#OccupyWallSt fails because it misses the real targets [Reader Post]


#OccupyWallSt has given us some memorable images, but arguably none more memorable than these:

#OccupyWallSt has made a list of demands. Some are simply ridiculous but some have merit- specifically the concerns over the cost of education and money’s involvement in politics. The problem is that the numbskulls in the #OWS movement are so self-obsessed that all of their efforts are way off target. They place themselves in Zucotti Park and somewhere in UC Davis and aspire to shut down the harbor in Portland.

The question is- what can that possibly achieve?

Their concerns about costs of higher education are truly meritorious. Higher education is the biggest scam in town. Since 1988 the rising cost of higher education absolutely dwarfs the cost of living increases.

In fact, it has risen far more rapidly than the cost of medical treatment.

When my oldest son entered Boston College the tuition was $35,000 per year. When my second son graduated from BC seven years later tuition was over $50,000 per year.

That’s obscene. And for what? I thought it was robbery, but we paid it.

While #OWS wants all debts forgiven, some are definitely accumulating faster than others.

California’s public universities enacted the highest average tuition increase, 21%, of any state, the College Board finds. Steep state funding cuts to higher ed were significant factors in pushing up tuition and fees nationwide.
But even excluding California, tuition prices at such colleges rose significantly nationwide this year, an average of 7%, the College Board found. Apart from California, Arizona and Washington had the highest rates of tuition increases at public four-year campuses, 17% and 16% respectively, while Connecticut and South Carolina were lowest, at 2.5% each.

Sandy Baum, a policy analyst for the College Board, said the recession’s toll on tax revenues prompted some states to slash higher education funding. “California seems to be the leader of that” trend, she said.

Yet the study also showed that significant increases in federal grants and tax credits are shielding many students from some of the tuition pain even as unemployment is driving more people to enroll at colleges. “As the states have stepped back, the federal government to some extent compensated for the higher prices,” Baum said.

Nationally, in-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities average $8,244 for this school year. With room and board, the average cost of such schools is $17,131, up 6% from last year, said the report, which is being released Wednesday.

Significant tuition increases are nothing new to UC Davis. This is from 2009:

The first tuition hike, which takes effect in January, will raise undergraduate tuition to $8,373. The second hike kicks in next fall, raising tuition to $10,302, said university spokeswoman Leslie Sepuka.

Students who live on campus could pay up to an estimated $17,200 in additional fees that include the annual cost of books and housing, according to the system’s July 2008 finance guide.

The January increase of about 15 percent is more than double the average public university tuition hike last year. On average, tuition and fees at four-year public universities nationwide increased 6.5 percent, or to $7,020, since the previous school year, according to data from College Board.

A ten year analysis of tuition increases found that UC Davis tuition increased 185%, second only to the U of Arizona at 231%.

It seems to me that if one is going to protest, one ought to protest at a venue a which a goal might be achieved. That is to say that if you need gas, you don’t go to the pharmacy. These protests should have been conducted at the home of the University Chancellor, and at the homes of the University trustees. Instead, protests put tents up on campus. The Chancellor, Linda Katehi, ordered the students and the tents removed.

In her first statement about the incident, Katehi justified the police’s action by stating that the protesters offered her “no option but to ask the police to assist in their removal.”

As criticism mounted, Katehi threw the cops under the bus, as gutless politicians and academics are wont to do. An obviously flustered Katehi scrambled to redirect the blame away from her.

In an interview this morning on KQED’s Forum, UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said she expected campus police on Friday to remove tents peacefully without interfering with students’ rally.

Katehi said that under UC policy, tents are not allowed on campus “for health and safety reasons.” She said police were asked to dismantle the encampment out of concern for the safety of the students.

“The group that set this up was not UC Davis students,” she said. “They had individuals that were not affiliated with the campus. The police were called for nothing else but a very peaceful dismantling of the equipment…They were not supposed to use force.They were not supposed to limit the students from having the rally, from congregating to express their anger and frustration.”

You can’t help but wonder if the tear gas would have come even more quickly had the students set up camp where a protest would have been effective- at Katehi’s home and the homes of the trustees.

Money in politics is another very legitimate issue, and probably the most contentious money issue in politics is insider trading. There is really not anything more painfully hypocritical in government than this. The same activities which increased the net worth of the Pelosi’s by 62% last year sent Ivan Boesky, Jeffrey Skilling and Martha Stewart to jail.

Nancy Pelosi is everything that’s wrong with government. #OWS should be camping outside her office in Washington and outside her home in San Franciso. Instead, protesters defecate on the flag and on police cars, they leave 200 pounds of feces in Santa Cruz, they stalk children on their way to school and they scream at Wall St.

They urinate on banks and hurl Molotov cocktails at banks.

Why? What did banks do that was illegal? Nothing.

It may have been immoral, but it was legal.

Banks do what politicians allow them do. There is no purpose in harassing people who are doing nothing illegal. If change is desired, then energies ought to be directed so as be effective. This is the terminal stupidity of OccupyWallSt and the reason for its failure. They’re waiting for gas at the drive-in window of CVS.

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@MataHarley: Mata! I never ment you and should have pointed that out. Its a personal peev of mine own. Anyway, Happy Dead Bird Day!

Gary, I’m seeing with this younger generation that if it happened before their time as a teen or an adult, it means nothing to them. I could never identify with way of thinking. When I see such behavior I have to bite my tongue as I find it so repulsive.