Is laying the ‘intellectual foundation’ of OWS something one ought to brag about?

I got a chuckle when I saw this Associated Press story:

WASHINGTON — Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is taking some credit for the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The Democrat and longtime consumer advocate says her work over the years against Wall Street abuses created much of the intellectual foundation for the demonstrators.

Because I immediately remembered reading this, from New York Magazine’s Daily Intel:

Over the past month, the crusaders at Zuccotti Park have braved the elements, tussled with police, and stood their ground against Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg. But how much do the protesters actually know about the economic system that they’re fighting to change? To find out, we asked 50 occupiers a series of questions about Wall Street, taxes, and government. The results were mixed.

To call the results “mixed” is to put it charitably. Here are some of the results:

  • Q: What is the Dodd-Frank Act? Most common answer: “Don’t know,” with 84 percent of the vote.
  • Q: What is the “S.E.C”? Most common answer: “Don’t know,” with 68 percent of the vote (though I smiled to see 4 percent, in New York, answer “The Southeastern Conference?”).
  • Q: What is the top marginal income tax rate for the richest 1 percent? An astonishing 30 percent actually thought it was “Zero to 10 percent,” and another 32 percent said “10 to 25 percent.” Add the 26 percent who admitted not knowing, and there’s a whole lot of ignorance among the Occupiers about the 1 percenters they so detest.
  • Q: What does the government spend more on? Health care and pensions, education, or the military? The answer by 94 percent of those polled: the military. Which, in fact, takes up less than half the spending that health care and pensions do.

The Occupiers were more knowledgeable about whether we’re experiencing inflation or deflation, and about whether President Obama controls the Federal Reserve (although just 38 percent knew that Ben Bernanke is the Fed’s chairman). But my favorite answer, given the aforementioned boasting by a certain Democratic candidate for the Senate from Massachusetts?

Q: Who is Elizabeth Warren?

Don’t Know: 64 percent

“Warren Buffett’s wife?”: 10 percent

“First female president/hero”: 2 percent

Warren will, I’m sure, be flattered to know that the rest of her alleged intellectual offspring actually recognized her name.

Suggested new name for Warren’s Army: “We are the 24 percent!”

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

247 comments Add your comment

JF McNamara

October 26th, 2011
5:42 am

Remember when you criticized people for saying most Tea Party members are uneducated and racist and people should go to the rallies to see for themselves? How is it on the other side, Kyle?

Sound like voters to me

October 26th, 2011
6:35 am

So we have ignorant voters/protesters and a not so smart politician….nothing to see here folks, move along.

Joe The Plumber too.

October 26th, 2011
6:39 am

Glad to see the APD pushed the trash out of the park. Even the blind can see what was gathered at the park when before the arrests the leader tells them if any of them have been doing drugs, drinking or are on probation to leave before the arrests begin. Model citizens there.

marko

October 26th, 2011
6:42 am

Groucho Marx once said, Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it
everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Prior to OWS, news coverage focused on deficit reduction
now the debate is focused on job creation. The OWS crowd might not be rocket scientist, but they seem to have a pretty good idea of the problems ordinary Americans confront. Reality evidently stops at the Potomac.

Stephenson Billings

October 26th, 2011
6:50 am

“Useful Idiots” is the term…. and the Democrat base.

DeborahinAthens

October 26th, 2011
6:53 am

As a person who protested the draft and the Vietnam War,I shake my head at how I’ll informed these people are, sometimes. However, I just don’t understand why most of the Republicans that read you, Kyle, are so opposed to banking regulations. These are regulations that attempt to plug the hole that the repeal of Glass-Stegall, that created the structure that enabled the trading (for the banks’ own accounts) of the very bad and investor unfriendly derivatives. I do understand why the banks bought and paid for plenty of Repugs that would make sure that Elizabeth Warren would not be put in charge of the agency she created. They are powerful, very wealthy people that have made billions of dollars since the walls between banks, investment banks, and insurance companies came down in 1998. I have no problem with banks being profitable–they MUST be strong to keep the wheels of the economy turning–I do resent seeing them continue to pay the traders, the manipulators, the failed CEOs billions in bonuses while they lay off the people (the financial advisors, the stockbrokers, the bank tellers, the administrative staff) that work so hard to make sure
the customers prosper. Kyle, you seem to like the idea that the rich are getting richer and richer and the middle class is disappearing. And I don’t get it. Unless you are a trust fund baby, I would guess you are one of us–hard working, just asking for an opportunity to earn a living doing what you love. So make fun of the ignorance of the OWS folks, to my mind you are no less ill informed.

