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At least one occupier not a Keynesian

This is very interesting. From the ground:

As I was circling Liberty Square and talking with many people about what it meant to protest, I observed an older man berating a young man going by the name of Matt. It was the only contentious banter I had observed in what was otherwise a peaceful gathering — complete with donated food, plentiful signs laid along the ground, activists singing protest songs on banjos and guitars, and even a library established in close proximity to the main dais.

I was curious about what had caused this older man to lose his gasket. Because while I had talked with people who did not approve of the protest (including some cops who declined to go on the record, but all NYPD officers I observed were calm and professional), the older man was the only one prepared to go ballistic. This being a public space, I naturally began recording audio and approached the shrieking man, hoping that I might use this moment to generate a civil discussion. But the man, who identified himself as “Steven Levy” (not to be confused with the Wired senior writer) wasn’t especially interested in explaining to me why he was upset at Matt.

“He and I were just talking with another woman,” explained Matt after the exchange. “And I think they’re more on the liberal interventionist side of the economic policies — at least in terms of their opinions. And I was like saying, ‘Look, I’m personally against Keynesianism. Because I think Keynes is all about government spending. And I don’t believe government is a good allocator of spending.’”

OK. So who does the allocation, then? Collective ownership of the means of production via crowdsourcing?

Let's not project onto the occupiers if we can possibly help it. I can imagine banksters who'd be perfectly happy with that young man's views.

NOTE So, where's the Manhattan financial district MMTer who's going to get Warren Mosler's book, and/or Yves's ECONed, and/or James Galbraith's Predator Capitalism into that library in the square. What is in the library in the square?

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wuming's picture
Submitted by wuming on

Maybe some of the MMT folks in NYC could do a teach in?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I don't know how old Matt is, but for people my generation and younger, we haven't seen what Keynesian spending actually looks like.

And if he's younger than me(age 18-25) then likely the ONLY large scale government spending he's ever seen has been the bailouts. So if government spending/Keynesian=bank bailouts, well then Keynesian spending is bad.

It's an erroneous perception, and should be corrected, but I can understand where it comes from, especially considering the poisonous media atmosphere of the past 20 years.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Over at the website, there's a picture of the library table. Featured prominently on it are "Animal Farm" and "The Obama Syndrome", a leftist critique of Obama.

Good sign