Occupy Wall Street Is What Happens When Liberal Arts Majors Don't Have Jobs to Keep Them Busy

pic credit: Carwil via Flickr (love the guy texting on the side)

If you've noticed, I haven't touched the Occupy Wall Street protests not because I'm part of the media conspiracy of silence or because I'm siding with the bankers on this one but because I do not feel it is a genuine movement. I feel (and this - as with everything else I spout off about on a regular basis - is simply my opinion, take it or leave it) that what you have here are a bunch of Facebook generation liberal arts majors feeling left out of the global movement to overthrow our malevolent leaders and desperate for something to believe in. Something to twitpic. Something to fight against. Something to prove that they were more than just a bunch of spoiled rotten brats with few real skills and even fewer opportunities to improve the world they inherited from their parents.

Where were these people three years ago when we were marching against the Federal Reserve?

Now that this "group" has issued an official statement, I believe my opinion has been proven correct (shock that).

Here are just a few of the complaints written in their manifesto:

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

Hold it right there. Let's start with "stripping employees of the right to negotiate..." Most employees in America have the right to negotiate through at-will employment, which means if you don't like your job, how you are treated and/or how much you make, you can walk away and find another job. Truckloads of money, great benefits and four weeks of vacation each year are not a right, and it helps to put things in perspective. First world problems, people, just because you aren't making $75,000 a year fresh out of school does not an abused employee make. Get over it, you have to earn the perks in the real world, I'm sorry your philosophy teachers did not tell you this in college.

Second, the third point about consistently outsourcing labor is a direct result of the first. In some trades, unions are necessary but in most, unionizing only serves to "level the playing field," punishing hard workers and rewarding lazy ones. When this system is unevenly applied across the board, companies seek to cut costs by - duh! - outsourcing. So really, this is your fault. Way to go, kids, I bet "Patrick" in India thanks you for his call center gig.

The one that really irked me was "They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right." This is a joke, right? First of all, for the cost of a decent laptop and an Internet connection (or even for free using a library card), any human being in America is welcome to all the education in the world by doing their own educating. This is how your very own Jr Deputy Accountant learned all about endogenous firm entry and sticky prices and money multipliers (Lord knows public school wasn't going to do it). The Internet is a beautiful thing, and all of the world's collective knowledge resides inside of it, free to anyone who wants it, at any hour of the day. With it, I discovered Galbraith, von Mises, Friedman... and guess what? All it cost me at most was a few bucks to pick up some of their work used on Amazon. Amazing!

If you sign yourself into debt at 18, that is your fault, your responsibility and your will. Higher education is, in fact, not a right, in the sense that these kids think it is.

True story, my grandfather was a brilliant man who spent his entire life working in a factory. It wasn't that he wasn't smart enough to get a degree but that he just didn't have the opportunity to do so. Fresh out of school, he joined the Marines to fight in World War II, but the war ended and he got married, had a mess of kids and lived a reasonably comfortable middle class life. He provided for five children and a wife, owned a comfy but modest suburban home and died at the ripe old age of 82. THAT is living.

Did my dear old grandpa ever bitch that he got an unfair hand and no handouts? Yeah right. And he was a democrat.

Now, do I agree with the fundamental idea of a revolt against our keepers? Totally. Is the current system absolute corrupt bullshit? Completely.

If you still don't get my point, let's look at a few photos from the protest.

Bottled water? A talisman of capitalist piggery! And is that a McDonald's cup I see? Way to stick it to the man by putting money in his pocket!

What do we have here? Sony Vaio laptops, cell phones and a big ass container of Deli Cat, which is the most corporate, industrialized garbage you could possibly feed your cat (JDA's cats eat only Wellness and raw food like bacon and chicken livers). Oh, and of course a cup of McDonald's coffee - yum!

Skippy peanut butter and Nutri-grain bars? Fuck, talk about corporatism.

