Monday, October 31, 2011

OWS largely virtuous in shifting national debate from austerity, snarks against good policy cost us trillions over the years?

Prof. Tabarrok posts a snarky bit about OWS kitchen staff frustration with homeless and felon moochers on free OWS food:

This is my reply in the comments (in case it doesn't post):

It seems to me the OWS crew helped shift national attention from austerity to stimulus (grounded in infrastructure-building job creation/retention). Seems pretty virtuous to me. They're into organic food freely shared but have limited tolerance for the lumpenproletariate- what do you expect, they're fairly good-natured white people, not some post-singularity FAI.

The impulse to chortle at their imperfection seems to me like the type of hedonistic expenditure, race to the bottom, social decision that may have cost us trillions over the years when knowledge of better public policy outpaced ability to overcome wicked coordination problems.

1 comment:

  1. Protests in europe tend more to have that orientation (there's even an organization called UKUncut). OWS explicitly rejects having any demands or claiming to lobby anyone. Otherwise they might be Occupy Congress. They've been saying that instead of asking for change they are making the new society they want to live in at the occupied areas. The problems Alex references are thus relevant to the explicit claims of OWS.

    But even trying to sway Congress would be pointless. Markets didn't give a damn last time, because as long as monetary authorities aren't accommodating it won't work. I guess they could prod Congress into confirming more nominees. I'm not sure who is in line for the Fed.