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Old 11-09-2011   #420
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Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
I think they emerged from fortyish years of financial deregulation and other forms of political favor for the financial sector.
I don't think regulation would have made much difference; it's a generally overrated factor. It's easy to look back and think that regulation X would have prevented event Y, but in reality once a perverse incentive is in place, it will be followed: close one way, another will be found. Regulation cannot substitute for good policy or compensate for bad policy.

Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
I'm not sure it's any more useful to talk about centrism than it is to talk about 'real America' or 'what most people want'. There's a huge chunk of the country that thinks Obama is a left-wing extremist. I mean, good lord.
There's also a huge chunk of the country who thinks that the whole crisis was caused by bad greedy bankers.

Most people want what they can't have: higher wages and lower prices, lower taxes and more government doleouts. That's a constant. The point is simply that the raving of the polarized extremes contributes nothing to the search for solutions, and to the extent that those closer to the center have to pander to the extremes can actually obstruct the search for solutions.

Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
I don't view OWS as something that creates solutions, or which can create solutions. I view it as a source of political energy. Its main purpose is to get the left angry and keep it that way. Which, frankly, the left is badly in need of.
The left is always angry; most of the time nobody notices. It's not a very useful anger, because it's based on ignorance and offers nothing in the way of solutions. I'd guess that most of the OWS core comes from comfortable middle-class backgrounds and that few have ever done anything resembling real work or have experienced anything other than self-imposed hardship. Certainly they'll try to represent themselves as speaking for "the 99%", but do they? I tend to doubt it. We'll see. With some experience of the left, I expect little. They've a remarkable talent for shooting themselves simultaneously in both feet.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

H.L. Mencken
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