Regarding Occupy Wall Street…
I happened to know a person arrested during their efforts to occupy the Brooklyn Bridge, which got me thinking and hence my comments.
There is much more to this issue that these idealists fail to realize. Corporate greed (which they state as the reason for their actions) is not the sole issue here. You also have labor union greed (they want higher wages and benefits now, but fail to see the long range consequences of their actions) and politician greed (they must promise the world — and deliver — to get elected and reelected).
We, as citizens of the United States, are also part of the problem. We rarely stand up to the actions of our elected officials. It’s always the other district’s politician that should be defeated and not our own, because ours is doing such a good job.
We expect social security, but fail to see and admit that it is just a Ponzi scheme, as Governor Perry has stated.
If government workers expect a defined benefit for retirement, why don’t they pressure the politicians to fully fund the retirement when they hear it is underfunded (and, are they prepared to have their retirement cut due to the inability of politicians to properly fund)? On a similar note, why do we put up with politicians trying to reduce the benefits to workers, but failing to do anything about their own “Cadillac” benefit plans that we fund? Before they try to limit the benefits of the workers, they should cut their own benefit plan, like the recent action by the City of Orange.
So we have this corporate greed — that we allowed. Why did we bail corporations out? Is it because our politicians gave those companies the ability to do wrong in the first place? But then, can we really blame the politicians for the actions of corporations? Corporations should be able to choose right from wrong and if they decide wrong, then why should we be on the hook? Why did we allow their enormous salaries to continue? Is it because we the people had too much of our money in them? If that’s the case, why hadn’t we learned to diversify? Should we bail out the local mom and pop store because they planned wrong? What about real estate? Why the bailout? I don’t see the government coming to my aid to help me out with the losses I suffered from non-RE investments.
Labor union greed is also impacting us greatly and now coming to haunt us, with many politicians failing to do anything to address it because of fear (mainly the Democrats in this case). If you increase wages and benefits (emphasis on benefits), sooner or later you will have to adequately fund the retirement benefits promised. Government should not be allowed to underfund these benefits with the hope that higher investment returns will create future offsets. It’s just like government using overly optimistic revenue projects when budgeting, when common sense says those projections won’t ever be met).
Going back to the OccupyWallStreet rant, have you noticed that the pictures show mainly a younger crowd? Sure, you have some older people, but I wonder how many of those are receiving a stable government retirement? What about the celebrities that make their token visits? If they really cared, shouldn’t they be divesting themselves of anything to do with corporate and labor union greed? Are they going to stand up against the politicians (from both sides) that allowed all of this? (It’s interesting how they tend to stand up against Republicans, but tend to forget that Democrats are as MUCH to blame, even more so when it comes to labor union greed.)
Just some thoughts.
Very good point on labor greed. San Diego had its example of this back in summer of 2010 — Managed competition had failed, and Labor had the momentum to make some “controlled concessions” where they could have made a real effort to prolong their pensions with reform where they could write the terms. Instead they advocated Prop D, demand more from the taxpayers and try to keep the gravy train right on rolling at the same pace.
Regarding the youth:
1) Unemployment for people under 30 is much higher than the average. Maybe 20%.. (I”m too lazy to research). It gives them a lot of free time to mull about why they aren’t “making it” like previous generations.
2) With all of the movies out there with evil businessmen, all of the educators with a liberal agenda (from schools they recently graduated from), it doesn’t surprise me one bit that young people are on the wrong side of fiscal issues. “Blame big business” is the mantra of liberals for so long, when in reality this is not the root of the cause for their unemployment.
I wrote up my recap of Occupy Wall St yesterday: http://bit.ly/r6YqSW