Occupy Wall Street and the Nobel Peace Prize

Tomorrow’s announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize could give the OWS movement a mega shot of caffeine Red Bull (great pun!).    The Washington Post confirms our priors,

Leading Nobel-guesser Kristian Berg Harpviken, the director of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, also doubted that the EU would get the prize.

His top picks are Egyptian activists Israa Abdel Fattah, Ahmed Maher and the April 6 Youth Movement, a pro-democracy Facebook group they co-founded in 2008.

He also suggested Wael Ghonim, a marketing executive for Google, for re-energizing the protests on Cairo’s Tahrir Square after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, and Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni who started criticizing the Tunisian regime before the uprising began in December.

Imagine the connection each of the protestors’ will feel if “one of their own” takes the prize.  Talk about emboldening a movement!

We posted on March 1st during the Egyptian revolt and eve of the Arab Spring,

It is also time to connect some dots.  What we are witnessing in the Middle East where the young, who have little or no political voice and a not so bright future are throwing off their autocratic gerontocracies at an incredible pace.   Something similar will manifest here and the rest of the aging west, though probably in different way, when younger generations realize the consequences of being saddled with a massive debt and declining public services as the tax revenues are diverted to debt service and retirement benefits.   Not to mention the world full of carbon they have inherited.

They to, like their Facebook brethren in the Middle East, will revolt and throw off the gerontocracy that will control the political system as baby boomers age, which over taxes them to pay the debt used to finance the excessive consumption and current retirement benefits of their parents and/or grandparents generation.It doesn’t take a C.I.A. analyst with a Ph.D. to realize the potential for political blowback when one generation is rendered into servitude due to the excesses of another.   Or does it?

Fast forward eight months and here we are.  As Zerohedge quotes Art Cashin it’s hard to decipher a unified demand or voice of the OWS movement,

The Occupy Wall Street protest is reminiscent of the scene in the 1953 film “The Wild One” where a young woman asks a motorcycle gang leader played by Marlon Brando, “Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?”

Brando deadpans, “Whaddya got?”

Maybe that’s the point.  The younger generation feels angry and ripped off by the boomer gerontocracy, who consumed it forward and left their generation to pay the bills.  And, paying they are.   It is stunning to encounter so many college grads working, if they’re lucky, as waiters or folding towels in health clubs.

They speak of the top 1 percent (income earners) and the banks as the “bad guys.”  Our sense, however, it’s the genesis of the  Clash of Generations,  American style.

By the way, check out which of the cohort groups who are getting screwed.   Let’s not forget boomer friends we depend on the younger generation to take care of us in our unproductive golden years.   Think Sparta.

(click here if chart is not observable)

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