Letter to the editor

Protests misguided

As a USC political science major, I am appalled that the USC College Democrats are proudly and openly associating with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The USC College Democrats had an Occupy USC protest on Oct. 24 to protest the social injustice done by Wall Street. It’s one thing to oppose corruption and unethical practices of the elite in the private sector, but channeling protests toward Wall Street is futile when rich CEOs can’t solve the problem. The USC Democrats have a two-pronged dilemma by associating themselves with Occupy.

First, the Occupy movement is completely missing the mark. If the people are angry about income inequality, or the fact that the “top 1 percent” is making too much money, they ought to blame the federal government. The reason the unemployment rate is so high is because of oppressive government regulations that prohibit businesses from hiring. Ironically, these same regulations are often proposed and encouraged by the Democratic Party, which has publicly endorsed Occupy. Though I acknowledge that there is corruption in large corporations, the reason we students don’t have jobs upon graduation is because of Washington, not Wall Street.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, the Occupy movement has been openly anti-semitic. In both Occupy L.A. and Occupy Wall Street, there have been numerous cases of people (from all ethnicities and backgrounds) making statements such as, “I think that the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve need to be run out of this country.” Other protesters have been spotted holding signs saying “Jewish bankers” are to blame for the economic crisis, and that, “the Jews control Wall Street.” In one sickening display of anti-semitism, a man in New York held a sign stating, “Hitler’s Bankers — Wall Street.” This concept of the greedy Jewish banker is blatantly anti-semitic and has been seen before, during the 1940s in Germany. Is that really the road USC College Democrats want to go down?

The USC Democrats really ought to think twice before participating in such a movement.

Emily Schrader

Senior, political science

USC College Republicans, chief of  staff

28 replies
  1. orkin
    orkin says:

    it’s becoming a joke how the greedy jew calims anti semitism when his greed and evil are exposed like the holohoax and the money sent to israHELL.
    You are exposed big noses no more the whole world knows it and is on the lookout. Now you are robbing companies to send the money to israHELL to support the other uggly ones

  2. David Rochman
    David Rochman says:

    Wow, looks like the USC Republitards had a meeting and came up with “Occupy Shraeder’s Letter Rebuttal”. Way to stay on message guys and know your talking points

  3. Frank
    Frank says:

    I agree with most of the points of the article. The stuff about anti-semitism kind of ruined it though- just because a few people might have said those things doesn’t mean you can use anecdote to discredit the whole movement. Sorry Emily Schrader, but ya kind of lost everyone there.

    Suggest you all read the other article published in opinion the same day, “American Greed”. It has to do with Occupy WS also but it makes the case much more eloquently than this article, and without the anti-semitism disparaging bs.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      “just because a few people might have said those things doesn’t mean you can use anecdote to discredit the whole movement.”

      ^The left wing did exactly this when a few Tea Party activists were shown saying racist things at rallies. They even used made-up racist incidents to falsely discredit it (example: the Congressional Black Caucus “spitting” incident, which is still cited by liberal pundits as an example of Tea Party “racism” even though we now know it was completely fabricated).

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    You’re not unemployed because of Wall Street. You’re unemployed because you majored in art history. Maybe you should have studied something useful.

  5. Alan Dana
    Alan Dana says:

    A second note: @person You exemplify the college experience with your instinctive criticism, and total lack of understanding: “Did you see that headline!” “Oh man, can you believe those fascists!!” … “oops, she’s talking about us :(” Thanks for reading the Dana Report.

    @Merry, You’re great.

  6. Alan Dana
    Alan Dana says:

    A college student with a sense of responsibility and a love of liberty? It’s a welcome sight and, surprisingly unexpected.

    A note to the College Dems: you’re getting a college degree; graduate and get to work. You’ll be fine. Spending a month living in a park threatening your neighbors to pay your bills, or else, is not the way towards progress.

