Monday, October 24, 2011

Rebels In Search of A Cause

Not surprisingly, over one third of the Americans support the Occupy movement according to a Huffington Post poll, and why not? Americans are sick and tired of being sick and tired of a broken politicial and economic system which appears to be dominated greedy corporate bosses; the nasty one percenters. Of those surveyed, the majority were Democrats (64%), followed by Indies (22%) and Republicans (14%). But, before they start burning the likes of Murdock and Trump in effigy or reciting Sergi Nechayev's "Revolutionary Catechism ", I think the Occupy movement might want to take a step back and reevaluate for a moment.

There's no doubt that greed and corruption runs amuck on Wall Street, the banking industry and plenty of other industries. But, greed ain't doing too shabby on Main Street either. No one forced the tens of thousands of homeowners to jump into mortgages they knew they couldn't afford (granted, some were mislead by some crooked mortgage lenders), but that doesn't waive our own responsibility for knowing our personal financial situation. No one made thousand upon thousands to run up debt on credit cards they knew they couldn't afford., or for that matter, buy the latest gadgets, vacations or whatever. To be sure, I'm not letting the Lehman Brothers' or Goldman Sachs' of the world off the hook, or even Obama for bailing out the rich crooks while leaving Main Street largely high and dry.

What I am suggesting, however, is that we are responsible for keeping our own financial houses in order. No one is going to do that for us (not should they), although I'm sure some government bureaucrat somewhere is hard at work trying to figure out how government can. What I am hearing out of the Occupy movement right now is that someone else is somehow responsible for their troubles when, in fact, there is plenty of blame to go around. If we truly want to fight back against the one percent, our best weapon is using financial commonsense such as buying within our financial means. Don't incur debt unless you're able to pay it off within 90 days...tops. Second, we need to buy American every chance we get. Odds are that it's not going to be that much more than something made overseas, and the job you're helping to keep in America might just be yours. Buy local. If you can't, buy regional. If that doesn't work, buy national, and as an absolute last resort, buy globally.

With that said, the Occupy movement needs to focus. It has no leadership and no sense of direction. This is what ultimately imploded the "old" Left of the 60's and 70's. Historically, the lack of direction has lead to the failure of many a Leftist movement whereas the Right, though usually smaller in number, has tended to be better organized and focused, and, thus more successful. They need to redirect their attention back on Washington. They are the ones who make the rules that allow the one percenters to do what they doing. How about an election cycle where no one votes for incumbents just to shake things up? How about demanding that every candidate you support term limits. If they renege, take them to court, start a recall campaign, or protest at the offices, in their neighborhood, and in front of their home. The Occupy movement also need to take into consideration what is "greed" and what creates growth (ie: jobs). Not everyone who is wealthy is a "fascist tool" as I recently heard someone call a company CEO.

There is no doubt that our political system is broken, as is our economic system. Perhaps they're broken beyond repair. But before we tear it asunder, we need to have something to put into its place. Like them or hate them, the Tea Party came together with clear vision of what they wanted and to accomplish their goals. As a result, the Tea Party has achieved many of their objectives and is still evolving and growing. Perhaps it's time to address an entirely new tax code or increasing government restrictions based on company size (small companies = few restrictions. Large multinational companies = heavy restrictions). Maybe require all meetings with corporate lobbyists to be made public; no corporate money in public campaigns; mandatory waiting period of 5 years before an ex-government official can become a lobbyist. Unless the Occupy movement can decide what it wants to be when it grows up, they'll burn brightly before fading into yesterday's news.

If you would like to read the results of poll mentioned above, here's the link to the Huffington Post article:

While you're at it, I recommend you read this article on the Occupy movement from the National Post as well:

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