One of the two identifiable hot-button issues among the “Occupy Wherever” crowd is that the US jobless rate is too high. The thinking apparently goes like this:
- There are too many people out of honest work.
- Those out-of-work people have grown stressed and tired and restless.
- They and their allies decided to camp out in financial centers across the country in large numbers to protest … something. The failure of nearby pedestrians to hire them, I guess.
Can you spot any problem with that logic? I can. If I had to pick someone the country can and should hold personally responsible for the underperformance of the US economy, it wouldn’t be the financial sector, or some convenient parody of it labeled “Wall Street” or “Corporate Greed.” It would be, as it has been for over two centuries, the President of the United States.
Barack Obama has never really grasped the central premise of a free-market economy (competition), and as a result his domestic “leadership” on economic issues is as bankrupt as any company that has tanked on his watch. But … are the protesters gathering in huge numbers in front of the White House to protest the Hoover-like economic prospects the Obama Administration has produced? No. They are, by and large, fans of the Democratic Party, and vice versa, and they want to create bad guys for the run-up to the 2012 election. So they have taken to the streets.
The second (vaguely) comprehensible “hot button” issue for the protesters is the “system’s” built-in economic inequality. This is the old “haves” and “have nots” argument, which may sound powerful and compelling, particularly if you’re someone who is struggling during tough economic times. Inequality seems like a great reason to protest and “shut down the system” … until you check the history books. That’s when you realize that earlier generations have tried rallying around this same dead-end proposition any number of times. It didn’t make any sense in 1968, or in 1930, and it doesn’t make any sense now.
Why not? Because we don’t live in a country that promises economic equality to its citzens. That is not who Americans are as a people. You know what else? I don’t want to live in a country that promises its citizens economic equality … and neither do you, if you stop to think about it. Do you really want our goverment to promise people what government promises in North Korea or in Cuba? Sometimes, though, it seems like President Obama does want to promise people that … or at least make people think he’s promising that. At any rate, he has failed to condemn the Occupy Wall Street movement, and that, in my view, is irresponsible.
If you are pissed off at the economy, you should be taking to the streets. But you shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street. You should be heading for Washington. And you should be occupying Obamaville.
PS: Last week, I received this anonymous message, which beautifully sums up the problem of making “Wall Street” the enemy. It was originally circulated in April 2010 has now gone viral again.
We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, it’s not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.
Well now the market crapped out, and even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.
Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.
For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.
So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.
The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.
We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?