A Young Man’s Perspective On These “Occupy” Protests

October 10, 2011 7:10 am

by Nathan · 50 comments

As most of the folks who are regulars probably know, I’m a young man. I’m a college graduate, hold a good job with a large corporation (of which, I am a stockholder as well), and pay my share of taxes. Did I get these one a silver platter bestowed to me once I became the age of majority? Nope. I worked hard for a degree that matched my talents as well as something that would be in demand. Many hours (and gallons of coffee) spent doing homework and studying for exams. If you can’t tell by now, I didn’t go to UGA.

I worked hard and competed in the open job market for my professional gig. I ended up being one of two hired before I graduated college. I guess that’s not “fair” to the other applicants who were qualified, but here’s a newsflash to my generation: life ain’t fair. We can’t expect the dice to roll in our favor all the time. It sucks when they don’t, but you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. It’s tough right now. The economy has taken up residence in the proverbial crapper it seems like, but I believe things will get better. I believe some of these folks are really and truly frustrated with the current situation, but I hope they will realize that they will have to plug away and continue to try.

Some of these folks are discussing the “evils” of corporate greed. Admittedly, there are evil and downright bad people out there, but I don’t believe it’s right to bemoan the fact that people who have talents are able to exploit those talents for profit…and succeed!  I don’t believe all those people are “evil”.  We live in a land of opportunity, and folks have a choice to make. They can either make a choice to advance themselves and ultimately society, or they can wallow in jealousy and contempt and stink up our public parks.

Personally, I hope they choose the former. Society and our olfactory senses will be grateful.

martha zoller October 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

Great Job, Nathan! Keep up the good work. My sons have all graduated from undergrad and two are pursuing advanced degrees and are working while going to school. My middle son, who is getting married this weekend, is a mechanical engineer and has gotten two good jobs since he’s been out of college. He is a “green” engineer and very conservative.

Martha Zoller

Toxic Avenger October 10, 2011 at 10:43 am

Ms. Zoller, would you then agree with Mr. Cain’s statement that effectively said that if you’re poor or unemployed, then you are the only person to blame?

Ken October 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

TA,

We’re all responsible for ourselves. It’s this belief that allows us to have a democratic republic. If we believe anything else, then we must believe a democracy or a republic cannot work.

And because Martha Zoller is responsible for herself, I’m pretty sure she will not comment on the statements of another person seeking office. And even if she believes exactly what Herman Cain believes, it is not a given that she believes she should make this a part of her campaign message.

Toxic Avenger October 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I don’t believe it’s illegitimate to ask a Congressional candidate her opinion, especially given that she gave one in her unprovoked statement. Excuse me for asking, but I appreciate your input.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Of course you have every right to ask. I just don’t know if you’ll get a direct answer.

Nathan October 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

Congratulations to your son and soon to be daughter-in-law!

Bridget October 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

As a young woman – I agree, Nathan. “We can’t expect the dice to roll in our favor all the time.” It’s amazing how lucky you can be … when you work. Life is a whole lot more fair for those who prove their worth by thinking for themselves and providing a needed service and value to an organization.

How ’bout we start a ‘Do It Better Than The Other Person and Occupy a Desk’ Atlanta?

Cassandra October 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

Nathan,

Your choices exemplify what America stands for – Education, hard work, luck, and Providence should and usually do pay good dividends. Making admirable choices shows you care enough about yourself, your family, to take a path that ought to lead to a good, prosperous, life. Who denies everyone the right to enjoy nice stuff, travel, and raise a family if you choose to do so. Good job so far!

Fast forward 35 years.

Assuming you are still making good decisions, your health remains decent, and you are looking at a nice ‘nest egg’ developed from years of savings. That’s where I am.

My frustration is that our entire economic system, which has enabled you and I to achieve the American Dream, is much like a freight train going off a cliff, at a high rate of speed. Our economic debt is crushing, and that alone will continue to drag down the economy. A strong economy is paramount; even though my Dem friends have good, righteous, and idealistic values, it takes money to live indoors and eat regularly.

