Blame Our Failing Schools for Occupy Wall Street

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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Having taught in a state university for thirty years, I’m not surprised by the ignorance on display among the Occupy Wall Street protestors. From kindergarten to university, for decades our schools have abandoned the teaching of basic facts and foundational thinking skills, and replaced both with leftish received wisdom and stale mythologies, all the while they have anxiously monitored and puffed up students’ self-esteem.

This lack of critical understanding and ignorance of simple fact characterize the main theme of the protests, that the wealthy “1%” of Americans have gamed the system to enrich themselves at the expense of everybody else, an analysis redolent of Scrooge McDuck cartoons or Frank Capra’s portrait of Old Man Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. But these caricatures are woefully uninformed about how a global, free market economy works. For example, the protestors rail about growing “income inequality,” but they forget that this expansion of the wealth of top earners has been accompanied by that same cohort’s paying more and more of the total federal tax bill, so that today nearly half of tax-filers pay nothing. Nor do they consider the issue of income mobility: from 1999-2007, about half of households in the bottom quintile had moved up the income ladder, while nearly half of households in the top quintile had moved down.

As for those greedy “millionaires” who refuse to pay their “fair share,” in this same period, half were millionaires only once, and only 6% were millionaires for the whole nine years. Indeed, as the Treasury Department reports, among the top 1/100 of 1 percent in 1996––the group Mother Jones demonized for obscenely increasing their wealth over the last 30 years–– only 25% remained in this group in 2005, and the median real income of these taxpayers declined over this period. Finally, according to the Treasury Department, “Median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent after adjusting for inflation. The real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period [1996-2005]. In addition, the median incomes of those initially in the lower income groups increased more than the median incomes of those initially in the higher income groups.” No doubt things have gotten worse for many because of the recession, but there are plenty of people to blame beyond the “1%” and Wall Street villains, from the federal appointees running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to the home buyers lying on mortgage applications.

This obsession with income inequality, moreover, reflects profound ignorance of capitalism’s revolutionary genius. To the protestors, the fact that top earners increased their income more than others did is prima facie evidence of capitalist skullduggery. They seem to think that a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates has a zillion dollars because they somehow purloined money that in a just world other people would have had. Of course, in reality Microsoft and Apple have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and enriched others at the same time the corporations enriched themselves. That’s how capitalism works: it creates wealth that indeed spectacularly benefits the few, but that also raises the living standards of the many by creating jobs. More important, it is a dynamic, open system, one that creates opportunities for the clever and hardworking. And it has been wildly successful, so much so that today, young people who in the past would have started work at 16, can now spend several years of extended adolescence in colleges and universities, where they can earn impecunious degrees in subjects like Medieval French Poetry or Postcolonial Literature, and then loaf about lower Manhattan protesting the evil system that has rescued them from the drudgery of farm labor or factory work, and given them nutritious cheap food, healthy bodies, straight white teeth, and gadgets like X-Boxes and I-Pads.

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  • Jim

    The author is the one who needs the education. Either that or stay on the relevant issue.

    Sorry to see front page has such low standards.

    • davarino

      Please, do inform.

    • Coachwkr

      I teach in a public school and have done so the last twenty years. The author is absolutely correct in his analysis. You are the one in dire need of some learning. Our schools, once the envy of the world, are now nothing more than laboratories for economic and cultural Marxists to peddle their ideologies– nothing but. And put a large swath of the homosexual agenda in there also. I am looking for other work now.

      • Jim_C

        This would come as a surprise to anyone who, say, has children in school and is familiar with the curriculum. "Laboratories for Marxists?" Please. Do they sneak it in between algebra and geometry or something? Or do you simply mean maybe a history course dares to talk about manifest destiny or something?

        • Herman Caintonette

          We don't teach history as it is; what CW seems to want is for his or her version of indoctrination to prevail. Any attempt to return to the world of the Framers simply is neither practical nor desirable, as ours is a profoundly different world.

          What would George Washington have said about financial aid to Israel? Nein, nein, nein! (Sorry, that was my namesake's line.)

          • pagegl

            "Any attempt to return to the world of the Framers simply is neither practical nor desirable, as ours is a profoundly different world." … baloney. The framers didn't set up the Constitution in terms of the world as it existed then. They were students of human nature and as such they attempted to define this country's laws to limit the more vile aspects of human nature. Human nature hasn't changed since man started philosophizing about it. People can be corrupted; the Constitution was an attempt to limit the effects of mans susceptiblity to corruption.

          • Herman Caintonette

            The Framers didn't see the product of their genius as a document which would last 225 years; Jefferson in particular was solicitous of revolution, both peaceful and even violent.

            While their efforts were admirable, they have failed, and predictably so, which is why Dr. Franklin told Mrs. Powel that we were given a Republic, if we could keep it. Our system has failed, mostly because our rulers and courts have made it so that certain people are too powerful to jail. OWS is an attempt to restore its safeguards; it can be done within the framework of the Constitution … or it may be time to scrap it entirely. As Jefferson mused, that would ultimately be our decision.

          • pagegl

            Any failure in the Constitution has been due to interpretations by progressives to bend the law to their uses.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Spare me the tired dogma. Citizens United was an obvious case of right-wing judicial activism.

          • pagegl

            "tired dogma" suggests there is little truth to the statement. I guess that's true if you're a progressive and feel the butchery perpetrated on the Constitution by progressives to reduce the rights of states and citizens is a good thing.

      • Herman Caintonette

        And the alternative is to teach your diseased ideology? No sale.

        Explain it to me: Precisely what is the "homosexual agenda," if not the quest to avoid dhimmitude? I remember when "Jew" was a verb, and Jews weren't allowed to join country clubs. I would think that, based on that awful experience, if anyone would be behind the GLBT agenda, it would be the American Jew.

        • Western Canadian

          Actually, the only person (and I use the term loosely) who I have observed using the term ‘jew’ as a verb, was you, and on this website… Says a lot for you being a full of yourself, utter and complete fraud and hypocrite. And proud of it, no doubt. The rest of your post is just as much a load of your usual drivel, so give it up.

    • Asher

      The Author who has had many knowledgeable experiences and has studied this system which qualify him to write on this subject. He is totally Right on…And has exposed the total failure of the school systems to thoroughly educate students and the ability to give children who complete education to even get jobs in this economy Obama has created!

      • Jim_C

        That's interesting, because we still churn out doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, teachers, etc. Did they miss the memo that the schools had "failed them?"

        • flimflamobambam

          They are doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects in SPITE of the public schools, not because of them. Students driven to such intellectually demanding professions also strongly tend to do a great deal to educate themselves independently. As far as the comment about "marxist laboratories", you do recognize that this phrase is intended as a broad descriptor, and not intended as literal description of a course in a syllabus? Anyone who has kids who survived the public school system knows that the author's assertion is correct. For example, the textbooks conveying the *history* of 9/11 make no mention of the Islamic jihad that was the SOLE motivation for this mass murder, instead characterizing the terrorists generically as *misguided people*. Yet, many school systems insist on in-depth GLBT "studies" as critical to our kids' education, along with the emphasis on the *multiculturism" ( immigration without assimilation) that has been a dismal failure in Europe, and the general emphasis on moral relativism's "there are no bad people" Newspeak.

          Where are U'S. students ranked in math and science, Jim? How conversant are they in civics and American History?

          • Herman Caintonette

            FF, I think that you have to account for the fact that the children of illegals have a tendency to bring down the curve, for reasons explained earlier. And yes, I would agree that political correctness and multiculturalism has gone too far; instead of a melting pot, we are a fruit salad. And let us not forget that Jews have always been on the crest of that wave, resisting assimilation into every society they have inhabited; it is both a survival strategy and a curse.

            FF: :"For example, the textbooks conveying the *history* of 9/11 make no mention of the Islamic jihad that was the SOLE motivation for this mass murder"

            This just flat out isn't true. To understand 9/11, you have to be cognizant of sixty years of meddling in the region, including the overthrow of the only indigenous democracy in the region (Iran, under Mossadegh), Operation Fat F****r (removing King Farouk), installation of the Ba'athists in Iraq — yes, Saddam was one of ours; we even gave him chemical and biological weapons — and "Israel." If we had done to us what we did to them, do you really think that we wouldn't be just as mad?

