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Scoop! Ben & Jerry's supports Occupy Wall Street

Ben and Jerry's lent its impeccable liberal credentials to the Occupy Wall Street protests today. Or its cows did, at least. The ice cream company's website now features cows holding signs with "Occupy" on them, above the statement To those who Occupy: We stand with you.

No news on whether Ben and Jerry's is trucking pints of Chubby Hubby and Dublin Mudslide down to Wall Street. Still, the news of such sweet support for people protesting the disparity of wealth in this country is strengthening the Marketplace Daily Pulse today.

Ben and Jerry's is just the latest organization to join the protesters. Supporters include unions, grassroots groups such as The Campaign for America's Future, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is asking supporters to sign a petition in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

A number of Senate Democrats have endorsed the mini-movement, including Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.). Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said of the protesters: "God bless them for their spontaneity. It's independent, it's young, it's spontaneous and it's focused. And it's going to be effective."

Occupy Wall Street has drawn some sympathy from Republicans. Former Louisiana Governor and lesser-known Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer is reportedly a supporter, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), an outspoken and long-time critic of the Federal Reserve, recently expressed sympathy.

"If they were demonstrating peacefully, and making a point, and arguing our case, and drawing attention to the Fed -- I would say, good!" Paul said last week.

Most Republicans are critical, however. "I regard the Wall Street protests as a natural outcome of a bad education system teaching them really dumb ideas," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he was "increasingly concerned" by what he called the "mob protests."

Follow Marketplace's Occupy Wall Street coverage here.

About the author

Paddy Hirsch is a Senior Editor at Marketplace and the creator and host of the Marketplace Whiteboard. Follow Paddy on Twitter @paddyhirsch and on facebook at www.facebook.com/paddyhirsch101
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The main message from the Occupado crowd is "we want their money". When was that ever an American ideal? For an old man like me, an America = Socialism message is a result of bad education and a really dumb idea.

Interestingly, Jeremy Hobson spoke with Republican Rep. David Schweikert today, and he said he thought the Occupado (I like that, just as a noun) was a completely understandable and legitimate protest. He said he visited the Occupado in DC, and saw signs demanding exactly the same thing as the Tea Party demands.

Mr. Cantor calls the people participating in the Occupy Wall Street a "mob". Mr. Gingerich thinks them uneducated, products of a "bad education system". We have come to expect that the only way a Republican can express an idea is attack someone, anyone, that does not agree their doctrine. Republicans attack peoples religion, blame poor people for being poor and endlessly repeat the mantra of protecting job creators when in fact small businesses lose about as many jobs as they create, give failure rates. I am old enough to remember when it was OK to express your point of view then work to create a middle ground that benifited a majority of Americans, not a very tiny minority. I think the Congress should give back 10% of their salaries and be penalized = substantially for accepting ANY contribution, gratuity, fact finding trip abroad. When I was growing up, I genuinely believed that the playing field was level. That if you wanted to succeed at any level, you could. I find it hard to believe any more and it makes me very sad for my Grandchildren.

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