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Dr. Sowell and Occupy Wall Street

There is a short essay currently being posted on various blogs that appears to be incorrectly attributed to Dr. Thomas Sowell.  The confusion probably arises from the fact that the original author closed with a quotation by Dr. Sowell, and thus the whole essay has been attributed to him.

Regardless, this unknown author has made a brilliant assessment of our nation at this hour in history:

The current Occupy Wall Street movement is the best illustration to date of what President Barack Obama’s America looks like. It is an America where the lawless, unaccomplished, ignorant and incompetent rule. It is an America where those who have sacrificed nothing pillage and destroy the lives of those who have sacrificed greatly.

It is an America where history is rewritten to honor dictators, murderers and thieves. It is an America where violence, racism, hatred, class warfare and murder are all promoted as acceptable means of overturning the American civil society.

It is an America where humans have been degraded to the level of animals: defecating in public, having sex in public, devoid of basic hygiene. It is an America where the basic tenets of a civil society, including faith, family, a free press and individual rights, have been rejected. It is an America where our founding documents have been shredded and, with them, every person’s guaranteed liberties.

It is an America where, ultimately, great suffering will come to the American people, but the rulers like Obama, Michelle Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, liberal college professors, union bosses and other loyal liberal/Communist Party members will live in opulent splendor.

It is the America that Obama and the Democratic Party have created with the willing assistance of the American media, Hollywood , unions, universities, the Communist Party of America, the Black Panthers and numerous anti-American foreign entities.

Barack Obama has brought more destruction upon this country in four years than any other event in the history of our nation, but it is just the beginning of what he and his comrades are capable of.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is just another step in their plan for the annihilation of America.

“Socialism, in general, has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” – Thomas Sowell

This is not to say that Dr. Sowell has been silent on the OWS phenomenon.  Quite to the contrary, his analysis has been just as cutting in its clarity and accuracy.

Democracy Versus Mob Rule

By Thomas Sowell, October 31, 2011

In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.

Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these “protesters,” and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause — whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.

Members of the mobs apparently believe that other people, who are working while they are out trashing the streets, should be forced to subsidize their college education — and apparently the President of the United States thinks so too.

But if these loud mouths’ inability to put together a coherent line of thought is any indication of their education, the taxpayers should demand their money back for having that money wasted on them for years in the public schools.

Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some “protesters” were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things — and don’t get arrested.

The difference is that I don’t block traffic, join mobs sleeping overnight in parks or urinate in the street. If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may also have wasted a lot of taxpayers’ money.

Among the favorite sloppy words used by the shrill mobs in the streets is “Wall Street greed.” But even if you think people in Wall Street, or anywhere else, are making more money than they deserve, “greed” is no explanation whatever.

“Greed” says how much you want. But you can become the greediest person on earth and that will not increase your pay in the slightest. It is what other people pay you that increases your income.

If the government has been sending too much of the taxpayers’ money to people in Wall Street — or anywhere else — then the irresponsibility or corruption of politicians is the problem.


“Occupy Wall Street” hooligans should be occupying Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Maybe some of the bankers or financiers should have turned down the millions and billions that politicians were offering them. But sainthood is no more common in Wall Street than on Pennsylvania Avenue — or in the media or academia, for that matter.

Actually, some banks did try to refuse the government bailout money, to avoid the interference with their business that they knew would come with it. But the feds insisted — and federal regulators’ power to create big financial problems for banks made it hard to say no. The feds made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

People who cannot distinguish between democracy and mob rule may fall for the idea that the hooligans in the street represent the 99 percent who are protesting about the “greed” of the one percent. But these hooligans are less than one percent and they are grossly violating the rights of vastly larger numbers of people who have to put up with their trashing of the streets by day and their noise that keeps working people awake at night.

As for the “top one percent” in income that attract so much attention, angst and denunciation, there is always going to be a top one percent, unless everybody has the same income. That top one percent has no more monopoly on sainthood or villainy than people in any other bracket.

Moreover, that top one percent does not consist of the “millionaires and billionaires” that Barack Obama talks about. You don’t even have to make half a million dollars to be in the top one percent.

