You have it rather correct here. (AMERICAN YOUTH – MOVEMENT, FAD OR VOICE? – Issue: 10/26/11.) In fact, if this Occupy thing has no effect on motivating and activating kids then nothing will. Let’s face it, in the ‘80s everyone was wrapped up in getting theirs. We had a nation full of Tony Montana Wannabee’s who believed like Tony Montana that “The World Is Yours.” Those folks are hard to mobilize against wealth and privilege when the people the left are trying to attract are hard at work amassing wealth and privilege. Then came the ‘90s and with jobs a-plenty and a stock market with no apparent ceiling to invest in, these kids were also trying to amass their fortune. Move into the 21st century and with low unemployment and easy home ownership, folks were once again trying to get theirs. These are hard people to convince that their friends and golfing buddies are all evil, greedy capitalists when they are doing the same thing.
Jump to 2011, unemployment is 9.2% and those jobs have dried up leaving kids with all sorts of time on their hands and now the cries of evil, greedy capitalist can actually grab traction with the disaffected and easily gullible looking for a scapegoat. The kids who would in any other period in our history be hard at work trying to amass their own wealth and privilege are now collecting 99 weeks of unemployment and watching someone else making their fortune and they are pissed. They now have the time and motivation to pitch camp in a park and take a dump on a cop car in the name of equality and fairness. The time is now for the left to destroy capitalism. If they fail here, it is done for them.
I’ve got news for the OWS and Tea Party crowds. You are not the 99%. The true 99% are too busy trying to work, clean house, pay bills, and get their kids to school, to camp out in a park in NYC, or attend a debate, or to organize ourselves. The truth is that the real 99% all want basically the same thing. Good schools for their kids, good roads, a decent wage, and a chance at retiring some day to whatever makes us happy. We feel that there should be a safety net for us if something goes awry, but our work ethic says that it should be a temporary net, not a life-long hammock. We don’t want the environment ruined, but we recognize that our consumerism requires compromise. Unfortunately, we’re too busy to engage properly in the political discussions that affect us the most, so we swallow sound bytes, and believe as we are told that there are fundamental differences between us that cannot be overcome. Republicans, Democrats, whites, blacks, Christians, Muslims, pick your demographic pair. The differences are not as dire as we are led to believe, but they are cultivated to maintain the stagnancy of the system, and the hierarchy of its leadership. Imagine if we voted as a block, one that stood for common sense, compassion with limits, and fiscal responsibility; a wonderful dream to work towards. Unfortunately, I have to let the dog out and get to bed, I have work tomorrow...
None of your advice is going to matter to the Occupy Youth when they have completely NO understanding of the difference between Capitalism (Open a store, if no one wants what you’re selling, close your store) and Crony Capitalism or “Crapitalism” as John Stossel calls it (Open a store, if no one wants what you’re selling but it fits nicely into The Government’s paternalistic agenda du jour, your store gets propped up with taxpayer money until it’s no longer politically expedient or you go bankrupt, your store goes the way of the hula hoop along with untold millions of our tax dollars). Until they understand that distinction and that they really should be “occupying” 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., they’re just a bunch of mindless puppets whipped into an eat-the-rich froth by Obama/Biden Inc. And you can thank that bastion of the left, our wonderful education system, for churning out such incoherent dumbasses.
I agree that petitions and lobbying mean much more than protests and parades. However, in this instance the Occupy Wall Streeters have changed the conversation. The newsies and talking heads and to some lesser extent the legislators have started talking more about joblessness than about the national debt. Protests can bring about real change by raising public awareness. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. would probably agree with me on this.
I am ready to march in rural Western North Carolina, as I cannot afford to go to NYC. Even though I am okay financially (so far anyway) the majority of those I know and care about here are so far underwater that they are focused on having food and heat this winter. These people were office managers, carpenters, builders, contractors, artists, store owners, teachers... you know, “regular folks.”
Who’ll join me? It’s not like most of us have anything else to do right now…lol
What is the average AGE readership of your stuff old man?
I LIKE THE MESSAGE. Not sure if any jobless 22-year-old is listening.
What I want to say is… take the job that is “beneath you,” pay some taxes, then complain… and I will listen.
Hey James – What happens when the Anarchists decide to join the Party?
The root reason for the Occupyers and the “99%ers: Gaze upon it if you dare. Maybe this will help make the danger of Fiat money clear. Imagine you and me are sitting across from each other. We create enough money to represent all of the world’s wealth. Each one of us has one SUPER Dollar in front of him. You own half of everything and so do I. I’m the government though. I get bribed into creating a Central Bank. You’re not doing what I want you to be doing, so I print up myself eight more SUPER Dollars to manipulate you with. All of a sudden your SUPER Dollar only represents one tenth of the wealth of the world! That isn’t the only thing though. You need to get busy and get to work because YOU’VE BEEN STIFFED with the bill for the money I PRINTED UP to get YOU TO DO what I WANTED. That to me represents what has been happening to the economy, and us, and why so many of our occupations just can’t keep up with the fake money presses.
James – the cause and solution to the world’s problems can only be found in the individual human heart. Not in legislation, not in protesting, not in using the system to your own advantage. I’ve said this before: When we individuals transform greed, anger and foolishness within our own hearts and lives first, without laying blame elsewhere, we will ultimately realize the kind of harmony, peace and quality of life envisioned by people around the world, both personally and as a society at large. All it takes is one person, one by one, doing his or her human revolution.
—Elizabeth Vengen Esq.
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus and Midnight For Cinderella.