Monday, October 31, 2011

Cutting defense spending

Defense spending is one of those issues that is almost immune to argument.  Ultimately it comes down to how you view the world.  Still, a good column on the subject today from Robert Samuelson.

Among the points that Samuelson makes:

Ø      Defense spending was 4.4% of total federal spending last decade compared to the 40 to 50% that went to the defense in the fifties and sixties when the country was poorer.
Ø      Comparing national expenditures on defense are misleading because they have significantly different salary and procurement costs.  A Chinese soldier costs far less than an American one.
Ø      Defense is job number one for government. 

To Samuelson’s points I would add that this is one area where you don’t want it to be close.  Evenly matched militaries result in horrifically bloody stalemates.  America has shown little tolerance for casualties and long campaigns; that doesn’t go well with small military advantages.

More thoughts on NBA economist: spending and wins

I linked earlier to this interview of economist Kevin Murphy regarding the NBA lockout.  It's in the player’s interest to have as few restrictions as possible on spending so it isn’t surprising that Murphy brings up the weak correlation between spending and wins.  But beyond management skill there may be other reasons why the link between spending and wins is weak.

Wins is a simplistic measure of outcomes.  There is a pass/fail element in the NBA that just looking at wins misses.  The most notable is making and missing the playoffs, and closely related, finishing in the top four of the playoff teams and being in the bottom four.  Because the league is split into two conferences and those conferences aren’t of equal quality the payoff for wins isn’t equal and thus the incentive to spend is also unequal. 

For example, in the East, Indiana made the playoffs with a 37 – 45 record, while Houston (43 – 39), Phoenix (40 – 42) and Utah (39 – 43) missed the playoffs in the West.  It would make sense for Indiana—and by extension other marginal teams in the East—to pay more for wins than a comparable team in the West because the payoff will be greater, namely a spot in the playoffs.

Teams that are badly situated will have to overspend.  Players are likely to want to play for franchises that are likely to win, are located in desirable cities, and have nice weather.  So bad teams or teams located in small and or cold cities are going to have to spend more to attract comparable players.  If you’re offered the same amount to play in Miami or Minneapolis during the winter, where would you go?

Rookie contracts:  There are only 30 teams so it wouldn't take all that many outliers to result in a weak link between spending and wins.  One factor that would result in a high ratio of wins to money spent is landing a high quality player through the draft.  Getting lucky in the draft lottery can result in a team (see Chicago, Oklahoma) having a key player or two who is significantly under paid.  And as Murphy points out, because there are only five players on the court and no limit on how much the top player handles the ball or shoots this can have a large impact on wins to spending.

Multi-year contracts:  The existing labor agreement and market results in no cut contracts for multiple years.  Thus, it shouldn’t surprise that spending won’t tie very closely with winning since franchises aren’t able to adjust quickly to the lack of results.  For example, Cleveland is stuck with players and contracts that might’ve made sense with Lebron James on the team but don’t without him.  Once a player signs their second or third contract for more money they may get hurt or more likely lose interest in the game but the team still has to pay them.

In short, it doesn’t surprise me that spending more doesn’t result in wins in a particular season but that result should be treated skeptically. I would suspect that the correlation would be greater if you looked at a longer time frame, say five or ten years.  It would also help if you allowed for other factors like draft position, climate, and expanded the definition of success by taking into account making or missing the playoffs.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weak field argument isn't about the field collectively

Over at Commentary/Contentions Peter Wehner makes the point that it is the nominee not the field that matters in regard to current discussions over a weak Republican field.   Wehner is being far too literal here.  The weak field complaint isn’t anything like a collective score measurement or even an average. 

Earlier in the day on the same site an upcoming column by George Will was brought out.  In it Will says of Romney:

“Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate: Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming. Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from “data” … Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for THIS?”

That neatly sums up Romney, but when you a look for an alternative to him among the other candidates you come up empty.  If there were a viable alternative Romney would be getting blown out, instead he looks inevitable. That’s what’s driving the weak field meme, not whatever it is that Wehner is addressing.

NBA lockout and business of sports

I’ve thought for a long time that coverage of sports would be markedly improved if it brought in a different group of reporters.  The standard reporter loves sports and has a journalism degree, which is all well and good, but it results in a limited perspective.  My two years getting a masters degree in business has made a huge difference in how I view and think about sports.

