Friday, 7 October 2011
This is what I think about the Occupy Wall street movement.
One of my regular readers - Steve - recently asked me what I think about the "Occupy Wall Street" movement.
Well, Steve, they scare me. I fear chaos and disorder. A riotous mob is a recurring nightmare for me, that goes back to childhood. They are a disorderly rabble, and if they prosper they will offer only social unrest. As a Londoner, I found the recent riots extremely disturbing. It was a tense time, where some of my deepest anxieties came to surface.
I believe the demands of the "Occupy Wall Street" are impossiblist nonsense. In any practical sense, they offer nothing useful.
However, I also believe that the roots of this movement is in the irresponsible and inflationary policies of western governments. When the likes of Greenspan and King unleashed their asset bubbles, they set of an inevitable chain reaction that would lead to a crash, and an economic slump that would increase discontent and eventually destabilise politics in advanced economies. The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is really only symptom of an illness that has afflicted the advanced economies for the last two decades.
Quantitative easing is just the latest manifestation of this short sighted and destructive approach to economic policy. What Western economies need is order; balanced budgets, positive interest rates, and genuine welfare reform that restores incentives for work and investment.