Mickey Roberts

October 26th, 2011
6:54 am

The vast majority of Americans could not answer most of those questions; I would even bet that majority of our /congress could not answer those questions. So what? Right and left, we have no leaders anymore, and that is why this country is in big trouble.

Waheema

October 26th, 2011
6:59 am

Occupy’s member are just a few sadly decieved children and professional marxists. The only way for them to learn is to spend a little time in jain and a lot of time looking for work. Ignorance is not somehting to be admired.
Politicians who ally themselves with Occupy’s marxist propoganda are in for a nasty suprise when they face the voters.

Working Grandma

October 26th, 2011
7:00 am

DeborahinAthens, thanks for writing what I’ve been thinking. Your comments were right on target.

Joe The Plumber too.

October 26th, 2011
7:03 am

deborah, I just don’t see how it is anybodys business except the stockholders how much any company pays anyone. What I pay a person in bonuses is at my discretion and what you pay someone is at yours, it is not the governments. If as a stockholder a person doesn’t agree with compensation given a CEO, that stockholder is free to sell the stock. It is just like the people screaming about companies taking away Americans jobs, those jobs don’t belong to the employee, they belong to the employer, people tend to forget that. If I were to lay off staff today, I wouldn’t be taking a job they own, I would be taking I own. Some see reality as heartless but it is still reality.

Jimmy62

October 26th, 2011
7:16 am

JF McNamara: The difference is that people at Tea Party rallies were able to demonstrate general knowledge of government and politics, while the Occupy people, as discussed in the column, demonstrate only their ignorance. The rush of Democrats to claim some sort of patronage over a mostly ignorant and whiny rabble is hilarious.

I sympathize with the true, secret aim of the sort of protesters who are there scouring the internet on their iPads while claiming they can’t afford health care (which I am not at all saying represents a majority of the protesters). They want the right to be lazy but still have the trappings of modern middle class lifestyles. I too feel there should be more to life than spending 2/3s of my waking hours working for someone else doing things I’d rather not have to do, but in a world of scarcity, I see no better options.

Jimmy62

October 26th, 2011
7:21 am

Deborahinathens: Please tell me how the repeal of Glass-Steageal affected Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Countrywide, and pretty much all the big players in this? Sure, it may have affected Wachovia, but they were a relatively small player in all of this. So your big repeal was negligible in all of this, and if anything helped mitigate the problems by allowing Merrill Lynch to be bought by Bank of America.

I love it, you saw some soundbite repeated a bunch of times and decided it must be true, and took that as education, without any further critical thinking.

Stevie Ray

October 26th, 2011
7:22 am

DEBORAHNATHENS:

The repeal of Glass-Steagall was 100% responsible for the mortgage crisis we currently enjoy. Under financial lobbying pressure, our corruptresentatives began to chip away at the perimeter of this law in the late 80’s with repeal per Clintons congress in 1998. The conflicts (just as in 1929) that resulted allowed the wall to crumble between banks, investment houses and insurers who gave away services in one sector to profit in speculation. Once again, the re-election minded machine screwed all of us, especially the 10% that now pay 73% of the taxes.’

The argument against re-instituting a modern version of GS is whining from financial lobby that they won’t be able to complete globally which in my mind is bunk. Really has nothing to do with any of this as the conflicts of interest that exist are not illegal albeit unethical.

Also, why everytime I turn TV on or read left blogs (right no better), I keep seeing this graph relative to the income divide? Who cares and why is this the best evidence for reform? How do you propose fixing this? How about the top 10% pay 100% of the taxes?

Sticking your nose in CEO pay is not appropriate. Most Fortune 1000 companies have comp plans that generally do not allow compensation not proportionate to results but of course no one wants to discuss this fact…the whiners are completely mis-informed and need to be on K Street…too bad they can’t afford gas money.

Stevie Ray

October 26th, 2011
7:30 am

JIMMY:

The repeal of GS impacted all the above. The banks used our money to bet on real estate and dumped the FMFM type loans, many toxic. The Goldman Sachs, Bear Sterns et al who were allowed to get into banking did basically the same thing and in addition, were able to get greedy due to the inherent conflicts of being in multiple businesses. AIG biggest sucker of all as they insured pools of crap laiden mortages at less than 2% rate on line based on total assets insured. Before GS, they were pretty much lambs and the repeal transformed them into snakes….

