Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy this

I have to admit, I find this whole Occupy Wall Street movement completely confusing. It's not for lack of trying to understand - I've visited their web site, read articles and listened to interviews. So far, no one can explain the whole thing to me in a way that makes any sense. Everyone agrees they want "things to change," but no one seems sure exactly how or what those changes should be.

Some supporters say a defined goal isn't important; what's important is making people aware, getting them to think and talk about the movement. To an extent, that's probably true; I suppose they've done something right if I'm talking about it. But now that we're all talking - shouldn't there be a goal? Otherwise, won't the message just get lost in its own rhetoric? 

This country is definitely in a crisis. We all see it. The problem is, it seems like people are more interested in blame then they are solutions. That makes no sense. Are corporations wealthy? Yes. Are some people living well above the means of others? Sure. Are others struggling to make ends meet? Absolutely. 

But you can't blame one person's hardships on another's success. Banks and insurance companies and the like are in business to make a profit. The thing about a profit is - you can spend it however you want. It's not as if there's only so much money to be made - if you want a piece of that action, go get it. 

Sitting in a park and demanding that banks forgive debt, or businesses support welfare programs demonstrates a true lack of understanding. If debt is forgiven, we don't get to just reset to zero. The banks lose that money - if they lose that money on a global scale, what do you think happens? Foreign markets collapse, businesses go bankrupt and ultimately, who suffers? 

That 99% you keep talking about. We'll all be paying higher rates, getting laid off (bankrupt businesses mean fewer employers), and eventually, we'll all rely on government programs. But the government won't have any money - because the system collapsed. 

I suppose the argument is, if the rich were paying higher taxes, the programs would be better funded. But that's not how an economy works. I work for one of the wealthiest corporations in the world. My bosses haven't lost money in this economy, and they won't lose it in the proposed economy, either. Instead, the people who do the work (like me) have lost. No raises, higher healthcare costs, fewer benefits. If you raise their taxes, what do you think will happen? Do you honestly think the big-wigs at my company will take that hit? No - I will. 

But the movement seems okay with that. The corporate heads will stay rich, lower-income homes will have more government support, and middle-income homes like mine will suffer the most. I make just enough that I'll have to pay higher taxes to support the programs, but not enough that I can afford the hit. Everything I've worked for over the years will be lost, as I'm forced to now support others who aren't willing to make the effort.

So, Occupiers - if you want to fix the economy, why not try adding to it? Try looking at yourselves, figure out what you have to offer the world, and start doing it. 

Occupy your own wallet, and stay out of mine.


  1. This works way better than just mumbling (or screaming, depending on the context) various phrases like, "God damned Tree Hugging Hippies", "Get a job" and/or "Get a fucking haircut", but, that said, I still like my way better.

  2. Amen Sue. I am dealing with the Philly Occupiers who have set up a block away from my work...Pick up your trash, pack up your tent, put away your drugs, and contribute to society.

  3. GenWar - I'm not opposed to trying your way. We should go downtown on lunch one day and give it a whirl.

    Thanks, ladies! I'm so tired of the whole thing. I totally agree that the system is broken, and things could use a change. I just don't think whining and complaining is the way to make it happen. I haven't actually heard a proposed change that makes any sense. *sigh*