The AP sees right through it, writing:
The dozens of people in tie-dyed T-shirts and star-spangled underwear have been camped out in a granite plaza in lower Manhattan for more than a week — and show no signs of going away.

They sleep on air mattresses, use Mac laptops and play drums. They go to the bathroom at the local McDonald’s. A few times a day, they march down to Wall Street, yelling, “This is what democracy looks like!”

It all has the feel of a classic street protest with one exception: It’s unclear exactly what the demonstrators want.

Well I sure hope they figure out what it is they are out there fighting for (or is it against?) while using their bank debit cards to buy cups of McDonald's coffee and pounding away on their MacBooks. This anti-bank capitalist pig will be happily sitting this one out from the comfort of her Secret Lair, also pounding away on her MacBook, sipping free trade Nicaraguan coffee made with good old DC water.

Someone call me when we're ready to have a real uprising, otherwise I'll be over here camped out in front of my big screen TV.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


tsada kay said...

Stalin's cat ate Deli-Cat.

True story.

Anonymous said...

you don't get it do you ? this is about wall street and other wealthy interests corruption and subversion of our government ! Dems and GOP/TeaParty are all guilty of selling themselves to serve those that finance their elections ! Getting big money out of the election process would be a great start to saving this country. Then maybe there would actually be some progress on solving the multitude of problems we face !

In Soviet Russia, cat wait months for Deli-Cat.


Actually I DO get it, that's why I was out protesting the Federal Reserve in 2008 when these kids were still getting saddled with college debt.

We are all guilty of participating in the fraud by continuing to elect the losers who sell their souls to the lobbying machine, and should be ashamed for keeping our heads in the sand and pretending like there even is a such thing as a two party system.

But hey, maybe I don't get it.

OldSouth said...

Preach, my righteous sister!

I use our little county library, and am stunned that (a) it is so well-stocked and (b) at any given time on any given day, it is almost empty. It sits in a prominent location, lots of free parking, walking distance from the local MickyDees.

College as a human right???--puhllleeeezzze! Don't get me started!

Take good care of your good self, nice lady. Keep in touch.

Noah Gender said...

HAHA BIG LYRICs! Well done on seeing through the hypocrisy of someof the protestors but I think it's unfair to label them all as McDonalds eating part-time protestors. Some of them clearly are, but we're all individuals.
Still,it's good for you to point it out, and you did it in such an amusing way. Also it's important to remember the whole system is corrupt so anyone, or any group willing to say "this has to change or this has to stop" gets my support as long as it's non-violent.

Anonymous said...

I started seeing the tweets and then the few news stories about "Occupy Wall Street." I kept wondering what they had against Wall Street - I mean, it's just a street! - and if they didn't realize it's already occupied by businesses and the people who work in them.

Thanks for confirming my suspicions that they are basically just protesting that the world is unfair and don't have any specific demands. If they don't have specific goals, how will they know when they've succeeded and can go home?

Yeah, Noah, the system is corrupt. Which piece are we tackling today? Anonymous above hints at campaign finance reform. Is that what this is about?

There's blather about student loan debt - which is admittedly a fucked up hamster wheel situation - but what's the solution? Do we eliminate student loans as an option so no one's in debt from them? (This is OK with me since my parents scrimped and saved from my dad's $18,000-a-year union job to cover the full $100,000+ of my private school tuition.)

I grew up union. I've been in a union that didn't serve me. I'm now a freelance writer and own an S corp. I've worked for big companies and bank with a big company. I attended a union rally back in April, where I cheered both the right to unionize and maintaining favorable corporate tax laws.

Unless you're ready for bloody revolution, it won't work to demonize the people with the money - the employers. Some of them are greedy assholes, sure, but most of them want to do the right thing - as long as they see the upside for themselves. OWS, what is that right thing you want them to do? Where's the upside for them?

One last bit before I leave off my rant and return to my organic, fair trade Nicaraguan coffee from Target (made with Brita-filtered water): Stop saying, "Their whole bottom line is about profits." Um, that's what a bottom line is.