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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Does NYC Mayor Bloomberg Support Occupy Wall Street?

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Does Not Support Occupy Wall Street

With Occupy Wall Street continuing for yet another week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has begun to discuss his viewpoint on the protests. Guess what: the founder of one of the premier sources of financial information does not support the people protesting the financial industry. I am thoroughly surprised.

According to Bloomberg, "The protests that are trying to destroy the jobs of people working in this city aren't productive." He also added, "what they're trying to do is take away the jobs of people working in the city, take away the tax base that we have." As for the specific tactic of villifying banks, Bloomberg explained, "You can't have it both ways: if you want jobs you have to assist companies and give them confidence to go hire people."

I'll admit, it can be tough to address the Occupy Wall Street Movement as a whole just because they have so many different voices that often go in very different directions. However, Bloomberg's stance on the protest is more of a straw man assault than a legitimate criticism. While there may be a few protesters who wish for all of the banking industry to be abolished, there is a much larger (and more vocal) portion that is advocating for regulation rather than destruction. Increasing the corporate tax rate is not the same as killing financial companies and driving jobs out of New York City and the mayor knows it.

Bloomberg is a smart man and clearly knows that he is misrepresenting the arguments of Occupy Wall Street, which is what makes this even more disappointing. If you want to disagree with OWS, I think that there is a perfectly reasonable argument for doing so. This is not it. However, this is yet another example of why a protest needs a clear, well-articulated message. As long the goals remain unclear and disparate, OWS is leaving itself open to this sort of misrepresentation. 

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