Over the past month or so the “Occupy Wall Street” events have been front and center in the media. Just the fact that the liberal media is reporting these things with something close to compassion made me suspicious.
Understand this – I’m a fairly conservative individual; not staunchly conservative (like Rush Limbaugh), and maybe even a little more of a Libertarian leaning than I’d care to admit. I believe that everyone in the US decides how to live their own life. None of us should be relying on the Government for handouts, yet we have Government-funded Retirement and Medical (Social Security & Medicare), and if the current administration gets their way, Medicare will become Over The Top, Super Duper Medicare On Steroids.
In my humble opinion, the Social Security Administration should not exist. This is the largest Ponzi scheme in history (http://tiny.cc/4bz4m). We’ve been paying into this since the 1930’s, and it now pays out more than it takes in (http://tiny.cc/fl9hn). When there were 10 – 20 taxpayers paying in to Social Security and fewer living to ripe old ages it was affordable. Now, thanks to longer lifespans and a smaller labor pool in comparison it’s no longer affordable. Consequently, those that will be paying in for the next 30 years will receive the least in benefits. By doing the math you can see that the SSA will be broke, sooner or later. If the gov’t decides to continue it so that those who pay in to SSA today don’t get screwed when it becomes their turn to collect, that money has to come from somewhere or someone – and we are the somewhere or someone. That means more taxes, and more taxes, until our employed population once again outweighs – by 10 to 1 or better – those who collect Social Security. In the meantime, we’ve become a generation of people with their collective Hands Out.
So, what has this to do with “Occupy Wall Street,” and the ever-growing movement in the US? First, keep in mind that “Occupy Wall Street” didn’t even get its start in the United States. It came from Canada!! (http://tiny.cc/hs1dv), from the Adbusters Media Foundation (http://tiny.cc/40ts2), an organization against consumerism (http://tiny.cc/jxvor). Consuming is what America does best, and, looking at myself and other Americans, perhaps more than we should. This is why we have Starbucks, McDonalds, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sears, and every auto dealership in the world available just a short distance from even the most remote town in the US. It is the dollars that we spend that allows McD’s to advertise on their storefronts that “Billions Have Been Served.” Every individual – even the homeless – have cellphones, PCs, televisions, and microwave ovens. Every individual at driving age has a car. We spend, even when we don’t have the money. We spend, and when we max out the plastic, we get more plastic. So, I can sort of understand part of the Adbusters philosophy, but, like many activists, I think they go too far.
You have to understand that sometimes when people stand up against the “System” that they do that because they see others doing it and figure that it must be right. During the civil rights and anti-Vietnam protests in the ’60s there may have been real justification, and a feeling of right and wrong. Segregation was “wrong.” The Vietnam war was “wrong.” Of course, you can’t have a protest without someone else having an opposing view. Today, the “System” being protested is Capitalism. Since FDR brought us “The New Deal” in a failed attempt to govern the US out of the Great Depression, we’ve continued sliding down the slope where we become dependent on the government for more and more, and ourselves less and less. It wasn’t until we had to manufacture ships, planes, and weapons like crazy, because we found ourselves at war in the Pacific, as well as the Atlantic, that the Depression died. We Consumed. Jobs were created to meet the demands, people found themselves employed, and able to buy STUFF that they couldn’t buy since 1933. People started having money to go to moviehouses, to see the newest moviestars, and to watch reels of How the Battle Was Going. We bought houses and cars, radios, clothing, food. We were worried about Our Boys Overseas, but not about how are we going to able to feed the family tonight… Government didn’t get us out of the Depression – World War II did that. Government can’t get us out this economic downturn that we’re having now – in fact, the more the current administration attempts, the more it backfires. Do we need a war? A big one? One where we get to make Lots Of STUFF, need to hire Lots Of People, Recruit Lots More into The Service? Restart the Draft? We wouldn’t want a Big War, involving nukes or anything like that – we just want something tidy that the Americans could rally around, become gainfully employed, and get patriotic again. Desert Storm did it, so did 9/11. Too bad that the “War on Terror” didn’t give us specific targets. We had to create them (Hussein & bin Laden).
War is Good for Business (http://tiny.cc/m5iia). Rule 34 of the Rules of Acquisition.
So, we’re in economic doldrums. The employment rate is hovering just below 10% nationwide, and we’re frustrated. The richest 1% of the population is richer than ever, while the 99% remaining aren’t. It isn’t that the 99% are worse off; some are, some aren’t, but they’re disgruntled, so spake the media. Here comes Adbusters, swooping down from the North, like a Canada goose migrating for the winter. They stir up trouble, claiming that Life Isn’t Fair, and that those Rich Bastages $houldn’t Be $o Rich, and They $hould $hare $ome Of That Wealth. And, frustrated Americans With Their Hands Out to the US Government, say, “Yeah, you’re right. Let’s have a sit-in, just like our parents did in the 60’s.” So they did, and it spread, and of course, violence broke out. And there’ll be more, because the media will focus on it. Quiet demonstrations do not get media attention. Loud, boisterous ones, with rocks, broken car windows, Fire, Explosions, Tear Gas! That’s what will make the news, and sheeple being sheeple, the violence in Oakland will beget violence in L.A., and there will be competition between media sources to find The Next Hot Spot, and on and on. This will stop when the media either gets bored with the subject, or Something Bigger comes along. Either way, the Occupy movement will wither and die. People will go back to work instead of trying to make trouble at Citibank. They’ll earn money. They’ll consume, and become, once again, The Good Little Capitalists that they always have been.
Capitalists are Not Evil (http://tiny.cc/b5wj3). My bank teller makes $20,000 a year. She’s a Capitalist, so am I, so is Bill Gates, so was Steve Jobs. If my teller had to pay 10% on her income taxes last year then that would have been $2,000. Bill Gates’ annual salary is about $8,000,000, and a 10% tax would cost him almost a million dollars ($800,000. http://tiny.cc/ttnsa). Whether or not he paid that much in income tax I don’t know, but I don’t believe that he should pay a higher percentage of his income than my teller. Defending him, though, is ironic, because he is one of Those Ungodly Rich Who Wants Higher Taxes Taken From those who make more than $200,000 a year (http://tiny.cc/xodr1).
If we, as a nation, expect that the wealthy should put a higher percentage of their wages into the pot, so to speak, then we are talking about redistributing the wealth. Now, if I were rich, and simply because I was rich, expected to donate gargantuan sums of cash to government services, I’d tell the US Government to go jump in the lake. It’s my money – I earned it (or inherited it, or one it in the lottery). However I got it I Went Out And Got It. I did not stand around With My Hand Out. Anybody who thinks that the Government should demand more from the Rich to Give back to society is a socialist.
Socialists are Not Evil either (http://tiny.cc/av6ob). Russia, North China, North Korea, North Vietnam are all examples of the Socialist ideology (http://tiny.cc/1msbb). Many of them are adopting Free Market (aka Capitalistic) tendencies now, though. Do we really want to be like them? Look at Greece. Their Government has paid so much out to the people in social services (healthcare, social security, etc) that the country as a whole, Has Their Hand Out (http://tiny.cc/aocmr).
So, going back to the Subject Of This Piece, “What Is Wrong With You People? Those of you involved in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and its off-shoots, believe that Capitalism is Evil, that Wall Street is a symbol of Evil Capitalism, and that Evil Capitalists should share their wealth. If you don’t believe that, and are part of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement then you’re just one of The Sheeple attending a Cause for the Cause’s sake.