Ronnie Raygun

October 26th, 2011
7:36 am

Kyle’s is just jealous that, unlike conservatism, someone else’s ideology actually has an ‘intellectual foundation’.

GT

October 26th, 2011
7:44 am

The Tea Party now there is an intellectual group. Unless we are doing away with democracy in the 21st century this kind of stuff has got to be dealt with the way it is packaged. Last week as we talked about child poverty the Heritage Foundation had decided that education had little to do with it. I really believe the education and the disciple it takes to get the education has all to do about this. I also say those people in the park come closer to getting it than the Klan. I question if that same magazine would venture to even survey that crowd of brain dead nuts that have switch sides of the pool and now call themselves Republicans. One sign of intelligence with the Tea Party they keep most of these nuts in a closet during these rallies. PR is like a deodorant, it covers up a lot of sins. I am sure the Occupy people will become as disingenuous as the other side eventually.

One thing about the Occupy people, they are not against free enterprise. It is the bailing out of the corporate and bank failures while the rest of America suffers that is the theme here. I have notice with the fees Bank of America is charging masses of middle class people are moving their money to smaller banks. Wouldn’t it be justice if these banks despite their lifelines still could not survive and healthier smaller banks took their place. This country is great because the grassroots buy in. I am sure a lot of these people don’t understand that in measurable term, but as they travel up the ladder they will. The problem is when most of them have made it they quickly forget what they learn going up.

Get on with it

October 26th, 2011
7:46 am

I’m very happy to see that he Democrats are still supporting these people made up of communists, radicals and stupidty. That again tells me that the 2012 election is very important and that the real working people of America need to continue to clean house in the White House, senate and House. Remove the commies who are giving our country away piece by piece and taking our freedoms for more of the wealth and power. I personally cant wait till November 2012.

Bob

October 26th, 2011
7:47 am

JF, you do not need to go to one of these rallys to see how ignorant these fools are. When a good portion of the crowd wear brightly colored stocking caps in 90 degree weather, they will not be confused with our brightest kids.

Daren Gray

October 26th, 2011
7:48 am

To the Occupy Atlanta movement What did you accomplish? You had no discernable message just he capitalism is bad! InMySouthparkVoice. Go away I am glade your gone. You were just some simple people who wanted to act out like little children.

Use the tea bag party ultra conservative model pick a very narrow set of goals and put your people in office to achieve them

Stop bitching and Start Voting!

Bob

October 26th, 2011
7:50 am

Ronnie, can you show us where this group did anything at all to be confused with intellectuals ? And why isn’t the left whining about the makeup of the crowd, it’s mostly white, wasn’t that the knock on the tea party ? Other than the normal bums that hang out at Woodward, the rest are a bunch of soft white kids whining.

Ronnie Raygun

October 26th, 2011
7:51 am

“The difference is that people at Tea Party rallies were able to demonstrate general knowledge of government and politics,”

Badly misspelled signs, threats to bring guns “next time”, and saying “keep your government hands off my medicare”. Yeah, the people at the corporately funded teabag rallies were such intellectual giants. LOL

GT

October 26th, 2011
8:00 am

Daren Gray the Occupy Atlanta movement just took five minutes of your time to complain about them. I doubt you will ever change your point of view, but millions of Americans are in the middle and each have their own thoughts of what this movement and what is behind it represents. Not being defined and polished like the Tea Party may work better, it is food for thought for more different types of people. The organized Tea Party tries so hard to have something to hit at from O and the Tea Party. They give them nothing and it drives them crazy. This subject of American misery is well defined in the minds of the people sharing it, just different definitions to different people. The Tea Party has tried to own this area, and draw our thoughts away from the real cause of our problems. It was a brilliant plan for a party many thought was on its last breath. What America has forgotten is there was a reason the Republican Party about died. Now the real grass rooters are reminding us.

Cal

October 26th, 2011
8:16 am

Warren served as the “intellectual foundation?”

hahahahahaha

The OWS crowd must be living in a basement somewhere.

Before disbanding OWS at Woodruff, one of their leaders advised:

It became clear around 8 p.m. Tuesday that arrests were imminent. Officers blocked off Park Place NE alongside Woodruff Park as about 50 additional officers arrived on the scene.

At 10:45 p.m Tuesday, Franzen told participants who were willing to be arrested to gather in a circle in the middle of the park. He advised those who had been drinking, using drugs or were on probation not to take part and asked demonstrators outside the park to return at 6 a.m.

