Root: Occupy Wall Street Mob Is Partly Right – Offers Wrong Solution

Wall St. Mob Is Partly Right – but Its Solution Is Wrong

By: Wayne Allyn Root

“Occupy Wall Street” is becoming the big news story. But the irony is that nobody understands what is truly going on. The media, both political parties, the experts, even the protesters themselves — they’ve all got it wrong.

Nancy Pelosi thinks these protests are like the tea party protests. She couldn’t be more wrong. The tea parties are filled with people who have jobs and pay taxes. They want government to stop wasting taxpayer dollars and be fiscally responsible. They are against all bailouts.

The Occupy Wall Street protests are filled with leftist malcontents and rabble rousers. Since the government is bailing out banks and big corporations, they say it’s only fair they be bailed out too. They want more money to be stolen from those that earn it, to be redistributed to themselves.

They are screaming for their own personal bailout. Big difference, wouldn’t you say?

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse “The Body” Ventura compares the Occupy Wall Street crowd with the so-called Arab Spring. He thinks great things came from the protests sweeping the Arab world, and therefore great things will come from the protests here.

Unfortunately, the Arab Spring is becoming a disaster for fair-minded, moderate, and decent citizens of these Arab countries — and for humanity. The Arab Spring’s mass protests are leading to radical Islamic and terrorist groups taking control of the region. These groups are dedicated to the destruction of Israel, enslaving women, religious intolerance, murder of Christians, and hatred of America.

Then there’s Herman Cain and other conservative Republican presidential candidates. They see only the leftist influence of the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd. They see jobless bums who want to live on the dole. They see Obama, George Soros, unions, and communist organizers egging on the protestors. This is all true.

But what conservatives are missing is that the protesters have a few good points. The U.S. political system is corrupt. Big corporations, lobbyists, and lawyers are taking advantage of the taxpayers. The bailout of banks and Wall Street was a massive mistake. Billions handed out by government to Obama contributors under the guise of “green energy” is a looting of the taxpayers.

I’ve spent my life defending capitalism. But the system we have now isn’t capitalism. It’s “Crony Capitalism.” The banks, Wall Street, and big corporations have joined forces with politicians of both sides to fleece the American taxpayer. The billion-dollar public companies in America aren’t conservative or liberal. They are just out for themselves. And the rest of us be damned.

These big companies took capitalist risks, lost big, and then went to the government with hat in hand like welfare queens. The same banks that took billions in bailouts from the American taxpayers, then refused to lend to those same taxpayers. Many (but not all) bank and Wall Street CEOs joined with politicians in criminal conspiracies to loot our country and defraud taxpayers.

Conservatives need to face the truth. Just because we dislike the messengers, doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to the message.

Unfortunately, while part of the protesters’ message is right, their solution is all wrong. By demanding more government regulations, they are playing into the hands of the big corporations, banks, and politicians they despise. These big companies and banks want more rules and regulations. That is to their advantage. They can afford to comply.

The more onerous the regulations, the worse it is for their smaller competitors who can’t afford armies of lawyers, lobbyists and accountants. Big business and government have in fact formed an unholy alliance to destroy the competition — just like a criminal gang, or a mafia family. Their goal is to control a monopoly and force all of us to work for them, and buy from them.

Ironically, these leftist protesters are doing the bidding of big government, big unions, and big corporations.

But as much as I hate to admit this, part of the protesters’ message is striking deep in the gut of middle-class Americans. It’s resonating with small business owners like me. We all feel it — our country is slipping away; special interests are looting the taxpayers; big corporations are gaming the system; the little guy is getting hit from all sides. Small business creates all the jobs, yet big business is making all the rules and stealing all the money.

The protesters are mostly jobless bongo-playing fools — for the moment. But, they are merely the canary in the coal mine for the serious unrest on the streets of America soon to come. Soon I fear the mobs will include rioting taxpayers, respected small business owners, grandmothers from Ohio, and veterans from Iowa. Add to the mix millions of formerly gainfully employed, middle-class Americans, now jobless for months, or years on end.

The D.C. politicians had better be afraid — very afraid. If the tea party, which also hates the Fed, and despises the bailouts, and wants to stop the looting of America by special interests, joins forces with the Occupy Wall Street crowd, all bets are off.

If that happens, both Nancy Pelosi and Herman Cain will be surprised at the depth of anger and despair. None of the fat cats or government bureaucrats in D.C. feel it, or understand it. They haven’t skipped a beat. Their checks are still big and getting bigger. Their pensions are gold-plated. Their healthcare is paid for life.

