I CAN’T IDENTIFY WITH THE OCCUPIERS

November 25, 2011

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The “Occupy Wall Street” movement and the “99% vs 1%”  mantra has really started rankle me to the point of needing to say a few words about it. I have avoided it simply because I viewed it as a contrived political movement of useful idiots who find it easier to destroy wealth and success instead of attaining it for themselves. These people are creating drama and news that the Machiavellian politicians use for their own agendas.

Now for how I really feel about it…

THE 99% AND THE 1% DON’T EXIST

I am sure that there will be people who will read my thoughts and think that my view is limited and narrow. This is deliberate as I disagree with premise of this movement on a fundamental level that transcends the politics and hoopla.

It’s not that I can’t see there are injustices in the world committed by elitists and they get away with it. It’s not that I can’t see there is unbridled corporate greed. It’s not that I can’t see the political and business leaders who are making bad decisions that affect the rest of us.

I know there is a need for change and people need to be held accountable for what they are doing. But I cannot identify with the occupiers themselves or as they see and do things.

In my mind, there is no 99% that has been beaten down, and there is no 1% that have everything. Do the insanely rich and super successful own the patent on wealth and success?

The straws being grasped at here don’t even exist.

I know a few very successful business men who might be lumped into that 1%. I know some who are salt of the earth and work hard for what they have.They too have problems that money can’t fix just like anyone else.

I have the same struggles that the supposed 99% or anyone else has for that matter. But I am not waiting for someone to fix my problems, and my troubles are not because the so called 1% has taken everything or is conspiring to hold me down.

My life as it is today is the sum result of my decisions.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Blaming the supposed 1% for my every failure and loss is to assign them a power over my life they do not have. If they truly had this power, then I would have to give them the credit for my successes as well. You can bet if this were the case, I would be leading the revolution.

The Occupy Wall Street folks frame this as if the supposed “1%” have taken all the money and opportunity and there is nothing left for us “peons” to do but to demand what they have.

It is not a zero-sum game. There is more success and wealth being attained today than any other time in history.

ENTITLEMENT

I can’t get on board with the “occupiers” who seem to have an entitlement attitude. What I perceive is an attitude that those who have it, owe it to those who don’t. Somehow the government or somebody has to do something about all the inequities we see.

Since we know there is nothing stopping you or me from getting a job or starting a business- even in this economy; I have to ask what is stopping the occupiers from doing something to fulfill their own dreams and have their own successes?

That is still possible, though more challenging. I am not living my dream yet, but I am still working at it.

Those who are camping out in the various cities to make their protest known are eventually going to finish up at some point and go home. And when they do, nothing will change for them, even if the whole world changed. Each person will return to where they came no different than when they left in the sense of taking control of their own destiny instead of protesting for a hand out.

There are people who owe me money for work I have done. There are people who have money that I have invested with them and are not producing as they promised.

You know what?

I am moving forward with my plans. I can make more money, I can create more business, and I can come up with new ideas.

But I can’t get back my time.

This OWS movement is a lot of people wasting a colossal amount of their time and the time of others being a public nuisance.

Didn’t Gandhi say to be the change you want to see in the world? These people are not being the change they want to see, in many ways they are perpetuating what they claim to be against.

A REFLECTION ON US

The “occupiers” complain about big business, corruption, capitalism and what not. They seem to be pointing finger at all the wrongs and injustices they see. Truth is all of us have a hand in whatever good or bad we have today as individuals and as a society.

Millions of people with their money helped shape businesses and markets into what they were and what they are now. With our money we  determine who makes it and who doesn’t in business.

We have a voice that can be heard.

I frequently hear people discuss how sports figures make millions for passing the ball, and yet teachers barely make ends meet teaching our children. That comparison exists because there is a large group of people who place a high value sports and the entertainment sports provides to the tune of millions and billions.

Whose fault is that?

The players? Team owners? Merchandisers? Ticket sellers?

No.

