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5 Conservative Economic Myths Occupy Wall St. Is Helping Bust

For decades the corporate media has force-fed “conventional wisdom” free-market economic nonsense to the American public.

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Those engaged in a business do know the business better than outsiders.  But regulations that protect the public, employees and the environment govern how the actions of businesses affect  the rest of us .  A business wants to make a profit, and will only care how regulations affect that goal.  It makes sense for government to set up regulations because the rest of us are concerned about the larger world of the rest of us, and therefore understand more clearly how the actions of a business will affect the rest of us.

In may cases regulations keep businesses from doing things that kill jobs – and people. 

5. “Protectionism” hurts the economy.

Corporate conservatives argue that “free trade” is always good under all circumstances. They say we get lower prices and our businesses are able to reach more customers. Of course trade can be a wonderful thing, increasing the standard of living on both sides of the trade border. 

But the trade deals of recent decades have not been free or fair, and can’t really even be called “trade.” What has happened is countries sell to us but do not buy equally from us, causing huge trade deficits that have drained our economy and our jobs and our wages. Instead of increasing prosperity they have been used to increase exploitation of working people and the environment for the benefit of a wealthy few.

Our prosperity is the fruit of our democracy.  

Conservatives say that it is good that businesses in countries like China are more competitive because they don’t have a lot of regulations to comply with. Countries where the people have little say in things don’t have to spend the money to pay minimum wages, keep the environment clean, keep workers safe and keep products up to standard and they don’t have to worry about lawsuits. They are more “efficient.” So they can charge less. 

Conservatives who argue that we should have less regulation, lower wages, fewer benefits, fewer consumer, worker and environmental protections are really arguing that we should abandon democracy. By opening our borders to goods made where people do not have a say we made democracy a competitive disadvantage. 

Fed Up With the Nonsense

So as we see all around us today, the economic conventional wisdom nonsense that we were force-fed for decades didn’t work, messed things up, and people finally got fed so much if it that they are fed up. The #occupy crowd got fed up and  showed up . They sleep in the park and on sidewalks, marched, and took the batons and pepper spray that seem to always come at us when we protest. They persisted, and awakened the rest of us. Now it has spread to cities across the country. 

They shook loose from the shadow-fog of propaganda that shrouds us from morning to night, from radio to TV to newspaper. They didn’t prepare a media strategy with a savvy focus-group-tested message targeting key demographics. They didn’t care how they looked or how they would be seen. They didn’t care what the media would say. They certainly didn’t care what Wall Street would do. They saw clearly where the problem is, and decided to just go ahead and  do something

They said that what is going on is wrong, it is bad, it is hurting people, and that they were not going to put up with that for one more minute. They said it is time to be citizens not consumers.  They are choosing to have some meaning in their lives beyond just being worker bees helping perpetuate a destructive system.

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