Stopped clocks are right twice a day, and economic nihilists occasionally stumble upon sound supply-and-demand solutions.
Case in point: Occupy groups, apparently recognizing the unpleasantness of living in an outdoor public place with other dirty hippies, are in search of alternate lodgings. Their new hangout? Foreclosed homes. Holy moly that actually makes a lot of sense! They are looking for somewhere to occupy, and foreclosed homes are looking for residents. Why didn’t we think of this a long time ago? Let’s draw up the paperwork, problem solved. Oh wait… they seem to have something else in mind:
Fighting foreclosures and evictions, activists say, gives the disparate movement a unifying focus and embodies its anti-Wall Street message… “This cause,” she said, “brings together everything that we are fighting against – corporate greed, bank bail outs, a corrupt judiciary and corrupt government.”
Yep, same old economic nihilism. The Occupians continue to rail incoherently against the fact that reality can be disappointing. Instead of ignoring the fools, or criticizing the lawbreakers, Reuters decides to indulge them with free publicity. The authors attempt to gain sympathy for the cause by starting the story with a heartbreaking anecdote told in the saddest possible way:
Mercedes Robinson-Duvallon turned 83 in February, but there was little time for celebration. On her birthday, as she sat in a wheelchair recovering from surgery, sheriffs’ deputies arrived to evict her from the Miami home where she has lived since 1966. A year earlier her property had moved into foreclosure after she defaulted on a refinanced loan.
Robinson-Duvallon says she would be homeless now but for the intervention of about 40 members of Occupy Fort Lauderdale, a Florida branch of the national movement that is protesting income inequality and corporate greed. The group took over her lawn and house and even baked her a birthday cake.
The deputies decided to let her stay.”
Truly sad, but is throwing out contract law and the loan system a responsible or even rational solution? That birthday cake sounds nice, but wouldn’t Ms. Robinson-Duvallon be better served by another community member taking her in, or potentially helping her with a few bills? Personal charity seems to be considered an option only when in the context of demanding government intervention on another’s behalf:
What happened in Miami is also occurring in Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, as local Occupy groups pursue an issue they believe has emotional resonance among America’s struggling lower and middle classes… It also has offered a way for Occupy – up till now a largely white, middle-class movement – to broaden its reach to minorities.”
So they’re co-opting minorities by promising them free stuff? I thought we already had a movement for that. It’s called the Democrat Party. Furthermore, when the National Organization for Marriage attempted to “broaden its reach to minorities”, Reuters reported on the strategy with a much more critical tone. Continuing, we get the stats on the Occupyists’ effectiveness:
Cheryl Aichele of Occupy Los Angeles said activists there have helped a dozen homeowners thus far and have many more requests.
Well at least this cause worthy of a national news story has helped potentially dozens of people stay in their homes. Or has it? Correcting that impression is the only opposition quote we get in the whole story, in the form of a representative of the banking industry sounding as cold and heartless as possible:
There is little evidence that the banking industry is taking notice, however.
Robert Davis, executive vice president of an industry lobby group, the American Bankers Association, said, “It is unlikely that protests are going to have any bearing on the court process” where foreclosures often are challenged.
He said banks rely on law enforcement to quash eviction protests that constitute “unlawful occupation of a property … They need to be removed so the property can be sold.
We might have seen a quote from an economist discussing the logical conclusion of the anarchy Occupyoneers promote; or from a philosopher on the self-absorbed silliness of protesting against greed. I’d imagine a psychiatrist may have some thoughts as well. But we get no counter perspectives. Instead Reuters essentially lays out a press release on the validity of their strategy, inserting in their story sub-headlines such as “FINDING COMMON GROUND” and “BANKS DON’T LIKE BAD PRESS” in an attempt to organize the message of the lawbreaking, inchoate movement. Nothing but glowing quotes from the selfish few who have benefitted from the law-and-order antagonists:
“I am not a religious man, but it felt like divine intervention,” said Rosen…
…”It’s truly great that these folks are doing something,” said Ron Etter, nodding toward the Occupiers as they approached the next house on the tour. “No one else is.”
Finally, what would a liberal puff piece be if it didn’t devolve into a caricature of itself. “World to end; Women, minorities hardest hit”:
Again, minorities suffered disproportionately, studies show.