We need you, folks like Martha and Bridget, to shout from the rooftops that laws like California’s Dream Act are as unsustainable as Credit Default Swaps, economic bubbles, Wall Street/Board Room shenanigans. Conservatives need to help make changes to the tax code to ‘enhance revenue’ without destroying the incentive to invest, spend, and prosper.

In less than a decade America will be less able to provide unborn generations the Dream we have achieved. We will either fail divided or succeed united. To me, it is that stark.

Reports show that consensus by the Super-duper Committee is not looking good. The ensuing 1.2T automatic spending cut trigger are not large enough to signal World financial markets that America is on a sincere debt diet. Couple that with the potential for a European debt crisis cascading into a worldwide Depression and folks like me are looking at a dismal retirement. Not fair, I made good choices, like you.

As for OWS, every grassroots effort, if truly pure and not an ‘astroturf’ movement, is a politicians best friend. Politicians love to find new voters, and grassroots provides that opportunity. That OWS chose not to let John Lewis speak diminished their credibility. OWS could have let Lewis speak and still avoid the appearance of being allied with any politician.

Toxic Avenger October 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

Wow, what an elitist thing to say. And I’m always told that liberals are the elitists…..

Nathan October 10, 2011 at 11:16 am

I didn’t realize that trying to be more self-reliant rather than government-reliant would be classified as “elitist”. I always figured being an elitist was someone saying “do as I say, not as I do” rather than “if I can succeed, I believe you can too if you just try.”

It must be a terrible thing for someone to believe that people have the opportunity to better themselves if they try and don’t give up if you believe the government is supposed to take care of you from cradle to grave.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Nicely done, Nathan.

Of course you must be elitist because if you’re successful you are a real-life counter-example of everything the Commies believe.

They believe: Mike check! MIKE CHECK! (Mike Check!) You think you did this on your own without the help of the masses who actually are the only reason you were able to learn to tie your shoes. This means you are ungrateful to the masses which are represented by the government. That makes you dangerous and; therefore, elitist.

Rick Day October 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Oh nicely done, Ken.

LOL @ “The Commies”. What is a commie to you, besides a convenience; an insulting label, a way to dismiss someone not ‘on your team’ also motivated to change the system? How can you even claim to interpret what someone else thinks, or what their values represent?

Why are you apologizing for corporate crime?

What does that quaint term even mean in the 21st century? It’s like… hand cranked ice cream. All about Labor.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Thanks, Rick.

I thought I was being nice when I capitalized “Commies”. Thanks for asking what a Commie is to me. I do have an answer.

Commies desire the destruction of all private property. Without private property the ability to provide for one’s family is entirely with those who control the means to production, which means the government. This means that people of strong opinions would be in danger. That’s you and me, Rick, and pretty much everyone else who posts on this site or even reads it. Leaning left won’t help you; ask Leon Trotsky – you could pick his brain.

What man would risk the government taking away his family’s government-owned living quarters, losing his right to purchase the only food available from the government-owned food store?

It amazes me that those who would curtail corporations have little fear of government. I can avoid Citibank, but I can’t avoid Uncle Sam unless I leave the country.

As to the Commies, they believe in group rights, not individual rights or individual opinions. They need a consensus without regard to the rights of the individual. The poor guy who wanted to apologize to John Lewis for turning him away got MIKE CHECKed into the ground by one of the leaders who apparently disagreed. All animals are equal, but some animals, you see, are more equal than others.

I don’t like Commies, Rick, because in their vast ignorance they want to take away my rights as a human being. I take exception to that.

Todd Rehm October 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Young Commies also think that by removing the basic economic equation of risk = reward and the individual profit motive we could still have iPhone and iPads but everyone could afford one. Wrong. We’d have the computing equivalent of a Lada automobile in any color you want as long as it’s proletariat beige.