Moreover, this is not an enduring class of people. Nor are people in other income brackets. Most of the people in the top one percent at any given time are there for only one year. Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can get into the top one percent in income — for that year. Other one-time spikes in income account for most of the people in that top one percent.

But such plain facts carry little weight amid the heady rhetoric and mindless emotions of the mob and the media.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/10/31/democracy-versus-mob-rule/

In addition, Dr. Sowell has been interviewed recently, in which he also talks about Occupy Wall Street.

Thomas Sowell Interview Part 1: Occupy Wall Street: Thomas Sowell has just released “The Thomas Sowell Reader,” a collection of writings from the seemingly endless books and columns he has written over the years. Sowell recently took time to do an interview with IBD about the “Reader” and current events.

Thomas Sowell Part 2: Occupy Higher Education: They’ve gotten their money’s worth because it is mostly other people’s money that has paid for their education. But do I think that taxpayers have gotten their money’s worth? By no means. Taxpayers are paying something like $10,000 per student per year and you end up with people who are absolutely incoherent. It’s unbelievable. Every interview I’ve seen of these protesters, they can’t string together three sentences that make any coherent sense.

Thomas Sowell Part 3: Income Inequality And Economic Myths: The other thing is that most people who are in the top 1% in income are there only one year. Over a period of about a decade the IRS tracked these people by Social Security numbers. Something like two-thirds of the people who were in the top 1% during that decade were in there one time. Only 13% were in there two years. Pundits talk about these income brackets as if they are enduring classes of people when they are simply transient snapshots of people who happen to be there right now.

It will be well worth your time to digest thoroughly the words of wisdom from this noted conservative, who, by the way, happens to have a Ph.D. in economics and thus might have an inkling whereof he speaks.

  1. 23 Nov 2011 at 1:02 AM

    I believe Thomas Sowell to be one of our greatest and most brilliant people of our time. I feared that this was what would happen to American when Obama was elected. Having researched his background thoroughly including all his associations, his Illinois record, etc., it appeared to me that him being president was going to be dreadful for American. And it has proven to be such and utterly sad to those of us who value all the things this man has destroyed in 3 short years. I hate to think of what just one more year of him will bring, much less 4 more years. I despair if I allow myself to go to that place. Meanwhile, I can only thank God for what we have and that Obama can take everything from us and turn us into a country we don’t recognize, but he can’t take my soul or my mind to continue to pray for a better day if God will help us.

  2. Jan
    7 Dec 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Please get your facts straight before you publish. Written by Jack A. Furnari of Knoxville, TN. And by the way, there is no quotation by Thomas Sowell at the end of the article.


  3. Jan
    7 Dec 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Here’s another great comment written by Jack A. Furnari, of Knoxville, TN.


  4. 7 Dec 2011 at 8:07 AM

    Jan, thank you so much for providing the correct original reference and setting (and links). As for getting my facts straight, please note that I specifically said I thought the article was incorrectly being attributed to Dr. Sowell and I appreciate your taking the time to send me the correct links for the record. And yes, Mr. Furnari does not quote Dr. Sowell at the end of his contribution. However, there are several blog posts doing so (frequently with incorrect title and punctuation so that it looks like the whole thing is Dr. Sowell) and attributing the entirety to Dr. Sowell. Sorry I didn’t link to them. I only went through Dr. Sowell’s material and did not find the above text save for the last quote, which I know is, indeed, Dr. Sowell’s, and thus expressed my doubt as to the attribution.

  5. 25 Feb 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I must say, who ever wrote this is right on and no one could have said it better. We are being taken somewhere that we have not been before. All I can say is that I want my children and grand children to know the America that I grew up in. I think they will know something that no one could have ever believed could happen in this great country of ours. I am sad and sick and my heart breaks that so many are blind to what is going on. Most will stay mute as to not muddy the waters. This is a sad day for America that a Man can take us to the brink of hell,,,and very few Americans will say a word…as to not offend others…
    A non American is taking us to hell…Just like Hitler and so many other dictators…;people are silent..Why did our forefathers work so hard to make this the county that it is. We just sit back and let it happen.. A man leads us that will not present a birth certificate. No one in his college remembers him or her….Have we all lost our minds?????

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