The Real Reason for the Uprisings

What to make of Occupy Wall Street…

We found the following in our inbox today from the National Inflation Association:

“The Occupy Wall Street movement is gaining tons of momentum and is likely to continue picking up steam in the weeks and months ahead. Americans are angry, but they aren’t exactly sure what they are angry about, and they don’t know for sure with whom they should be angry. It is easy for them to point their fingers at Wall Street, but Wall Street is in no way responsible for the financial crisis our country has today.

“NIA believes that Occupy Wall Street protesters need to be educated to the facts and truth about the U.S. economy and what is truly causing our economic problems.”

And what exactly is causing our economic problems? In short: inflation. Both the creation of new money unbacked by productive activity — literally, conjured up from nothing at the whim of a central banker — and the artificially low cost of borrowing to expand the amount of debt…again, thanks to central bankers buying government debt with the money they create in order to shove interest rates down.

Inflation erodes the value of savings. It causes middle-class wages to rise more slowly than prices over time. The well connected — mainly, commercial banks — get the money first and benefit, while their spending of the new money causes prices to rise. Everyone else has to beg and hope for cost-of-living increases to their wages.

Inflation also causes asset bubbles that tend to benefit the rich while wiping out the middle class and poor, who pile into bubbles just in time to be left holding the bag.

In other words, inflation is causing the things that have people revolting in the streets. And central banks cause inflation.

Our comments here at the Whiskey Bar (and on our Facebook page) regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement have elicited plenty of responses. Some not so friendly. Like this…

“What utter drivel. Right out of the playbook of a goose-stepping sociopath like Ayn Rand. The fact is rather than sitting at a computer terminal all day long, pounding away nonsense in support of a capitalist kleptocracy, these ‘Occupiers’ are actually doing something constructive, and this is key, OUTSIDE the rigged political system. That is why the powers that be (including, apparently, you) fear them so much. These folks, at the very least, know that the LAST place they should be is ‘seig heiling’ to the Rand playbook by ‘making some money.'”


First, Ayn Rand would have neither goose-stepped nor seig heiled to anything. She was as ardently against the Nazis’ violent corporatist fascism as she was the communists’ totalitarian command economy. Her paeans to selfishness aren’t a call to theft and violence. They’re a dramatization of the importance of ownership — starting with self-ownership — and the drive to improve one’s own condition, leading to a better quality of life for all.

Second, capitalist kleptocracy? Last we checked, capitalism was about making money by adding value and meeting consumer demand, not about stealing anything. In fact, capitalism demands a sacred respect for property rights, starting with the individual’s ownership of himself.

(Capitalism was named by its enemies. We’re starting to prefer the term “propertyism.”)

The political system is the one eager to move around other people’s money. And it’s “political money” in the form of the monopolized currency issued by a government-backed central bank, which has resulted in the impoverishment of the middle class that the Occupiers are so up in arms about. It’s also something that we at the Whiskey Bar are up in arms about (and in an upcoming issue, we’ll propose a way for you to do something about it…and protect your wealth…in time for the Fifth of November)…

But we notice not a little sentiment among the Occupiers not just to stop the theft, but to redirect it.

We understand the anger behind the protests. We just worry about whom the protesters are blaming…and about some of the usual solutions that are floating through their heads. As Tim Staermose of The Sovereign Man writes:

“The anger is understandable. But it’s infuriating to so many of these protesters railing on YouTube against the free market, moaning how capitalism has pillaged the poor for the benefit of the rich.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. There hasn’t been a free market in money and banking for a century. The central bank/fractional reserve system is the biggest cartel in the history of economics. It’s nothing but big government price rigging.

“How can anyone argue we have free markets when the price of money is set by decree? An unelected board of governors at the Federal Reserve simply decides the price of money, and that’s that.

“Nearly EVERYTHING in our credit economy is driven from this number — mortgages, business purchases, trade finance, government spending…and it affects almost everyone on the planet. This is not a free market, it’s an economic dictatorship.”

We were sorely hoping that the collectivist and redistributionist spirit would be exorcised from the movement, perhaps with the help of that other populist movement who are angry at the same things. On this, David Franke says:

“When the protests first began, conservatives and Tea Partiers should have descended on New York to seek to influence the movement in the right direction. From what I have read and seen, some members of the Ron Paul Revolution have been trying to do just that. But the Tea Partiers have reacted like, well, conservatives. And now the opportunity has probably been lost. Occupy Wall Street has been taken over by the liberal branch of the establishment — the labor unions — just as the Tea Party has been taken over by the conservative branch of the establishment — Washington insiders. The union bosses and conservative power brokers saw their opportunity and took it.”

And Ralph Benko already said it in his article “Occupy Wall Street: Contempt of Political Class”…

“An article datelined Madrid, titled ‘As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around the Globe: Many Are Driven by Contempt of Political Class.’ Contempt of the political class? Sounds like…the Tea Party Patriots…Welcome to the party, #OWSers!”

Welcome to the party, indeed, comrades. We have a common enemy. And it’s not Wall Street. Or greed.

It’s a flexible currency that is constantly being created, and in which we’re all forced to transact.

As it stands now, there seems to be awareness, perhaps even a growing awareness, in the movement about what the real source of the trouble is. We hope that the protesters stop being angry at Wall Street and, instead, look behind the curtain at the forces that corrupted Wall Street.

Yes, we mean the central bank again.


Gary Gibson

The Daily Reckoning