Posts tagged government
First off: my blog = my opinion. I have a snazzy little disclaimer down on the bottom right of the screen (scroll down… you’ll see it) that states that my opinions are mine only and not blah blah blah. You get the picture.
So here goes.
I have heard and read a lot lately about the whole Occupy movement. I keep hearing percentages: 99%. 1%, 53%, Etc. It all makes for great press and a convoluted message. As with all things I give opinions on, I do my best to do a little due diligence. I even stopped by and checked out Occupy LA a couple weeks ago:
Ah… the smell of patchouli.
I think I have it figured out and I’m posting my opinion for the same reason I usually do: so folks can tell me what (if anything) I’m missing. Here’s what I’ve learned about the Occupy movement and how I feel about it:
The government is to blame due to its actions which were caused by Americans. The protesters have the right to protest, but they are protesting for entirely the wrong reason.
Let me break it down:
STEP 1: Stupidity begets stupidity.
When the housing market collapsed and the economy came to a screeching halt, consumers tried to blame Wall Street and Wall Street blamed consumers. This debate will go on forever and will someday be turned into a clever sound byte in a future textbook, but here’s how I see it. Wall Street knew they were making poor decisions. Consumers, on the other hand, can’t just cry “I didn’t know better” when they max out their credit cards and buy homes they can’t afford.
STEP 2: The government intervenes.
At the risk of the U.S. imploding, the government votes to give out a ton of money in loans to avert financial collapse on Wall Street. It’s voted to be the “right thing to do” by those in power. Thus: Uncle Sam gave a bailout to Wall Street.
STEP 3: The government sets a precedent.
Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up -Alfred Pennyworth (Batman Begins)
That’s right. I quoted a comic book movie… because it is CORRECT. Parents constantly struggle with the pain of having to watch their children fall down (figuratively and literally) for the greater good of knowing that said child will learn to overcome on his/her own. The moment the government bailed out the corporations they (unfortunately) set a precident.
STEP 4: Things suck for unemployed Americans, so they assume they are due a bailout.
And why shouldn’t they? The government has acknowledged that this is an acceptable form of behavior! They bailed out Wall Street and so now Americans have developed a sense of entitlement. We as a country have created the culture that our asses should be covered because we’re Americans. The government established this culture as acceptable the moment they bailed out the corporations.
Let me be clear here, though: I don’t even pretend to understand the inner workings to the decision behind the bailout and I’m not questioning the validity of the action when the moment was upon us. I’m merely showing the cause and effect relationship. (More on this in a bit.)
STEP 5: Protest! The rich people got their corporations bailed out and now we want it too!
Thus Occupy Wall Street was created and it spread across the United States. Now there are protesters living in tents across America.
Do they have a solid reason to be protesting? Sure! What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The government showed that it can bailout corporations, so it should bailout everyone else, too. Right?
This is where the protesters need to refer to STEP 1.
“Stupidity begets stupidity.”
The bailout was a solution (the best solution? who knows… but is was “a” solution) to a problem that ALL Americans contributed to. You can’t blame the captain of a boat that sets to sail when the contractors who built the damn thing left holes in it to begin with. The ship will sink… and they are ALL responsible.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. Sure, I agree that (based on their previous actions) that the government seemingly should bail out American citizens in strife. ”Corporations aren’t people!” or so says one of the more popular signs I’ve read…
but that’s the point.
Corporations AREN’T people. People are individuals. As individuals, we should know the difference between repeating mistakes and “doing it because it’s been done before.” Two wrongs don’t make a right.
So drop the sense of entitlement people. Quit your bitching and get to work. So you have a college degree? Great! That doesn’t preclude you from cleaning floors at a 7-11. Get to work. You want to change the system, change it from the inside. Work for “the man.” See what makes “his” corporation tick. Start and the ground floor and move up.
THEN WALK AWAY AND DO IT BETTER. Build the better mousetrap, people. That is what America is about.
- Americans and Wall Street both contributed to the financial decline of America… like it or not.
- The government chose to bail out Wall Street.
- Americans now feel entitled to a bailout, too.
- Americans shouldn’t WANT a bailout. They should change their culture, get to work, and change the way business operates from the inside.
The Occupy movement is a shambles. I know – I walked among one of the largest hot spots in Los Angeles. There were signs for a dozen or more causes: “help the homeless,” “go vegan and save the animals,” “stop racism.” The alleged cause is splintered. Seriously. Check out these photos:
While I have made light and humor of some of the other photos, this one contains the single smartest/thought provoking sign I saw on my visit. I constantly joke about the fact that I played dangerously as a child: rode a bike without a helmet, watched Wile E. Coyote blow shit up without a disclaimer, drank hot liquids without a warning printed on the cup. Are recent generations being coddled TOO much and (thus) growing up with a sense of entitlement? Who knows.
All I know is my grandfather came to America from Poland a poor immigrant. With no education, he busted his ass to raise five daughters and to save money. He passed away two years ago with money in the bank and two houses he owned free and clear. He didn’t worry about having a new iPad or hi-def TV. He worried about being stable and planning for the future.
I’m willing to bet that having that frame of mind still works today if people try.