            They don't hate us for our freedoms; they hate us because of what we have done to deprive them of theirs. And yes, if you act like a bully for long enough, you will eventually get punched in the chops. Regardless of what you think of Ward Churchill as an academician, he got that one right.

          • flimflamobambam

            Your assertion about Jews is just astonishing. If by "resisting assimilation" you mean that standing up to the overt bigotry exemplified by your statement you just blithely made, then yes, it IS a survival strategy to combat the "Evil Jew" meme that is being revived.

            Your resistance to the facts about 9/11 is a stellar example of the apologist approach to education that the author writes about. So, in a nutshell, it's America's fault, We've forced the nearly 18,000 documented cases of Islamic jihadism that have taken place globally in the last decade? So we were bad and they got mad. So…these poor, abused, misunderstood folk have a fatal temper tantrum at every perception of *wrong*. Interesting justification, that. Using that logic, it would be acceptable and expected for *the evil Jews* to lash out in response to centuries of discrimination and abuse and murder, eh?

            Which of "their freedoms" are you referring to? Clitorectomies, beheadings, honor killings, polygamy, jihad, fatwas?

          • Herman Caintonette

            flimflam: "Your assertion about Jews is just astonishing. If by "resisting assimilation" you mean that standing up to the overt bigotry exemplified by your statement"

            It is a dispassionate observation. Jews have always congregated in insular groups, which is both a fantastic survival strategy (Mormons are very similar) and a curse.

            My resistance to the facts of 9/11? Sorry, but that dog won't hunt. It is a strategy right out of the pages of Sun-Tzu, which might have been actively abetted by the PNACers (who wanted a "new Pearl Harbor") in the White House … and even Mossad. We'll never know the whole truth as to what actually happened on that day, owing to a spectacularly transparent whitewash. The 9/11 Commission was a grievous disservice to the nation, as it has left reasonable doubt in the minds of fully half of New Yorkers, according to polls.

            I honestly don't think we could have convicted bin Laden in a court of law — which is why he was summarily assassinated. I could come up with reasonable doubt in spades and diamonds, if I were called upon to defend him.

          • Adam

            "Jews have always congregated in insular groups, which is both a fantastic survival strategy (Mormons are very similar) and a curse."

            Isn't that what you Liberals call, "A Stereotype"???? Sure, some do, most don't, but the ones that do, according to you get what they deserve. For example; Is Mitt Romney (a Mormon) currently "congregated in insular groups"??? After all he is currently running for President, can't get much less "insular" than that, can it? Or how about another Mormon named Harry Reid? He's not exactly isolated from the general population either and he couldn't be more polar opposite than the first example. Is Joe Leiberman isolated with his own community? He's a Jew. How about Barbara Boxer?

          • Herman Caintonette

            It is an observation, based on direct personal experience. That it my observation is not unique is borne out by many observations from a myriad of others. I saw how it worked from the inside in both communities.

          • Adam

            Now sure, if we are talking about one sect of Chassidic Jews, a group you apparently have no interactions with, you would think that they isolate themselves from the rest of society, or perhaps if you had one origional, coherent, unbiased and deep thought you might actually think it is the bigots in the rest of the society that has cast them out. Go to Brooklynn where yes they seem segregated, but yet they own businesses, none of which have a sign in the window that reads "No Goyam Allowed". Go find a Chassidic Synagogue, you will be welcomed in and given a seat of honor, if you can conduct yourself in a respectable manor.

          • Herman Caintonette

            I saw it in practice — Levi's boy is an accountant, and the whole congregation came to him, or so it seemed. Or a woman whose mother disapproved of her bringing home anyone who was not of the Tribe. It is what it is, and it is a great survival strategy, but it is not entirely without cost (as evidenced by the Holocaust).

          • Adam

            Also, not sure if you got the memo yet, but PNAC has been out of business for about 5 years now. It kind of happens some times when an idea is tried and then never really gains much support. You might want to becarful of attaching small odd groups to the entire right wing, or I might be inclined to bring up the Occupy Movement and their newest high profile member David Duke.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Anyone can be a part of OWS, as there are no membership requirements. The same cannot be said of PNAC, members of which committed a grievous act of treason against us. Pipes is a known PNACer, and Team Horrorwitz carries on their work — even if they have gone underground.

          • Jim_C

            What schools consider GLBT studies as critical?

            How many schools have the textbook of which you speak?

            I agree the emphasis on multiculturalism is misguided but (only in my experience with my kids) it hasn't been a significant part of the curriculum in that it tok away time from the basics.

          • flimflamobambam

            It's a matter of location, Jim, in regard to the degree that the social justice frou-frou has overtaken the curricula. As you would expect, liberal strongholds, such as those in California, New York, New Jersey, etc. are in the forefront. California, for instance, has a mandatory requirement that schools teach gay history…CA already requires mandatory *history lessons* focusing on Mexican Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, labor, women and the disabled. None of these studies, per law, may include any material that reflects negatively on any of these groups.

          • Jim_C

            "Students driven to such intellectually demanding professions also strongly tend to do a great deal to educate themselves independently." When was that not ever the case? Perhaps they paid more attention in school and did their homework–could that be a possibility?

            The thing is, whenever people complain about "uneducated kids," they never mean theirs or mine, always someone else's. Notice, no one ever says "MY kid is an uneducated, entitled grifter!" Now what could the commonality be there? Oh yes–good parenting.

          • flimflamobambam

            That's a red herring, Jim..it doesn't really matter whose kids are characterized as uneducated, Still remaining is the broad reality that our public schools do churn out uneducated kids; the veracity of this claim is supported by comparing our students' knowledge levels with students in other countries. To say that the comparison is dismal is an understatement. Good parenting is always desirable, but still can't mitigate the documented deficiencies in our schools. The kids who are students now are largely the children of parents who went through the same system and so don't recognize the deficiencies themselves…or what could properly be called programming. And please, don't fool yourself that "good parenting" is sufficinet to overcome the double whammy of what amounts to liberal indoctrination and the lack of intellectually rigorous, objective curricula.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Is it the schools themselves, or the fact that students in other countries spend far more time in class, or that they don't have as many illegal immigrants unfamiliar with the language to educate, or that the modern American family requires two earners instead of one? Too many variables for you to reach that dogmatic and tendentious conclusion.

          • Western Canadian

            HC, your usual BS on the middle east, might go over well on a hard left board filled with losers as ignorant as yourself, but here, you are just another ignorant, jew-hating blowhard. And a not very distinguished one, at that.

        • Herman Caintonette

          In some respects, they have. Law schools have a distressing tendency to teach to the test, and are especially deficient in the instruction of constitutional law. Too many otherwise brilliant lawyers actually believe that the Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is, and the RATS wing of the Court is no help. One wag put it brilliantly: "Scalia is as faithful to his originalism as Tiger Woods was to his ex-wife Elin."

    • myohmy

      Hey Jim, the truth really hurts doesn't it………. You've been undressed and exposed by the truth revealed in this article by someone who has 30 years experience inside the belly of the beast that passes for public education in America these days. And your post proves that the dumbing down of America has succeeded beyond all expectations. Who could have imagined that people as dumb as you could be considered educated? Unfortunately Ameria now has a populace so dumb that the dumbest, least informed, most ignorant voters in Ameria can elect a President who had zero experience qualifying him for office and whom is as bogus as a 3 dollar bill. Really dumb people put him in office and now these really dumb people are too ignorant to even understand the danger he's put them and America in. What a shame.

    • gman213

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    • WSK

      Sounds like the author struck a nerve with you. Truth hurts, don't it?

  • Herman Caintonette

    The article betrays a pomposity so profound, it can only come from Team Horowitz. One is left to wonder where Bruce Thornton dropped out of his rigorous course of study of underwater basket-weaving; his knowledge of basic economics is woefully lacking.

