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Reason Alert: Occupy Wall Street, Income Gaps

Peter Schiff goes to Occupy Wall Street, cops lob grenades and the super spending cut trigger

October 28, 2011

- Reason.tv Video: Peter Schiff at Occupy Wall Street
- How Well Off Are the 99 Percent?
- Loaded Gun in Checked Luggage at LAX
- Super Committee Should Pull the Spending Cuts Trigger
- New at Reason

Reason.tv Video: Peter Schiff at Occupy Wall Street
In this Reason.tv video, Peter Schiff, a proud member of "the 1 Percent," heads to Occupy Wall Street to have a dialogue with the protesters, who he says he agrees with on many issues. They talk about bailing out the banks, the cost of college, Wal-Mart, slavery, and much more. Mediate says: "Schiff’s video was probably the most fair and insightful 'guy takes a trip to Occupy Wall Street' video we’ve seen so far."

How Well Off Are the 99 Percent?
Reason Foundation's Shikha Dalmia says when talking about income gaps we should also be looking at what Tyler Cowen calls the “personal well-being gap." Dalmia writes, "...this gap, which measures the difference between basic goods that average people and gazillionaires like Bill Gates can afford, has been steadily closing. Gates might have personal physicians, private jets and multiple computers. But thanks to technology-driven increases in productivity, almost everyone can afford bypass surgery, vacations and Internet access. In America, well-being mobility, in a sense, comes to you without you having to go it. You don’t have to be income-mobile to improve your quality of life. But that doesn’t mean that Americans don’t have income mobility. Far from it. Odds are, anyone who makes basically sensible life choices such as going to college, getting and staying married (preferably to a working spouse), and working full-time will find themselves in the top income quintile in their peak earning years. This allows more Americans to be 'threshold earners': After they reach a certain income level, they can trade more work for greater leisure, a luxury that only the filthy rich enjoy in poor countries. Were this not the case, the ranks of the Zuccotti Park protesters might have been thinner by about a third. A recent survey by business analyst Harrison Schultz and Baruch College professor Hector Cordero-Guzman found that about 30 percent of them had individual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000-plus (about the same percentage as are under- and unemployed). These people have obviously decided that they have enough money, and that they’d rather use their spare time protesting than working. Surplus wealth, then, is driving the Occupy Wall Street movement as much as the alleged growth of income inequality."
Occupy Wall Street Coverage
Back On Earth, Actual 99% Doing Better Than Ever
The Real Luddites: Anti-Capitalism Equals Anti-Progress
Watch Cop Lob a Flash Grenade as OWS Protesters Try to Help a Seriously Injured Man
Nick Gillespie: Meghan McCain, OWS, and the End of the American Dream
Video: Nick Gillespie and Judge Napolitano on Bailing Out Student Loans

Super Committee Should Pull the Spending Cuts Trigger
Reason magazine's Peter Suderman writes, "History shows that Congress can’t be trusted to control spending, much less cut it. Neither can the bipartisan committees it so often creates to reduce the deficit when Congress has failed. But what about automatic spending cuts scheduled to occur when the committee process inevitably fails? Sadly, they can’t be entirely trusted either. But they might still be the best hope we have."

Loaded Gun in Checked Luggage at LAX
Earlier this week, headlines screamed that airport security had missed a loaded gun in a checked bag. But Reason Foundation's Robert Poole points out that TSA isn't looking for guns in checked baggage and that we don't want them to start. Poole says "this would further interfere with the right to travel unmolested. TSA is not a law enforcement agency. Yet mission creep has affected the agency from the start. A good example is its Behavior Detection Officer program, which now has several thousand agents standing around observing passengers in airport terminals, taking aside for questioning any that look suspicious (based on a check-list each BDO must memorize). That program has not caught a single would-be terrorist. But TSA touts as successes its having nabbed scores of illegal aliens, people carrying small amounts of drugs, etc. There are serious civil liberties issues in giving a non-law-enforcement agency this kind of power. Pawing through people’s checked luggage for things that pose no threat to aviation would only expand this threat."
TSA's "Get Your Freak On" Screener Gets "Disciplined"
Robert Poole's Airport Security Newsletter
Poole's Air Traffic Control Newsletter

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