  7. Ay
    Ay says:

    I want to start off by commending Ms. Schrader and all those who replied for utilizing your right to free speech and voicing your opinion. Sadly, many of you don’t know how to have a civil political conversation without attacking those who don‘t share your viewpoint. I find it embarrassing that we continue to see the same political tactics from those who make personal attacks, and to the reply from “appalled at this letter”- you’re incoherent and unfair response to Ms. Schrader’s article truly portrays what OCCUPY WHATEVER stands for. You don’t believe in hearing the other side, because you are ideologically against the American political and economic system. We’ve seen the OCCUPY WHATEVER tactic utilized over and over again, as a tool for those who believe in BIG GOVERNMENT MANDATES, HIGH TAXES, NATIONAL UNIONIZATION and a continual attack on the liberty and prosperity of the American people. The European model is what occupy strives for, a system where large deficits, big government spending and taxation will allow for the redistribution of wealth to create a more “fair” and “equal” system. How well is that working for Europe? Continue to run these corporations, manufacturers, and the so called 1% out of California/ United States, and maybe the other 99% can share what’s left. In such an ideal world, the median American household can make $30,000 instead of $48,000 a year. Also, to those who say regulations have nothing to do with economics, take a deep look into the California economy. It is evident that job killing, anti-business legislation has turned one of America’s beacons’ of prosperity into a state with the 2nd highest unemployment.

    At the end of the day, Ms. Schrader wrote a fair, opinionate piece concerning the occupy movement, one that highlights events that have been reported by major news networks. My relatives in New York have told me about the anti-Semitism they saw in the Wall Street protests- the disturbing signs and anti-Semitic rhetoric. It is necessary for the occupy crowd to take responsibility by expelling these protestors and releasing statements condemning those who are preaching hate.

  8. Skippy
    Skippy says:

    With the biggest issues in the country being growth and employment I find it shocking that what Emily is saying doesn’t resonate more. Using Wall Street as a whipping boy to salve discontent and anger does nothing to address either of those issues. Even if they got what the wanted putting a CEO in jail, or exacting higher taxes and fees would do nothing for either. Avoiding the discussion of federal, state, and environmental regulation, effective corporate tax rates, and the impact of state supported Union laws, is ludicrous.

  9. Merry
    Merry says:

    Hey, “appalled at this letter” – I am appalled at your ignorance and at your attitude. First, she only pointed out what has been widely discussed in the media. The anti-semitic comments at Occupy rallies are not in dispute…. there have been plenty of them. Good for you and your anecdotal evidence that they weren’t present at USC or in L.A. That means nothing. What’s more, instead of apologizing for or denouncing the anti-Jewish comments, many OWS types (like yourself) wish to pretend they haven’t happened. Fine. If there had been one fraction of as much racism at Tea Party rallies as there has been anti-semitism at OWS, we would never have heard the end of it. I will grant, however, that this doesn’t have as much to do with the overall point of the protesters – oh, what was that again? According to the rocket scientists posting here, businesses will THRIVE with more regulation, and it’s just what our economy needs to put us all back to work! Yay for more NLRB, OSHA, etc. etc. etc. rules. Good grief; what unmitigated ignorance.

    However, I will grant you all have a right to express your opinion, however misguided. In stark contrast to that, we have “appalled at this letter” who is more of what I have come to consider a typical leftist – someone who wishes to stifle all opinion that doesn’t agree with his/her own. How was anything Schrader said “hateful” or “dishonest” or even “ill-informed”? She only stated opinions on widely known topics of interest in the news. She neither made up anything nor expressed hatred toward anyone. But “appalled at this letter” is basically telling her to SHUT UP and that she “doesn’t deserve a seat at the table.” Way to strike a blow for freedom of speech, “appalled at this letter” – and way to engender respect for your opinion, too, by promoting such healthy dialogue! The only hatred expressed so far on this page is that expressed by “appalled at this letter.”

