Ben & Jerry's has come out in favor (or was that 'flavor'?) of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Will their next creation be Occupied Fudge, after the infamous cop-car pooping bandit?

Good news for fans of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, particularly fans of Schweddy Balls: they’ve come out in favor of the Occupy Wall Street Protesters! Some might ask which aspect of the movement they support, since it’s composed of socialists, anarchists, liberal Democrats, labor unions, college kids, aging hippies, and druggies, each with their own unique take on what the “revolution” is all about.

Ben & Jerry’s has created a few talking points. If the communal vote-by-jazzhands turns out correctly, everyone will agree:

  • The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
  • We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed.
  • Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
  • Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
  • Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
  • Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.

Question for the ice cream maker: Doesn’t a larger, more expansive government actually encourage crony capitalism? Wouldn’t a smaller government create an incentive for companies to spend less money on lobbyists and more time on providing goods and services to their customers? If manufacturers had to spend less time trying to get Obamacare exemptions, for example, wouldn’t they have more resources to pump into research and development?

Years ago I had a friend who wasted his potential by concentrating more on drugs and clubs and alcohol than on his dreams and aspirations. I assume he’s now of the “class” Ben & Jerry’s is wringing its hands over, but I have to ask: Wouldn’t it be immoral to take money made through perfectly legal means—by entrepreneurial and innovative men—and give it to guys like my half-baked former friend?

I went to two very expensive colleges, and racked up tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loans. My GI Bill paid for one year’s worth of tuition at USC. Every paycheck I feel it in my wallet and wonder if it was all worth it (especially since I learned more by reading Thomas Sowell’s collective works than by attending class). But what I don‘t do is walk down to the National Mall and whine about it. I budget my money. I work. I save. And one day, when I have a kids, I’ll impart advice on them that I hope they’ll heed.

Let me explain it in ways an ice cream maker can understand.

The federal government is like ice cream, whipped in such a way that it contains a lot of air (i.e., wasted space). It’s a big, frozen block of stuff. It’s has a lot of fat in it. Conservatives want the federal government to be more like gelato, which has a lot less air and a lot less fat. There’s a reason why good gelato (served at a warmer temperature), bursts with flavor, while ice cream tends to pale in comparison… If Ben & Jerry’s wants to know why unemployment is so high, its Board should look in the mirror. As they say, the (rocky?) road to serfdom is paved with good intentions.

PS: For your next flavor, try Occupied Fudge, after the infamous cop-car pooper.

8 comments

  1. “Wouldn’t it be immoral to take money made through perfectly legal means” –if you mean legal in the sense that they paid to make them legal, sure, they made money legally.
    A smaller gov’t is a great idea, but can it be smaller than the giant corporations that already have their hand up the government’s back pretending their words are really coming from the dummy on their knee? Especially right now? Should the government not clean up their mess before they go quitting on the people they’re supposed to be representing? And by quitting I mean taking a much more lucrative job in the corporate world.

    1. Ah yes, the ol’ anonymous post. Well, whoever you are, thanks for the comment.

      It seems as though every time the government tries to “clean up” its mess, it just creates a bigger one, which it then blames on someone else. Isn’t it convenient that 1% of the population is responsible for all our problems? How interesting is it that such an argument also happens to absolve the protesters of any culpability for their own lot in life (e.g., I spent 100 grand on a Music Theater degree from NYU and now I can’t pay off my student loans).

      I surmise that if the OWS crowd was as serious as it claims to be they could vote for people who represent them, aka: non-puppets. Putting their energy into GOTV would probably be a better usage of limited resources than milling around lower Manhattan, but that’s just me…

  2. I have to agree with you about the egregious lack of personal responsibility in our country today, but he has a point about corporations.

    Yeah, and as much as I agree with protesting our “government for the corporations” and putting emphasis back on “people” instead of corporate interest, those hippies make the movement look as bad as the nut jobs in the tea party do!

  3. Mr. Ernst,

    Don’t go into journalism… you haven’t the wherewithal to do so objectively. Guts and chutzpah do not equate to objectivity. Think about it!

    Yours,

    Constance

    1. Constance,
      Maybe you should take a little more time and read some articles, are they not slanted?
      You should send MSNBC a letter stating “Don’t go into journalism… you haven’t the wherewithal to do so objectively. Guts and chutzpah do not equate to objectivity. Think about it!”

      Think about that!

  4. Constance,

    I’m openly conservative. Hence: “Bareknuckled Conservatism.” Unlike most “journalists” out there, I don’t try to hide behind some sort of false pretense of objectivity. However, if I ever stray from blogs or op-eds…I’ll keep that in mind.

    Best,

    Doug

  5. I would like to sew how many Occupy people actually can afford to buy Ben & Jerry’s. I think it was all a cheap publicity stunt. How can a company charge a higher price yet they claim that they are above others? Does Ben & Jerry’s pay a substantially higher wage to employees (no)?
    I would also like to point out this:
    “Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.”
    Unlimited is far from accurate and what about union money going to political campaigns? The money that was mentioned (profit) then is used for business growth that leads to more jobs. The profit also goes to the owners (and taxes) that risked their money in the business is that not how it should be.
    This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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