Brawner: Occupy Wall St. crowd brings no solutions

Steve Brawner made the comment: For now, the Occupy movement doesn’t seem to be offering a lot of concrete solutions for the nation’s problems, and until it does, it won’t accomplish much.

Captain America is  a loyal reader of Brawner and he pointed to a great article on the subject and here it is:

byTimothy P. Carney Senior Political Columnist
Follow on Twitter:@tpcarney

 A couple years back, liberal bomb-thrower Michael Moore produced a film called “Capitalism: A Love Story.” The funny thing: many of my free-market-loving friends kind of liked the film.

Moore, you see, spent the documentary attacking the tendency of big businesses (especially big banks) to beg for government protection and taxpayer handouts. The libertarian & conservative objection to Moore’s film, of course, was the title. Moore pinned “capitalism,” (which most people interpret as involving the free market) with all the sins of everyone who seeks a profit.

This is the standard conflation committed by the likes of Thomas Frank and Frank Rich. Whether it’s sleight-of-hand or downright confusion, I can’t know.

When I was down at Occupy Wall Street last week, I felt like much of the angry talk aimed at “capitalism” was really about corporatism and crony capitalism. Bailouts were a frequent target. “They don’t play by the same rules,” was the gyst of many objections. Yes, plenty of communists occupied the park, along with some straight-up regulate-`em! liberal wonks, but the complaints about Big Business often involved not just “profits” but gaming the political system as well.

Fred Smith at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (where I served as the Warren Brookes Journalism Fellow in 2005-2006) writes in U.S.A. Today that the Occupiers ought to train their sights more broadly on government-business collusion against the consumer, taxpayer, and small businessman.

Smith also dings the Occupiers for naivete:

Tea Partiers distinguish capitalism from crony-capitalism. Occupiers confuse them. In fact, some Occupiers seek their own form of cronyism — an expanded government that will help the “right” beneficiaries, such as students and homeowners, instead of bankers and automakers.

This sentiment is nothing new. Ralph Nader always notes that government helps big business but then argues for more government to fix the problem. How can this be wise, when government favoritism encouraged crony-capitalism in the first case?

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