Their friends in the big corporations, banks, and Wall Street are still drowning in caviar and bathing in Perrier, because our government looted average taxpayers to bail out the CEOs and bankers.

But Main Street has gotten none of this stimulus or bailout money. The peasants with the pitchforks are starving. Soon I predict the storm clouds will grow darker, as middle-class Americans on Main Street scream to the political class, “Can you hear us now?” By then it may be too late.

Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site:

27 thoughts on “Root: Occupy Wall Street Mob Is Partly Right – Offers Wrong Solution

  1. Deran

    Root has joined the illustrious ranks of Rupert Murdoch and Herman Cain.

    Most of what Root says is utter balderdash.

    The Occupy movement is not a mob, they are very well organized and tidy. Very democratic.

    And much of the movement is becoming increasingly Left Libertarian. Which is why the bolshevik sectlettes are so turned off by it.

    I have come to think of the Occupy movement as Ralph Nader incarnate, not that the protestors all know Nader or his work, but their issues are the issues Nader has been working on for decades:

    Ending Corporate Personhood, ending Big Business’ big moeny control over US politics, a more transparent and open government, and using that more democratic government to rein in the plutocrats.

    And it seems to me Root is really shooting the LP in the foot with this sort of trash talk. I would think the LP would be better served if they started pampletting these actions.

  2. rloy

    As usual with Root’s poorly written rants, there is precious little but ad hominem attacks and right-wing buzzwords. Just about anyone can write their own “Root rant” by cobbling together the following words and phrases:

    radical Islam
    radical environmentalists
    radical chipmunks
    government bureaucrats


    small business owners
    Tea Party patriots
    hardworking businessmen

    Root’s next column: “The ______ won’t stop until they have destroyed ______.” (Insert words from above)

  3. CommonTater

    rloy apparently you also did not finish the column. I recommend reading it backward paragraph by paragraph. Maybe stopping half way.

  4. rloy

    Insult the protestors as much as possible, then (grudgingly and reluctantly) admit they’re kinda-sorta right. Wow, that makes me feel better.

    It takes a lot of balls to go out and take a stand for something you believe in–thanks to the Wayne Allyn Roots of the world who will laugh, mock and jeer at anyone who wants to make a serious difference.

    The Wayne Allyn Roots of the world have never contributed anything to social progress except sitting on the sidelines while dedicated activists (civil rights activists, antiwar activists, etc) do the dirty work and change history. They’re spineless do-nothings, afraid of taking a firm, controversial stance on anything of actual importance.

  5. history ----- on the current system .... Lake

    Deran // Oct 13, 2011:

    Root has joined the illustrious ranks of Rupert Murdoch and Herman Cain.

    Most of what Root says is utter balderdash. *

    * like the list combining of County Western songs ………..

    radical Islam
    radical environmentalists
    radical chipmunks
    government bureaucrats


    small business owners
    Tea Party patriots

  6. CommonTater

    “Insult the protestors as much as possible, then (grudgingly and reluctantly) admit they’re kinda-sorta right. Wow, that makes me feel better.”

    rloy you are looking at it from the wrong direction. You have to remember where Root comes from, his news sources and who is the main audience of his columns. It’s not the Greens like you, or Libertarians like those of us who already sympathize with the good points of Occupy, or that realize that a not insignificant minority of Occupy folks are libertarian or libertarian-leaning; that not everyone there is for big government, only some of the people there.

    Root comes from the position of people like Cain and Murdoch and is talking (mostly) to people that think like them and listen to people like them.

    He spends part of his article letting them know he is on their side by repeating enough of their buzzwords to make them understand he is coming from the same place as them. Repeating those buzzwords is not doing anything but signifying to them – they listen to that all day long on Fox News and right wing talk radio; it’s just background noise that makes them think of him as an ally rather than an enemy.

    Then, step by step he leads at least some of them to consider that they have a lot in common with the Occupy folks, that they are angry about some of the same things and that they may even join forces against some of those things they are both angry at.

    Could you talk to those people and have them see you as anything other than their enemy? For that matter, could I? Well, maybe I could for about half a minute because of what they misidentify the label “libertarian” to mean. Then pretty quickly they would say “oh wait, this guy is some kind of anarchist punk, he’s the enemy too.”

    But Root is right in his conclusion.