A good example of what I have in mind is this excellent interview between Steve Aschburner and a renowned economist who is assisting the players in the NBA labor negotiations.  The whole thing is well worth reading if you are interested in professional sports, but I want to focus on two points in particular.

First, the revenue percentage that the players were looking for (57% in the expired deal, 52% is their current position against managements 50%) didn’t strike me as very high.  Having worked in service businesses on the financial side I know that compensation costs with the firms I’ve been involved in all ran higher than that, although I realize you’d have additional compensation costs that would have to be added to the players in order to get the total.  The economist makes the same point: Many people understand that NBA players as a select group of specialized, highly skilled workers. Are there many many instances, though, in which labor commands more than 50 percent of an industry's costs?
KM: In certain sectors, there's a ton. You go to a law firm, most of its cost is labor. You've got to remember, labor is 60-something percent of the economy. In the service sector, it can be much higher than that. And these people really define the product. These are the ones people come to see.
What separates the NBA from a different basketball league? Well, it's the players. The basketball's' the same, the court's the same, it's the players who really are the distinguishing feature. That's not to say that the league doesn't have value. But the defining characteristic and the scarce resource, if you think about it from an economic point of view, is the talent. It's not unlike Hollywood, the music business or any of the other ones where the thing that distinguishes one person from another is the talent.

Second, when you hear that most of the franchises are losing money you tend to lean a bit towards the owners.  But then you see that people are still willing to pay record prices when a franchise is sold and wonder what is going on.  I think a big part of it is that these aren’t normal businesses but rather a mix between a business and a rare luxury good.  It’s been a while, but I seem to recall from reading Buckley’s books on sailing that owning a yacht was a money losing venture too.  So what?  That doesn’t mean people aren’t going to want yachts.  I don't know, but I doubt people make money from a membership into Augusta National. How many people knew or cared about George Steinbrenner before he owned the Yankees?  Or Mark Cuban?  Here again the economist makes a similar point (after going through the franchise appreciation benefit) he says:

KM: Secondly, it's a lot of fun to own an NBA franchise... The "psychic benefits" Malcolm Gladwell touts.

KM: The psychic benefits are not trivial. Third, there are benefits outside basketball. Like who got a casino? Who got a land deal? Who got real estate? You start looking around, you say, 'There's a lot of benefits to being an NBA owner." You put all those pieces together, it explains why those people spent all that money for those franchises.

We are told all the time that sports is a business.  True enough, but we need to keep in mind that it is a very particular, peculiar business so that easy generalizations from what we think we know about the business world are likely to lead us astray.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Republican race

I can't remember when I've ever been really happy with the choices available for the Republican nomination but I'm sure I've never been this disappointed.  Conservatives roundly skewered Democrats like the governor of North Carolina when they suggested that maybe we should skip elections for awhile, but if this is the best we can do it's hard not to concede they have something of a point.

This column by John Podhoretz gets at what I would hope is the general dismay at the current slate of candidates on offer.
I still don't see how anybody can beat Romney at this point which makes his failure to come out on the Ohio issue involving public employee bargainning rights particularly distressing.  If he isn't going to stand up on something like this, why should anyone think he will fight for anything controversial if elected?  Is it too late to start over with a new group?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

William Colby, The Man Nobody Knew

I saw The Man Nobody Knew last night at the Siskel Theatre.  The film is a superb documentary on William Colby by his son Carl.  While parachute training for World War II Colby signs up for more hazardous duty and thereby launches his career as a spy and spy master.  Colby goes from operating behind the lines in Norway, to working towards the victory of the Christian Democrats in Italy, to South Vietnam, concluding with being the CIA Director during the last days of the Nixon administration and into the Ford administration.

We are taken through Colby’s life both professionally and personally and learn that there isn’t much of a distinction between the two.  His wife tells of entertaining a couple in Italy and then when they run into them the next night being told by her husband “we don’t know them.”  A family picnic becomes an occasion for a drop.  Well says his son, he didn’t lie; we did go for a picnic.

