I recently read an article on cracked.com outlining some criticisms of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I was surprised by the clarity and relative lack of humor in the article due to Cracked’s position as a humor-based website. The article breaks down three types of protesters that are hurting their own cause. These three types are 1. Protestors who think the problem is simply corporate greed, 2. Protestors who don’t grasp symbolism, and 3. Protestors who have attention deficit disorder.
For the first group the author point out that it is the responsibility of corporations to maximize profits within the system they are bound to operate in. He states that by extension we cannot blame corporations for making profits any more than we can blame a tiger for wanting to eat meat. For the second group he states that Wall Street is the wrong place to hold the protests, since nobody would like for the economy to improve more than the traders on Wall Street. He then goes on to explain that the protestors should be protesting the system on aggregate, rather than symbolically chastising the traders. For the third group the author states that the protestors should focus on one issue rather than protesting in a disorganized manner. He feels that if the effort were focused substantive change could occur.
I feel that this article actually outlines a large issue with the Occupy Wall Street movement. For the large part the protestors do not have the necessary economic and business education to create intelligent discourse on the issues that are currently plaguing the American economy. It is definitely true that there has to be substantive change in the business realm, but having a large, disorganized, ideologically disparate group of people wantonly protesting will not bring about the change needed to change the system for the better. Instead of helping their cause, these three types of people have vitiated their position. They take legitimacy away from protestors and public figures that have a grasp on what needs to be changed, making it that much harder to change the current system. In my view, the protestors need to create a coherent viewpoint and agree on what reforms need to be undertaken in order to make their movement something that deserves to be listened to.