They think you can have the good things in life like consumer products an organic milk but what you end up with is the spark of genius that is he best humanity can be getting ground down under an oppressive military state.

These young Commies haven’t seen that the logical end of their ideology is a long, dreary slog to an unmarked grave or a soylent green factory.

The only design genius who made anything worthwhile in the Soviet Union was named Kalashnikov, not Jobs. And for the genius that went into it’s design, the true geniuse of the AK-47 was that it could survive being handles by a dirty, unskilled permanent underclass and still function. More a result of lax manufacturing tolerances than great design.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Todd,

Three relevant quotes by one Edmund Burke:

For those who purport to represent the 99% and wish for sheer numbers to overcome the Constitution:

“It is said that twenty-four millions ought to prevail over two hundred thousand. True, if the constitution of a kingdom be a problem of arithmetic.”

On the deliberate confusion of asserted desires as rights versus real individual rights:

“In denying the false claims of right, I do not mean to injure those which are real, and are such as their pretended rights would totally destroy. If civil society be made for the advantage of man, all of the advantages for which it is made become his right.”

Finally, on the one thing that has united all Communist and Socialist Revolutions going all of the way back to the French Revolution:

“In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.”

They all wind up with innocent blood on their hands. The idiots with Che shirts should learn that little bit of history.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Rick,

I don’t apologize for corporate crime. It should be punished by law.

Labor is shovels, slow progress, low wages and backaches. Capitalism is back-hoes, faster progress, higher wages and the ability to invest.

The end of private property is the beginning of slavery.

Toxic Avenger October 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Elitism: The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.

You are saying you deserve favored treatment (i.e. jobs, salary) as a result of your intellect, and arguably other means. Note I didn’t pass judgment on whether being an elitist is particularly a bad thing, but I want to point out the foible in the GOP talking point of the “liberal elitist” when you then say things like this. Elitism goes both ways, buddy.

Charlie October 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

At which point I’ll call B.S.

It’s clear from his post that he finds causation between his effort and his current employment and salary, not because he was born smart and thus should get to have new Apple products supplied to him so he can crap on police cars in public parks.

At some point, we’re either going to decide in this country whether we believe in equal opportunity or equal outcome. When you attempt to define someone who prudently used the opportunities presented to him as elitist, then you’re effectively making the counter point that effort doesn’t matter. It’s all really luck, and despite our individual decisions, we should all be given a blue ribbon and a hug for finishing.

I think Nathan has presented and defended his points well. And I think you have a huge, jealous chip on your shoulder.

Toxic Avenger October 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Re-read what I said. I never passed judgment on the concept of elitism. I simply pointed out that y’all conservatives can’t sit and claim “liberal elitism” without looking inward. I’m not speaking of any specific moron who takes a dump on a cop car. I was moreso trying to undermine a general conservative talking point.

I’m not going to take this chance to discuss what is ultimately a complex and entangled issue that you synthesize as “opportunity v. outcome.” That would take far too long, and does not belong on a damn blog.

Charlie October 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I read what you said. You said he was elitist, and that he felt he deserved favored treatment. You further mis-state what he said by claiming that he said he deserved this special treatment which he didn’t claim he was entitled to because of his intellect, which he also didn’t claim.

Damn shame, that chip on your shoulder must be blocking your vision, ’cause I think you’re the one with the reading problem at the moment.

Gary Cooper October 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm

He never mentioned anything about favored treatment. He didn’t use his achievements as a way of saying he “deserves” a job, certain salary, etc; just the fact that he worked hard and took advantage of opportunities that were afforded to us all and in turn succeeded. There is nothing elitist about that. That is the American dream – to go from Joe Schmo and actually be somebody all because you were afforded the opportunity.

John Konop October 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

First the job of an executive at a corporation is to return the highest ROI end of story. Second corporations compete based on the rules of the game. Third the current rules have left many behind because production in places like China has no real legal system for workers which is not capitalism. Forth companies have no intellectual property protection against countries like China stealing innovation.