    OWS can be adequately summarized in two slogans: Banks are "too big to fail" and our politicians, "too big to jail." In short, our once-proud Republic has become a plutonomy, where the people no longer have any meaningful say as to their governance. Even the gnomes at Citibank admit it: http://www.box.net/shared/9if6v2hr9h Ever since Ford and Nixon set the precedent, there has been one set of laws for the rich and well-connected, and another for hoi polloi.

    The plutocrats have waged a relentless war against the middle class for three decades, and have won. http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-we… . History teaches that when the spoils of a society are doled out only to the favored few, revolution becomes inevitable. Both the French and Russian Revolutions (and to a lesser extent, the rise of the Nazis) are object lessons. History has this annoying habit of repeating itself, and Nazi-style fascism is the most efficient economic system our world has ever seen: a tiny country, on the precipice of bankruptcy, rose to come within a few poor decisions of dominating the entire world in less than a decade. Problem is, for the trade unionists, communists, dissenters, and Jews, it also meant that showers could be fatal. Arbeit macht frei? That is one episode our world cannot afford to duplicate, which is why I participate in and unabashedly support OWS. I will join the boycott today, and encourage others to follow suit.

    Has anyone stopped to wonder why our recently-downgraded 10-year Treasuries now yield a staggeringly minute 2% to maturity, or why gold is selling for over $1700/troy oz.? Too much capital, chasing too few valid investment opportunities. Economies are like gas engines: if the mix is too rich, it will stall. Economist Ravi Batra likens a capitalist economy to the Arctic ecology: If the wolves (capital) become too strong, they eat all the caribou (labor) and starve; if the caribou become too strong, they eat all the grass and starve. A healthy balance of wealth distribution between rich and poor optimized total societal output (Laffer's theories predict this); the rational capitalist society aims to keep itself in this economic "sweet spot." However, one can also argue that capitalism sows the seeds of its own destruction, in the sense that it invariably precipitates a plutonomy, and will die in revolution.

    America has lost 5,000 factories and 7,000,000 middle-class jobs to outsourcing, and if you don't make anything, you don't create wealth. This has a cascade effect: As wages are depressed and purchasing power erodes, the consumer's ability to create demand is compromised, and the economy invariably crashes. It is what Nobel laureate Paul Krugman–a Jew, for those of you who are counting–correctly describes as Depression economics. Think about it: 70% of our economy is driven by consumer spending, and Paris Hilton really doesn't need that fourteenth Bentley.

    OWS is an utterly predictable product of the times (see also, the Bonus Army, and the Hoovervilles); Thornton appears to be the one with an I.Q. which barely rises to room temperature.

    • StephenD

      So, if I have a problem with say, Wal-Mart it would be practical and just for me to camp out and protest in front of say, The Smithsonian. If these folks have a legitimate beef there are means of redress. If their problem is with corrupt politicians they ought to at least be in Washington…until they can be voted out. What good is it to camp out in Manhattan?  They look like fools or a better term…”Useful Idiots.”

      • Isherwood

        Washington is unresponsive because most of Congress is owned by Wall Street! OWS, in 6 weeks, has changed the political conversation to the point where Bank of America has backed off its silly new fees and the reactionary readership of Frontpage is obsessed with discrediting this new peoples movement. Not bad for dirty hippies with useless liberal arts degrees! The aim of OWS is to renegotiate the social contract that is failing the 99%. Let's keep 'em occupied!

        • StephenD

          "renegotiate the social contract" 

          What, exactly, are you talking about? There is no clear objective. Marked with association of Socialists and Communists, you have little ground to stand on defending this "movement" against charges of being merely "Useful Idiots" in the cause of Anarchy. Otherwise, what are the reforms you want? What "changes" to this so called "Social Contract" do you actually want? See? There is no straight forward and clear answer from these people. To tear down what is there is OK if you have something better to replace it with. This is not the case. To tear it down with NOTHING better to replace it is ANARCHY. This is madness. To fight to impose Socialism is foolish since it has NEVER worked in history.
          So, again I ask, what do you want?

          • Herman Caintonette

            "Marked with' association with the plutocrats, you have little ground to stand on defending the status quo ante.

            The civil rights movement started out in this way — amorphous. If you listen to OWS participants, you can distill their primary grievances into a few (as I have done), but you are too busy listening to yourself to hear.

            No economy is purely capitalist (that would be true anarchy), nor is it purely socialist. Systems at the extreme poles are doomed to fail (though no one has ever tried capitalistic anarchy). All systems are a blend of the two, and the only question is one of where to place the pendulum.

            Reaganomics was a conscious attempt to move the pendulum to the right, and it has failed miserably. We had a more socialistic system back in the 1950s through the 1970s, and it actually worked. Why can't we return to it, and how would it hurt us as a nation?

          • Herman Caintonette

            My first response was censored, which is hardly surprising. "Free speech for thee, but not for me?"

            I look at the numbers, and conclude that our present path is not sustainable. Moving to a more socialistic system, like the one we had fifty years ago, is a practical necessity, as the alternatives are truly frightening.

          • Herman Caintonette

            There is a broad objective; the initial one (changing the terms of the national conversation) has already been achieved. But as Team Horrorwitz keeps making my posts disappear, I can't explain it to you and expect you to read it.

        • Herman Caintonette

          Team Horrorwitz is a bunch of Israel-First neo-con traitors (several are actual signatories to PNAC's infamous New American Century report). If OWS had Israel as one of its causes, they would be behind it 120%.

          As for me, I wouldn't exactly call myself (B.S. in business, M.S., and J.D.) a dirty hippie with a useless liberal arts degree. I am OWS. I am the 99%, even if I am at the top of it. To this C.P.A., it's all about the numbers, and the numbers tell a story which cannot be ignored. http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-we

          Rich people don't create jobs; CUSTOMERS do. I wonder if anyone on Team Horrorwitz has ever run a business. No customers, no commerce.

          • voted against carter

            hc,..

            You are an IDIOT. STOP proving it with every statement you make.

            PLEASE remove your asshat prior to posting.

          • Herman Caintonette

            As if you have distinguished yourself, Moronovich. Take off the oversized IUD; it is obviously constricting the blood flow to your cranium.

          • voted against carter

            hc,..

            READ this SLOWLY,.. maybe Then you will have less difficulty with your comprehension issues. LOL!!

            You are an IDIOT. STOP proving it with every statement you make.

            PLEASE remove your asshat prior to posting.

            silly libratard.

          • Raw

            Okay Herman I have a PhD in economics and have run a business for 40 years and you are so full of it words ALMOST escape me. And we know how much love for Jews is expressed by these OWS morons. You sir are so sky-high stupid your degrees (which i doubt are real) had to have been purchased.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Anyone can claim to have a Ph.D. Let's talk turkey, then. Bring it. Got Nobel?

            Let's start with the basics. Do you or do you not agree that rich people do not create jobs but rather, that customers do? Drugs Limbaugh got it wrong; let's see if you are any better.

            So, why do we have recently-downgraded 10-year Treasuries yielding 2%? Professor Batra has an explanation: too much capital, chasing too few bona fide investment opportunities. Why is he wrong and you, right?

          • Maxie

            "Rich people don't create jobs; CUSTOMERS do."

            And life causes death.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Maxie, it is obvious that you have never run a business.

          • wobble

            Customers don't create jobs, you moron. They create a demand. Rich people invest in companies that meet that demand by hiring people to do the jobs. My blue heeler has a better understanding of basic economics than you do.

          • Western Canadian

            HC, another poor soul who would be the perfect poster child for avoiding drugs…. And a liar about his education, to boot.

        • voted against carter

          ishwood,..

          You are an IDIOT. STOP proving it with every statement you make.

          PLEASE remove your asshat prior to posting.

          STUPID libratard.

