An army for reform, #OWS-style

posted on October 11th 2011 | 0 comments

The glibbest book review I’ve received so far ends with the words: “Great plans, but do the economists have an army?”

Well, now that you mention it.

Just to be clear upfront: I’m not pretending to say here that anyone at the OccupyWallStreet protests is fighting for any of the specific ideas presented in But Will the Planet Notice?, or knows that it exists. (Perhaps they will, if I add a few more references that makes this post more easily find-able: Occupy Wall Street; We are the 99%; Zuccotti Park!)

The point is that talk about the perfect economic solution without any hope of ever enacting any of it into law is just that: talk.

The system isn’t working—certainly not for the other 99 percent, as the OWS movement’s possibly best slogan puts it. (Emmanuel Saez can be rightfully proud of providing the thinking behind that number.)

It’s still unclear what the unifying message out of the OWS movement will be. You can always find a protester or two who argues against capitalism per se, but there’s a much larger number fighting against a rigged system and for a level playing field for all.

At the core of all of this, is the idea that we can no longer socialize costs and privatize profits and pretend it’ll just work out. That, of course, goes for the financial sector as much as it goes for the planet as a whole.

Perhaps the army is on its way after all.