The key event in Colby’s career is South Vietnam.  It is there that he develops a counter insurgency strategy which was abandoned in favor of a military approach but is later used by the U.S. in Iraq.  Particularly interesting to me was the film’s coverage of the coup against the Diem administration including an embarrassingly bad discussion of the issue in the Kennedy White House with Colby contributing a wonderful neutral non-neutral assessment.  Going through the relative strength of the forces aligned for and against the coup he tells the group that they are even enough “for a good fight.”

Colby finds himself as the Director of Central Intelligence at the conclusion of the war in Vietnam and in the aftermath of Watergate.  It is William Colby that testifies in front of the congressional Church Committee in the most riveting part of the film.  The deeply catholic Colby, perhaps atoning for his own sins, ends up sharing with Congress and the wider public the sins of his agency.  The pressure on the man here is palpable; running a large agency, facing a hostile Congress (seemingly on a daily basis) and press, and without support from the White House who believed he was out of control and sharing way too much.

At the end of The Man Nobody Knew you feel as though you still don’t know the man at all.  Ordinarily that would be an indictment of the film but in this case it only speaks to how thoroughly enigmatic its subject.   Throughout William Colby is tough to get any kind of handle on but then the really big surprises come out and you’re left with only the conclusion that the title is well chosen. 

Beyond that the film is incredibly rich in stories, tidbits, and observations.  It is rare to see a documentary with a strong story line where you come away with the impression that “the plot” is wholly secondary.  Colby’s insights into spying, glimpses into how policy is made at the highest level including a classic exchange between Times Abe Rosenthal and Gerald Ford, and the seemingly endless issues that arise from Colby’s career make for an excellent film and the relief that we weren’t William Colby’s son.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How does Romney become inevitable?

We still haven’t gotten to the point of an actual primary so one should be a little cautious about making pronouncements, but as things stand right now we are looking at a candidate—Mitt Romney--who is not liked or trusted by conservatives cruising to the nomination of the party supposedly dominated by those self same conservatives.  How does someone who can’t crack 25% establish himself as Mr. Inevitable? Easy, when none of the conservative candidates are credible.

In no particular order, what I believe conservatives would like to see in a challenger to Romney and aren’t is:

a)      An articulate and solid debater who can make the case for himself and conservative policies with fluency. [out Perry, Cain]
b)      Someone with solid, unquestioned allegiance to conservative principles without being an unbending ideologue. [out Bachman, Paul]
c)      A candidate who is well versed in domestic and foreign policy matters. [out Perry, Cain, Bachman]
d)      A happy warrior, someone with an appealing personality while running for office [out everyone but Cain]

Off hand I can think of one person who fits that profile to a tee and that’s William F. Buckley.  But as Rick Pitino noted in another context “he’s not walking through that door.”  Oh, well at least it isn’t an important election or anything.

Liberalism and Occupy Wall Street

As part of a symposium on Occupy Liberalism Fred Siegel provides a interesting look at liberalism.  While praising The New Republic’s editors for arriving at the right conclusion in not supporting the protests, Siegel makes the point that their way of arriving at this conclusion is wrong.  What Siegel particularly disagrees with is the notion that liberals are capitalists:

Herbert Croly, the founder of TNR [The New Republic], understood himself as a radical for whom the use of the then uncommon term “liberal” was merely a euphemism for an American sort of socialism. Croly spoke of his seminal book, The Promise of American Life—the founding document of American liberalism—as “socialistic.” It’s true that it was only in the 1930s that many at TNR openly referred to themselves as socialists. But looking back, in 1931, Edmund Wilson argued strongly for liberals to give up Croly's "gradual and natural approximation to socialism" and to embrace socialism openly.”

And he goes on:

“Since then the distinction between liberalism and anti-capitalist radicalism has been continuously effaced by the rise of a vast regulatory state staffed, in part, by public sector unionists. Statism in America eschewed a European-style ownership of the means of production. Rather its aim has been, in the name of good and defensible causes such as a cleaner environment, to run as much of the economy as possible through government, directly and indirectly. The upshot is that the American percentage of GDP devoted to government has reached European levels”

No doubt liberals will dispute this history and characterization, make a claim that modern liberalism is more or less socialistic and every liberal I’ve know will laugh at the very notion and usually point to the lack of government direct ownership as the all defining measure of socialism and therefore a clear rebuttal to the charge.  This has always struck me as a far too formal definition of socialism.  Political thought rarely if ever comes with black and white delineations, but rather shows itself in tendencies and presumptions. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dalai Lama

I know next to nothing about it but I follow the Dalai Lama on Twitter (which in itself is rather odd).  At NRO is a post on the succession plan which concludes on this note:

Student: What caused the war between the Chinese and the Buddhists?Trungpa Rinpoche: Well, the communists don’t like meditation practice. They think it is a waste of time. They think that people should be working all the time. Meditation produces too much personal strength. The communists want to develop group strength, not personal strength. They do not believe in the basic goodness of the individual; they believe in the basic goodness of the group. That is why it is called communism; that’s it in a nutshell.

