Occupy Groups Mistake the Tail for the Dog

CCP Media Manager Joe Trotter posted an interesting piece in Friday’s Frum Forum on the relationship between corporations and politics — something the protestors at the “Occupy” rallies across the country seem to fundamentally misunderstand. 

If Occupy Wall Street had its way, corporations would be forbidden from educating both politicians and voters about the enormous costs and few benefits that stem from these proposed regulations. Silencing one group may be politically beneficial in the short-term for certain groups. However, it ultimately leaves everyone worse off because it creates a knowledge vacuum. In our society, public and private sectors are hopelessly intertwined. It does everyone a disservice to hold only one group responsible.

While it seems a bit odd that these groups would understand the complexities of that relationship so suddenly — particularly when those who are experts on the subject are still ferreting out the intricacies — taken up the mantle they have. What they fail to grasp, Trotter argues, is that the “problem” isn’t a private sector intrusion into politics but rather the opposite: politicians create the agenda that corporations must follow if they want to stay solvent. Blaming and occupying Wall Street, under this rational, would appear to be blaming the dog because his tail is wagging him. One need look no further to discover the truth of this than a recent blog post from the San Francisco Chronicle detailing the “no media allowed” tech and policy conference where Democratic Senators plan on hobnobbing with the power players of Silicon Valley. This kind of thing happens on both sides of the aisle of course. Perhaps someone should remind the Occupiers of that fact.



The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.