    Some of what Occupy is angry about IS also some of what the Tea Partiers are angry about, and if and when they get together to fight it, it will unleash a powerful force that could make real change happen.

    That message needs ambassadors.

    It needs libertarian ambassadors who join Occupy and let folks there know that many libertarians share their concerns and have what we believe are solutions to the problems that they are addressing, and that we are willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the protests. There are libertarians already doing that at many Occupy demos.

    On the other side, it needs libertarian ambassadors to the Tea Party side to carry the message that Root conveys here. He is not talking to the people who are ready to come down and join the protests or even honk their horns in support; he is talking to the people that drive by and yell “get a job” and throw the finger. And maybe, just maybe, making some of them think just a little about how there are valid points being raised.

  7. Strategy or Cowardice?

    @8 puts a nice spin on Root (i.e., that Root only spouts right-wing rhetoric to better reach and influence his audience).

    Another way to spin it: Root’s playing both sides of the fence, waiting to see which way his customer base breaks.

    Root knows that plenty of conservatives hate the Occupy Wall Street crowd — but that plenty of conservatives also hate the Wall Street bailouts.

    So Root plants a foot on both sides, leaving himself free to flip flop as future winds change require.

  8. CommonTater

    Yep, some see the glass as half full, some see it as half empty. That is true.

    I don’t agree with everything that everyone at Occupy says, and I don’t agree with everything that Root says, but I’m glad to see them find any common ground at all.

    Remember folks, the left boot on your neck is just as bad as the right boot and vice versa.

    Left vs. right is just a distraction that is meant to keep your focus away from the top.

    When the left and right down at the bottom of the pyramid of power stop fighting each other and start working together, that’s when pyramids crumble….

  9. Robert Capozzi

    9 soc: So Root plants a foot on both sides, leaving himself free to flip flop as future winds change require

    me: Pejoratively put, but more or less accurate. That’s politics…assessing the art of the possible. Acknowledging that OWS has some good points and some confused points seems kinda obvious.

    Since Ls are so few and are ourselves not 100% aligned on everything, looking for opportunities to ally and situations to adjust is what’s on our plate.

    Or, we can retreat into theoretical construct land…

  10. Humongous Fungus

    by: Michele Seven (forwarded by Darryl Perry)

    Tuesday, [October 4, 2011] three Keene civil disobedience activists joined me for an excursion to NYC- we wanted to see firsthand what Occupy Wall Street was really all about. With liberty brochures in hand, cameras charged and a desire to spread the message of liberty as a solution to the statism, which in our estimation, is the root cause for the ills plaguing society, we were ready.

    Although I had watched several Youtube videos, including mainstream media clips, my intention was to approach the occupation “tabula rasa”. I was surprised by two things: first of all, the number of coppers was mind-blowing and second, the peacefulness of the occupiers and their agorist and voluntary services within the park was inspiring. I should not have been surprised by either however.

    The fact that according to one cop, $2 million has been spent by the city in overtime pay for police who total 40,000 in number to essentially provide a perimeter under the guise of “keeping the peace and providing for [my] safety” can apparently be justified since Wall Street’s own JP Morgan Chase made a $4.6 million donation to the New York Police Department, despite it being an indictable offense for a regular Joe to do the same. Although I had peaceful and even productive dialog with the coppers and did not witness the beatings, pepper spraying or arrests, the very presence of the blue shirts and the 30, or so police vans lining the streets filled me with anxiety. I was hardly afraid of the occupiers, but had a planned escape route coordinated with other activists in the event that the cops decided to attack, which given the arbitrariness of the state, could have happened at any time; there was no need to fear the occupiers because they respected a simple word which happens to be the basis of all voluntary interaction: No.

    Reason magazine posted a good summation of what is taking place there: “‘The banks got bailed out / we got sold out’ is probably the most common chant I’ve heard at Liberty Plaza, and I think it best encapsulates the protest’s overriding sentiment: that regardless of political persuasion, people are sick and tired of a select few billionaires, in collusion with government, making decisions that hurt the rest of us behind closed conference-room doors.” This complaint is hardly a leftist agenda and is shared by fiscal conservatives. The solutions offered range from increasing taxes on the super rich, which corresponds with Warren Buffet and Obama’s implication that it is the 1% who have subjected the 99% to poverty and have risen to riches at the expense of the working class to “End the Fed”, the mantra of the Ron Paul supporters who have brought to light the root cause of the economic debacle that has come to define this era.

