For The Common Good

by Steve on November 3, 2011

After some spirited debate on Facebook regarding 99:1, OWS, and redistribution etc, I decided I ought to do some research and find out what these campers are all about. Turns out they’re mad about a lot of things, primarilly corporate greed, and feel generally entitled to take what they feel are ill-gotten gains by the 1% of the population smart enough to leverage their money and time. While reading through the OWS confusion you get a sense of a movement that is looking for direction and mobilizing for the sake of proving itself capable of doing just that. Sort of a “Okay, we’re here, now what?” attitude or “Ready, fire, aim.” They talk of holding general assemblies in the park and passing resolutions yet nobody elected or appointed them.

I had some ideas bouncing around the cranial but they collided and fizzled. Then while enjoying sunrise coffee I found Lex had already laid it out:

Margaret Thatcher once said that the problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. The Greeks have followed that aphorism to its logical terminus, but we ourselves have not, not yet. The Grecian formula could be instructive to the Occupy Wall Street loons, whose policy preferences, to the degree that they can be discerned at all, are to reject the qualities which once made this nation great in favor of those which are tearing Greece apart. A good lesson indeed, if only they had the wit to attend.

Yes, exactly.

Just in case you make the mistake of not clicking through to Lex’s full post, here’s a comment that’s a must-read:

It seems that the common concepts are that:

1) Purely by being alive you are entitled to shelter, clothing and food.
2) If you have gone to school and earned a degree and “done everything right” you are owed a job sufficient to fund a middle-class existence.
3) “the rich” have gotten that way by cheating.
4) “the rich” have enough money to fund point 1 for everyone.
5) “the rich” should therefore have that money taken from them to accomplish point 1.

My answers:

1) My father told me at an early age that no one owed me a thing and that I needed to earn what I got.
2) Bad things happen to good people. That will never change. No matter what you do, you are guaranteed nothing – and that doesn’t mean it’s anyone’s fault, or that you have a moral claim, even with the consent of the majority, to take money from me to solve your problems.
3) Some of the rich HAVE gotten that way by cheating. That doesn’t mean that they all have, or that it’s properly a default presumption.
4) No, they don’t.
5) Not unless they cheated, and not without due process to determine that.

{ 1 comment }

SoCal Pir8 November 4, 2011 at 11:57

Further on pt. 2, just what degree did they earn? What bill of goods were these guys sold? There are too many degrees out there that have no economic value, read no possiblity of job outside of the education field and for the most part those jobs are held by the same people who sold them the goods. Back in the day, jokes were made about football players and underwater basket weaving. Well today’s equivalant is gltg studies, women studies, african-American history just to name a few off the top of my head.

There’s a parallel here I think with the housing bubble. These students were “advised” to go down this path and then told they could get student loans cheap. On graduation they find out just how unmarketable, useless their new degrees are. Really not much different then being given a home loan w/o the verified income to be able to make the payments.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: