Quick Note: Again, my apologies for the delay since last post. I wish I could sit here and write that I had a good, viable reason. But, in the end, it was simply part laziness, my inability to get motivated and a little of some things rearing its head. I resolve to do better. blh
Alright…So this Occupy Wall Street has been going on for a month and seemingly has no end in sight. My question is that do they really know why they’re protesting? I know the whole Wall Street greed catch phrase but the details and gist of their argument. They chanted about the bailouts to the ‘too big to fail’. Ummm…it was the government that approved the bailouts. With this administration and the last contributing. What is they think is the solution? They just yell and scream ‘Help the Needy Not the Greedy’ or whatever the credo of the day happens to be. I’ve not heard or seen anything, in the media NOR their website (http://occupywallst.org/), that resembles a remedy to their plight, aside from the concrete platform of the Left. While I agree there are things that, as citizens and humans, we need and deserve, a good part of they want, they want GIVEN to them. I have issue( I’m sorry.. issues, plural) with anyone being given anything without merit.
First of all, they’re going about it the wrong way. Being that I work in a union plant (well quasi working?), I have seen a similar type of situation.” We want them (whoever ‘Them’ are) to give us this and give us that! What? We have a part in this? You dare ask us to do our “fair share”? The nerve!” I could never understand this thinking. In my opinion, everything we do is a compromise or contract, if you will, with provisions and promises on both sides to ensure mutual success. From what I’ve seen, there are a good number of the protesters that are educated and under the age of 34 (according to the OWS website study performed by a sociologist at CUNY, Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán Ph.D). Mind you the sample was drawn from only the visitors from the site. So, I would think a bit of salt would be needed to read and relate to the study.
The website cites the need for healthcare and jobs, protection from foreclosures and, being that almost 30% have a bachelor’s or advanced degree, the forgiveness of student loans. In all fairness, healthcare should be available and needs to be. But getting the government involved, to me, is not the answer. As far as the others I mentioned, I think that’s the most absurd thing about this whole whine session.
When it comes to the foreclosures, I know there are shady people and companies. Surely, you know what you can and can’t afford. You have an obligation to read everything you sign. And if you don’t, find someone outside the mortgage company, such as an independent lawyer of your choosing, to explain to you in intricate detail. Don’t you think the $400 you spend right now is cheaper than losing your house down the road? I would even support the mortgage company being financially responsible or the buyer having the option of rolling into the closings costs or amount borrowed. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself. It all starts with accountability. Life has to. There is no doubt in my mind that there are hardworking people that have lost their jobs and are subsequently on the verge of losing their house. But, there are those that haven’t and are simply choosing to walk away from their responsibility. So, there are bad apples on the side of the buyer and there are bad apples on the side of the lender. In a socialist environment, we are all the same, right? Afforded the same leeway? So, the answer is that there may not be a solid answer or equally satisfying solution. But, you have to know that lending is a business, not a right. The credit needed has to be earned. The lenders will simply walk away from lending. Take their business elsewhere. Just like our jobs. I wouldn’t be in the business to lose money.
I’ve already written a piece on my take on why America’s jobs are going vacating the premises. Please note I didn’t say ‘our’ jobs. Because they aren’t ‘our’ jobs. They have been here for a century or so because we used to be the pinnacle of what dedicated hard work was. The model to which the rest of the world looked to for examples. We took pride in earning an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work. There was a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment as you walked out the gate and home to our families. Again, with the help of a few bad seeds, we have dumbed ourselves right out of the right to ‘maintain our jobs.’ When you get a job, it is 100% a mutual agreement that both parties have to follow in order for that relationship to flourish and succeed. You know whether you would hire yourself when you get to work each day. It may not be right but the company has every right to work in the direction of profit with complete safety and environment consciousness. This government that these protesters are begging for relief from the Wall Street pigs is as much of the problem as the pigs AND workers are. The government is consistently making it harder and harder for companies to do business, profitably, in our country. This is a shared problem. You can pull the wool over your eyes and pretend not to notice but it’s a big problem in a big way. We all have to do our part. Jobs are not a birthright.
Like mentioned earlier, there is a greater than average education level among the protesters. They have a right to be upset about their employment and personal situation. I would as well. My one question to them would be, “Is it that you can’t find a job? Is it that you can’t find a job you like? Or is it that you can’t find a job you like with the field your degree is in?” I truly believe herein lies the crux of their frustration. If I had spent a good amount of money and dedicated and persevered to earn my degree, you bet your life I’d feel obligated to myself to use what I’ve learned and accomplished. But, how long are they going to sit there and wait for the ‘job fairy’ to come along and give them a job simply because they’re degreed? At some point, there has to be acknowledgement that there is need to do something now. It may not be the most desired or high paying career they had visions of. But it’s a start. If you’re not part of solution, you’re part of the problem. Like a boss told me numerous times: Short term pain for long term gain. It appeared at first that the pain would end with college. Unfortunately, it didn’t. A college diploma is not, and should never be, a guarantee for anything. Period. An education simply shows the character to finish what was set out to accomplish and to broaden your employment possibilities. That’s it. If they’ve convinced themselves otherwise, I feel they’re only cheating themselves. I do not have a college degree. I knew that future opportunities would be limited when I made the decision to walk away and take my current job. It didn’t require a college degree. That didn’t keep me from putting all my effort and intestinal fortitude towards being a success because of that. I made sure I would end where I wanted in spite of the fact that I didn’t have a degree. Not because I didn’t.