  10. Madeline
    Madeline says:

    Voice of Reason and Appalled at this Letter-

    I see no reason in insisting that because Ms. Schrader is appalled at the College Democrats supporting a movement that she finds to be misguided, that you insist that the College Republicans disown the Tea Party movement. Firstly, the USC College Republicans have never sponsored an on-campus protest in solidarity with the Tea Party movement. Secondly, even if the College Republicans had sponsored such a protest, the Tea Party movement is an openly political movement. The goal of the Tea Party movement is not to attack private actors, but to affect change through the democratic process: voting out those who do not represent conservative values (including Republicans). The issue at the center of this debate isn’t the right to hold a protest, but the message of the protest itself. As another commenter mentioned, no proof of racism was submitted in regards to the Tea Party rallies. Andrew Breitbart has video footage revealing that the “N” word was never hurled, but I’m willing to bet that in your supposed open-mindedness you refuse to acknowledge or read any media source that is not leftist.

    Also @Voice of Reason. Emily acknowledges that there is corruption in big business in her introductory paragraph. Further, she says, “it’s one thing to oppose corruption and unethical practices of the elite in the private sector, but channeling protests toward Wall Street is futile when rich CEOs can’t solve the problem.” She’s completely right, and though you would rather not agree with her I feel that you must. The regulations the government has made are oppressive, and hinder job creation in this country. The government regulations Emily, and most conservatives, oppose are not those that hinder corruption, because those regulations do not seem to exist.

    Also, @appalled at this letter, I was under the impression that the Occupy movements that have sprung up all over the United States are in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Therefore, the signs Emily discusses impact your movement overall. Please do not make the “a few ignorant people ruin the movement” argument in the same breath that you try to de-legitimize the entire Tea Party movement over a racist myth that, even if it were true, would fall into the category of “a few ignorant people.” Perhaps you’r anger is a result of Emily’s wise letter that reveals the faults of the movement you’ve been blindly supporting.

    Further, @Jonathon is one of the only commenters providing a fair and balanced reasoned opinion as to why he disagrees with Emily. However, it would be interesting to have a discussion on how the lack of a central goal of the Occupy movements might foster a space for the opinions of the ignorant. Please let me know if the Occupy movements do in fact have a concrete goal that I have missed. The website reveals that the Occupy-ers want everyone to join the protest and be empowered, but what are we to protest for? What “ends” is the movement attempting to achieve?

  11. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    I am on the fence about the Occupy protests, but even so, I am still against Schrader’s argument about anti-Semitism to condemn the protests. Even if there were a few anti-Semitic signs or anti-Semites in the Occupy protests, it doesn’t require much reasoning to understand that one individual’s views does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire movement. Just because one person in the Occupy crowd happens to hate the Beatles doesn’t mean Occupy hate the Beatles. You say, “This concept of the greedy Jewish banker is blatantly anti-semitic and has been seen before, during the 1940s in Germany.” To try to boost her argument, Schrader attempts to instill a sense that somehow by joining this protest, we will be on the slippery slope toward the Holocaust, though I doubt Schrader truly believes that. That’s just a ridiculous and desperate way to make her argument.

  12. David Rochman
    David Rochman says:

    This argument of Miss Schrader’s always manages to give me a laugh. Another chestnut from the geniuses at Talking Point Central at the GOP. What most knee jerk reactionaries fail to understand or connect is that government regulation is the great equalizer in free market economic policies. If I was a car maker and wanted to increase my profit margin in a system without government regulation, and decided to undercut my competitors, and I decided to eliminate the seat belts or use some inferior Chinese made product, and say sold Emily her car that she drives to the Reagan Ranch for some conference on how wonderful Reagan was, and say a drunken liberal slams into her car, who would she blame?

    Regulation levels the playing field, protects the citizens of the society it is derived in, and ensures that there is a system of standards. What Miss Schrader advocates is a 1% wet dream!