Bobby

October 26th, 2011
8:27 am

God bless the occupiers. As a Vietnam Marine vet it gives my heart pleasure seeing Americans stand up to the Corporations and Republicans which are destroying this country.

brad

October 26th, 2011
8:31 am

Meanwhile, the State of Georgia is attempting to have the Voting Rights Act dismantled.

JF McNamara

October 26th, 2011
8:32 am

Jimmy62 and Bob,

My comment was basically pointing out Kyle’s hypocrisy. The treatment of the Tea Partyers was no different. I remember watching CNN reporting on the racism at the rallies and the outrage from that.

I believe that was wrong to stereotype the Tea Partyers. I also believe its wrong to Stereotype the OWS people. Its called having a consistent intellectual viewpoint instead of a viewpoint dictated by the party in which I reside.

Chuck Doberman

October 26th, 2011
8:39 am

Bringing ignorance to light… do conservatives really want to go there? You’ve been dumbing-down your base for decades and it’s working! There is no other explanation as to why said base still supports the republican platform (make wealthy people even more wealthy, Eff the rest, we’ll just attack, villify and shout them down with great fervor until that point where they are broken and reeling under our emotional and financial fusillade) Much to-do is made regarding values, religion and ideology, yet these are teasers and smokescreens and distract from the real issues which are jobs and the economy… two areas where the GOP offers us nothing except more of the insane and unrealistic practices that contributed mightily to the piss-poor situation we are in today. I, for one, believe that even after decades of dumbing-down and turning hard-right, most of these people truly realize this deep down and will at some point cast away the emotional reigns the GOP has them in and embrace reality… a. the wealthy can’t haver much more of our wealth without dealing a death-blow to the already-reeling middle-class b. without the middle-class the American Dream is dead, period.

smart dawg

October 26th, 2011
8:40 am

I didn’t see anyone in the photos that I would hire to represent my business.

Bob

October 26th, 2011
8:45 am

I’m pretty sure people don’t need to pass Economics mid-terms to know that their lot isn’t improving, and that the lot of the bailed out is. And no amount of smarm can remove that awareness.

Michaela

October 26th, 2011
8:52 am

I think, if these protesters had instead used the time to help the farmers in the fields, who’ve lost all these laborers, and then given the earned money to those that they feel have been wronged, then I think they could have brought attention and also kept credibility. Just sitting around doesn’t accomplish anything.

carlosgvv

October 26th, 2011
8:55 am

Kyle, dismissing the prostestors for their lack of economic knowledge is nothing but a conservative smokescreen. They are protesting because they can’t find work, many after 4 years of college and a degree, and they know how corrupt and rotten Wall Street has become. They also know how bought and paid for most politicians are. “The economic system they’re fighting to change” is sick, and we all know it. You do too.

Uncle Jed

October 26th, 2011
8:57 am

smart dawg

October 26th, 2011
8:40 am
I didn’t see anyone in the photos that I would hire to represent my business.

+++++++++++++++++

Don’t worry, they aren’t seeking employment, but rather a handout.

JKL2

October 26th, 2011
8:59 am

I love the smell of tear gas in the morning. Smells like victory.

Nothing says peaceful like riot gear, tear gas and concussion grenades.

Lynnie Gal

October 26th, 2011
9:01 am

My question–did the pollsters only interview people with southern accents? A dead giveaway that they wouldn’t know much because the south is last in the nation in education, mainly from state republican’s who’ve been shortchanging education for decades. The reason republicans don’t like to fund education? Because a lack of it expands their base.

Uncle Jed

October 26th, 2011
9:08 am

carlosgvv

October 26th, 2011
8:55 am
+++++++++++++++++

For the sake of argument and nothing more, let’s assume your premise is correct. WTF is standing around in the streets and illegally sleeping in public parks, smoking weed, and looking like ragamuffins going to do to help their situation? If most of them indeed did finish four years of higher education, regardless the respective majors, they should have known a bit more about the subject of their protests. It is/was clear that the vast majority of these rabblerousers were just that, not the poor downtrodden innocents laboring under the evil Wall Street bankers. For crying out loud man, they were organized by BIG LABOR and many were paid in one form or another to participate. The best thing that resulted from these OWS gatherings was the illustration of how critical the next national election will be for the future of our country at large and not narrowly for the moocher class.

I do agree with you to a degree that our political system is now at a low point relative to integrity and public service. There is too much money in the pot as demonstrated by Obama’s fuindraising.