      • Herman Caintonette

        No, there aren't, Steve — and that is the point of OWS. My Congresscritter won't give me the time of day, but he has Grover Norquist on speed-dial. Politicians are highly motivated to stay in office and need lots of jack to do so, and for that reason, are invariably going to do the bidding of the people who own them. Free-market economics, remember? The kleptocrats now control both parties: Chris Dodd has always been the Senator from Aetna, and corporate interests routinely back both horses to hedge their bets. Wall Street put all its money behind Barry the Water-Boy because the Ancient Mariner was an obvious loser.

        General Washington warned us in the Philadelphia Convention: Congressional districts of more than 40,000 would result in tyranny. The average size of one now is 800,000. The easiest way to take money out of politics would be to adopt his solution, first implemented by Solon of Athens. First, make the lower house of Congress so large that even Exxon-Mobil can't buy them all. Second, repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, and have state legislatures pick Senators.

        Given the microencephalic idiot we (sort-of) elected in 2000, and the cast of cartoon characters (e.g., The Donald, Caribou Barbie, Rick "frothy-mixture" (no, I won't go there), Michelle "pray-the-gay-away" Bachmann, Willard, the Pizza Guy, his best customer (Chris Christie) Rick "dumb-as-a-post Perry) in this year's Republican primary, it might be time to adopt a parliamentary system. While we were stuck with the Shrub, the Brits had the services of Tony Blair. The proof is in the pudding.

        • mishu

          Yeah, England is rolling in cash now. All this commentary about "Shrub" and the "last 30 years" (you realize Dem operatives got those figures from a garbage in/garbage out CBO. Dems asked for the parameters and the CBO produced them. Voila! Talking point! You could have picked any time earlier and got similar results. Quite franky, I don't want to drag this country back to 1978 but I digress). You obviously overlook the wonderful contributions of Slick Willie pressuring banks to assume for risk in the name of "diversity" and "fairness". Never mind that the people these banks were forced to loan to had risk levels based on low capitalization and low to no income stream. In exchange for that pressure, Slick signs a law allowing banks to consolidate into "too big to fail" sizes. For all the talk about "greed", it's spread around all quintiles.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Unlike you, the CBO is non-partisan. While I wouldn't trust anything that propagandists like Horrowitz and Limbaugh bellow, I'm inclined to trust their numbers, and the logical place to begin the comparison is near the election of Ronald Reagan.

            As far as Slick Willie is concerned, you will also recall Shrub's "Ownership Society" initiative, and "Bubbles" Greenspan's smoke and mirrors show. Remember that the demise of Glass-Steagall was brought about by Phil Gramm (R-TX), and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) predicted what eventually came to pass.

            Whatever the plutocrats wanted, the kleptocrats gave them: NAFTA, GATT, and relentless attacks upon the social safety net. Clinton sold his soul to the plutocrats, as did Obama. OWS is a product of Obama's capitulation to Wall Street, and the recognition that "change" would not come through the electoral process alone.

          • mishu

            Again, nothing about forcing banks to loan to bad risks. Where's your response to that?

            The CBO parameters were dictated by dem operatives. Garbage in/garbage out. You really want live like it's 1978? Try pushing your car to the next gas station because the one you were in was out of gas.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Garbage, mishu. The CBO numbers are the most non-partisan we have.

            As for forcing banks to loan to bad risks, who facilitated that? Redlining had nothing to do with risk. Besides, if the ratings agencies had done their due diligence, you wouldn't have had subprimes at 5%.

          • Western Canadian

            Every time you almost make a valid point (accidental, I have to assume), you blow your foot off with your pathetic and stupid name calling.

    • Jim_C

      Outstanding post. You are quite right; this is a predictable and inevitable movement.

      • Herman Caintonette

        And that is what bothers the site admins. Huxley's "ugly little facts" have a tendency to get in the way of their immaculate propaganda matrix.

    • Adam

      Unfortunately you are wrong. I say unfortunately because there are solutions to the problems you attempted to illistrate that are easy to implement. See neither the wolves or the caribou have becaome all that strong. It's the Great White Shark (Government) that is too strong and too big. It has devoured everything in it's path and has trained the oversized wild dogs to do it's bidding gather money and bring it back to the Ocean (DC) for them in exchange of allowing them to be the chosen 1%. You OKKKupiers have it backwards, Big Business doesn't have control of Government, Big Government Controls Big Business. It's not a Plutocracy, if it was we wouldn't have Sarbains Oxely and Frank-Dodd and the over 500 Regulations Obama has approved. It's a "State Monopoly Capitalism" in order to control a oligopoly.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Sorry, dude, but you are Herman Cain-class clueless (the idiot didn't even know that China had had nuclear weapons for over 40 years). You don't even know what Sarbanes-Oxley is, and were probably unaware that 90% of the regs under Dodd-Frank have yet to be written (http://www.davispolk.com/files/uploads/FIG/072211_Dodd_Frank_Progress_Report.pdf ).

        Like all regulatory regimes, Sarbox was promulgated as an attempt to respond to the rash accounting and financial fraud (Enron, Tyco, Adelphia) which justifiably brought down Arthur Andersen (known in the trade as "Aggressive Accounting"). The problem with auditors is that they can become too close to their clients, and ambitious senior managers are willing to push the envelope to advance within the firm. When a CPA firm lays down the law, the lawless go audit-shopping, as the Silverado debacle (starring Neil Bush) illustrates. Sarbox tries to keep that from happening, by imposing additional requirements on auditors and criminal penalties on corporate boards. What you get is less Enrons, and a greater ability to trust financial statements.

        As an investor, don't you like the additional assurance? If Sarbox had been in place, there wouldn't have BEEN an Enron. So, how is this an evil regulation?

        • Western Canadian

          And most americans don’t know that the congress controls the purse strings, as your current occupant of the white house lies about being a student of constitutional law.

    • Western Canadian

      HC, an insufferably pompous ass yourself, you have merely given away, yet again, your one and only tactic: to accuse others of your own blatant shortcomings while projecting your vicious behaviour onto them.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    School made me stupid. It taught me wrong. A better school system, would have made me happy about tripled fuel prices, an engineered global depression, a collapsed stock market, and national infrastructure crisis. At least, I would have been smart enough to blame myself for it, and not politicians, bank directors, the Federal Reserve, trading firms, AIPAC. the Department of Transportation, and an explosion of executive branch agencies. It’s me. It’s my fault. I WRECKED THE ECONOMY with my hard work, my investment, and my degree in useless subjects.

    • davarino

      No, you would have been smart enough not to vote for stupid people.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Which would necessarily preclude him from casting a ballot in the upcoming Republican primary.

        • pagegl

          So what's the Democrats excuse; in 2000 and 2004 they nominated opponents who were scholastically inferior, at Harvard and Yale, to Shrub. At least they have the option to nominate someone who has had real world experience unlike 90+ percent of the current administration.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Hard to be intellectually or scholastically inferior to the Shrub.

          • WSK

            you appear to fall into that category.

          • voted against carter

            hc,.. you should not talk about yourself that way.

            Don't insult shrubs as most shrubs have a higher IQ than you do.

            You are an IDIOT. STOP proving it with every statement you make.

            PLEASE remove your asshat prior to posting.

            STUPID libratard.

        • Western Canadian

          The usual moronic blather from a lout, who makes the ‘shrub’ look like an uncommonly brilliant man.

    • Adam

      No, you mised the point, if the schools hadn't made you stupid, and if you were not so easily manipulated, you would have grown up eventually, and there would be less people like you voting for fascist liberals.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        Oh. I get it now. Except, I have never voted for a fascist liberal in my entire life, and yet, I went to public school and state college. There must be something wrong with the theory.

        • Herman Caintonette

          My graduate degrees were from private universities. That being said, why don't you Hebrewphiles advocate using that socialist Israel as a model for economic growth? The top tax rate is 44% (on less than $100K US!), and the VAT is 16%, but the government uses that money to fund start-ups.

          Of course, socialism never works … unless it is financially supported by theft from the United States Treasury, now does it? Why should we be supporting that parasitic socialist paradise?

        • Herman Caintonette

          As Orwell observed, "fascist" has become so over-used that it has become all but meaningless. The only clinical definition I have ever seen is that laid out by Professor Britt (reprinted at http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars…. ) and by that metric, the Rightards are the ones who are fascist-leaning.