  13. Kyle
    Kyle says:

    Yeah, it’s true that the EPA and regulatory regimes cost businesses money. But we’ve also seen what happens in the absence of a coherent policy regime protecting worker’s and environmental rights- company towns and strip mining. Remember, before unionization and regulation, the average work day was 12 hours, weekends were only Sundays, and many thousands of workers were paid only in company scrip that was not convertible to currency- effectively slaves.

    We can argue about the need for policy reform, or the creation of more effective mechanisms. The answer when something has become outdated is not “burn the damn thing down” it’s “fix it.” Yes, there are a lot of redundant, annoying, and overly bureaucratic regulations imposed on American businesses, but that is also being used as an excuse by capital owners who see the opportunity to roll back many of the rights won by unions over the last several decades. We need a coherent regulatory regime, but only someone with a very limited understanding of American history would say that corporate self-policing is a good idea.

    Remember, around the turn of the 20th century America was seen as one of the nations most at risk of a Communist revolution. You know why? Because of how unbelievably degrading the conditions of labor were. In this age of instant mass communication, instigating social unrest and undermining the relationship between labor and capital is very likely to result in significant social unrest, which is really the last thing we need.

    America is on the verge of an energy boom, fueled by shale and new fields in North Dakota. If the EPA shuts that down, then we should start complaining, because that will ensure American energy and geostrategic security for decades and it would be unbelievably foolish to pass up such an opportunity (seriously, what else are we gonna do with North Dakota?). But undercutting labor rights and instigating social unrest is not in anyone’s benefit- wages in China are inflating at 12%/year, and the dollar has fallen 37% in the last decade, soon American labor will be priced competitively again and we’ll be panicking a little less. Just because we’re in a bit of a competitive downswing doesn’t justify skyrocketing income inequality in the US…

  14. Sean
    Sean says:

    Shocker, a USC College Republican opposes a movement channeling middle class anger. Does this really surprise anybody?

  15. appalled at this letter
    appalled at this letter says:

    First of all, you have grossly simplistic understanding of the relationship between government regulation and business success, so you have not reason to insert a comment about it in your letter.
    Second and much more importantly, as a student that participated in the protests both at USC and Occupy LA, I did not see ANY anti-semitism either time. If I did, I would vigorously condemn it and would probably have left immediately. Your evidence is utter hearsay, because you disagree with a particular movement, doesn’t mean you have the right to attempt to discredit it by disseminating a vicious rumor. Maybe there have been a few examples of ignorance, but I am confident – as a person involved in the movement – that those people DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE REST OF US.
    The tea party protest featured plenty of examples of blatant racism, but that doesn’t mean that I would attempt to call all people who agree with tea party racists.
    You are a hateful, ill-informed, dishonest person, please stay out the political debate because you do not deserve a seat at the table.

    • Person
      Person says:

      OK i didn’t actually read the end where she says she’s actually talking about occupy wall street. my bad.

  16. Skippy
    Skippy says:

    It’s by far not a settled question over whether or not FDR era regulations restored the country to economic balance, and most of the enduring regulatory and administrative overhauls are not generally related to promoting economic growth such as FDIC commercial bank insurance and Social Security. Calling for the re-establishment of Glass-Steagall is one thing, something a lot of people endorse. But to argue that regulation in and of itself is what leads to economic growth is foolish. Regulation at its core is only intended to slow economic boom and bust, and as a rule doesn’t promote rapid growth. The key is always to balance regulation with liberalism.

    To argue that we don’t have a crippling problem with federal regulation is an outrageous oversight. Our corporate tax rate both at a statutory rate and at an effective rate is one of the highest in the OECD. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is the bane of mass manufacturers issuing enormous fines and hitting out at companies who choose to go to right to work states and cripples companies when it comes to arbitration. Just look at how the NLRB is bending Boeing over the table for trying to shift to South Carolina. Our export regulatory controls are so labyrinthine, archaic, protective, and union slanted that it prevents the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) estimates that just modernizing the system would create 350,000 jobs, while its important to remember that this is what pretty much killed the US shipping industry in the 1970’s-1980’s by mandating and regulating the % of crewmen and workers who had to be American and flew the US flag. Now our only dry docks are in Norfolk and a few scattered naval bases.