    As people continue to pour into NYC to join the occupiers, the space will soon become unsuitable. My suggestion was to go hang out around Michael Bloomberg’s place since he has come to be considered Mr. Wall Street and who, as the mayor, is responsible for ordering the cops to be present with such force, claiming police “did exactly what they are supposed to do” in carrying out the arrest of 700 people whom they had led onto the Brooklyn Bridge, corralling them and then punishing them for it. I doubt that will be the direction the occupiers go.

    Jason Talley reported that a civil disobedience seminar, of sorts, is scheduled to take place next week. It is the first I’ve heard of any organized efforts other than the marches and human loud-speaker efforts. That makes me even more hopeful; Ron Paul agrees: “”I think civil disobedience, if everyone knows what they’re doing, is a legitimate effort. It’s been done in this country for many grievances.”

    Thanks to CDEvolution for sponsoring the trip. In addition to providing much appreciated Handy Wipes to the occupiers, it facilitated countless brochures on the Free State Project, Cop Block and Don’t Take the Plea to be disseminated. I can say with confidence that over 200 people had the good news of liberty shared with them and I believe strongly that since we are at a critical juncture, more opportunities like this are needed. Of course, one solution is to have all those who are truly liberty-minded move to new Hampshire where together we can have liberty in our lifetime.

  11. Humongous Fungus

    From Libertarians for Occupy Wall Street:

    My first time at Occupy Salt Lake City

    While I wasn’t able to make the OccupySLC march this morning, I did spend some time at the park where they are making camp. My overall impression is this is not a group that all agree politically but they all agree on the problem of two classes of people, those with government granted privilege and the rest of us.

    The first people I talked with were talking freedom, ending the Fed., individual rights and responsibilities. They were there because they have been waiting for the people to wake up to the problems we face as a nation. They were their to promote the idea of not getting a laundry list of demands but a focus on the corrupt banking system.

    I was able to talk with some of the organizers and they were great, no push for big government solutions, just a goal of showing the world what free people voluntarily working together can accomplish. During the meeting we were all able to give input and discuss goals and events, it was nice seeing everyone who wanted to give input get an equal chance to do so.

    After that they offered food to all of us there, even the homeless who lived near by were offered food. (Good soup BTW). They are going out of their way to work with the city and police to keep this location as long as possible, it was clean and well organized.

    I finished my time talking with Kane who is one of the spokespeople and he was a guest on Jake Shannon’s radio show Monday. He said one of the goals was to model OccupySLC after the free state project, free people voluntarily working together. They want this to be the model Occupy group.

    While I know the worry is that this could become a group that is co-opted by organizations with an agenda (Political parties, politicians, corporations or public unions) but I did not see any sign or outward pressure from people with an agenda. I am sure people from all of the above were there but they were in solidarity with the overall goal of the movement.

    Even though I was there representing the Libertarian Party of Utah, I made sure to not act as if I was trying to do anything other than to show our support and agreement with the message of ending corporate and government collusion.

    I urge all of you to go and see for yourself, talk with the activists and those that are their just to check things out. Liberty needs to be known as the solution but it takes our involvement to promote it to those who care.
    Like · · Share · October 9 at 8:39pm ·

  12. Humongous Fungus

    Libertarians Lurk Among the Occupy D.C. Protesters

    Seth McKelvey | October 7, 2011

    “….Thomas Conway, a 41-year-old government employee from Alexandria, Virginia, was sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with “Ron Paul is my homeboy.” He said he does not feel at odds with the other protesters. In fact, he believes that the desires of the Occupy Wall Street movement would actually be served best by the libertarian-leaning Republican:

    “The people here and Ron Paul probably agree on 70 percent of all the issues.”

    Calls to end the wars overseas, corporate bailouts, and the Federal Reserve, along with other libertarian-friendly causes were in evidence as well….”

  13. Humongous Fungus

    Steve Newton writes at civil but disobedient blog:


    “I have to admit some serious sympathy with the idea that corporations are close to the root of what ails America.

    Here are my Libertarian reasons:

    1. Corporations are creatures of the state; they cannot exist without it because only the State can grant the shareholders immunity from liability. Corporations are therefore anti-libertarian because they are a business organization that derives much of its efficiency from statist power and not the competencies and/or risk of the individual entrepreneurs.

