Understanding "Occupy Wall Street"... An Independent Conservatives's Perspective

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Occupy Wall Street - Sad, But Understandable

There are times one must simply go with their gut. This is one of those times for me. I'll just come right out and say it plainly, I understand the angst of those protesting Wall Street. In fact I'll go one step further, it is a good thing. A movement conservatives, moderates, and liberals ought to come together on.

Before anyone gets in an uproar over this independent conservative/libertarian being a turncoat or supporting socialism, the end of capitalism, or any other fictitious BS please read my Conservative Manifesto. I still stand by my belief in limited constitutional government and the positive societal value and benefits of capitalism. When capitalism is true capitalism. Which it is unquestionably not today.

At the onset of "Occupy Wall Street" I had made a vow I would not get involved in the what I knew would likely become bigger than its beginnings. And so it has. Just as it should have.

Most of my working life has been in the role of supervisor, middle manager, and executive management. During those 35 years I fought the good fight for management, and I'm proud of what my people were able to accomplish with my help. I also saw many changes which I believe are at least partly responsible for "Occupy Wall Street."

I provide no reference points or links, although they can be found if one wishes to look. Tonight I am writing from my personal experiences and or observations. Please feel free to disagree, or agree at your pleasure.

  • When this independent conservative/libertarian entered the business world in 1971 a senior executives compensation {on average} in round numbers was about 50 to 1 of that of the average wage of their employees.  Today it is closer to 500 to 1.
  • In 1971 we still had a strong manufacturing base and the opportunity for making a decent wage was more the norm rather than the exception. Today corporations are off shoring more and more because they can make the bigger and faster buck.
  • In 1971 corporate executives and Wall Street tycoons I am sure made bonuses, but you never heard of the extravagant multi million dollar bonuses that have become commonplace today. One must question the rationale of a CEO of a company I will not name getting a 7 plus million dollar bonus at the same time the employees that help to make him or her very wealthy settle for a 1.5%  to 2.5% increase on an average wage of  $15.00 to $16.00 per hour.
  • I may be getting old but back in the late 1950's and early 1960's my memory tells me we were a lot freer, more prosperous as a nation with a growing middle class, and there was a LOT less regulation. I suppose though I'll need to check in with some really old farts to verify this one. ;)
  • The evidence is there. Corporations, while suckling at the government's subsidy teats, and taking every advantage the government offers {don't forget everything those donor dollars by from corrupt congress critters} the gap between the very wealthy and the average American continues to widen.
If this sounds to some like "class warfare" It absolutely isn't. Most people don't begrudge those who work hard and invest in a business making more money. Most people understand, and expect the risk takers and those who work 16 hours a day every to sustain their business to make more. What they don't understand is why jobs keep moving overseas. Why when the business prospers they barely see growth in their own standard of living.

To make matters worse many view this nation as being run by the invisible corporate hands of the banking conglomerates with a complicit federal reserve behind them. In short many feel the nation is being run by a few invisible billionaire corporate tycoons that have only the interest of maintaining their wealth and power.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, and perhaps we are years from the nations seams bursting. What I do know is this, the seams are starting to bulge. It is time politicians, lawmakers, and pundits start looking beyond their own front yard.

Being a advocate of limited constitutional government and capitalism shouldn't mean sticking ones head so deep in the past that the sense of reality is lost. We can keep fighting for a more fiscally responsible and limited federal presence in our lives but we should ignore the reality that "Occupy Wall Street" is the reaction to something quite real.

Rather than Come out as Herman Cain recently did conservatives ought to rapidly begin rethinking their position and work to capture the high ground and the opportunity to forge a better and more prosperous nation that is really based on the vision of our founders. Benjamin Franklin immediately comes to mind.

I leave you with a link to a progressive site. I do not hold with the vitriol, however I do understand the validity of the points being made. How conservatives and libertarians respond could very well determine the political and government landscape for the next 100 years or so.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. The problem with OWS is that although there are a few needles of intelligent thought to be found in that giant haystack of stupidity, most of those folks are calling for another giant dose of the problem that got us to this point in the first place: Big gov't.

  2. Beware of being drawn in my carefully selected wording. I noticed the liberal article you linked to used terms like "take our country back" and "mad as hell." The way the left works is top down because they have a small vocal following and one primary thinker who is backed by money and media.

