As I write this column, scenes of chaos are being shown all across the United States of people fighting in the streets under the banner of “Occupy Wall Street”. If you have watched interviews with these people, they seem very confused about exactly what they are protesting. Many of them seem to believe that the wealthy in this country are somehow holding them back. They talk of “greed” and “power” and other buzzwords and phrases but when they are asked follow up questions they seem sadly uninformed. And most of these interviews are by the mass media that are trying desperately to make them look good. At the base of their complaints seems to be the feeling that it is the fault of the wealthy that the protestors lives are not better… Can that really be true? Let’s take a commonsense conservative view of the ideas they seem to be proposing.
One of the catch phrases that OWS (Occupy Wall Street) talks about is income disparity. This is simply a phrase used to describe the fact that different people make different amounts of money. But think about it. If you have the discipline to go to school for the first decade of your grown up life – don’t you deserve to earn more? If not, where would we get our doctors and who could afford to study long enough to become one?
Take the case of Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft. Gates is undeniably a wealthy man, but think of how his inventions have benefitted the world. Can we deny that his inventions have helped millions of people all across the globe? So when you think about it, the wealth of these folks is earned by the services they provide us. It is hard to come up with an example of unearned wealth. And remember, in the USA over 80% of our millionaires are first generation. In other words, they earned the money they have by providing a service or good that we were willing to buy! So while the top 1% may earn a lot, that is made up of constantly changing people, many of whom started on the bottom and worked their way up. I think they would argue their wealth was earned and not “stolen”.
Another of the catch phrases the OWS people use is “greed”. They often cite the “greed” of bankers. Again, let’s take a reasonable look at the issue.
There are many wealthy people in the American leftist movement. Why don’t they start their own ungreedy bank? Perhaps they could tell their investors that they would not foreclose on folks who could not afford to pay their bills. Of course, this would mean that the returns on their investments would be much lower than these other “greedy” folks. Think there would be many investors? And what about the “greed” of college students who borrowed millions of dollars of taxpayer money and now don’t want to pay it back? This action endangers the future of the college loan program and it’s availability for their younger brothers and sisters. Isn’t that a form of greed and selfishness?
And I have another question for the OWS crowd. Why is it that the wealthy actors, lawyers, currency manipulators like George Soros, and other groups, are never mentioned in the protests about greed?
Arguably many of these folks have far more unearned wealth than the hardworking folks that worked their way up the corporate ladder to wealth. Why are these protestors not over at the White House where recent events have shown that corporation after corporation that was run by our liberal President’s wealthy donors received huge sums of taxpayer money for their “green” businesses? Why are the protestors not at the homes of the liberal managers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that gave billions in taxpayer funded loans to homeowners with no job, no down payment, no credit history and ultimately caused the very problem these protestors claim to be so upset about? Why are they not protesting the liberal congressman that time after time blocked investigations into these very same companies that we are now struggling to bail out?
The sad truth is that we are seeing the coming of age of the most ignorant educated generation the world has ever known. Many of these newly minted college graduates from the time they were born have been protected from the hard truths of life. From indulgent parents who never told them no, to the soccer match that gave everyone a trophy for showing up; these folks have never had to face reality. In the real world, there is no free lunch. In the real world, if you don’t work hard you don’t get ahead. In the real world, a lot more is required to get ahead than just “showing up”. I fear for our country on so many levels when basic truths of life seem so foreign to our citizen’s experience.
Poor people are not poor because rich people are rich. Greed, envy and strife are not the building blocks for a more prosperous America.
I watched the self admitted communist Van Jones talk with admiration of the OWS protestors, and how they were speaking truth to power. Is this philosophy of something for nothing really truth? It is time those of us in the 99% who will be stuck with the bills from the wreckage caused by these ignorant OWS’ers rose up and threw them and their defenders out of our midst. It is time once again for adults in Washington who know how to say, “No”. Watch these protestors and their defenders in the halls of power. And when the 2012 elections roll around, throw the bums out! That would be speaking truth to power!