I think you generally overestimate how economically sophisticated many Americans are, and underestimate how completely lied-to, misinformed, and kept ignorant many Americans have been.
Yes, the information is out there. No, it isn’t that easy for a lot of Americans to come by. It certainly isn’t pushed into your face every day by the media and the culture kings the way the other side is.
I don’t know what your background is, but I a) grew up in pretty-conservative South Dakota and b) had sisters who read Ayn Rand and Robert Heinlein among others, so I was exposed early and often to an alternate narrative. Lots of Americans aren’t that lucky, unfortunately.
Most Americans don’t read FR, Instapundit, Tyler Cowen, Arnold Kling, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, any newspaper, or really any information outlet anywhere where they’re exposed to basic economic concepts. They get their news from Jon Stewart and ESPN, for heaven’s sake! They have absolutely no idea where wealth comes from. That’s the fundamental problem.
A lot of people really do think wealth comes from the government. Go ask them.
A lot of people really do think that the rich people are rich because they’re taking all the money from the government that’s supposed to go to the people. (This is, in a wildly distorted, funhouse-mirror sort of way, kinda, sorta true, for a certain class of rich person.)
A lot of people really do think that they’re poor because their government isn’t giving them what it owes them. A LOT of people think that.
The linkage between “working harder” and “getting ahead” has, for a lot of people, been almost completely severed by government welfare programs on the one hand, and oppressive government laws and regulations on the other.
That’s the problem we’re facing.
Yelling at these people, making fun of them, and calling them names won’t fix the problem.
(And yes, there are those who are simply lazy “takers” who are simply parasites on the rest of us. They are why we have prisons.)
This occupywallstreet stuff is nothing more than an attempt to change the focus of the debate from government incompetence and debt to "corporate greed". The left loses the debate every time the argument is about debt and out of control government spending. They know this very well, and are trying to create a different target for people's ire. They round up the college mush heads, organize for them, feed them some cash and send them out in the streets.
This is the same old rent-a-mob that show up for all these anti-war, anti-capitalist rallies. A mix of selfish college kids who want life handed to them on a silver platter (and are mostly out of for a good time), aging hippies and sophisticated leftists pulling the strings.
Are a lot of people ignorant? Sure. People have ALWAYS been ignorant. It's not like these sorts of leftist "blame the rich" strategies haven't worked before. FDR got away with it for a very long time. Heck, many conservatives think back to generations ago and imagine that people were somehow smarter. They weren't. The problem now is more folks are dependent on government - exactly what the left in Europe and the US had planned for all along to ensure they remained in power.
I have no sympathy for these protesters. None. I think they are mostly just lazy at heart, out for a fun time, and want to feel they belong to something important. There is more access to information in this world than ever before. It is not even slightly difficult to hear the conservative message. I think directing ridicule at these occupywallstreet idiots is entirely appropriate and highly deserved.