It began as a gaggle of unnoticed activists, grew to national status, and became a cesspool of licentiousness, crime, lewdness, and violent threats right before our eyes. Big Labor and the Communist Party USA support its murky agenda, as do domestic and international statists right up to President Obama. Welcome to Squatting Any Street. 

Amidst the slogans and chants emanating from impromptu communes across the country, the only clear message from Squatting is that banks suck and Squatters are entitled. Other than that, Squatting Any Street’s message has been incoherent. Yet no internal chant or external criticism can define Squatting with the clarity of a single photo taken at Squatting Los Angeles.

Plainly, this protester is upset. His sign implies that the greedy banks, the greedy rich, and the responsible people all suck. The wealthy become rich when everyone else gets hosed. End of discussion. 

His view is common among Squatters. The mythical possibility of legislating economic fairness has consumed leftist orthodoxy since hotdogs became synonymous with ballpark concessions. Yet foreclosure, while an undesirable course, is the natural result of an unpaid mortgage. Squatters may believe banks foreclose indiscriminately to pad their bottom line. But with real estate values in decline, what profit is there for banks to possess properties worth less than their liens? 

Notice the Squatter’s contrasting message. If the banks got rich while homeowners were unfairly foreclosed, from what were the banks bailed out? Their profits? One Squatter with one sign exposes a fatal flaw common to Squatters. It’s impossible for banks to simultaneously be both rich and poor. Expressing anger toward both circumstances is putting two and two together and coming up with six. 

Only a failing bank can receive a government bailout. When a solvent institution receives government funds it is a subsidy. Truly, neither subsidies nor bailouts are part of a free market economy. But there’s a distinction between them. Is it too much to ask Squatters to determine their message before they protest? Anyway, TEA Partiers were railing against both personal and corporate entitlement long before the first Squatters pitched their tents.

 A single sign has illustrated the degree to which Squatters have missed the point. They blame free markets and capitalism for bank profiteering on both sides of the housing bubble. But banks can’t simultaneously be rich enough to be greedy corporations and poor enough for bailouts. The concept contradicts itself. Government’s “fair” lending regulations drove banks to issue risky loans. Government then mitigated the risk with subsidy assurances. The housing crash wasn’t the fault of free markets or capitalism. It began, grew, and culminated with government’s usurping of the free market. 

Squatters should realize that without the federal government’s politically-driven manipulation of the housing market the banks wouldn’t have issued so many ill-advised loans, the housing bubble would never have existed as it did, and Squatting Any Street would be as academic as the nearest tent city.

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