OWS Continues To Grow Up: Welcome to the 53%


A few days ago I posted a story about OWS protestors in LA who realized that their protest camp was being infiltrated by imposters and homeless:

Anyway, this nicely frames this nugget:

Homeless transplants from the city’s Skid Row have set up their tents within the larger tent city. No violence has been reported, but protest organizers are attempting to discourage people who are only at the encampment for the amenities.

I smiled and said, “Welcome to the 53%!”

Now, to be very clear, I do NOT think the OWS crowd is obligated to serve food and provide shelter for people who are not members in their group.  The people who are organizing any individual movement and group is working hard, I am sure.  However, what they are protesting subjects them to a degree of tolerance that would not otherwise be applied to other organizations.

See, the 99% feel that other people in the world should labor for their direct benefit.  These people honestly feel that they deserve a “living wage”, free college and healthcare.  Gone is the concept that any and all of these things require that an individual, somewhere-anywhere, labor for the benefit of the 99% and not themselves.

This is, of course, crazy and no one really supports it.

See, what’s happening is that protesters have organized into roles.  One of those roles is to cook and prepare meals for the other protesters, in theory, so that they can focus on other tasks that are required.  Perhaps this is park cleaning, garbage removal, sign making and library tending.  This makes sense.  Just like in life, specialization of tasks is more efficient and better serves the community.

However, because of the nature of the camps, homeless and other non-protesters are coming for the meals.  And the folks who are contributing are getting fed up; they are tired of supporting those who don’t contribute in other ways.

Again, no one supports requiring people to labor for those who don’t contribute.

And the proof that no one supports it is the fact that those protesting for just such that condition are opposed to that condition when they are the ones being asked to contribute money and labor.

Hat tip Boortz.

To show they mean business, the kitchen staff refused to serve any food for two hours yesterday in order to meet with organizers to air their grievances, sources said.

The Assembly announced the three-day menu crackdown announced earlier in the day — insisting everybody would be fed something during that period.

Some protesters threatened that the high-end meals could be cut off completely if the vagrants and criminals don’t disperse.

Unhappiness with their unwelcome guests was apparent throughout the day.

“We need to limit the amount of food we’re putting out” to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer.

See, they understand.  They GET it.  And when faced with the prospect of laboring for those who don’t contribute in a meaningful way, they react by reducing the “welfare” they provide to “vagrants”.  Further, these people understand the power of incentives.  They know that if they put out more and more “stuff” they will get more and more “derelicts”.  The reverse seems to be obvious.  Reduce the quality of the “stuff” and the “derelicts” go away.

I so do love the free market.

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8 comments
  1. Henry said:

    It surprises me that the protesters took such a hard stand. Clearly it is not a smart public relations move. It seems to me that the OWS protesters would look at the “derelicts” as their “brothers” in the fight using the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend philosophy.

    • pino said:

      It surprises me that the protesters took such a hard stand.

      Well, kinda. It’s a valid human reaction when people take advantage of your labor and property.

      Clearly it is not a smart public relations move.

      They don’t have the experience to know any better.

      It seems to me that the OWS protesters would look at the “derelicts” as their “brothers”

      Yes. For sure.

      The reason these guys are homeless is that they have no job. The OWS should “create” jobs for these people. However, when they realize that there are people who just don’t wanna work….they reboot.

  2. Why would they look at derelicts as their brothers? The right wants to claim OWS is an ideological leftist movement, but the reality is much different. I’d say a huge chunk of OWS supporters are also in the 53% (and the various occupy movements have raised over $1 million to support their efforts). You have a wide spectrum of people involved, but the core complaint is that big financial institutions have been gaming the system and making out like bandits with schemes that have hurt the country and created real hardship. You don’t have to be far left to believe that, there are libertarians and conservatives who have shown real sympathy to OWS. The right wing pundits and talk radio have been the most opposed, usually trying to spin a narrative that it’s some left wing Soros like conspiracy. But the longer it continues, the more it’s clear that it’s more than that. It’ll be interesting what kind of longer term movement this spawns, and what impact that will have on 2012 poiltics.

    • pino said:

      Why would they look at derelicts as their brothers?

      Because the vast majority of the OWS movement is made up of folks who subsist on the payments of others.

      The right wants to claim OWS is an ideological leftist movement

      They ARE an ideological Left movement. ACORN is organizing them. Michael Moore and other Lefty celebs have adopted them. Obama is pandering to ’em. Democrats all over are catering to ’em. They may CLAIM that they aren’t supporting one party over another. However, that’s like saying the Tea Party doesn’t favor one party over the other.

      the core complaint is that big financial institutions have been gaming the system and making out like bandits

      I disagree. I think their core complaint is that capitalism has failed. They demand forgiveness of college loans. They demand free college. They demand a living wage.

      You don’t have to be far left to believe that,

      We agree there. The banks should not have been bailed out.

      The right wing pundits and talk radio have been the most opposed, usually trying to spin a narrative that it’s some left wing Soros like conspiracy.

      Much of that is pent up frustration from enduring the same attacks from the left aimed at the Tea Party and the Koch brothers.

      • I disagree with your statement at the start. I doubt that most subsist on the payment of others. Moreover, I also disagree that Moore or Acorn or any of those can be equated with OWS. They may get involved at some level, but they aren’t the face of the movement. I also don’t think they say capitalism has failed and certainly they aren’t demanding socialism. In fact there are no clear demands, just a lot of individuals with their own opinions. I really think the movement is more diverse and legitimate than you believe it to be.

  3. Alan Scott said:

    The Banks did not deserve to be bailed out but, they had to be bailed out or we would not have had any kind of system . They really are too big to fail. Both Bush and Obama agreed to bail them out.

    If reform was real , it would break up the biggest institutions so that they could fail, if they were stupid .

    • I agree with you on this, Alan!

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