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An informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur

Occupy Wall Street Conveys A Confused Message
By Paul Tomori
Wednesday, October 05, 2011 at 17:30:54 (EDT)

I believe that civil disobedience is a good and necessary thing. And, I think that a free society should permit some degree of protest to the status quo. It forces hot topics into debate and gets smart people engaged in solutions. Of course, protest also brings out the opportunists who would have anarchy prevail not matter what. Who's got time for that type?

Anyway, I have watched the coverage and read the articles on the latest "Occupy Wall Street" protests. These people are protesting corporate dominance, greed, and general capital market activities that make some people feel disempowered.

However, I couldn't help but notice in the coverage the overwhelming number of protesters carrying smart phones, using laptops, wearing high end clothing (i.e. LuLuLemon), indulging catered food, etc... Is it just me or is there a contradiction here? Corporate pursuit of growth and innovation is the very thing that led to the production of these products that the protesters are using, yet protesting against. It reminds me of the photos of Osama bin Laden using satellite phone while standing beside a pickup trick, wearing expensive robes, and making video recordings that would then be transmitted over a sophisticated electronic network... yet, he was protesting the very Western civilization that made all of his tools a reality.

People need to check their premises.

Anyone can start a corporation and build it. When they do that, they facilitate commerce, create the need for jobs, and raise the overall net worth of the country. It's hard work and the risk to one's capital is huge. Thus, the rewards for such work should also be disproportionate. It's the disproportion that generates profits and its profits that result in investment which leads to more jobs and more growth. The capitalist system has vastly improved the lives of so many more people than it has hurt.

If those protesters really wanted to make a statement, they'd forgo their electronic devices and upscale wardrobes before they condemned the very institutions that made those accoutrements a possibility.

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