Occupy Wall Street is a protest movement against inequality, greed, corporate-government nexus and police brutality which broke out on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park of Wall Street in New York. The international protest was named “Occupy Movement” and in other parts of the United States, the movement was called “Occupy Together”. There is no formal, explicitly stated leadership and the protestors are mostly young and unemployed. However, there are moderators, and as it happens in any society, movement or organization, leaders have emerged. The noise, complete lack of civility and violence in the movement has often been pointed out by the critics. Police brutality is rampant and many protestors were arrested.
In these times of economic uncertainty, governments under a cowering atmosphere may develop the phobia of actuating policies and regulations in a desperate attempt to contain the situation. From a global perspective, the use of policies in the form of regulations and tax breaks to influence a country’s economic position has been rave about by some transformational leaders as a form of insurance for their economies even though in some cases it transcends the rules of the international trade game or globalization in the bigger context. Whichever policies are made in country, the fact remains that government policy in terms of reality is always a two-edged sword. Unfortunately, most in the world especially the capitalist countries are resentful of government regulations and policies. They see these policies as a threat to the progress of capitalism and also to their freedom. However, much as it appears to be a threat in some aspect, there are beneficiation dimensions when its economics of social cost and social benefits are evaluated. It is in the light of these fundamental truths that this article seeks to discuss the convolution surrounding the two-edged nature from the following scenarios and perspectives: national security versus international trade, nationalization versus de-nationalization, investors and consumer protection versus Innovation, monetary and fiscal policies versus Politics and finally environmental protection commitment versus Nash equilibrium.
In this column a few weeks ago I likened the economy and markets to being in the eye of a hurricane.