Now perhaps this is an odd thought, but this brought to mind the almost reflexive liberalism of most college students.  If they read this, they'd almost certainly identify with the thought of Trungpa Rinpoche and yet they fail to see that modern liberalism is, like communism in this respect, all about the group.

Within the linked post above is an interesting analysis of the succession plan by a Columbia professor

The CIA, William Colby

At the link Matt Lewis has a post which brings to my attention a new documentary film on CIA director William Colby.  Included is the film's trailer and a roughly 24 minute extended conversation between Lewis and the filmmaker, Colby's son, which is well worth a listen.  In the latter is this description of the CIA from the director: "the CIA exists to give the President an option between a formal diplomatic protest and sending in the marines."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finally, one of those false choices

At the Wall Street Journal this week, Peter Wallison had an interesting editorial on the financial collapse.  Wallison’s main point is that the anger being expressed towards Wall Street is the result of a false narrative which has blamed the meltdown on bankers rather than the government policies that produced the housing bubble that collapsed resulting in Wall Street’s losses.

Among the interesting items that Wallison brings out is a) the requirement from HUD that 55% of mortgage loan originations should be to borrowers below the median income and b) that according to Edward Pinto half of all mortgage loans by 2008 were either sub-prime or otherwise weak.  The 55% requirement is especially eye opening for as Wallison points out this requires a lowering of loan standards which is bad enough, but by artificially increasing demand it creates a bubble which accentuates the problem.  The particulars aside it shouldn’t surprise us that when government gets involved in financial decisions it is going to be political considerations not sound credit that will be in the lead.

But what I find truly interesting and perplexing about this opinion piece is the other or nature of the argument.  At one point Wallison remarks: “this bubble, which lasted from 1997 to 2007, also created a huge private market for mortgage-backed securities (MBS) based on pools of subprime loans.” And so, seemingly without Wallison’s acknowledgement we are back to looking at the banks and Wall Street, for you can’t have a huge market in mortgage backed securities without investors.  What Wallison doesn’t seem to want to ask is if government mandated requirements like 55% of loans below the median are so ill thought out—and they are—then why were supposedly savvy investors, the masters of the universe, backing them with their money instead of putting the brakes on by staying away from them?  HUD directives can’t explain AIG’s credit default swaps.

I agree that the narrative has been one-sided, that the government’s involvement in this debacle were deep and probably more decisive, at least as the proximate cause, than the failures of the banks.  But the liberal insistence that it was the banks and the conservative retort that it was government involvement via Fannie and Freddie is a false choice.  It was both.  However misguided government policy, it still required buyers to keep it going.  The cliché it takes two to tango is applicable here and for some reason missing from the story that both sides want and willing to tell.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oakeshott and Liberal Fascism

When I first read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism I was struck by how it fleshed out many of the concepts addressed in the works of Michael Oakeshott.  Goldberg provided concrete, historical examples for Oakeshott’s spare, philosophical treatment.

But in subsequent reading I’ve come across items in Oakeshott’s essays that would’ve fit neatly into Liberal Fascism.  For example in his review of Walter Lippman’s Public Philosophy we find this:

“The large manner in which liberal democrats have talked about freedom of speech has got them into trouble: this is the door through which Jacobin tyranny has entered.  But, says Mr. Lippman, freedom of speech properly understood would offer no entrance for Jacobinism.  And properly understood it belongs to the corpus of liberal-democratic rights as ‘a method of attaining moral and political truth’.  Its counterpart is the obligation to be a bona fide participant in a debate whose object is to elicit ‘truth’.  To absolve oneself from this obligation is to surrender the right of freedom of speech [my emphasis].