    2. Immunity from personal liability for either investment risk or wrongdoing (negligent or intentional) is an open invitation by the State for the individuals in power in corporations to use Force and/or Fraud to achieve their ends. Corporations are therefore anti-libertarian because they sever the individual from responsibility for his or her own actions.

    3. Corporations act as tax farmers for the State. They literally cannot be effectively taxed because they are allowed to pass on all tax increases directly to the consumer, while pretending they aren’t doing that. Corporations are therefore anti-libertarian because they whore themselves out as mechanisms of tax farming in order to safeguard their special protections.

    4. Corporations have been granted “rights” by the State that are reserved for living, breathing, responsible (in the liability sense) human beings. An organization of multiple people working together for a business end cannot become an immortal sovereign individual under the law without vitiating virtually everything our Constitution and Bill of Rights stands for. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote (in another context) “The Earth belongs to the living.” Corporations are not living entities and they have no more “rights” than the government has. Corporations are therefore anti-libertarian because the State and its agent the Corporations may exercise powers but they may never have rights.”

  14. Humongous Fungus

    At the recent Occupy Kansas City rally on Saturday, as series of activists were interviewed for the Libertarian Enterprise.

    Wendy Hippy

    Wendy, who calls herself Wendy Hippy, is a mother and grandmother. She held up a sign on Main Street when I spoke with her. The sign said, “The banks got bailed out. You got sold out.” She was there, she said, to object to corporatism (which is Mussolini’s word for fascism), to protest endless war, and to favour liberty, Americans working together, alternatives to false media, death to corporatism, in her own words.

    Her family started a business in 2000 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri where they bought dilapidated homes, rehabilitated them, and sold them. The business crashed in 2007, and they lost the family home in 2008. They now rent in Independence, Missouri. Wendy is at Occupy KC because she has completed her nationally registered certified medical assistant (NRCMA) training and cannot find work. Her husband drives a tow truck. Their two adult children also live in the home. The older daughter, 26, is a student of cosmetology. The 21 year old son is in Job Corps where he was studying culinary arts, but is now studying welding.

    Wendy has attended all the general assemblies of the Occupy KC event, including a series on the web and one in-person General Assembly last Tuesday as well as one last night (Friday night) at the occupation site. The group plans, she says, to be there until their demands are met.

    Jennifer and Brandon

    I interviewed Jennifer who says, “I have three children that I won’t ever be able send to college.” Her boyfriend has an $18/hour job, at 40 hours a week, with which they barely make ends meet. She cannot afford to take any of the minimum or near-minimum wage jobs available to her because the family would pay more for day care for three children than she could possibly earn.

    I asked Jennifer when things started going bad. She said they went bad in 2008 when her husband lost his job as an RV tech. People are apparently not buying recreational vehicles, as they cannot afford them or the high prices for fuel. Of course, the wars have generated those high prices for fuel, to the delight of the big oil corporations which have lobbied for more wars. The family also lives with her father at home, in the Sugar Creek area of KC.

    So, I asked why they were there. Her first answer was “People not corporations.” She said, “The one percent make money off the 99%.”

    Bones About It

    I interviewed a woman named “Toni Bones,” and her friends Sean, Kaitlyn, and Autumn. They were carrying Ron Paul 2012 signs they had made, and were representing Kansas City NORML – the national organisation for the reform of marijuana laws.

    Toni’s first comment to me was “The Federal Reserve is counterfeiting. All this money is counterfeit. They get away with it because the government says they can.” She was there to protest about independence, against the wars, in favour of hemp. We discussed how William Randolph Hearst and his wood pulp paper mills benefited from the elimination of hemp paper production in the United States.

    We spoke about police brutality, FEMA camps, the Federal Reserve, civil rights, the fact that the constitution has become “not worth the hemp it was written on.” Her friend Sean’s sign said, “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ~ JFK.” We talked about peaceful people being put in cages – about 86% of the USA prison population is now reported to be non-violent “criminals” convicted of things like possession of some plants.

    More at

  15. Herman Cain (Not Able) Announces 6-6-6 plan

    Home ? Blogs ? paulie’s blog
    Otherwise Occupied

    Here’s an analysis of Occupy demands from my perspective.

    Many libertarians and conservatives have been criticizing Occupy based on a list of proposed demands that has not been approved which is all about big government economic proposals only.

    This list is more official:

    A Message From Occupied Wall Street (Day Five)

    Published 2011-09-22 07:51:42 UTC by OccupyWallSt

    p] I’ll highlight the demands I agree with and explain where I differ:

    “On September 21st, 2011, Troy Davis, an innocent man, was murdered by the state of Georgia. Troy Davis was one of the 99 percent.

