The Spectacle Blog

Occupy WS = Hoovervilles?

By on 11.15.11 | 2:25PM

The Los Angeles Times makes the case that Occupy Wall Street and its sister movements around the country are modern day Hoovervilles:

The Occupy sites that sprouted up in recent months in response to the poor economy resemble the Great Depression's so-called Hoovervilles, shanty villages inhabited by a newly created class of poor people.

Named for Republican President Herbert Hoover, who was thrown out of office after one term because of his failed policies in dealing with the Depression, the Hoovervilles ultimately helped shape the New Deal and the vision of a liberal state that would provide an economic safety net.

Nonsense. The conditions couldn't be any different. In 1931, there was no welfare state in America. In 2011, the United States has a colossal, overbloated welfare state which President Obama seeks to expand with Obamacare.

Hoovervilles were set up across the country because people had nowhere else to go not because they were an "affinity group committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements." Here in Boston, there was a question raised earlier this month to whether those involved with Occupy Boston should be entitled to homeless services from the city. A spokeswoman for Mayor Tom Menino said that Occupiers "who need a shower, who have homes to go to, should take a shower at home." Hooverville residents didn't have another home where they could stop by and take a shower and maybe catch up on F. Scott Fitzgerald's latest novel.

I also seriously doubt those who resided in the various Hoovervilles across the country could look forward to being treated to salmon cake with dill sauce and a spot of quinoa salad. They would have been far more likely to liberal helpings of ketchup soup.

Besides, if Occupy Wall Street was analagous to the Hoovervilles don't you think they would be inclined to call their encampments Obamavilles?

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