This seems to me a great error.  And so far from hindering the appearance of the heresy of Jacobinism, it is itself a Jacobin theory.  For wherever, in modern times, free speech has been suppressed, it has always been because ‘truth’ is believed to have been attained, and what is suppressed is recognized as mere error….”

After some further explication, Oakeshott states:

“But why in fact do we cherish the right to speak freely?  Because we have become a people with a variety of opinions about all sorts of matters and we do not see why we should not utter them.  We know that that there are limits to this right, but we know also that these limits have nothing whatever to do with ‘truth’ and ‘error’, but only with peace and tranquility.  The proper rationale of free speech, and the limits commonly imposed upon it by liberal-democratic governments, is not the belief that every utterance is a bona fide participation in a search for some one ‘truth’, but the belief that politics are not concerned with this sort of ‘truth’ at all.  They are concerned with the cultivation of what from time to time are accepted as the peaceable decencies of conduct of men who do not suffer from the Puritan-Jacobin illusion that in practical affairs there is an attainable condition of things called ‘truth’ or ‘perfection’.  Jacobinism is politics in which ‘truth’ as opposed to ‘error’is sought and consequently in which speech  is recognized as argument and is permitted, but only until ‘truth’ appears.”

Michael Oakeshott, Religion, Politics, and the Moral Life, The Customer is Never Wrong, pages (115 – 116)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Robert Jeffress and the no religious test clause

Over at Commentary Peter Wehner has added to his earlier criticism of Robert Jeffress by bringing out Article 6, Clause 3 of the Constitution: “but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”  Jeffress’ moment of fame came about by introducing Governor Perry and then declaring Mormonism a cult and stating that this should be a key factor in voting against Romney.

I have no opinion on whether Mormonism is a cult but believe that the idea that Romney’s faith should be a key political factor in this campaign is absurd.  However, bringing in the religious test clause is a serious reach.  It doesn’t follow from the test clause that religious belief can’t be a factor in evaluating candidates by a voter.  This is similar to the idiots who make a controversial remark, get fired or lose an endorsement or are boycotted and then complain that their 1st Amendment rights have been violated.  In both cases, what is being prohibited is an action by the government not the actions of individuals.

The categorical nature of Wehner’s argument is a bit odd given current times, when the United States is currently fighting radical Islamists in multiple theatres.  That doesn’t mean that Muslims should be kept out of office, but it is silly to suggest that the founders preclude voters taking religion into account if they were offered a candidate who espoused religious beliefs similar to those emanating from Iran.  Jeffress’ comments were stupid and will soon be forgotten, but the religious test clause doesn’t enter into it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nobel Prize to Thomas Sargent

I’ve been familiar with Thomas Sargent--at least his reputation--since he taught at the Univ. of Minnesota.  Sargent who along with Robert Lucas was a leader of the rational expectations school of economics has now won the Nobel Prize.  That school of economics can be summarized as the belief that “policymakers can’t manipulate the economy by systematically tricking’ people with policy surprises.”  No surprise then to see that Sargent wasn’t a fan of the stimulus program.

Keeping in mind the rational expectations view consider the current economic situation and the Obama economic program:

Ø      Wealthy defined as $250K per year in income, above that is money you don’t need.
Ø      Calls for dramatically increasing taxes on “the rich.”
Ø      Extremely high debt levels with no signs that it will be dealt with by decreasing spending.  Proposed spending cuts when offered have all been pushed into the out years.

If Thomas Sargent’s work has any validity why would a person with money risk it investing in startups and the like?  As it currently stands a rational view of the future includes singly or in some combination: a) much higher taxes on wealth b) inflation c) severe fiscal stress.   

Friday, October 7, 2011

Winston's turn of phrase

Over on the Powerline blog Steven Hayward has a post warning Obama about class warfare via a warning from Winston Churchill to FDR on the subject. Beyond the basic point what stands out is the writing.  Not least how Winston brings it to a close:

"To hunt wealth is not to capture commonwealth."

The entire--pretty short-- post is here:

The baseball closer

The recently concluded Yankees vs Tigers playoff series suggests some of the difficulties which I tried to address in the prior post.  Compared to the regular season a five game series is ridiculously small.  NBA series are .085 of the season schedule (7/82), NFL is .063 (1/16) and the first round in baseball is .031 (5/162).  Funny to hear all the talk of what the Yankees have to do to address their problems now that they find themselves on the wrong end of what is almost surely a statistically insignificant difference.