    That doesn’t even touch on environmental regulation. Whether or not you think it is an important task or not, the fact of the matter is that environmental standards butcher job creation. The EPA’s MACT, Coal, Boiler, Cement, Fertilizer, etc regulations kill hundreds of thousands of jobs by increasing compliance costs and reducing a companies bottom line and employment hiring accounts. Something as simple as industrial machinery and boiler regulation can dramatically increase manufacturing costs.

    The Commerce Department says that regulation costs businesses 1.75 trillion in compliance costs, and the number could be higher. To ignore the role of regulation on jobs production, the issue really at the heart of this crisis, is outrageous.

  17. Merry
    Merry says:

    Voice of Reason? More like voice of unhinged Leftist babbling. No, VOR, we don’t need more regulation. You can rewrite history all you want, but what has made America the greatest and most prosperous country in the world has been free market capitalism, which is what these useless tools of OWS are protesting. Frankly, it’s laughable.

    What’s more, your extremely simple-minded comparison of OWS anti-semitism – well documented and apparently somewhat widespread – to Tea Party “racism” shows that you have the intellectual depth of a puddle. How about you dig up some proof of this alleged racism? Because I’m pretty sure that at one point there was a $100,000 reward offered for video of racist comments at one rally (the day healthcare reform passed) and nobody came up with a damn thing. There is no – I repeat NO – equivalence between these two groups. One has lawful protests, cleans up, and goes home. The other has no aversion to breaking laws, leaves a stinking flea- and rat-infested public nuisance, and refuses to go do something productive. So in point of fact Miss Schrader was correct – OWS is a movement the College Democrats should consider avoiding. Tea Party – not so much. Last I checked, there was nothing anti-semitic, racist, extremist or in any way offensive about pushing for a return to limited government and Constitutional principles.

    As for Louise – well, honey, rest assured. At most political science classes at this university, there’s plenty of sheeplike devotion to leftist pet causes and politics. You’re right about one thing – not enough history classes. But the kids who need them aren’t this writer, who demonstrates she can think for herself. The problem is all those sheep kids, who swallow everything, unquestioningly, that they’re told. Your cheap shot at Fox News, which regularly features comment from all sides of the spectrum (unlike, say, MSNBC), simply shows me that you share the intellectual depth of our friend VOR. Why don’t you try watching it before you mouth off? You might learn something.

    • Voice of Reason
      Voice of Reason says:

      Your understanding of OWS is incredibly short-sighted and, frankly, embarrassing. OWS is not arguing against “free market capitalism” nor am I. I am far from an “unhinged leftist” and the fact that you think I am shows just how out of touch with reality the right has become in this country. By any standards around the world I would be considered a moderate at worst, likely center-right. I do not believe in an individual mandate for health care, for example, and I do not believe in government planning of the economy. What I do believe is that the massive inequality in wealth is bad for the nation and that something needs to be done about that.

      The US has one of the largest inequalities of family incomes of any modernized country. In fact, in 2007 our inequality rating (Gini index) was comparable to that of Bulgaria and is closer to that of 2002 Uganda than to the UK. Frankly, the position that our deregulated economic regime put us in is what’s laughable. (You can check my numbers yourself, Merry: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2172.html)

      OWS is not about some bolshevik revolution in the United States. It is about returning us to a fairer system where CEOs are not paid in a disproportionate manner. It is about holding firms accountable for their crimes (and denying that there were crimes is simply unreasonable). It is about maintaining a sustainable capitalist system instead of the unfair and, quite honestly, unsustainable system that has been shoved down the American worker’s throat for the past 30 years.

