“Occupy Madison” – A Big Fat Flop

The Occupy Madison protest rally began on Friday, October 7th near the Capitol Square. Sparked by the now infamous Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, the Occupy Madison rally had a lot of momentum propelling it to becoming a protest of epic proportions. Balmy 70+ degree weather in October. Over 5000 “likes” on Occupy Madison’s Facebook page prior to the rally. A large population of aging hippies, angry state employees and naive young adults hungry for socialism.

However, by any measure, Occupy Madison has been a big fat flop. The Isthmus reports that attendance has not topped 100 people—a number that pales in comparison to “Walkerville” demonstrations earlier this year. Occupy Madison scheduled a field trip to protest the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce building yesterday from 7-9am, noon – 1pm, and 4-6pm. A local protester posted on the group’s Facebook event page that she showed up at 7:10am and 1:10pm and found not a single person protesting.

Perhaps the best illustration of the failure of Occupy Madison is this photo from their march to the Wisconsin State Capitol on Sunday, October 9.  Maybe everyone was watching the Brewers game?

Photo courtesy of Occupy Madison’s Facebook Photo Album.


  1. A small detail the local news can’t get their head around. TMJ-4 is showing video from the budget protest while they are talking about Occupy Madison.

    Gosh, you don’t suppose those news channels are dependent on conflict, do you?

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    If the participants can hold on until Tuesday, maybe a dozen or so Democratic state senators will again abandon their duties and and a larger crowd will ensue.

    A hardy welcome to you Elizabeth, from someone outside of Fonzie-land. I look forward to your posts and comments.

  3. Of course it flopped most of them have moved to NYC. Hope they stay there, let em’ preach to the choir out there.

  4. “Perhaps the best illustration of the failure”

    How many protesters are required to meet your definition of success?

    Some people are drawing a comparison between the Tea Party folks and Occupy Wall Street. I think the two groups have more in common than they do differences. Perhaps that’s the reason the Tea Party hasn’t mobilized a counter protest. Solidarity!

  5. The score is Taxpayers 1, Mooches 0

  6. Now I wonder how all those unemployed kids could afford a ticket to NYC?

  7. Madison Tax Payer says:

    They need to occupy the help wanted adds, not Wall Street.

    To all 5 occupying Madison burnouts…GET OUT OF MY TOWN.

  8. Another example fine example of where we stand as a nation.

    Our elected officials can spend 30 years writing laws that bring about the slow decline of middle class America and we spend our time beating down a small group of disorganized hippies. Just one more example of wasted energy and screwed up priorities.

    It’s been 3 years since our latest economic experiment was exposed as nothing more than a three decade transfer payment to the financial sector. Yet whenever anyone even hints at moving some of the chips to the other side of the table (hippy or not), well that’s class warfare of course. We should be taking the hammer to these people but instead we’ve chosen to beat ourselves over the head.

    It’s not the people at the bottom picking your pockets folks. We gave the money to the people who are bankrolling the zombies in Congress who are writing the laws that are screwing you.

    …and we’re beating up hippies because they’re leaches on society and they’re easy targets. Oh, and because it makes some people feel good about themselves no doubt.

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    What’s a counter protest ?

  10. Randy in Richmond. A counter-protest is what the Unions did to our TeaParty Protest this year. They staged it on the opposite side of the Capital to where Sarah Palin was scheduled to speak with us. Mysteriously though, there wasn’t anyone on that side of the Capital. Instead they descended on our TeaParty to try to shout down the speakers, scream obscenities in our faces, hold signs in front of us so we couldn’t see the speakers, and more…

    The TeaParty is entirely unlike the FleaParty. Making comparative references is ignorance.

  11. “Making comparative references is ignorance.”



  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    No harm, no foul milton. Your link is to an opinion piece on Fox written by Ellis Henican, one of the biggest, admitted liberals anywhere–not just on Fox. I, and others on the right, find it amusing that the left wants to make this occupy thing it’s own teaparty. (As an aside, that word occupy still has a sensitive ring to many here in Richmond 🙂 )

    If I were to view the goings-on in NYC as the left viewed the teaparties’ goings-on, I would have to conclude these occupiers are racest. After viewing many minutes of videos on many channels as well as YouTube, I see a great preponderance of white people. No need to link a shot with non-whites–I know there are some non-whites/asians–but mainly the racial makeup of the group looks like a NASCAR crowd.

    Thanks for pointing out the diversity at Fox News.

  13. There is already a decent amount of evidence that the movement has veins of antisemitism running through it. So racist… Yes sort of.

  14. “the left wants to make this occupy thing it’s own teaparty.”

    The tea party is not an all-inclusive organization. In fact they’re not at all welcoming to anyone left of center, for obvious ideological reasons. If Occupy Wall Street’s intent was to fashion their movement after the tea party’s, they’d have to be exclusionary to a whole lot of folks. But they’re not. With exception to a very small minority (1%) everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Their slogan says it all: “we are the 99%”.

