7 October 2011
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has thrown his weight behind the Occupy Wall Street protests, saying: “Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.”
Krugman, who won the Nobel prize for economics in 2008 and is professor of economics and international affairs at the University of Princeton, added:-
The protesters’ indictment of Wall Street as a destructive force, economically and politically, is completely right.
A weary cynicism, a belief that justice will never get served, has taken over much of our political debate — and, yes, I myself have sometimes succumbed. In the process, it has been easy to forget just how outrageous the story of our economic woes really is. So, in case you’ve forgotten, it was a play in three acts.
In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst — but bankers were bailed out by taxpayers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers’ sins. And, in the third act, bankers showed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support — and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts — behind politicians who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.
Given this history, how can you not applaud the protesters for finally taking a stand?
You can read the entire column on the New York Times site. I agree with Krugman, especially when he says that the administration of President Barack Obama has a chance to reinvent itself as a result of these protests. “All it has to do is take these protests as seriously as they deserve to be taken. And if the protests goad some politicians into doing what they should have been doing all along, Occupy Wall Street will have been a smashing success.”