We have the most bizarre trade policy. We let other countries violate the agreements and we do nothing about it as they steal jobs and innovation. And meanwhile we are in a blame game between the 2 parties, when both are reasonable for the irrational policy which is driving wages down, creating unemployment and moving production overseas to third world standards,

……A report recently released by the U.S. International Trade Commission found that in 2009, U.S. businesses lost out on $48 billion in sales due to Chinese piracy.

If China raised its enforcement to U.S. levels, these American businesses could have created 923,000 jobs, according to the report. Using another model, the same study found that the number of potential jobs could be as many as 2.3 million.

Of the lost money, $36.6 billion, or 75.9 percent, were due to lost sales. Another $11.6 billion was lost due to royalties and licensing agreements…….

http://economyincrisis.org/content/geithner-blasts-china%E2%80%99s-rampant-intellectual-property-theft

Three Jack October 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

i think the ‘occupy’ movement has found their spokesman.

saltycracker October 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

For most multinational corporations the opportunities and lower than US tax rates far outweigh the negatives. They will continue to invest in china while asking their govts to work with china to protect rights while they get educated on how to
Protect themselves.

Obama’s advisor Jeff immelt of GE explained it on 60 minutes last night.

The US needs to restore confidence and tax predictability, cut the corporate rate way back and the result might be money coming home, investments and increased fed revenue. but nothing is going to reverse globalization and our businesses must go where the action is or shrink.

Also the US will still be a land of opportunity with a very big economy, unless taxed or constrained from it.

John Konop October 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm

…. but nothing is going to reverse globalization and our businesses must go where the action is or shrink….

Both parties use this black or white BS argument. First most major corporations pay very little in taxes. Second if we went to a flat tax system with no write-offs it would be a tax increases on most multi national corporations. Third I am all for trade, but I am against one sided deals that promote theft and slave labor conditions. Finally, all that rational people are calling for is true capitalist trade deals. Trade deals based on respecting the agreement, real justice system that protects companies and workers. What we asking for is the basics behind capitalism straight out of “Wealth of Nations” the bible of free economic system taught in every major university. Some of you remind of Christians that want to pick and choice passages in the bible without using the context. You cannot do it with the bible or economics.

saltycracker October 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

A lot of spin on what was not on the quote. We can certainly do better to best leverage our participation in globalization.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Well done, John!

Put in the context of the “real world”. You explain the actual problems, about which the protesters seem to know nothing at all. I suspect that in the case of the organizers it’s willful ignorance and in the case of the masses it’s simply being too dumb to ask the right questions.

benevolus October 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

Well if you can do it, anybody can, right?

Gary Cooper October 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

No, I don’t think that is what he is saying. I think he is saying we all have the same opportunity that he had and we then choose what to make of it. Not everyone can or will do it, but everyone has the opportunity to do it.

benevolus October 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

Well I completely and unequivocally reject the notion that we all have the same opportunity.

benevolus October 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I don’t think that even my own sister has the same opportunity that I do. She is very shy and has somewhat of a speech impediment. Sure, she could work real hard and try to overcome those issues, but she probably has to work harder just to get to the same place. That is not “the same opportunity”.
Making Black people pass a quiz before they vote is not equal opportunity to White people who get to vote without taking the test. Sure, a Black person could learn the test requirements and presumably pass the test, but it is not equal opportunity.

What is the premise: That everyone who isn’t successful is either lazy or willfully unsuccessful? Why would anyone want to believe that we all have equal opportunity? Where does that line of reasoning go?

