So I’ve always had a problem with people who simply complain about things, without ever offering workable solutions. Bitching about shit is the easiest thing to do; coming up with solutions, that takes actual work.
Back in my corporate days, my employees knew that they weren’t allowed to come to me with their problems if they hadn’t at least come up with some ideas for solutions to those problems. Generating solutions, in fact, was basically their job description.
So, by now we’ve all heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and how they represent ‘the 99%’, those Americans who are not in the top 1% of income earners. They are protesting against a variety of issues, such as income inequality, corporate greed, government bailouts, the cost of education, the housing foreclosure crisis, the availability of healthcare, taxes, capitalism, etc. After a couple of months of protesting, there is still no unified list of demands, so depending whom you ask, you may get a different list of grievances that the list above.
I get it.
The economy sucks. The poverty rate is climbing. Unemployment is high. People are losing their homes. The government bailed out big corporations and didn’t bail out the little guy.
I get it.
And I respect anyone’s right to peacefully demonstrate against perceived injustice.
Just please stop insinuating that you represent me.
I’m not in the top 1% of income earners in this country, so obviously I’m in the bottom 99%. But the Occupy Wall Street protesters do not represent me, nor most of the other 99%ers that I know.
I’m not saying that I disagree with everything they’re protesting about. That’s not the point. They have some valid points. But, they’ve also made some statements that I think are horseshit.
After two months, they still don’t have an actual list of demands or ideas for real, workable solutions (redistributing wealth, changing our economic model, taxing the rich, and other rallying cries are just that, rallying cries, not solutions), so you have to search to see what they’re about. But, if you go to the web site of the New York City General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement (the de facto head of the movement, whether they like it or not), they do have what they call their Declaration.
This Declaration is basically a list of all the evil things corporations do and have done. And here is where the movement loses a lot of credibility with me. They talk in absolutes. I hate that. They make no distinctions, and imply that ALL corporations do these things. That is horseshit.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of bad corporations out there. Monsanto, RJ Reynolds, ConAgra, etc. I’m pretty sure the day you accept a position as a corporate attorney or public relations spokesperson for Monsanto that they prepare a special spot in hell for you.
But you know what? Evil corporations are probably the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of companies out there are smaller operations that you and I have most likely never heard of. Hell, I’m an owner of one LLC (limited liability corporation) and a partner in another. And I’m pretty sure that me and my companies have never committed any of the acts that OWS labels as “facts” and attributes to all corporations.
I’m in the 99% but Occupy Wall Street does not represent me. So please, OWS, stop saying you are the 99%. You’re not.
Feel free to demonstrate. Free speech is your right. But camping out in parks across the country isn’t really a solution, is it? If you want to effect real change, come up with a real solution. For instance, don’t like money in politics? Vote out all of the jackasses (they’re on both sides of the aisle) in Washington. Create a movement behind a slate of candidates that will actually work to accomplish that. Don’t think it’s possible? Look what the Tea Party did in the last elections.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~Sun Tzu
Guess what? The 1% only has 1% of the vote no matter how much money they have.
Again, I know the economy sucks and we have serious problems in this country. But, do something more than simply protesting. If you’re not going to even try to offer solutions, then all you’re ever going to be doing is camping in a park.
Either way, please stop saying you represent me. You do not represent the 99%. Some fraction of it, absolutely.
But not 99%.
And not me.
Sorry, couldn’t resist.