Archive for October, 2011

Get A Job…But Where?

October 14, 2011

The “Occupy Wall Street” Protests sweeping the country are a fascinating, hypocritical, train wreck of mixed messages.  I’m not sure exactly what it is that they are trying to do. I get the “we are the 99%” part.  The 1% of the country that makes an obnoxious amount of money basically controls the government.  But the scary part is that that 1% of the country supplies millions of jobs to people.  We are literally stuck in this vicious capitalist system and there is no one to blame but ourselves–all 100% of us.

The jobs that these corporations provide for us allows us to accumulate stuff.  Do we really need all this stuff?  Probably not.  But every time we buy another pair of shoes, or download yet another song off iTunes, we are supporting this capitalist system, and therefore we are supporting jobs.  Of course, though, many of these jobs we are supporting are overseas since the smart, albeit greedy corporations outsourced their jobs so that they can lower the price of what they are selling and make even more money.

From the pictures I’ve seen of the occupy protests, many of the protests literally look like they have nothing else better to do than camp out for weeks on end protesting the greed of Wallstreet and Washington, but with no clear plan on how to do it.  In other words, who else has the time to do this?  The unemployed.  No one with a job would actually have the time to devote 24/7 to this movement.

Hence, this movement looks like a protest of the disenfranchised, the ones who have not bought into this capitalist system that provides everyone with the OPPORTUNITY to make something of themselves.  Or, the ones who are too lazy to seize this opportunity, and instead what the rich people to subsidize their lifestyle.

What gets really confusing is when the unions and politicians decide to support it.  Do they even really understand what they are supporting?  What gets downright hypocritical is when the STARS decide to support it.  Like seriously?  What do these multi-million dollar stars know about the 99%? They are the ones on Cribs and other reality shows showing off all the stuff they can afford to buy but don’t really need.  If the protesters were really serious about their message, then they would throw dirt at these stars, politicians, and unions that decide to join them in solidarity.

Stars, politicians, and unions are all part of the CAPITALIST system of our country. Thus, the protesters who are advocating for the REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH should not be excited when the stars show up.  And the stars should know better themselves–the protesters want to take what they worked so hard to earn.  They are the last people who should be supporting the protesters.

If, though, the protest is about something else, like saying things such as the government needs to stop being run by corporations, AND people will no longer vote for anyone bought off by these corporations, well that then is a step in the right direction.

If people start to demand that our government works for us, and perhaps, that the government starts to levy huge taxes on U.S. corporations that outsource jobs, then just maybe, the protesters are moving the country in the right direction.

On another note, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain had something blunt to say about the protesters–“If you don’t have a job, and are not rich, blame yourself!”

He’s partly right.  We live in the land of opportunity.  Go to college, become a medical doctor, engineer, or lawyer.  Don’t go to college, but be like Steve Jobs.  Innovate something that people need.  Start your own business.  All of these paths could lead you to great riches.

And certainly please do blame yourself if you go to college, major in something like history or women’s studies, and find yourself with no job upon graduation.  Or if you do find a job as a teacher, realize you are never going to be rich.  No one to blame but yourself.

But here’s where Cain gets it wrong–what happens if you go to college, major in engineering, and STILL can’t find a job because that damn corporation decided to outsource the engineering jobs to India?  You did everything right.  And the country is to blame for outsourcing those high-paying jobs overseas just so they can make more money.

Greed will be the downfall of the United States.  Thank god that at least some Americans have decided to no longer be apathetic about it, and are now making sure their voices are heard in these occupy protests.

I, though, lack the desire to join these protests.  I’m too selfish and materialistic to really care about changing the world.  In other words, I’m like the majority of America, too caught up in their own lives, being part of this capitalist system, to really care about doing something about it.

So when those occupy protesters hold up signs that say we are the 99%, don’t believe them.  98% of America ain’t there.