Occupy Wall Street is scheduled to “sweep” through my city today. Yes, my blog is wading into the seas of current events for a moment. If you’re here to find out about writing and literature, ignore this post.
First of all, some questions for the protesters of Occupy Wall Street:
1.) Do you expect the government to solve all your problems? ‘Cuz they can’t.
Bad times and recessions do come, and there’s only so much a government can do about this. They’re not some magic fairy up there, waving their wands and granting “jobs for all.” If there ain’t no jobs, they can put policies into place to create more jobs, but you’re not going to get employed overnight. Not to mention, the government is not exactly swimming in a sea of cash right now.
To be even more cynical, even if they could, they wouldn’t. The influence of money is not going to disappear because the common people protest, especially if the government is strapped for cash. Like I said, I’m being cynical here – this is not a good thing.
2.) What kind of problems are we complaining about?
There’s people in this world who are far too busy surviving to go out and protest on Wall Street. They’re the ones making our shoes, our t-shirts, our cellphones, and living on a dollar a day, while we whine about not being able to afford university education. No, really, I’m not trying to minimize how miserable it is to be in debt or unemployed – but do you realize how much we already have to be able to complain about this kind of stuff? We’re in the richest 15% of the world, we shouldn’t forget that. If we raise our standard of living, are we willing to do that for everyone – for those who are below us economically – if it means we pay more for our laptops/coffee/chocolate?
Hey, I’m likely to be one of those university graduates without a job in a year or so, so I don’t mean to pretend our life is peachy. But while corporations exploit us, we’re perfectly willing to live off exploiting others as well, and we don’t like to think about that. That’s the way this miserable world works. 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I’m right with Occupy Wall Street on cutting down on corporate greed and injustice. I’d march right beside them to get rid of corruption in our governments. After all, we all should know by now that paying a CEO billions of dollars does not guarantee results (much like paying a hockey player a truckload of dollars to play for your team does not guarantee he’ll have a good year with your team.) And no one should be able to lead the government around by the nose just because they’re able to afford three mansions and a Ferrari.
We all just need some perspective on this. First of all, what exactly do we think is a solution? Second of all, are we just being self-centered North Americans blind to the good we do have (relative safety and security with no pressing wars, and a certain amount of social security in place)? If we’ve got some good answers to that, then by all means, go full speed ahead. Have a plan, have perspective, and demand change to right the wrongs.