      @Madeline: First, I don’t think citing to Andrew Breitbart is going to do you much good, it would be the same as me citing to Michael Moore, essentially. Second, finding racism at the tea party requires about three seconds and a google search. Quickly: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/17/obama.witchdoctor.teaparty/index.html; http://washingtonindependent.com/73036/n-word-sign-dogs-would-be-tea-party-leader
      I’m not denying that there may be anti-semitism in OWS, just as I’m sure there is some racism as well. But to deny that there was a racist element in the Tea Party means that you are not seeing what is right in front of you.

      Now that we’ve gotten that silliness out of the way, I’ll address your substantive points. Demonstrations are about appearances as well as messages, and literally “occupying” Wall Street, ground zero of the greatest financial catastrophe since the Great Depression, sends a powerful message. If you think these are “attacks” against private actors, you are wrong. The OWS movement is as much a statement to government officials as it is to the financial industry. To your second point, can you tell me exactly what regulations are “oppressive”? Was it the regulation that stopped banks from leveraging themselves 30-1 with toxic assets on their books? Was it the regulation that has allowed corporations to raid their pension funds to pay for executive raises? Merry points to the NLRB and OSHA, and the fact that these are the two agencies you describe as “oppressive” is actually terrifying to me. Doing away with worker safety regulations and collective action powers is sending us back to the bad-old-days of the 1800s.

      I have many Republican friends who admire Teddy Roosevelt; if you do not, I understand, but if you do, please go and look at what he did as a “trust buster.” What we have today is an organized effort by the 1% to undo the changes that he championed, even down to his protection of natural parks for future generations. The “demands” of OWS are not radical in any way; if you want to see radical, look at the GOP members who are willing to let our country go into default rather than raise the taxes of the super-rich. Look to the Republican Presidential candidates who have said that they would reject a plan that would cut $10 of government spending if it also included $1 in revenue increases. That is radicalism, ladies and gentlemen. Demanding that corporations and their executives, to the extent that they were responsible, be held liable for the massive fraud committed against the American public and that reasonable regulations, such as Glass-Steagall, be put on the financial industry to prevent another Great Recession from happening in the future? That is decidedly not a radical request.

  18. thekatman
    thekatman says:

    @voiceofreason… your assessment is spot on and accurate.
    @louise. dont be so harsh to judge. vor understands the “Occupy” messaging and yes, they are focusing their unfocused energy and ACORN sponsored rhetoric toward the wrong institutions. They should be protesting on Capitol Hill.

  19. Louise
    Louise says:

    As a parent and concerned citizen I am appalled that a political science major does not think rationally and obviously watches too much FOX news.
    I do hope political science majors take history classes.

  20. Voice of Reason
    Voice of Reason says:

    I’m pretty sure Hitler’s Bankers were not Jewish. That sign is ridiculous, but how exactly is it anti-semitic? And unless the College Republicans are willing to disown the Tea Party movement, there is no reason why the College Dems should disown the OWS movement. I do not condone any anti-semitism within OWS and a few misguided souls do not represent the movement as a whole; I expect that you would say the same thing about the racist signs and remarks made by people who claim to be part of the Tea Party movement.

    I will also point out that the Great Recession was a direct result of the deregulation binge that this country went through under the “leadership” of Alan Greenspan and all of the Presidents since Reagan, including Clinton and Obama. Dodd-Frank is a joke, hardly matching the regulations put in place by FDR to end the laissez-faire gilded age policies; these regulations happened to precede the greatest period of economic prosperity in the country’s history, by the way, but who wants to pay attention to such things?

    If we want to put people back to work, we need more regulation, not less. Never forget that businesses have, throughout the ages, fought progress with threats that new regulations would ruin the economy. Ending slavery? Our agricultural industry will tank. End child labor? It will devastate business. Allow laborers to unionize to demand higher wages? It will lead to the end of capitalism as we know it. The banks and corporations are making the same arguments now. Look to the past to see how it has turned out–overwhelmingly, government intervention in business has been beneficial to society as a whole while letting corporations “police” themselves has been devastating.

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