That said, that in mind, still….still you couldn’t help but notice and ponder that the greatest closer in the game was a complete non-factor.  Mariano Rivera was healthy, and was irrelevant to the outcome (almost the opposite could be said of ARod, who if you are Yankee fan was all too relevant).  He faced one batter in game 1, and three batters in game 5; that’s it.  Doesn’t that tell us something about being a closer?  How critical can a closer be if the best is irrelevant in a playoff?

The closest parallel that I can think of is a field goal kicker in the NFL.  Games tend to be close, so it quite often comes down whether or not a kicker is successful from some distance at the end of the game.  Succeeding or failing is memorable.  But your opportunities are completely dependent on the players who are actually involved in most of the plays.  The offense has to get into field goal range (and not score a touchdown) for you to be a factor in the game and the defense has to stop the other team often enough for 3 points to matter.  Similarly, as used now, a team has to be ahead by a smallish margin at the end of the game for the closer to have any significance to the outcome, which has to lead you to believe that that significance is vastly overrated.

Mariano Rivera is the best closer of his time.  The Yankees vs Tigers series makes me wonder what that means.  It certainly should be kept in mind when talking of him as being one of the all time Yankee greats or thinking about closers as MVPs or Hall of Famers.  I don’t see how you can be considered one of the greats if you play a position that can be demonstrated to not matter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Some thoughts on baseball/sports

The typical Michael Oakeshott essay was to define two ideal, opposite types, explore their respective attributes, show why in their pure form the two types were unsustainable, and then indicate a clear preference for one of the two types (usually the one that was currently recessive rather than dominant).  The start of the baseball playoffs and the dramatic end to the regular season along with discussions of adding another wild card team points out how useful Oakeshott’s framework is for looking at sports. 

One pole or type in sports would be the purely competitive.  Its main feature is the attempt to find the best team or individual in the competition, with its main attribute being a rather lengthy season and a more or less balanced schedule or competitive platform in order to reduce as far as possible the element of luck.  A good example of this idea is the older format in baseball where the leagues determined their champions through the regular season without any playoffs.  The major tournaments in golf which had a next day, 18 hole playoff in case of tie, is also emblematic of this type.

The other type I would call the dramatic-commercial and as the name suggests the emphasis is on drama, and excitement.  It is a reaction to the real or imagined problems inherent in the competitive model.  In the baseball scenario discussed above most of the teams would be eliminated from competition fairly early with a corresponding loss in fan interest.  More teams making the playoffs means more fans following their teams through the entire season.  A sudden death playoff in golf means a winner will be determined on Sunday along with the inherent drama of one hole deciding everything.  The NBA’s rule that allows a team to call a timeout and advance the ball past mid-court is rules example of the dramatic-commercial (a rule which makes no sense from a pure competition standpoint).  When A’s general manager Billy Beane described the baseball playoffs as “a crapshoot” he was drawing a contrast between the competitive and dramatic-commercial types in baseball.

From the above perspective, it is easy to see general sports discussions like a playoff system in college football or an additional wild card team in baseball as attempts at finding the right balance between competition and drama.  And as sports has become more and more driven by television and commercial considerations it shouldn’t surprise that most of the changes have been in the direction of adding excitement, drama, fan involvement to sports at the expense of its competitive elements.

Addendum: at NRO this post touches on the same subject :

Monday, October 3, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - Demands

I haven't been paying any attention to Occupy Wall Street except for Iowahawk's twitter comments.  But I noted that Fox Special Report tonight Juan Williams likened it to the Tea Party and a clip had former Obama admin. official Van Jones cheerleading for the protests.

So this list of demands from one of the protesters is interesting (yes, it's unfair to draw conclusions from one person).  Of the thirteen demands I think this is my favorite:

"Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period."

The shorter version of this demand is no financial system.

Then there is "demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment" which might be tough to institute after you've destroyed the financial system and has the other problem of running into
"demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live."

Wrapping up our author concludes with "these demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy." 

The only thing I can add is that when you post something like this you should have to state where received your education,to provide the public with a suitable warning.