We cannot blame the market and those who sell us what we want. We created the demand to see talented athletes throw balls and beat the snot out of each other. There would be far more money in education or other markets if we weren’t so entertainment-minded.

Whatever you see that is right or wrong today in business and the market place is a reflection of us as a whole. Business in any form cannot exist without our money and support.

The free market is collectively a reflection of our values, ethics, and morals expressed through money and patronage.

DESTROYERS OF THE MIND

The occupy movement is about planting meritless ideas in your mind. They are trying to seduce you with the idea that you are not responsible for your failures. They want to you believe your lack of success is because the “1%” aren’t giving you your cut.

I don’t buy it.

The occupy mentality is really the victim mentality. It is about dumbing down hard/smart work, being disruptive, excusing bad behavior and negating the effects of poor choices.

The various reports of flag burning, bad hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, theft, rape, vandalism and other nonsense tells me what I need to know about the content and character of the movement itself and the politicians who support it.

There is nothing pretty about anger, jealousy or envy and yet that seems to be what is driving the OWS movement.

GIVING AWAY FREEDOM

Society at large is playing into the hands of the political elite who use populist rhetoric and divisive agendas to conquer and divide.

When I see Obama embracing the OWS movement, I see more freedom slipping away.

When I see people running to the government or other entities when they want or need something, I see more opportunity slipping away.

When I see people put their hopes in “screwing the rich“, I see more enslavement.

This post isn’t meant to be political, the point was to convey we can be better for ourselves.

There are more than 1% who have done well for themselves. We should strive to join that 1% or whatever the number is instead of trying to tear it down as the OWS movement wants to do.

IN SHORT

I refuse to be a victim.

Occupy Wall Street is the poster child for victimhood.

If there is a businesses doing things I don’t like, I do business with someone who is doing something I like. If I make a mistake, I learn from it and move on. If people get in my way, I decide if its worth the hassle to go through them or to go around.

I make my way and at the end I reap what I sow.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this. I know this issue is a bit of a live wire, keep the comments civil.

Post by Chris Harris @ Between the TemplesImage credit: cadillacdeville2000

{ 4 comments }

Richard November 26, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I wouldn’t say that the demarcation between the ultra rich and the rest of us don’t exist. However, the problem with the occupy movement is that they are unfocused in their goals. I’m not really sure what they stand for. Simply saying that they hate rich people isn’t really a good platform. Ultimately, I think that they are protesting the corruption of the ultra-rich greedy corporation, but they need to state that more clearly.

Chris Harris November 26, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Hi Richard,

I understand what you are saying… I don’t mean for my post to say there isn’t a group of the ultra wealthy who live in a world of money and power beyond our imagination. What is driving my thoughts is the attitudes and outcomes.

It is written that you will know a man by his fruit. The occupiers are not producing anything I want to be associated with or can support. Again, going by what I have seen and read.

To your point about goals and and being clear about what they are about; there is some of that. Its part of what is allowing politicians and financiers to jump on the bandwagon to co-opt and steer the movement to their advantage.

Even if OWS were crystal clear with goals, stats and facts, I am completely turned off by everything else surrounding their movement.

ella December 1, 2011 at 5:34 AM

There’s truth to what you’re saying BUt you’re not offering a solution. I totally agree with you that the people who consume are at fault of what’s basically being sold to them, ie the teachers vs sports stars example. But people are the product of their environment, to create a different picture than one that we see we need to change our values and the media channels that are influencing our values and that is in your hands and my hands so basically that’s the only free choice we’ve got to create an environment that will influence us to make different decisions and which will “reward” us for making these decisions…i hope you continue this dialogue on the blog :)

Chris Harris December 1, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Hi Ella,

I didn’t offer a solution simply because what I am expressing here is more about the attitudes and the underlying premise that are flawed. What you mentioned is what I am attempting to get at, the market is reflecting our values. Very few people are stepping back and really thinking about what they are doing. So many people are in a mindless rush to get to the next sports game, the next movie, the next party, etc.

Ah, there is so much more to say… but at the end of day its not worth anything if people have no desire to change themselves for the better.

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