  15. Except only 37% of America supports. Them. So, they are the 37%.

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    When I wrote “the left wants to make this occupy thing it’s own teaparty, I did not mean literally. And I am talking about the left that is not on Wall Street. I am referring to the media, Hollywood, academia, some politicians, bloggers, etc. The teaparty, aka many conservatives, has to prove nothing. They exhibited their mettle on November 2, 2010.

  17. “Except only 37% of America supports. Them. So, they are the 37%.”

    If that’s the case then the 63% are excluding themselves.

    The message I’m hearing is: “come one, come all!”.

  18. milton, the message I’m hearing those nutjobs don’t speak for me. But you are welcome to whatever you think you hear. Just don’t expect me to buy into your blabber.

  19. Randy in Richmond says:

    Would somebody on the left please educate me–who are the 1 % ?

  20. J. Strupp says:

    Not during the brewer game.

  21. The small sliver of the American population that has benefitted disproportionately from regressive tax policies and financialization of the American economy since 1980 while producing very little in terms of economic growth.

    Congratulations if you’re one of these people. But many people, including myself, aren’t interested in continuing to subsidize their parabolic income growth while they contribute very little to society. They’re welcome to enjoy the joys of compound interest of course. Just as long as our government isn’t supporting them with policies like ridiculously low capital gains taxes which assest them in having a lower total tax burden than the median income household.

    For me, it’s not about attacking the guy who inherited grannie and grandpa’s fortune or “won” his or her money as a hedge fund manager. I just have no remorse about taxing their money at a substantially higher rate than we currently are taxing this group. Our government stacked the deck in their favor and they cashed in. Great. But I’m not for stacking the deck anymore. It has been a 30 year waste of capital.

  22. Randy in Richmond says:

    What you say may sound good but the statistics just don’t back you up.

    The top 1 % of earners paid 38 % of all Federal Income taxes in 2008. In 1980 that figure was about 19 %. The bottom 50 % paid only 3 % which was about 8 % in 1980. And 49 % of U.S. households pay no taxes at all.

    These statistics point out the folly of the protesters in NYC. It is up to stockholders and boards of directors to determine pay and benefits for it’s companies’ employees–not the government.

  23. Links, please. 🙂

  24. Randy in Richmond says:
  25. Thanks!

  26. J. Strupp says:

    Heritage is intentionally deceiving you. The key words are “federal” and “income” taxes. Less affluent individuals pay little or no federal income tax, yes, but that’s nothing new. Their tax burden is primarily payroll, state and local taxes. TOTAL tax burden should be the focus.

    In the last 30 years, a much greater share of total income has become concentrated at the top of the income distribution, while each dollar there is taxed considerably less than it once was. In fact, top end tax rates have fallen more than any other income level over the last 30 years and are at levels not seen in 80 years. In other words, top end income has exploded which accounts for the increase in tax receipts from the rich, not higher tax rates. Had this parabolic income growth not occured, the top 1% would be paying substantially less in total taxes/income than they have been historically.

    Heritage like to focus on how much rich people pay as a whole but they never put Federal tax burden in terms of income growth over the same time period. Why? Because doing so would expose our tax policies as simply transferring income up the food chain while the rest of Americans have seen negative wage growth for the last 30 years. Remember, this trickle down economic policy was put in place SPECIFICALLY to benefit middle class America. In truth, it’s been one of the most destructive economic policies in American history.

    I’ve linked to Saez’s work in years past, which is still relevant today even though the data is a few years old:


    Barry Ritholtz has linked to simple charts on this topic over the years which are much easier to read but tell the same tale. Ritholtz is definately not a liberal BTW (just in case you don’t believe people who work at Berkeley):



  27. I reject the concept of total tax in this discussion. We are a federation of states. Those states have a right to tax as they want. So do municipalities. And school districts.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to compare federal and income taxes separately since they are separate.

  28. J. Strupp says:

    Hey, then reject it. I’m fine with that.

    It doesn’t change the fact that a much greater share of total income has become concentrated at the top of the income distribution, while each dollar there is taxed considerably less than it once was. And that greater share of income accumulated at the top has done almost nothing to contribute positively to median household income growth or GDP (GDP over the past 30 years has lagged growth over the previous 60 years).

    IOW, our economic policy, focused on easing the tax burden for the wealthy and ultra wealthy, was a failure. The only reason our political leadership choses to continue down this road is because this same group of individuals gets them re-elected.

  29. I will never understand why the tax burden shouldn’t be an equal burden by percentage. Never, ever.

  30. Is America still a country in which an average person can work hard and succeed? I guess that one would have to define success to derive that answer.
    Perhaps the question should be asked of all your readers if they believe whether the American Dream is still possible for them in their lifetime or not. If so, why do they think that?