          Fascists hate labor unions; liberals love them. Fascists wrap themselves in the flag; liberals do not. Fascists embrace the security state; liberals loathe it. Team Horrorwitz is closer to being a fascist enclave than any liberal will be.

          • Western Canadian

            Your definition of fascist and liberal are no doubt custom tailored to your own sad and shabby belief system.

    • jacob

      FLIPSIDE :

      Why don't you place the blame where it truly belongs ???

      How about FREDDIE and FANNIE with their crap about every American entitled
      to have his own home, including those without a pot to pee in and a window to
      throw it from and the mortgages they signed, which was sold and resold not
      only here but worldwide and whose bottom falling out is what caused this
      debacle ???
      How come that when McCain proposed a legislation to curb FREDDIE's and
      FANNIE's abuses, the first to oppose it tooth and nail was senator OBAMA ???
      And as to jobs, do you also approve of everything but EVERYTHING being made
      in CHINA ….

      And so the price of gas, how about asking OBAMA the real reason for stopping
      drilling ???
      And as to the explosion of govmt. branchs, how about aski g him as well ???
      Schooling ??
      Yes: it stunk loudly since longer than I want to remember, even our own country's
      history, as proven by a recent informal survey by JAY LENO to the Wall Street
      occupants….

      • Herman Caintonette

        Because the rest of us are smart enough to know that that isn't where the blame lies. The mortgage market would never have overheated in the first place without (1) Alan "Bubbles" Greenspan adopting a ridiculously easy money policy, Lloyd Blankfein and his slimy pals at Goldman Sachs fraudulently packaging CMOs as AAA-rated securities with knowledge they would likely default and then betting against them, aided and abetted by the three ratings agencies, including Harold McGraw of Standard and Poors (a large Romney donor).

        If the subprimes had been properly priced, their interest rate would have been far higher. Not that Freddie and Fannie aren't blameless, but the trail leads to Wall Street.

        • Reese

          Democratic Coverup for Fannie and Freddie Led to 2008 Meltdown: If anyone wants to find the people responsible for the current financial meltdown, they need to look no farther than the Democrats — Maxine Waters, Barney Frank and their Fannie Mae pal Franklin Raines — to indentify the culprits.

          "Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines. Everything in the 1992 act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSEs have exceeded their housing goals. What we need to do today is to focus on the regulator, and this must be done in a manner so as not to impede their affordable housing mission, a mission that has seen innovation flourish from desktop underwriting to 100 percent loans". — Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) in a September, 2003, hearing of the House Committee on Financial Services.

        • Reese

          Failed Liberal Democrat "Progressive" policies led to America's Economic collapse. Watch the video and hear them in their own words. Maxine Waters, Franklin Raines, Barney Frank, etc. Now Obama is continuing the "Progressive" (code word for Communist) policies and purposely destroying America so he can make us be revived under a One World Currency, One World Government, One World Religion (Islam under Sharia Law). The Bible foretold this would happen thousands of years ago. Obama is bringing about the Anti-Christ's plans http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaBiAZinzqU&fe

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        I used a SALLIE loan to go to college. I chose a reasonably priced college an paid my loans back promptly. By the time I paid off my loan, the prices of even modest colleges soared to astronomical prices due to there being no restrictions on COLLEGES inflating their prices relative to loan capital. I certainly did not buy a house with a FREDDIE loan because the Fed and the real estate monopoly (Coldwell Banker) inflated house prices in a five year span so that a single family spiked from $120,000 up to $450,000. I do in some way blame people (scabs) who agreed to buy houses on so much loan capital, but the realtors are to blame for jacking up the prices knowing they were gutting the economy. I am not to blame for not having 120,000 cash in a suitcase. Lenders are in part to blame for not policing dirty realtors.

        • WSK

          Maybe if realtors worked on a straight payment rather than on a 6% commission…..

    • Reese

      It's the fault of failed liberal "progressive" (code word for Communist) ideas and policies. Socialism is Communism and Communism has not worked anywhere in the world at any time in history. It's causing Europe to fall apart right now. America's foundation is right and is what made America so great before Communist community organizers have just about turned it into a socialist Marxist dictatorship.

  • sononthe_beach

    Most of understand that these protestors are the children of liberal indoctrination and that they are ignorant of what capitalism is all about. The problem is what to do about it. It is like running a zoo; the animals depend on you for food and shelter and you are legally and morally bound to help them survive. I worry that third-world thinkers will eventually take us all down. Look at California for an example.

    • Jim_C

      What we've seen on Wall Street is a perversion of deregulated capitalism. Aside from a few numbnutsin OWS, most people are fine with capitalism. There are a lot of small business owners out there, too. And the number one impediment to growth according to small business owners is not regulation or taxes: it's health care costs. You'd think we'd all be on board for the no-brainer of taking health care off employer's backs, but heaven forbid such a solution be proposed by Obama.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Single-payer is the most efficient solution; the Kiwis pay about a third of what we do for theirs, but have equivalent life expectancies. But that would infringe upon too many entrenched interests, which is why you have the abomination properly known as Dole-Romney-Obamacare. Again, the OWS crowd is, intellectually speaking, far ahead of the numbnutsin the Astroturfed Tea Party,

      • Herman Caintonette

        The only way to approximate the free market as contemplated by Adam Smith is through rigorous regulation. It may seem counter-intuitive, until you think about it.

    • Herman Caintonette

      That is spectacular rubbish, SOB. We haven't had free-market capitalism since, like, ever. For nearly 200 years, we embraced Alexander Hamilton's economic policies, which emphasized mild and targeted protectionism. The problem with the regime of free trade promoted by the Chicago School is that it only works when everyone else plays along, and everyone else in the world–most notably, China–has had the good sense not to play along. Remember MAD and game theory, as it applied back in the Cold War? Same principle, except that we unilaterally surrendered.

      The OWS crowd sees the problem: http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-we… The logical solution is to abandon the current regime, which is most accurately described as crapitalism, or crony capitalism. Thomas Jefferson also saw the problem — which precipitated the French Revolution, and could easily trigger something similar here — and proposed a solution, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents… .

      The alternatives are worse.

      • sononthe_beach

        Nothing you wrote dispels the evidence that the OWS crowd is in-the-main a collection of ignorant brats without a leadership or a plan. The growing response to their silly theatrics is to shrug them them off as a delusional fringe group whose principle educational attainment is most apparently an A+ in public nuisance 101.
        In regard to your embrace of class envy, I like what David Brooks has to say about what he calls a blue and a red inequality:
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/opinion/brooks-

        • Herman Caintonette

          David Brooks … of PNACer Billy Krystol's neo-con Weakly Double-Standard? Consider the source, Grasshopper.

          I haven't seen any evidence to support your ignorant allegation, and I'm old enough to remember the anti-war movement. The intellectuals were drawn toward activism, whereas the brain-dead went to 'Nam to serve as cannon-fodder for the Military-Industrial Complex. Survival of the fittest, I suppose….

          • sononthe_beach

            I was drafted during the VN war. As I recall, draftees didn't have a choice on where they went, unless they ran away to Canada or elsewhere to escape serving. We had many intelligent men in my company. I bet you would have been a draft-dodger. Intellectuals drawn to activism?? Very funny. I witnessed many a hippie protest march. Most of them were higher than kites and spaced out on some vague concept of eastern religion. I have also conversed with many like you–delusional self-righteous know-it-alls who aren't worth the powder to blow them to hell.
            Cheers

  • Sam

    These are the children we shud have left behind

    • Jim_C

      Comments like that prove you don't love your country. Just admit it.

  • StephenD

    "…we see among many of those camping out in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park: a penchant for decrepit ideas that are seductive to immature and undeveloped minds steeped in a sense of entitlement and an arrogant assurance of their own righteousness."

    Mr. Tornton, this is the most telling statement of the article. Very well put sir. What I see as going hand in hand with this “fault” in character is the vulnerability of these folks to being cannon fodder for those with a real agenda. They become very “useful” indeed.
    I hope you don’t mind that I intend to quote this…often.