There have been two things said to me in my life that have always stuck with me. And I have drawn on them at various times. Before I was hired at my current job, my second job was delivering newspapers. It wasn’t glamorous but it served its purpose. It was a means to an end. I had driven up to the newspaper rack and was blocking a parking spot. This gentleman got out of his car and proceeded to humiliate me for being a ‘menial, delivery boy’. He told me how much of a loser I was that I had resorted to delivering papers to make a living and so on. I remember feeling sorry for myself that I had reached that point. But that only lasted a day or two. I woke up and told myself that I was a winner. A hard working person and that things would get better. They did.
The second thing said to me is really more of the main idea of a conversation. The topic was my salary without a degree in relation to the salary of a degreed ‘professional’. I make a decent and better than livable wage. I felt, and still feel, I completely deserve the money I make. The argument from their side was that I didn’t have a right to make the money I made. Reason? 100% that I didn’t have a college degree. They felt being that I didn’t finish college that I should be limited to certain pay guidelines. The educated population was the ones deserving of good money. In the end, I just flatly don’t deserve it. I do.
When there are people with two and three jobs out there, there is no excuse to allow one to be idle because it’s not a job they’ll be proud of at a reunion. Time is being carelessly misused if this is the reason any of them are there. Do yourself a solid: Make it happen.
That rolls into the student loan thing. I won’t say too much on this. They knew going in that it was a debt not a grant. They knew they would have a certain grace period. Paying it back was a promise made. There’s no way that the government should pay anyone’s debt. Especially being that attending college is a choice. Not a requirement.
The expectation that the government owes us anything is inane. The government doesn’t produce anything but debt. By wanting forgiveness for a debt chosen to partake, you’re asking the government to shift that debt to someone else. Someone will still have to answer to the money borrowed. It may not be directly. It will show up in the ‘dying middle class’ taxes. So that arrogance and sense of entitlement only shows that the uneducated and simple people will be burdened by someone who wouldn’t hire them, give them the time of day or think they deserve a better than livable wage.
The protests are reaching a point where there will be a less than desirable effect. They have been supported by unions, Democrats, fellow worldwide protesters and even got a shout out from the ever loving Nazis and human rights champion Communists. It’s a farce and the demonstrations have played out beautifully for those with a Left Wing agenda. It’s almost like Christmas in October. The financial and logistical support has come from teachers’ unions, steel workers union, the AFL-CIO, other liberal outfits and even our President Obama. Obama has crafted his words carefully. Has given the right speeches and pointed the finger at the Right. Even going so far as demanding them to answer for each they didn’t like in the job bill. Then calling them dim in the fact that he’s broken it down so they could better understand. And the downright lunacy and unfounded balderdash that Vice President Biden screamed about no jobs bill leading to crime, specifically murder and rape, is ignorant, at best. I feel both are fueling the situation. For political gain. Nothing more. Obama is hoping to be re-elected and for the Democrats to retake the House and the super majority in the Senate. That way he can do what he did the first two years of his presidency. Push his agenda through with a rubber stamp from Congress. That was progress. That is progressionism forcing policies down the throat. That is not what our country is about. In addition, getting aligned with unions is a deal with the devil. Want to talk about big business screwing the little guy? Take a gander at the United Steelworkers Union yearly statement. I have. Here’s just one item on that list. They spent over $15,000 on football season tickets in two NFL towns. Now, I know what I’ve paid in union dues in the past. It takes approximately the dues of 30 people at my jobsite to cover that. And this is to a venue that I couldn’t just pick up, monetarily, and go to. I can tell you that. Unions optimize this entitlement way of thinking. They want the most they can get for the least amount of exertion. And the protesters are acting accordingly.
Instead of using lawful avenues, they have resorted to union thuggery tactics to try and push their point across. They’ve used aggression instead of diplomacy to make their argument. It can’t be that way. Yet, their only argument is that they deserve these things yet don’t want to do ‘their fair share’. It’s their right to be given what they feel they should. They have gone about the whole process the wrong way. They’re breaking the law by demonstrating without a permit, not allowing officials through because they didn’t have proper authorization for certain activities, disrupted office and building entrances, taken up all the sidewalks and roads in a particular area. All against the NYC code on legal protests. Take it from someone who’s learned it the hard way recently, anything you do that’s against the rules will only negate the message you’re trying to send. It may not make sense or be right but that will be the way it is. Civil disobedience meets resistance before it veers toward resolution.
I am not saying that the protesters don’t want what’s best for the nation. And I do empathize with them. In that, I can only imagine the frustration the feeling that they have no control over their future. And the overwhelming fear they have with a mounting debt or uncertainty of their financial plight. They do have control. They can remedy their situation. But they have to be an active part. We are not a socialist based country. We never should. We are guaranteed in the Constitution these three things: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The want to earn success and happiness should be paramount. They can do it. It’s been done.
This ‘grass roots’ movement is swerving toward chaos. It can only get worse. To me, they seem like there are a good number of whiners who feel sorry for themselves and have chosen to demand their government to make changes. Changes that will freely allow them to acquire things that are normally earned. Nothing in this world is free. Someone will have to pay when the government doles out entitlements to capable people. That’s not right. It just isn’t and it just can’t be.
In closing I’d like to say this, be careful what you ask for. The government regulating commerce and demanding social justice and redistribution will have more dire consequences than most realize. It was the Bolsheviks that promised so much to the masses in return for their loyalty. And we see how that whole thing ended up.
Until next time and sooner than this time…..