Sunday, October 23, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party

Washigton Post: For tea party and Occupy Wall Street movements, some common ground

Majia here: I think there is common ground across the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and the Tea Party. Both parties see a predatory state that has prioritized the big banks (commercial and investment) over the common wealth.

However, although the OWS movement has not articulated its stance definitively, I think there are some areas of potential disagreement.

The OWS tends to be anti-war and anti-imperialist, based on the interviews and billboards I've read at the protests across the country.

The Tea Party movement includes anti-war libertarians, but also includes constituents who endorse a militant US foreign policy (correct me if I'm wrong)

The Tea Party is very much fixated on the national debt and wants to downsize government, especially its social-welfare aspects (e.g., health care) significantly.

The OWS has not made the national debt a priority and does not want to downsize government's social welfare and education programs.

The Tea Party does not support the EPA and sees economic growth as much more important than preserving and protecting natural resources.

The OWS wants a more aggressive and accountable EPA and favors preserving and protecting natural resources.

Both groups want tax reform but the Tea Party wants reduced taxes across the board and OWS wants a more progressive tax structure with fewer loopholes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations.

Neither group has articulated a stance that I am aware of on trade but my bet is there is some populist agreement across the movements on the desire for trade policies that do not gut our national economic infrastructures.

The biggest area of dispute is probably on the role of government. The Tea Party seems to want very little government services or regulation outside of defense.

Conversely, the OWS movement wants government to be used for the collective welfare of the population, not simply as a tool for exploitation.

Both parties are being actively co-opted by special interests and politicians.

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