    • Jim_C

      We see nitwits as we do any large gathering, but we also see people with a crystal clear grasp of what's going on in this country. They don't show these types much on Fox News, though. It's not much different than what happened with the TEA party, other than being a much bigger movement than the TEA party.

      End of the day, BOTH movements had and are having a very healthy effect on the discussion; media and the vested interests that contol them have to cover THAT instead of the pre-ordained narratives they receive daily from on high.

      • Raw

        So what is crystal clear that these idiots are grasping?

        • Herman Caintonette

          They are clearly sharper than you are, Perfesser.

      • voted against carter

        jc,..

        You are an IDIOT. STOP proving it with every statement you make.

        PLEASE remove your asshat prior to posting.

        STUPID libratard.

  • PatriotX

    Along with jobs one of the primary domestic issues should be what to do with our education system.

    • al222

      first and foremost: de-unionize it. break up the nexus between those unions which contribute 90-plus percent of their campaigns donation to Democrats and that political party, which stands to gain the most when schools continually turn out under-educated, self-aggrandizing nitwits.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Tell you what: take money out of politics, and provide a framework for collective bargaining that does not require union membership, and it's a deal.

        This is all about partisanship with the drooling nut-jobs running the Republican Party. They have never met a monopoly or oligopoly they didn't like, but heaven help us if we allow a monopsony.

  • Asher

    All the Marxists and Socialists have to do is destroy each Republican candidate One by One, maintain their vigil on Wallstreet to Collapse the Economy, and stall any bills in the Senate that would aid in creating jobs, or giving confidence to the public that things will improve…. They will bide their time and wear good people out by frivilous lawsuits to drain and destroy businesses, and religious institutions, and orchestrate an Islamist-Communist Dictatorship

    • scum

      Remember, Obama SAVED capitalism.

  • Asher

    Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity told Glenn Beck that Congress should not be allowing these executive Orders to be implemented. In Maryland even the Democrats opposed an executive Order on Green issues and regulations, and the Tax Payers say they will refuse to pay their taxes because of having policies forced upon them.

    • Herman Caintonette

      Why don't we just hand over the reins of government to the Koch brothers and eliminate the middlemen?

      Of course, they are the successors to the John Birch Society … and you know how they loved Jews.

      • Raw

        Or maybe George Soros? He sure loved those Jews as well. Make a thoughtfull statement for shut up.

        • Herman Caintonette

          Uh, Soros is a member of the Tribe, who fought the Nazis in subtle ways on the inside. A lot of courageous people did that. Ever heard of Jan Karski?

          • Ghostwriter

            The problem was that Soros collaborated with the Nazis to kick Jews off their land. On a "60 Minutes" interview,he said he had no guilt about doing that. Maybe you should get your facts straight.

          • Herman Caintonette

            He did what he had to do to survive. It was an Anne Frank dilemma:

            "KROFT: (Voiceover) And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.

            Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my character was made.

            KROFT: In what way?

            Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and — and anticipate events and when — when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a — a very personal experience of evil.

            KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

            Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

            KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

            Mr. SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes."
            http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=43876

            To not do so would be to risk detection, which meant a one-way trip to the camps. He was in a position to exercise at least some discretion, and thereby save at least some lives.

            "The Jewish Council asked the little kids to hand out the deportation notices. I was told to go to the Jewish Council. And there I was given these small slips of paper…It said report to the rabbi seminary at 9 am…And I was given this list of names. I took this piece of paper to my father. He instantly recognized it. This was a list of Hungarian Jewish lawyers. He said, "You deliver the slips of paper and tell the people that if they report they will be deported."
            http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/the-speculato… (full article unavailable on-line). From an ethical standpoint, what do you do? I would submit that you had a moral obligation to the people who risked so much for you to stay alive and remain in the fight, even in a small way.

          • voted against carter

            PLEASE READ THIS S L O W L Y.

            hc,..

            You are an IDIOT. STOP proving it with every statement you make.

            PLEASE remove your asshat prior to posting.

            STUPID libratard.

  • BS77

    Schools used to teach Latin, Geometry, Mathematics, Science, English Literature, Economics and discipline was part of the picture. Teachers were respected and doing well in school was considered necessary for one's future. Now, schools are for the idiotic PC agenda…testing is considered threatening to the little darling's self esteem. I've seen interviews with the OWS crowd….most of them have no idea what they are doing. They cannot articulate what they hope to achieve. None understand anything about socialism, capitalism, the free market or job creation…..they just want to make noise and act out.

    • Jim_C

      Do you seriously think there was ever a time when kids under college age understood socialism, capitalism, the free market or job creation?

    • Herman Caintonette

      If all you watch is the Faux Propaganda Network, that is what you will see; they refuse to air interviews with the resident intellectuals.

      When it comes to job creation, the Republicans make even the fringe elements of OWS seem brilliant by comparison. Even Drugs Limbaugh failed basic economics, claiming that rich people (as opposed to customers) create jobs.

      • Western Canadian

        You failed as well. Small business create jobs, without massive capital… Those who create a business and customers have to both be present to create jobs. Create a business that produces a product that no one wants, or a shoddy product…. hardly a windfall for anyone.

  • Jim_C

    Right, Mr. Thornton–it must be the schools. Couldn't be the looting of people's pensions, taxpayer money going to stockbroker bonuses AFTER the worst economic meltdown in 80 years. Couldn't be the huge, trillion dollar expenditures on a war that did nothing to advance the interests of the USA but killed thousands of our soldiers and bitterly divided the country.

    Couldn't be THOSE things. Must be those darn "Marxist" treachers!

    I've read some dumb articles on FPM. This may not be the dumbest, but it's right up there. Shame on you Thornton. Try standing up for your country for once in your life instead of carrying water for the ones fouling it up.

    • Raw

      No Jim_C it is you and your self absorbed ilk that are fouling this country.

      • Jim_C

        How substantive of you.

    • voted against carter

      jimc,…

      You are an IDIOT. STOP proving it with every statement you make.

      PLEASE remove your asshat prior to posting in the future.

      • Jim_C

        Wow, great rebuttal.

        • voted against carter

          To the point and ON THE MONEY too! LOL!!

    • Herman Caintonette

      But the invasion of Iraq benefited Israel, which is all Team Horrorwitz cares about. The Mossadi propagandists on this board rival even the silliest of Islamic propagandists.

      • Raw

        HC how erudite of you, however, your education didn't cure your paranoia

        • Herman Caintonette

          No paranoia; just observation. Actually, American Islamists argue for a kinder, gentler, reformed Islam. Back in its heyday, there were more schools of Islam than there were books in the Vatican, and some forms of Islam can be quite universalist — not unlike Reform Judaism and Unitarianism. Problem is, our approach to the Muslim world has tended to limit the natural reformation that would have otherwise brought it into the 21st century; Heinlein hypothesized in Stranger in a Strange Land that it would eventually become "Chrislam," and I expect that he was two centuries ahead of his time on that score.

          Zionist propaganda is all about preserving Israel, and persuading the gullible to support the Zionists' theft of land. Team Horrorwitz is merely building an unholy alliance, as you would expect them to.

          • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

            I really think this is your best comment yet.

          • Western Canadian

            No observation, just malice and ignorance. More schools of islam than books in the vatican?? Since prior to the middle of the 15th century, boooks were printed by hand….. Meaningless comparison, which reflects your own staggering levels of ignorance and bias. But what else could be expected from a 9/11 truther??

            Your ignorance or dishonesty of islam, is acknowledged, you can quit showing it to us all now. And by the way henlein didn’tt think much of his later fans. And some of us never thought much of his writing.

          • Western Canadian

            No observation, just malice and ignorance. More schools of islam than books in the vatican?? Since prior to the middle of the 15th century, boooks were printed by hand….. and the schools being built by slaves, or taken over from conquered people? Meaningless comparison, which reflects your own staggering levels of ignorance and bias. But what else could be expected from a 9/11 truther??