    If anything, we should coopt them with our knowledge and time tested solution. I have had success not with statistics, but with history and explanation of our intentions. Primarily explaining that conservates want you to have the ability to decide for yourself.

  3. Doo Doo Econ -- Agreed. The challenge lies in providing both positive ideas and positive results. My analysis of the situation, based on history is that we are falling short on the later.

    Part of the problem with American politics is that people have very short memories, and most are addicted to the sound bites of politicians and pundits.

  4. Most of your list is just class envy and presuming guilt for earning lots of money. I strongly disagree. The crony statism has to stop, but I don't see anything a priori wrong with high executive salaris, bonuses, off-shoring etc. And your dig against making a faster buck is a huge red flag. Anti-greed is anti-life.

  5. No Shane there is no red flag. Either we figure out how to compete globally AND keep good paying jobs plentiful in the United States or we all will be flipping burgers and grilling hot dogs for a living at minimum wage.

    or, the smart ones will moe to Chins, or India, or Southeast Asia, or...

    One makes their own opportunities, through hard work and perseverance. I know first hand from experience.

    But first there must be an opportunity . Both the government (especially the government) and businesses are responsible for the monster we are dealing with today.

    Dealing with it requires thinking outside the box of strict ideology. And, it doesn't require you compromise your values. It requires smarter thinking.

    Both sides need to wake up... Or the Result may be another Greece,m Portugal, et all: And it won't be pretty.

  6. "Abolish Capitalism...Fight for Socialism"

    Best sign in the photo. It says it all, and leaves no doubt as to the mindset of these protesters.

    Last time I checked, we are a Capitalist nation. (RNUSA might disagree with me on this, but that's okay) For Socialism to take over, Capitalism needs to die. For Socialists to take over, guess who needs to go? Yep. Exactly.

    Two words: Bring it. There are yet free men in this nation, and we intend to stay that way, come Hell or high water. Believe that.

  7. I don't often disagree on here, but this is going to be one of those times. I would agree protesting against the socialist policies like the bailouts were are a good thing. Provided that one's true agenda is for the elimination of wrongs and oppressive stances and going back to our free market principles. These people, a vast norm of them, aren't. They're regurgitating the same old socialist mantras. Though they're frustrated with the BS going on with Wall Street and the financial sectors, their solutions are far more crazy and irrational. It's more tax and spend socialism that got us into this mess in the first place and will only go on to exasperate the crisis further creating more unemployment and more class warfare and envy. They seem to be people that never worked a day in their lives and now that the economy is heading to its inevitable collapse, they're blaming the producers as they can no can support the nonproductive anymore thinking it's because they don't want to over they have nothing more to give. So, in their true insane and irrational thinking, they're now willing to bite off that hand that feeds them or as in the case of the goose that laid golden eggs, cut the goose open to get the gold that they think the goose is holding out on them. Only to be waken to the reality that we're all in, there's nothing more in there and now with the goose dead, there's no more to come. Once that happens, what's going on around Wall Street will be a rose parade in comparison to the riots when this reality finally hits them on the head.

  8. These vermin are what inspired the invention of napalm.

  9. In fact folks we are and have been for many years,as Ayn Rand so aptly pointed out a mixed economy. Which me are a mixture of capitalism, socialism, and government regulation.

    The advent of corporatism, crony capitalism, and a corrupting government influence are the biggest problems. If we really are serious about solving the problems we must recognize the issues that need correcting, and work for change in those area's. Some change must occur slowly while others can change rapidly. The trick is to recognize which are which.

    We, that is to say prior generations of Americans, as well as our own have created these problems.

    Th point of this post is not to sanction continued and increasing socialism,it is rather to make the point we all should be focusing on the real issues and solve them. Failing to do so will insure continued acceptance of a irrational ideology.

    Wasn't napalm a defoliant used in war Chuck?

  10. Defoliant? Heh. Yeah, 2000 degrees tends to "defoliate". Hell, it totally de-lifes and area.

    You might be thinking of agent orange.

  11. I just happened upon your blog and was glad to find this article. I also identify as a conservative leaning independent voter in regards to most issues. What I like about your article is that you are willing to step outside of the box and present a different opinion than would fit neatly within belief system of the conservative status quo. That's what I think being an independent voter is all about- questioning the status quo and forming one's own independent opinion. I can also appreciate several of the comments made by Rational Nation USA. I must say, however, as both a retired member of US Army and a Vietnam Veteran, I have little appreciation for the comments made by one of your other readers.


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