If you think that most of the protesters occupying Wall Street and venues in many other cities are clueless about what it really takes to keep the U.S. or any other economy running efficiently, you are right. But that leaves us with a dilemma. How do we account for the remarkable resonance the movement has garnered in mainstream America? Various polls place support for the OWS crowd at between 37 and 67 percent. Depending on the poll, this is close to the levels of support for the Tea Party. In truth, both groups are tapping into the same wellspring of discontent, as the vast majority of Americans believe that the nation has run off the rails — the difference being that one side blames the rich and corporations, while the other blames an out-of-control government.
The ultimate source of both types of discontent is, of course, the nation’s sputtering economy, or, more pointedly, the widespread feeling that the land of opportunity will have much fewer opportunities in the future. I believe that if this feeling was wiped away by another period of rapid economic growth, both OWS and the Tea Party would vanish from the political scene.
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