To do that, we’d have to raise taxes” or “The government can’t afford that.”

      Occupy doesn’t understand how to argue against such seeming “logic,” so they come off as brats making unreasonable demands. For some reason, they refuse to learn.


      1. On invitation Warren is speaking to the Dallas Occupy group in the very near future (end of June, IIRC), and has made copies of his book freely available to Occupy libraries. There are MMT’ers in Occupy in addition to those who don’t know much about economics.

        But the real news is the spread of this globally. In addition, Occupy has learned that confronting TPTB directly at present is not a good strategy in that TPTB have shown that they are prepared to treat Occupy as terrorists. So expect new strategies and tactics to evolve appropriate to conditions on the ground.

        Believe me, Occupy Marines is not going to just roll over because some Marine blood has been spilled. That’s not what Marines are about, or other combat vets that have returned home to a war zone in which they are the enemy.

        TPTB are making a big mistake in being confrontational rather than going for co-optation as a strategy and tactic. That’s dumb and it will just serve as a recruiting tool instead of deterring people.


      2. dunno, rodger, i normally agree on what you have to say on OCCUPY, but, on this, you’re wrong. where i live, they ARE in the news, weekly.

        also, i’ve had a bit of a rethink about them lately. whenever i see interviews of those who participate in the protests, the main thing they say over and over again is how good it feels to be in a safe, cooperative environment.

        though you might be right about their lack of understanding of economics, i’m beginning to wonder if you and most of us out there are just jumping the gun a bit.

        the american public, thanks to all the conditioning they have been subjected to up until now are totally splintered, so much so, that, before any unified political platform can be put forward, people are gonna have to work on developing “unity” first. so the movement, at this stage, is really about learning how to “hold hands” again.

        you’re an oldtimer, rodger, so i’m sure you heard back in the day that you gotta hold hands first, before you kiss.

        just give it time.


  1. The central problem is that the question as to how to improve the banking system is EXTREMELY complicated. Even the bank regulators don’t know what they are doing. That in turn means that banks can normally lobby away and water down any suggested improvement to the system.

    Here are just two examples of the complexity. First, Jamie Dimon got off lightly last week on Capitol Hill because he was able to point to the incompetence of regulators. That’s according to this Financial Times article:

    And for a second example, Spanish banks successfully lobbied for a relaxation of bank regulations between 2000 and about 2005. Now look at the results. That’s according to this FT article:



    1. Well,

      You could end banking as such — you could disallow banks from money creation and instead have the government do it as necessary through fiscal and tax policy.


  2. I too was excited by the initial promise of OWS. Of ordinary people like me finally standing up and saying ENOUGH!

    It is going to take a monumental effort to unlearn what we have be taught. Remember stuff like this?

    OWS, needs a branch focusing on MMT and getting the message out. Copy this Schoolhouse Rock jingle type of communication and put it out on public service message time.

    BTW, thank you for this blog. I just stumbled across it in my quest to educate myself regarding these critical issues.


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