Doug Grammer October 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Life isn’t fair. People get dealt all types of cards in life and we have to make the best of the hand that we are dealt. People born with a birth defect may not be professional athletes. What’s important is that the system is fair:. equal access to public schools, no discrimination based upon race, and so on. We live in a competitive world. If you study hard and work hard, you should go further than if you didn’t. Some people are born to wealthy families and some people are not. Life is what we make of it. One can either make the most of what they can do, or they can occupy wall street and complain.

rense October 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Look, I am no liberal. Quite the contrary, on many issues, I am far more conservative than most people who write and post here. But stuff like this, “talk radio conservatism”, isn’t helpful, and stuff like this is why Obama is still polling at 47% despite being a complete and total disaster (meaning that if the economy improves or the GOP nominates the wrong candidate he could still win and that should never happen). So, consider these.

1. Yes, you have worked very hard. But you – and those like you – aren’t the only ones. There are a ton of people that have worked extremely hard all their lives and are struggling right now, big time. Yes, folks in the upper classes work hard, but folks in the lower classes work as hard or harder, sometimes at 2 and 3 jobs. I do not begrudge your achievements – far from it I commend and congratulate you – but the fact is that a significant portion of the population isn’t going to earn a marketable college degree because they either can’t afford it or lack the God-given capacity to do competitive college work, and our economy is increasingly leaving such people – who constitute the overwhelming majority of the workforce – behind, no matter how hard they work. You are going to have to come up with something better than “Life is unfair, deal with it” to people like that.

2. The main problem right now is that this country has basically lost its manufacturing/agriculture base that provided stable high paying (or moderately paying) jobs to a large segment of the population, and the middle class has gotten hammered as a result. (As a matter of fact, the new “middle class” would have been considered the educated, professional class in previous generations.) NAFTA, China in the WTO and stuff like that has been great for the Wall Street Journal/National Review crowd who make money moving capital around, but it’s been extremely rough for lots of other people, including the famous “Reagan Democrats.” The right – or at least the “talk show right” that basically drives Republican rhetorical and policy positions – loves to blame this on the typical bogeymen (taxes, trial lawyers, regulations, unions) but the truth is that because of technology and countries like China and India becoming economic powerhouses (and other nations on the verge of joining them), it was going to happen anyway. (This fact is precisely why a large segment of the economic conservative crowd supports illegal immigration, and not secretly either.) There needs to be serious engagement on stuff like this, and if the right doesn’t come up with ideas, the left – including the far left – will.

3. Many people who do have jobs – good ones – are still feeling the pinch. The reason is that wages have been stagnant for over a decade, including in the high paying professional positions. So, when you add in inflation and the increasing cost of things like health insurance – you’re actually making LESS than you did for doing the same work, and that has a lot of people furious. The right’s response has been to talk about taxes, but the truth is that federal and state tax rates are lower than they were during the Clinton administration. Any more tax cuts will require REAL spending cuts, not just the cuts in food stamp/public housing type programs that are the only cuts that conservative voters seem to consistently support.

4. This is one thing that a lot of you are purposefully overlooking, despite it being a major driving force behind the TEA Party (before Koch and Armey co-opted it) and these rallies: white collar crime is as bad as street crime if not worse. I know, the talk show line is to blame Barney Frank, Frank Raines, the Community Reinvestment Act etc. for all our problems, but the truth is that there was an unprecedented string of criminality in the financial sector that went on for over ten years (Eliot Spitzer was elected NY governor on marching all those Wall Street crooks to jail) and the typical GOP line is to pretend as if all those scandals didn’t happen, and as if they didn’t destroy hundreds of billions in capital and millions of jobs in the process. Add that to the capital that was lost in the “dot.com” scam economy … look, why is the right so hard on crime when it comes to folks on the street stealing hubcaps, but when the issue is corporate crooks they say that the real problem is “job-killing regulations” that shouldn’t exist at all? When the folks who committed all those criminal acts get rewarded with bailouts, the folks who criticize it get accused of class warfare?

Again, if the right continues to march behind rhetoric like this, the country will move to the left. Right now, the left’s biggest problem is being impaired by Obama. If the Democrats were being led by a reasonably – well I won’t go there, I’ll just say that I will always wonder why the Democrats never gave Bob Graham of Florida a shot on the national stage, or Sam Nunn either – they’d be in a much stronger position right now. The GOP can’t bet on the Democrats’ being so dense as to allow the top 2 leaders of their movement being Obama and Pelosi again. If the Democrats go back to having real leadership and the GOP remains stuck on this talk show rhetoric – which by definition evades real issues like the plague – then the GOP and conservative movement is in real trouble.

