The past week, I have watched a lot of online videos and streaming web cams about the Occupy Wall Street groups.
I wanted to understand why they are doing what they are doing and what they hope to accomplish.
First and foremost, they are pissed off that bankers and big corporations got bailouts, tax incentives, government subsidies, etc.
So am I. These have been going on for a very long time. Too long. It is just the most recent spate of bailouts that got attention.
The OWS people are also angry that unemployment is high, inflation is rampant and the future is not as bright as it used to be.
Okay, I am annoyed about that as well.
They say they are in the 99% that does not control the countries wealth.
Right there with you, guys!
Now we come to the parting of the ways....
They want a free college education and/or for their college loans to be forgiven and wiped off the books.
Look, it is not my fault that you CHOSE to take out $186,000 in college loans to get degree in Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies and now can't find a job. (Seriously, I know this young lady that did this. She is an upper middle class white girl that continually tells black women "I KNOW your struggles!" Yeah, she has been smacked more than once.)
If they would consider carefully what the rewards are (financial and career-wise) of their education path, maybe they would make more sensible decisions.
They want their educations, housing, utilities, etc to be free.
Have these people never heard of a *vested interest*?
A vested interest is when you have worked for, or invested in, or somehow put in some effort in order to reap rewards. You value whatever you have invested time/money/effort in MORE because of the time/effort/money you invested.
If things are just given to you, they have less value and are usually treated that way. Look at government housing projects, for example.
Remember your dad screaming at you to turn out lights when you left the room? As teenagers, most of us thought "What the heck is Dad getting so upset about? It's just electricity!" Yeah...and Dad paid the bill, we didn't!
These people want the taxpayer to be Dad. To pay ALL their bills so they can have a lovely, carefree life where they are free to be creative and "find themselves".
Also, from looking on their web pages and online chats and such, they don't think anyone should be able to own property.
That's right, they want to do away with private property. They seem to feel that NO ONE has a right to own property. That ALL property belongs to EVERYONE.
Well, okay you people, try coming on MY property without my permission! Gonna get real bad real fast!
Look, I am one of the 99%.
I don't own any stocks or bonds. Not a trust fund baby (as some of them are!) and I work damn hard for anything and everything I get.
I never expect to get rich. The best I hope for is to have a little farm to raise my goats and chickens, maybe a cow and a pig or two someday. A garden to feed my family.
A porch to sit on to watch the sunset.
And to know I earned it all myself.
I don't understand them, and I doubt they would ever understand me.