            Your ignorance of or dishonesty regarding islam, is acknowledged, you can quit showing it to us all now. And by the way henlein didn’t think much of his later fans. And some of us never thought much of his writing.

    • tagalog

      The reason we know it isn't the looting of peoples' pensions, taxpayer money going to stockbroker bonuses, etc., that it's the schools, is that those things are largely the outcome of governmental policies, and yet the demonstrators aren't protesting the government, in fact, they're agitating for more taxpayer money to be used for inappropriate purposes such as paying for their useless arts degrees.

      The lack of insight is also how we know taxpayer money should NEVER be used to defray the expense of these peoples' education, since it didn't make them any smarter.

      • Herman Caintonette

        It is the looting of people's pensions through mergers and acquisitions; our system was sound until the plutocrats persuaded their captive politicians to water down the safeguards which were put in place.

        And speaking of useless arts degrees, Horrorwitz has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in English Lit.

        • tagalog

          I'd say Mr. Horowitz has found a use for his English and English Lit. degrees, wouldn't you? He writes books and edits this website, and gives speeches and lectures; seems like he's benefited significantly from his undergrad and graduate degrees.

          That's because he's an enterprising soul who didn't wait for someone to automatically call him "bright" because the sun shines on him.

          Which safeguards were watered down? And isn't the involvement of those "captured politicians" an indication that the protest should be against the government in order to beef up the laws?

          • Herman Caintonette

            So, there is a market for those artsy-fartsy degrees after all, right? Steve Jobs attended the famously liberal-arts Reed College, auditing many classes while eating at the local Hare Krishna temple. There is value in those courses of study you so lustily denounce — one even I respect, despite my education in business-related subjects.

          • tagalog

            Yes, there's a market for some of those artsy-fartsy degrees. The problem isn't that there isn't a market; it's that the market isn't nearly large enough to accommodate all the people who got those type of degrees. Mr. Horowitz found one way, others go into teaching, still others go to law school or business school. But the bottom half of the Ethnic/Gender Studies, Rhetoric and Communications Studies, English Lit./History/Philosophy degree holders wind up driving cabs, washing dishes, waiting tables, working as nurses' aides, then finding some mid-level management job and working the next 40 years at $40,000 or $50,000 a year, not the high-level jobs they thought they WOULD get. So are those degrees useless in the crass world of monetary advancement? Not completely, just mostly.

            The most valuable thing about arts degrees is the personal expansion that such an education opens people up to. But most people forget about their artsy education fairly soon after getting their degree. Such people find themselves becoming the Jeopardy Master within their circle; they know that Alexander Pope said "the proper study of mankind is Man."

          • Herman Caintonette

            It would take a week to even begin to explain them to you; many of them are relatively arcane and require some understanding of actuarial science.

            As for beefing up the laws, it is as much about enforcing the ones we have on the books as anything else. Blankfein, Mozilo, and the heads of the three ratings agencies should be doing the perpwalk, for starters … but right now, our plutocrats are too important to jail. Passing new laws that will never be enforced will not solve the problem.

            The way to confront the problem is to confront the people who own our politicians,and that means Wall Street.

          • tagalog

            You don't need to explain actuarial science to me (I'm smart enough to figure that out for myself if I need to); I'm only looking for an explanation why the OWS demonstrators think the corporations and not the government are responsible for the faults they're complaining about.

            One thing they're clearly not complaining about is that wasting of pensions thing; they don't relate to pensions, being too young to have any concern about such things. Dad and Mom can worry about that old people stuff. Their beefs are getting taxpayer subsidies for their school loans if they can't get them wiped out altogether.

            Actually, I think I know why corporations are the Big Bugbear; the surveys of the Occupy Whatever crowds suggest that they're pretty far to the Left, so they're naturally knee-jerk anticapitalists who quite naturally (without understanding the nature of corporations) would blame corporations and their economic predispositons for all of man's ailments.

          • Herman Caintonette

            You are Joe Congressman. Grover Norquist is on Line 1, while one of your constituents with a problem is on Line 2. Which call do you take?

            Be honest for once.

            Wall Street buys Congressmen and even Presidents, who do their bidding because they need money to stay in office. The banksters on Wall Street expect a return on their investment, and they get it — often, at the expense of the 99%. If you don't get it, tagalog, you are phenomenally dense.

  • BLJ

    The educational system in America is broken. Yet the government keeps throwing more and more money down the sinkhole. The number of educated derelicts running around is a joke.

    The whole OWS movement is just an attempt by the Left and the Unions to promote their class warfare strategy and the nanny state. What better useful idiots than the one's who are "protesting".

    • Herman Caintonette

      Too many administrators. If I were on the local school board (a job I would not want), I would make it a central mission to fire as many as I possibly could.

      More teachers, less standardized tests. I saw it in law school (perfessers teaching to the Bar), at the expense of teaching students how to learn. The process is the most important part of a formal education, as you never really stop learning.

  • voted against carter

    Jimmy carter created the "Department of Education" in 1979 with this out come in mind.

    You want to change it back to the way it used to be?

    SHUT DOWN the "Department of Education". PERIOD.

    • Herman Caintonette

      I agree. Get rid of all the administrators, and replace them with teachers. Return the schools to local control. Design a free on-line national university, covering subjects like law, history, economics, and most of the social sciences (hard sciences require lab work, which demands actual attendance at a university. (Sociology in particular was a colossal waste of time, but it was required for graduation; the intro class can be taken on-line with no loss of efficiency.)

    • Jim_C

      Also agree.

      If the Dept. of Education should exist in any form, it should be as a place that writes large checks to the states when needed. Period.

  • FriendofGaryCooper

    You can't expect to produce clear-thinking students when the schools feed them
    a steady diet of Howard Zinn and Eric Foner, in their social studies classes. And Mr.
    Thornton is very correct when he describes our public schools as cesspools. When substitute teachers are subject to intimidating stares, verbal abuse, and intimations that they're no longer welcome at that school, because they forgot to remove their
    bumper sticker announcing a Republican candidate; you know things are
    very bad indeed.

    • Herman Caintonette

      Howard Zinn? Another one of those Evil Jooooos…. Right up there with Noam Chomsky (Daniel Ellsberg was an apostate). You guys just can't help but step in it, can you?

      A proper education means exposure to Zinn and William F. Buckley. I fought with my communist professors, and benefited from it. The only truly dangerous argument is the one which cannot be aired.

      • FriendofGaryCooper

        Dangerous to whom? If its dangerous to those who run our schools, chances are its a good thing. And since when has William F. Buckley been taught in our schools?

        • Herman Caintonette

          It was in mine. I'm one who subscribes to the notion that if you want to know a man, ask his ex-mistress. The Left is good at exposing the warts of the Right, and vice versa. I watch MSNBC and used to watch Firing Line frequently. If you get your information from a variety of sources, you are less susceptible to the blandishments of the Horrorwitz-class propagandist.

          • FriendofGaryCooper

            Mr. Caintonette(or should I say Mr. Judeophobe?), you and I both
            know that even the mention of William F. Buckley;s name is enough to
            get a student a failing grade in any number of courses at most colleges
            today. I didn't get THAT from Frontpage Magazine.

            What's the matter? Can't handle the truth?

  • Herman Caintonette

    When you criticize OWS as a bunch of dirty hippies with useless liberal arts degrees it is worth reminding all of you that DAVID HORRORWITZ is one of them — with a B.A. in English, and a M.A. in English Literature. Talk about useless…

    • FriendofGaryCooper

      As I said above, you can't handle the truth. Herman Cain all the way!

  • Herman Caintonette

    flimflam: "Which of "their freedoms" are you referring to? Clitorectomies, beheadings, honor killings, polygamy, jihad, fatwas?"

    Religious nutters have always had a problem with sex and like Orwell's Party, they would be perfectly content to abolish the orgasm. And let us not forget that Jews came up with the barbaric practice of circumcision.

    The campaign for creation of the state of Israel qualifies as a jihad, and polygamy was practiced by the Jews for centuries. Polyandry may be embraced by society in the next 100 years owing to population limits and sex-selection, and would result in a lot of very happy females.