    Ending capital punishment is our one demand.”

    p) I agree!

    “On September 21st, 2011, four of our members were arrested on baseless charges.

    Ending police intimidation is our one demand.”

    p] I agree!

    “On September 21st, 2011, the richest 400 Americans owned more than half of the country’s population.

    Ending wealth inequality is our one demand.”

    p] I sort of agree. My belief is that right now government taxes and regulations serve to preserve entrenched privilege and keep poor people down. I don’t support forced wealth redistribution schemes by the government (or looting mobs), but I do believe a truly freed market would serve to redistribute wealth more evenly because it would be more turbulent, with fewer people sticking to the top and bottom, and for shorter lengths of time.

    “On September 21st, 2011, we determined that Yahoo lied about being in spam filters.

    Ending corporate censorship is our one demand.”

    p] I disagree with government (or looting mobs) forcing owners of websites to convey information they do not wish to convey. However, I do believe that in a truly freed market, without all the ways government currently tilts the playing field towards the big established players, news and information exchange sources that do anything akin to what yahoo did in this case would find themselves displaced so fast that it would not be long before any sane organization trying to remain either profitable or relevant would not even think about it.

    “On September 21st, 2011, roughly eighty percent of Americans thought the country was on the wrong track.

    Ending the modern gilded age is our one demand.”

    p] Hard to interpret. There are many ways in which the country is on the wrong track. See discussions above and below for more specifics.

    “On September 21st, 2011, roughly 15% of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing.

    Ending political corruption is our one demand.”

    p] I agree!

    And some, but not most, protesters would agree with me that the only real way to end political corruption is to reduce the power of politicians.

    “On September 21st, 2011, roughly one sixth of Americans did not have work.

    Ending joblessness is our one demand.”

    p] I oppose government make work programs. In the USSR we had full employment (by law) and the 99% lived in shared misery. However, I do believe that in a truly free market, there would be such an explosion of economic creativity that involuntary joblessness would be a thing of the past. It would also mean an explosion in immigration of people from all parts of the world, so racists and cultural homogenists wouldn’t be happy. I don’t see that as a bad thing.

    “On September 21st, 2011, roughly one sixth of America lived in poverty.

    Ending poverty is our one demand.”

    p] See points above regarding joblessness and
    wealth inequality.

    “On September 21st, 2011, roughly fifty million Americans were without health insurance.

    Ending health-profiteering is our one demand.”

    p] See detailed answer at


    “On September 21st, 2011, America had military bases in around one hundred and thirty out of one hundred and sixty-five countries.

    Ending American imperialism is our one demand.”

    p] I agree!

    “On September 21st, 2011, America was at war with the world.

    Ending war is our one demand.”

    p] I agree!

  16. Darryl W. Perry

    I believe Wes Benedict did a great job on the following Press Release:


    October 14, 2011

    Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
    Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222

    Libertarians to Occupiers: Crony capitalism is the problem

    WASHINGTON – Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle released the following statement today:

    “I have been following the Occupy protesters, who call themselves the ‘99%’, with interest.

    “It’s true that 99% of Americans do not enjoy the special benefits of crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is very different from real capitalism. In crony capitalism, government hands out special favors and protections to politically well-connected businesses.

    “The TARP bailouts, Solyndra, and the military-industrial complex are all facets of crony capitalism.

    “Libertarians love free markets and hate crony capitalism.

    “Unfortunately, hypocritical Republican politicians have taught a lot of Americans to think that ‘free markets’ means freedom for government and big business to engage in crony capitalism.

    “That’s not what free markets are. A free market is where the government leaves businesses alone, does not attempt to pick winners and losers, does not stifle competition, does not hand out corporate welfare, and does not absolve businesses of liability for their actions. Most of our economy today does not resemble a free market at all.

    “It’s unfortunate that so many businesses today go to the government begging for handouts and special treatment. I wish they wouldn’t. But the real problem is the politicians who choose to give those favors to them, at everyone else’s expense.

    “I hope the Occupy protesters will start to direct their anger away from Wall Street and big businesses, and toward our government, which has done so much to destroy free markets and entrench crony capitalism.”

    For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

    The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    HF@16, quoting Steve Newton,

    “Corporations act as tax farmers for the State. They literally cannot be effectively taxed because they are allowed to pass on all tax increases directly to the consumer, while pretending they aren’t doing that.”

