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The Trashing of Lower Manhattan

This year, during Hurricane Irene, lower Manhattan was evacuated -- needlessly, as it turned out -- by a mayor who went overboard in his nanny-state zeal to protect the local citizenry from harm, regardless of their individual preferences. Now that same mayor hesitates to protect lower Manhattan from being appropriated as a squatter base for a crowd that seems to have borrowed parts of its creed from China's ruinous Cultural Revolution.

On the site of the World Trade Center, the new Freedom Tower is now going up. But the area around it remains a maze of construction walls, barriers, blocked passages and pedestrian detours. Zucotti Park, formerly called Liberty Plaza Park, abuts on this mess, and used to be one of the more pleasant plazas to stroll, sit, have a cup of coffee and contemplate a part of Manhattan which -- contrary to current cant -- has been one of the great engines of American markets and resulting prosperity. If the aim of the "Occupy" crowd is to protest the enfeebled American economy, then the place to go is Washington, and the thing to demand is more capitalism, not less. If the aim is to pound drums, strum guitars, trash thoroughfares and feel like comrades in arms for thumbing noses at the system, then any trace of basic human decency would suggest choosing a spot less battered already. When does lower Manhattan get a break?

Also read Roger L. Simon: "Latest Wall Street Demonstrations Puny"