Thursday, November 3, 2011

OccupyWallStreet OWS Utopia and Scarce Resources

OccupyWallStreet OWS Utopia and Scarce Resources

Mises.org sets the stage in thier article Two's Company: The Basics of Property

"Let us hear David Hume describe such a condition, in which
"...nature has bestowed on the human race such profuse ABUNDANCE of all EXTERNAL conveniences, that, without any uncertainty in the event, without any care or industry on our part, every individual finds himself fully provided with whatever his most voracious appetites can want, or luxurious imagination wish or desire.
"Hume went on to suppose that in this situation every person's natural beauty is such that he has no desire for adornment, that the weather is so mild that he has no need for clothing, that all around him wild plants bear in abundance the most delectable food and natural springs spill out in profusion the most delicious beverages."
"Hume argued that in such a paradise, the human conventions of property and justice would be entirely useless:
"For what purpose make a partition of goods, where every one has already more than enough? Why give rise to property, where there cannot possibly be any injury? Why call this object MINE, when upon the seizing of it by another, I need but stretch out my hand to possess myself to what is equally valuable? Justice, in that case, being totally useless, would be an idle ceremonial."

Do we have Global Surplus?

If the world has a growing population of ~7 billion, no sane person would answer "yes". So how does this example apply?


Imagine growing up in a time of great surplus, like the 1980s and 1990s in America. Food, shelter, recreation, all provided by Mom and Dad in the greatest utopia imaginable, the middle class american home. Everything "free", everything easy, everything provided by somebody else. Student loans just happen to be the first real expense in their life - a harsh yoke to the government ox cart. 


By contrast, the Arab Spring is about the oppressed class (slaves by many measures) rising up against their masters.


OccupyWallStreet (OWS) Does Have a Message: 

Property rights are bad, give us your stuff.  



It is the same message that OWS rebuffs when the homeless (those evil homeless moochers) announce, "we are hungry and we want OWS food". The OWS menu provides a clue to the surplus: "organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad" (cite: FoxNews Article). 


While OWS strains under the restrictions of sanitation, fire safety and public decency, I am sure that no other OWS protesters in the world enjoy such luxurious meals.


Error of the 53%

The 53% seem to think that logic and reason will convert the OWS mob. Nothing is further from the truth. If the 53% want to work three jobs while going to school and raising their kids, the OWS mob is willing to harvest the fruits of the 53% labor. Will the 53% wake up to the challenge?


Bottom Line: 

Ignore the cacophony of unfocused leadership and unfocused messages. When the conductor arrives and taps his baton, the OWS orchestra will come together in a form that we will all recognize.


Xolo