Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy What?

Occupy Wall Street and my own city's spin off, Occupy Austin have me a bit confused.  I get that people are upset by the giant corporations and wealthy people being wealthy and presumably getting tax breaks.  I get that Greed is NOT Good.  But what exactly is the point?  United front, sure, but what's the goal? Socialism? Because banks and wealthy people aren't going to change because a bunch of broke people don't like them.  They might turn this into a money making marketing ploy.  But that's kinda what got them here to begin with. 

The motto for Austin is "Keep Austin Weird."  There are obvious plays on the fact that we're a "green enthusiastic" city and have a bunch of hippies and hipsters who think they are original and system bucking individuals.  But at its core it is about buying local and supporting small independent businesses.  The funny thing is, most of those small businesses would sell out or gladly become giant corporations if the opportunity presented itself. 

That's is the key to ending the corporate greed stranglehold into which we've found/willingly led ourselves.  The folks being interviewed at the local protest were people who "were taken advantaged of" by banks with their 0% interest mortgage loans with explosive increases afterward.  Others claimed to be hard working folks who couldn't make ends meet.  You know the 99% of us Americans who aren't wealthy. 

What I want to ask is, how many of them are willing to stop shopping at places like Walmart and buy local, American made products at a premium?  How bout Hollywood or the NFL?  Those folks make a fortune off of us and who protests then?  THEY DO!  Do you think people will turn their TVs off?  Everything could go back to the farm days when you lived on what you produced, that'd kill corporate greed.

I also want to know how many of the mortgage foreclosure "victims" actually took any action toward refinancing before their revolving interest rate kicked in.  I know the people who rent cars from my locations don't read the simple contract they sign, let alone the terms and conditions that goes along with it.  I can't imagine them reading, let alone understanding a mortgage. 

At some point people have to take responsibility for decisions and actions they make and do.  You can't cry fraud when you didn't do your part.  I rent a home, if I don't pay my rent, I get evicted that month!  If you don't pay your mortgage, you get to live rent free for many times over a year!  That's worth protesting.

But fine, if we must blame someone for our money woes, how bout we point the finger at the oil speculators in 2008.  When they doubled the price of gas and shut entire businesses and industries down with their greed, hundreds of thousands of people were laid off.  This affected every single job place. 

I'm not saying I don't want more money in life or that we should ignore shady crap that wealthy people do, but staging a protest with no way to judge the amount of change you're making is pointless.  At least when idiots from unions protest they get something, even if it's two steps back from where they started.  They are told that it's a good thing and everyone goes home with a false sense of accomplishment.  What will come of occupying anything with no agenda?

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