Explaining Southern California's economy

Occupy Wall Street: Out of gas?

The Occupy Oakland protesters set a fire

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

The Occupy Oakland protesters set a fire on trash to make a barricade as the police officers form a line to disperse the protesters on November 3, 2011 in Oakland, California. AFP Photo/ Kimihiro Hoshino (Photo credit should read KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images)

At MarketWatch, Jon Friedman thinks so — and looks no farther than his ink-stained brethren for blame:

The media, serving as a proxy for the general population, are impatient and bored by what outwardly seems like a marked lack of progress.

No less an authority on American social movements than folk singer Joan Baez, a notable dissident during the eras of the Vietnam and nuclear protests, said: “I’ll be convinced when it develops a real direction. ... So far it’s hard to tell.”

The only time someone gets excited about the protests these days is when some external force intervenes, such as when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted (unsuccessfully) to clear the park, purportedly to clean it.

Bummer. Althought those involved with the Occupy Oakland wing of the movement might disagree, as protestors there clashed with police over an effort to shut down the city's port. 

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Is this what Occupy Wall Street is all about?

Wall Street Protest Spreads To Other Cities

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 01: Protesters hold signs after a march to Los Angeles City Hall during the "Occupy Los Angeles" demonstration in solidarity with the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" protest in New York City on October 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The protesters slogan, "We are the 99 percent," calls attention to the fact that marchers are not part of the one percent of Americans who hold a vast portion of the nation's wealth. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

I've been meaning to link to this post from a wonky econoblog, The Slack Wire, for a while, but I haven't gotten around to it. Given that I haven't posted about the Occupy Movement for a week or so, it seems like a good time:

The key thing is that at one point, large businesses really were run by people who, while autocratic within the firm and often vicious in defense of their privileges, really did identify with the particular businesses they managed and focused their energy on their survival and growth, and even on the sheer disinterested desire to do their kind of business well. You can find a few businesses that are still run like this -- I've been meaning to write a post on Steve Jobs -- but by far the dominant ethos among managers today is that a business exists only to enrich its shareholders, including, of course, senior managers themselves. Which they have done very successfully....

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Tweet of the Day: Billy Bragg gives us a 140-character piece of his mind

Remember Billy Bragg? The English musician has always been on the side of the working folk. He's also on Twitter, @billybragg, and he has 75,000 followers. He links to this chart-laden post from Business Insider about why things have gotten completely out of whack in the USA, economically, and how levels of inequality are reminiscent of the 1920s. We're recalibrating now. Occupy Wall Street, in his view, knows what it's talking about.

Or as Bragg might put it, "Waiting for the great leap forwards." Billy nicely updates the late-1980s lyrics of what many consider the world's most romantic protest song in that version I've linked to, from a 2007 appearance on Henry Rollins' show. I've embedded a performance of the original, from "Late Night with David Letterman," circa 1988, below. I still like it best.

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The dark side of the the Occupy Movement

OLA-Rothschild-Zionism-MDB

Matthew DeBord

Not what you want to see at a protest about banking and finance in Downtown LA.

At the outset, I think it's important to remember that the Occupy Movement, from Wall Street to Downtown LA and everywhere in between, has been rational and peaceful. But there will be some cranks who worm their way into any happening of this scale. I spotted the sign above as I was leaving Occupy LA a few days ago. I wasn't happy to see it. But I wasn't surprised, either.

It gets worse. ReasonTV found someone at the Downtown LA protest who was willing to actually talk out loud about the Zionist banking conspiracy. In front of a camera. 

She got fired.

Ever since there have been banks and international finance, there have been crackpot conspiracy theories about the intermingling of money, Jewishness, Zionism, UFOs, secret underground labs, black helicopters, the world government, vampires...

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Tweet of the Day: The Occupy Wall Street Hipster Cop Halloween costume?

Today's tweet comes from KPCC's own Madeleine Brand Show, which has evinced a preoccupation with a character being called the "Hipster Cop." The New York Times has the full exposé on this NYPD law-enforcement icon, now a symbol of his times. The beauty of his look? It's oh-so now. You can show that you're down with #OWS and also give your skinny pants, slim ties, and snug cardigans, not to mention your nerd-frame glasses, a workout.

Protesting the financial elite never looked to fashionable.

No sign yet of an LA hipster cop. Which is a bit sad, as police HQ is right across the street from City Hall, where Occupy LA has camped out. Maybe a hipster cop isn't our thing, however. I think possibly...Surfer Cop?

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

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