Turns out, Americans still like business after all

posted at 5:25 pm on November 23, 2011 by Tina Korbe

It’d be easy to think, based on all the press coverage Occupy Wall Street has received (we’re up to 333 violent or outrageous incidents, by the way!), that the American people hate business. After all, what is “Wall Street” except an abstraction of business? But, as it turns out, more than 60 percent of Americans have a favorable view of major companies and a full 90 percent of Americans have a favorable view of small businesses, according to a Public Affairs Pulse Survey cited in an article on ChamberPost.com.

But what was arguably most interesting about the study is that it revealed Generation Y — ages 18 to 34 — are actually the most likely to think highly of major companies. That might be yet one more statistic that helps to correct the popular misperception that Occupy Wall Street consists of mainly spoiled adolescents. As more information about the demographics of OWS has come out, it’s become increasingly evident that the original hippies are still the hippies. According to data from Fast Company, about 44.5 percent of the protesters are aged 25 to 44 and another 32 percent are older than 44. Just 23.5 percent of the protesters are 25 and under.

This encourages me because, when Occupy Wall Street first started, I feared for what my generation might bring upon the country, with what I perceived as our characteristic entitlement attitude. The truth is more nuanced than that. Yes, we’ve inherited certain attitudes from our Baby Boomer parents and, in some ways, because of those attitudes, we’re especially susceptible to class warfare rhetoric. I still maintain that my generation has not necessarily responded with the unique challenges that face us — particularly high unemployment — with as much nobility as I would like. But, at the same time, we’ve benefited from the technological innovation of companies like Microsoft and Apple and have learned in some ways to revere inventors and to seek a creative outlet for our own energies and efforts. As I’ve reported before, my generation is actually particularly apt to make the connection between excessive government regulation and excessive joblessness — something not everyone is able to do.

Bottom line: Young people believe in the promise, as well as the peril, of business — and that right there might be the best reason to believe in young people.

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Glad to hear it. It is true that not everyone is an idiot. For instance, once in a while I see somebody on the highway who knows how to drive.

backwoods conservative on November 23, 2011 at 5:29 PM

When Americans experience a large drop in their standard of living (almost like now), they’ll REALLY start wishing for a return to capitalism.

listens2glenn on November 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Why aren’t we thanking business for all the jobs they’ve created?

Why aren’t we thanking business for all the new technologies they’ve created?

Why aren’t the politicians thanking business for all the tax revenue they’ve created?

Chip on November 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM


‘Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone’

WACO, Ga. — A west Georgia business owner is stirring up controversy with signs he posted on his company’s trucks, for all to see as the trucks roll up and down roads, highways and interstates:

“New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.”

“Can’t afford it,” explained the employer, Bill Looman, Tuesday evening. “I’ve got people that I want to hire now, but I just can’t afford it. And I don’t foresee that I’ll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C.”

The way the economy is going, that’s probably the sentiment of most of the business community – they’re just brave enough to come out and say it.

Chip on November 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Do, given these facts about the demographics, does anybody believe that there isn’t an corporate organization controlling and funding these demonstrations? And those organizers knew full well that the worst dregs of society would gravitate to these locations, but they hoped that the message of “burn down the system” would take hold before the protests themselves got too ugly. They failed in that, thanks to the majority of Americans still possessing a shred of decency and sense.

Freelancer on November 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Do? PIMF, should have been So

Freelancer on November 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Gen Y (and the rest of us) got a huge dose of economic Freedom and Liberty with the Internet and Apple apps. You can’t unring that bell.

Jimmy Doolittle on November 25, 2011 at 3:21 AM