The Corner

A Lesson for the Occupiers

A couple of blocks from where I work in the capital of North Carolina, the pitiful protesters of Occupy Raleigh have spent weeks demonstrating about the subject of greed — they claim to be against it, but their demands for more tax-funded goodies shows that they are actually pro-greed. Anyway, as has been happening across the country, the protesters overstayed their welcome, in their case along the sidewalk next to the state capitol, and tried desperately to secure some other piece of government property to “occupy.” Even for the liberal majority on the city council, their demand proved to be too much.

But then a solution presented itself: free enterprise. The owner of a small parcel of land about four blocks away from the capitol offered his property to the Occupiers for a monthly rent of $400, to be covered by voluntary donations to the movement. From today’s Raleigh News & Observer story:

Property owner Rob Baumgart, a Raleigh businessman, said he offered his land after reading about the group’s plight in The News & Observer. Baumgart said he agrees with Occupy’s embrace of small business — but does not consider himself a supporter.

“I had a supply, they had a demand,” Baumgart said. “That’s capitalism. That’s the way the U.S. works.”

By this single action, Baumgart has offered the Occupiers a better education in economics than they appear to have received on their respective college campuses. Unfortunately, although the lesson will be quite literally beneath their feet, it may still go over their heads.

John Hood — John Hood is president of the John William Pope Foundation, a Raleigh-based grantmaker that supports public policy organizations, educational institutions, arts and cultural programs, and humanitarian relief in North Carolina ...

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