    I’m as anti-corporation (and as anti-tax) as any libertarian I know, for reasons including the other three that Steve lists here … but this one is simply false in a competitive (not necessarily free, but competitive) marketplace.

    As a hypothetical, let’s say that the corporate tax is 10% and one day the government raises it to 15%.

    In a monopoly environment, a corporation could just raise its prices by 5% and pass that tax on to the customer (who, by the way, may or may not be the consumer — that’s a fairly frequent, but sometimes problematic, conflation).

    In a competitive marketplace, where more than one company makes a particular product (or any product for a particular application), that’s not going to happen … because the company that raises its price by 5% will lose sales to the company that finds a way to raise its price by only 4% or 3%.

    That might mean taking a cut in profit percentage and hoping to make up gross revenues on increased volume.

    Or it might mean automation to reduce labor costs.

    Or it might mean changing materials acquisition practices (driving a harder bargain, or buying higher volume to get a discount, etc.).

    And so on, and so forth.

  18. Deran

    I read the whole thing, but I still think Root is talking trash.

    The Occupy movement is Left Libertarian in its structure and focus. I have no doubt that their are Right Libertarians out ther with the protestors, but if people on the LNC are going to be quoted in the news waffling or opposing the Occupy movement, it makes Right Libertarianism look like the tea party; gimme gimme gimme, and anyone who doesn’t want to gimme is a moocher!

  19. Tom Blanton

    HF@16, quoting Steve Newton,

    “Corporations act as tax farmers for the State. They literally cannot be effectively taxed because they are allowed to pass on all tax increases directly to the consumer, while pretending they aren’t doing that.”

    Mr Knapp responds:

    … but this one is simply false in a competitive (not necessarily free, but competitive) marketplace.

    As a hypothetical, let’s say that the corporate tax is 10% and one day the government raises it to 15%.

    In a competitive marketplace, where more than one company makes a particular product (or any product for a particular application), that’s not going to happen … because the company that raises its price by 5% will lose sales to the company that finds a way to raise its price by only 4% or 3%.

    Well, it seems that while passing along 100% of every tax increase may not be true 100% of the time, it is true that most businesses will pass along as much as possible without losing market share.

    Also built into prices are things like matching Social Security taxes and the cost of tax compliance. Let’s also not forget that each business with employees acts as an agent for the government in reporting income and in withholding income taxes and paying them over to the government.

    As long as people insist on a statist system funded by taxation, I would suggest that corporate taxation be eliminated altogether. This would level the playing field in favor of smaller businesses and remove taxes from the price structure, helping lower income people escape a regressive hidden tax paid through higher prices.

    Also considering how large corporations lobby for backdoor subsidies through the tax code, it would reduce corporate money in politics and put a few “K” Street hacks out of business.

    But, let’s not pretend that corporate tax increases don’t put upward pressure on prices, even if businesses are unable to pass along 100% of any increases.

    It would also make sense that in very competitive businesses, there already exists a low profit margin. Therefore, any tax increase would more than likely affect prices more. Grocery stores generally have a fairly low profit margin and is labor intensive. Not only would a tax increase affect the prices they pay at the wholesale level, but they already have little room to absorb tax increases.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    20 tk, yes, isolated corporate tax increases don’t necessarily get entirely passed along in the form of price increases. It’s a mistake to suggest that. Corporate taxes — like all taxes — distort economic activity in isolation. (This illustrates the problem of ceteris paribus experiments…nothing is “all else being equal”…the “economy” is highly interconnected, and any one change can and often does have unintended consequences.)

    Taxing the corporate form does mean that the corporate form will tend to react to maximize long term profits as best as its management can. Price increases, lower R&D, fewer hires, lower raises, lower dividends, trimmed expansion plans, etc., are the range of options.

    It’s definitely simplistic to say corporate taxes get passed along in price increases.

  21. JW Brakebill

    Our democracy is OBSOLETE! The time has come to FIRE all those in Congress, write a NEW Constitution, and update our democracy by creating a vote by mail, internet, fax, & phone, on everything from elections to bills proposed for law, both at state and federal levels. EVERY citizen should have one vote in 313 million (+/- 230 mil after subtracting children & illegals),on everything from abortion to foreign policy, from gay marriage to unemployment comp. & wars. LET THE MAJORITY RULE instead of a few elected officials ruling over us!

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