    Islam would have had its Reformation by now, if not for what we have done in the M.E. The only vehicle for resistance against brutal dictatorships was through religion, which has strengthened the hard-liners' hands. Yes, you were in substantial part responsible for the virulent strain of Islam we are now forced to deal with.

    Actions have consequences.

    • Ghostwriter

      Still blaming America and Israel for the world's problems,I see HC. Did it ever occur to you that it may not be Israel's and America's fault for the Middle East's problems. Could it be that the Middle East created it's own problems and doesn't want to face them,preferring to blame others for problems they created themselves?

      • Herman Caintonette

        Britain was the prime mover in this debacle, overthrowing the Ottoman Empire and slicing up the countries on the back of a freakin' napkin. Arab society is organized along tribal and religious lines, and the lords in London didn't have a clue as to what they were doing. Again, actions have consequences.

        The problem of Israel was forced upon them, as a solution to centuries of virulent anti-Semitism. It was a win-win for the Europeans, who hoped to rid themselves of the Jews they loathed almost as much as the Germans did (see e.g., Norway), while giving the Jews what they wanted. Problem is, the locals weren't down with the deal.

        We had a hand in a lot of the region's problems, dealing with and even installing dictators (the Ba'athists, the Shah) because we wanted to get our hands on all of that oil. To acknowledge this fact is to be realistic.

        Israel is actually part of the problem, as it empowered local despots to use us and the evil Jo-o-os as their convenient whipping-boys. Do you really think that the remarkably secular Saddam, who ran the most secular regime in the area, gave a frig about the Intifada? Of course not! It was for internal consumption.

        Too many Americans have this notion that their shiite doesn't stink. I've visited enough of the world to have a measure of perspective.

    • Western Canadian

      Islam could have reformed itself, and actually an effort was made to, at one time. It was not tolerated, and will not be tolerated. The violent strain of islam that we are STILL forced to deal with. The real deal, hatred and bigotry without end.

  • tagalog

    Alston Chase has suggested that the popularity of logical positivism, brought to American higher education by the European intellectuals in the 1930s and 1940s, who came here to escape Nazism, has corrupted and corroded our education system, from elementary school through graduate school. Part of the problem is that we have a social emphasis on teachers being certified to teach, so we send them to school to get those necessary certificates. That's where they get the logical positivist slant.

    Private schools rely more on performance than certification, so there's a slight tendency for private school teachers to be less imbued with the logical postivist slant. Particularly in the religious schools.

  • UCSPanther

    There are rumblings that if the cold weathjer doesn't shut the protests down, social problems will. They have been having problems with druggies (Heroin and Coke fiends), mentally unstable vagrants and criminals infesting their ranks, incidences of violence amongst themselves, cases of sexual assault (Running the gamut from groping incidents to full-blown rape) and other assorted issues.

  • Jared

    These are people who have made it very clear that they can not successfully handle life. That is why they are there. Just can't handle it. They are crying out for help. A sad, pathetic lot. What makes them really sad is that they parade their loser status for all to see rather than keeping it quiet.
    Focusing on and whining about what you don't have is a sure formula for failure and unhappiness. Throw in envy, jealousy and bitterness and you have hopeless losers. That's the OWS gang.

  • jacob millier

    I'm always amazed at the number of know-nothings who gravitate to a serious site like this one. Their comments show how much they don't know or possibly they do understand and have to compensate for that sinful sensiblity by striking out at those who have little problem with recognizingreality and can handle the math that defines it.

    • Herman Caintonette

      You are an idiot. Surely, you have the perspicacity to answer that for yourself?

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      Don’t go calling this a serious site. That adds tragedy to the comedy.

  • Gylippus

    Thanks for bringing some facts to the discussion Mr. Thornton. The ignorance on display at OWS is even worse than I thought!

  • Hercules

    Jerry Rubin, 60s radical: "Satisfy our demands and we go twelve more. All we want from these meetings are demands that the Establishment can never satisfy…Goals are irrelevant. The tactics, the actions are critical." In a few sentences he has described what Occupy Wall Street is all about. Everything else is diversion, distraction, deception, ignorance and anarchy. You can't get blood out of a stone or wisdom out of the Occupier Neanderthals.

  • Annieg

    If the richest aren't paying their fair share, why no protest on Hollywood or big sports figures ?
    If you think you are in the 99%, you will always be there. Have to wonder if you are going to be professional students and professional protesters instead of looking for a job; any job.
    Many protesters have accepted money from one of the richest men in America living in NY via one of his many liberal organizations. Who's the real hypocrite ?
    No child left behind left plenty in the dust to become whiners and bedwetters.

    • scum

      Show's you the 'success' of Shrubya's educational 'revolution.'

    • WSK

      BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM! !!!!!!!!! That was the sound of another libtard's head exploding.

  • mrbean

    Chinese and Japanese youth work hard in school but here in America the progressives are dumbing everything down to a level of even less than mediocraty. As a result, are turning out semi-literate almost hard core unemployables with an inflated opinion of themselves they got by having their unearned self esteem stroked. The everybody gets a prize doesn't work in real life, and throwing a tantrum because they are failures and want a handout from the successful is the result,

    • Herman Caintonette

      The homeschooled and Republicans are even worse, as Herman "China is trying to acquire a nuclear capability" Cain proves conclusively. You don't believe in global warming, but you do believe in a 6,000-year-old Earth?

      • Western Canadian

        In my own teaching, i have found that homeschooled children and youth are the best educated, as well as most mature of my own very wide range of students…. You seem to be ignorant of that subject as well. While you are bashing cain for not knowing everything about human history, politics etc., why don’t you join the rest of us in laughing at every inexcusable utterance from the fool in the white house, about islam, starting with his sickeningly dishonest speech in cairo.

    • scum

      Much of the education overseas, China in particular, focuses on rote learning, not critical thinking. It's hardly a strong paradigm for 'change.'

  • http://1389blog.com 1389AD
    • Herman Caintonette

      Nonsense. Unions are what built the middle class, and if we want to restore it, we need a national closed shop rule.

  • UCSPanther

    Not sure which one will terminate the protests:

    The cold weather, social problems or just plain loss of interest…

  • effielane

    In the 1970's @ Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, many students were among the "unschooled" and needed remedial studies. The School of Journalism professors were far left "progressives" and brainwashed students, and guilty of giving students "credit" to demonstrate against war effort.

    OWS are unschooled idiots being used by radicals like George Soros. Soros is a traitor to the United States. His citizenship should be revoked and make him a "man without a country." No nation would want him; however, he might buy one.

  • Ozzy

    The most amazing premise of all political paths; the other side is stupid, therefore, my side is not.
    Poor arguments and simplistic explanations are the rule, not the exception, from the writers on both sides.
    Consider the conundrum, Capitalism creates wealth for the…fill in the blank here. Why it escapes the writers that those enduring extreme hardship in the face of monumental wealth are not delighted is a puzzle only shared by Spock.
    Why the fact of mass murders accompanying revolutions seems insignificant to revolution's promoters is answered simply; they don't expect one. And just like Billie and Susie Ayers abandoned the Blacks when they began to really commit violence, all the punk white kids will immediately demand their constitutional rights and a safe prison, should anything get really nasty. Welcome to babysitter nation.

  • WSK

    What a great article!!!

  • Jim_C

    …where construction continues, garbage gets picked up, and people flock for employment?

    It's a good analogy, really. See, people like all the services–they just get mad when they find out these things cost money.

  • Herman Caintonette

    We'd do a lot better if we didn't have to educate the dregs of Mexican and Guatemalan society. Not only do the kids suffer from poor nutrition (one in five children in our society live in poverty), but they don't speak the language at home, and we have become so solicitous of them that they don't really have to.

    The fault lies with the 1%. There is a reason why e-Verify has had such a hard time, and no employer of illegals does the perpwalk. See, the First Gilded Age, and look up the origin of the slur, "WOP."

  • Herman Caintonette

    Obviously, you have been lost in The Twilight Zone for more than a fortnight.