OWS Learns More of Life's Long Words

I'm starting to think this OWS thing is going to be incredibly productive after all. Now that their carbon-guzzling generators have been confiscated as fire hazards, the organizers have decided to replace them with green generators powered by bicycles. As the enthusiastic supporters at FireDogLake put it, get your exercise, stay green, and make sure the protesters have the iPhones and laptops that are essential to any successful anti-authoritarian movement.

The next step will be the slowly dawning realization of how much manpower it takes to produce as much electricity as everyone needs and wants. How will they ration the power? Who will be in charge of prioritizing between iPods and heat as the weather deteriorates? What will be done about the freeloaders who won't take their shifts on the bikes? How many bikes is this going to take, and who will manufacture and pay for them? And by the way, did anyone here study some electrical engineering in school?

It's like a seminar that goes on and on. I suspect the occupiers are getting more useful instruction in a few weeks than they picked up in the four-year parties that left them jobless and $100,000 in debt.

There's also a certain consistency in the message: "We need you to send us more money."


BillT said...

According to the latest METAR I picked up, New Yawk's weather is SPECI KNYC 292226Z AUTO VRB05KT 1 3/4SM -SN BR OVC008 01/01 A2989 RMK AO2 UPB2155E2156RAB2156E21SNE2155B21 P0007 FZRANO TSNO.

Translated: A five-knot wind (compounded by the tunnel effect of the tall buildings), lousy visibility under overcast skies, with freezing rain alternating with snow showers.

Which means that the only OWSers keeping warm will be those pedaling the bikes...

BillT said...

Heh -- the vid just loaded.

$8,000 to *build* 11 bicycle-powered generators? You can buy 11 of them, already assembled, *and* have them delivered by UPS for that eight grand!

Texan99 said...

I don't see why they don't adopt the "Beyond Thunderdome" approach to power generation. It would take care of much of the sanitation issue, too.

Grim said...

I expect an early winter will put an end to all this nonsense. The question is whether they have anything to add once the show is over. That means serious thought on the challenges facing the nation; and so far, I am still not seeing any sign of that.

Anonymous said...

Aside from platitudes, a fairly glaring lack of understanding about macroeconomics and recent history, and a distressing streak of anti-Semitism, I've not seen anything concrete from the OWS members.


Anonymous said...

Here's a video spelling out the OWS agenda that could have made a difference. It's the logical response to the sins spelled out in Reckless Endangerment. It's a sad thing the "conservatives" don't seem to care about the theft of trillions of dollars while those who do ally themselves with Marxist activists.

Having some '60s experience in joint operations with leftist coalitions this is always the way it goes. Like cream the loons rise to the top. Their rabid commitment makes cooperation impossible and the whole mechanism flies apart in bitter clashes.

The left simply does not understand how people, themselves included, function.

Texan99 said...

That reminds me that I bought a copy of Reckless Endangerment a few weeks ago and have yet to read it -- big stack waiting for me.

If we're going to do anything about the unholy alliance between Big Government and Big Finance that is crony capitalism, it's as important to understand these complicated financial mechanisms as it is for freezing OWS-ers to understand electrical engineering. I thought I had a rough grasp of it from working in commercial law and debt restructuring all these years, but I still find it very confusing. I'm looking forward to getting some more of it sorted out in my mind. In the meantime, here's an interesting take my husband forwarded to me: http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=196348

Tom said...


Denning's take is interesting, but I don't understand enough to know whether he's got a valid opinion or is full of it. One big question I have is what would have happened if we'd let the banks fail; what would have been the effect on the nation?

Anyway, my ignorance of matters financial is, indeed, woeful. Do you have any suggestions for what to read to get myself up to speed, or at least get me started? (I suspect, if you're still confused, the odds of me getting up to speed are minimal.)

Texan99 said...

Tom -- I share your skepticism about the summary I posted, though I admit a lot of it has the ring of truth about it. I've been struggling for several years now over the question of what would have happened if we'd let the banks fail. Would they have sorted themselves out faster, thus minimizing the harm to the public in the long run? Or would the whole financial system have locked up catastrophically, causing long-term or even irreparable damage? I wish I knew. At the time, I held my nose and went along with TARP. I had misgivings, but they weren't as great as my misgivings about the alternative.

Maybe after I read "Reckless Endangerment" I'll have some better ideas. RIght now I don't have any more sources to suggest. I did forward that piece to a friend that I think understands the capital markets much better than I do, but I haven't been able to get a response from him.

Anonymous said...

One problem with letting banks fail was the brokerage houses that wiggled rule changes so that they could say they were also in banking and thus needed bailout funds.

I would like to think that if the banks had been allowed to fail, their valuable assets would have been purchased by institutions that had practiced better management and the worthless paper would have been cleared out. The initial pain would have been worse but we'd have hit bottom and be able to climb rather than hanging out in the current limbo. But would the politicians have allowed that?


Texan99 said...

I feel sure that the balance sheets could have worked themselves out over time, but I worried a lot about the liquidity crunch and a run on the FDIC.

Anonymous said...

T99 my vid was a link I found on Market Ticker like your hubby. Great minds think a like...

Regarding the TBTF Banks... All we need to do is look to recent history, specifically the Savings & Loan Crisis. Both were caused by irresponsible government action allowing leveraged risk. The way some folks do the numbers that was actually a worse collapse than the housing mortgage collapse of 2008. The numbers that make most sense to me put the taxpayer cost of the '80s S&L Crisis at about $1.7 tn and the Mortgage Crisis at about $7 tn to date.

The Fed's plans in both crisis started off more or less the same, take over the assets of the failed institutions and sell them off in an organized method to smooth the transition to a new financial market. In the '80s crisis that's just what they did.

It was painful. I worked then for a union shop whose two best clients were the largest California S&Ls to collapse. I managed a dozen or so new branch projects for these companies over the prior two boom years. Their bankruptcy was followed two or three years later by my employer's. Still the plan worked for America. The RTC did the job they had to do. They let the bad actors fail and found buyers at new market prices for good and bad assets. Done; time to move on.

This time around the RTC style plan was a ruse for a bill that "we have to pass to see what's in it". It gave Paulsen et.al. the authority to change the whole game plan after passage. He just passed out money to keep the ponzi scheme going. Other than AIG and Country Wide the big players were all bailed out. Toxic assets weren't bought and brokered as promised in the bill. "The Loyal Opposition" laid down for it all. Follow the money!

Bottomline, all the excuses that it had to be this way is a lie. The politicians and regulators had a successful model to follow. They chose to reward failure with trillions of taxpayer dollars instead.

dellbabe68 said...

Bill T,
But will those bikes for eight grand have been built in the shade by fair wage-earning people? And don't forget needing to pay for carbon credits! Gotta even out the money making field, you know.

My feeling on letting the banks fail is that while its total effect on the country could not have been known entirely, we would also have made it less likley they all would share this much risk next time. Too painful.