Chip

October 26th, 2011
9:12 am

DEBORAHINATHENS: Since you seem so concerned about what corporations pay CEOs and executives… how do you feel about the millions paid to filthy stinking rich entertainers?

Should we be looking into how much the movie studios pay George Clooney? How about the millions of dollars made by those OTHER filthy stinking rich fat cat capitalists, like Michael Moore and Stephen Speilberg and James Cameron?

Or do they get a free pass because they’re liberal?

Jefferson

October 26th, 2011
9:14 am

The wealthy does not have to complain about their taxes as long as they have their pawns writing stories and paying their fair share for them. The older the pawns get the more they will realize they used and abused.

Uncle Jed

October 26th, 2011
9:16 am

The reason republicans don’t like to fund education?
++++++++++++++

Funding education isn’t the issue. It should be done at the state level not through some grotesque federal bureaucracy beholden to labor unions a/k/a liberal democrats in yet another Democrat contrived and controlled slush fund a/k/a/ union dues, that is then used to fund liberal democrat candidates. It is a vicious cycle and nothing short of money laundering in campaigns.

Uncle Jed

October 26th, 2011
9:20 am

Or do they get a free pass because they’re liberal?
++++++++++++++++++

Yep, of course they do because they are….oh well, you know…I mean they…well anyway, the corporations and CEO’s are bad and you know…I mean…well anyway they are and you must watch FOX News and listen to Rush and go to Tea Party events and must be a racist. So there!!! ;-)

MassMudder

October 26th, 2011
9:24 am

Jimmy62

October 26th, 2011
9:24 am

Stevie Ray: that’s not an answer, you didn’t explain anything. Now be specific, what is it that aig orgoldman sachs and other players did that they couldn’t do before glass-stegal was repealed.

MarkV

October 26th, 2011
9:26 am

Kyle,
Your article may be good for some chuckles, but if it has any intellectual quality it is hardly noticeable.
If you want to mock the “mixed” results of a (hardly scientific) survey, those results should be compared with those of other groups and for the population at large. I bet you would find most of them even less informed. That includes the 24 percent number for Elizabeth Warren, which actually seem surprisingly high. As for what you call Warren’s “boasting,” in the sense of the main theme of the OWS being a protest against the excessive income inequality, her statement regarding creation of “much of the intellectual foundation” of the OWS protests is not without merit.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

October 26th, 2011
9:31 am

Greedily grabbing at the property of others, and demanding ever-larger handouts is hardly an “intellectual foundation”.

OWS: Greedy scum.

Now with Ten Percent More Flavor

October 26th, 2011
9:34 am

I remember seeing something similar regarding the tea party protestors. Something about keeping your hands off my Medicare. Your intellectual dishonesty is so partisan, Kyle. :lol: Desperate times, eh. Anyway, I’ve done my part to keep you around.

stands for decibels

October 26th, 2011
9:37 am

Kyle, you’re basing this thesis on a 50 person self-selected sampling by a magazine writer with an apparent ax to grind. Pretty lame.

Uncle Jed

October 26th, 2011
9:37 am

MarkV

October 26th, 2011
9:26 am
++++++++++++

Kyle offered commentary on a survey reported in an Associated Press article. Did Kyle purport that the survey was scientific or inclusive of all demographic delineations? Kyle started out by writing that the story gave him a chuckle and he closed with a tongue-in-cheek humorous line. Geesh!!!

Uncle Jed

October 26th, 2011
9:40 am

Uh-Oh, somebody needs to get back over to the H.O.T. lane blog.

MarkV

October 26th, 2011
9:40 am

Uncle Jed @9:37 am

And what is your point? That Kyle did NOT try to make any point?

carlosgvv

October 26th, 2011
9:41 am

Uncle Jed

Before BIG LABOR came along, we had 12 hour workdays, 6 day work weeks, no paid overtime, no paid vacations, no paid holidays, no insurance, no Workman’s Comp. and child labor. The ultimate goal of Big Business, who toally owns the Republican Party, is to get America as close as possible to those days gone by. The protestors understand this. Big Business has ordered their Party lackeys to instigate a smear campaign against the protesters which you have bought hook, line and sinker. The Party and Corporations are counting on people like you to believe what they say and ignore what they do. Looks like they’re succeding so far.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

October 26th, 2011
9:46 am

Shame on the Atlanta OWSers for bringing imported assault weapons to their protests. If they weren’t so greedy they’d spend a little more for American made.