John Konop October 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Very good post!

benevolus October 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm

It’s free market ideology taken to an extreme.
If a company in a free market system can’t compete, it fails. What happens to a human being when they can’t compete? Am I supposed to just ignore anyone who isn’t at least as smart and capable as I am? Are they sub-human because they aren’t in the upper 80% of IQ?

Bridget October 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Rense, I see your points – but I disagree with them…

I think if more Americans our age heard “Life is unfair, deal with it” instead of you deserve this and that, we’d be far better off as a generation. This situation didn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t going to get fixed overnight – but dang, how about taking some responsibility for feeling too good to do certain jobs? If I wasn’t employed as an energy engineer, don’t you think I’d be waiting tables or learning another recession proof skill?

Please replace “Marketable” above with STEM (Science, Tech, Eng, & Math). And maybe Nathan and I feel like we do because we’re both in the engineering/technology field. It seems like an entire generation just got lazy and said “Math and computers are hard – I’ll just get a generic management degree.” We, as an entitled generation, didn’t want to learn how to fix things, invent products, have a ‘skill’. We wanted to make high salaries managing people without having a clue as what they did to make widgets work.

The construction field can’t hire most early 20s workers because they don’t know how to swing a hammer. How do you manufacture computer boards in the U.S. when people don’t even remotely understand (or care about) basic circuitry?

The ‘can’t afford an education’ doesn’t resonate with me. Neither of my parents received a high school diploma. My education was my choice and by my own means. It’s possible if you want it.

Do I feel the pinch of the current economy? Of course. I have a mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc that I pay on my own. And sadly, if we didn’t have a generation of $30,000 millionaires in which they want to appear successful all the while racking up up credit card debt, they’d have savings built up to ride out the storm.

The scandals happened. Yeah, they need to be addressed. I don’t think throwing loud tantrums and whining is the most productive way to spark true change.

John Konop October 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Bridget,

I think the problem is 2 fold similar to the lending crisis. The rules were set up wrong that people could buy things they could not afford guaranteed by tax payers. And the banks and insurance companies were allowed to sell a product and book profits on a product that they had low side risk and tax payers had high side risk.

We do have people with an entitled mentality and we also have a problem with western countries jobs and wages being squeezed by third world standards.

The truth is everybody is going to have to give. That means people getting government entitlements from teachers, military, police, Medicare recipients……all we see cut backs. We will also see higher prices on tax payers’ services and or less services. And people will have to work harder to keep up with the world. But we can not win a race if the government pits American companies and workers against slave labor conditions and theft of research and development of products.

Henry Ford paid his workers well because he wanted them to have enough money to buy the products they produced. The current race to the bottom trade policy only helps a small few at the top. That is why even in countries like Chine the spread between rich and poor is widening like here.

Three Jack October 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm

bs! “The truth is everybody is going to have to give. That means people getting government entitlements from teachers, military, police, Medicare recipients…”

why is it you leave out the entitlement recipients when referring to entitlement cuts, i.e. medicaid, welfare, wic, snap, schip, etc., and call for cuts to those actually trying to earn their living. what a joke, but representative of the mentality pervading our society today embodied in the ‘occupy x’ folks.

the only people ‘getting government entitlements’ are the freeloaders you fail to acknowledge as a major problem in our ongoing attempts to turn around this economy.

Dave October 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

John, what would your opinion be on tariffs on foreign imports to help even out the disparity? God, I’m sounding like Gephart, but our labor costs are so high compared to the rest of the world no company is willing to pay American rates any longer. And the slave labor rates are slave labor rates by our sensibilities while the rates may be in line with what the labor market charges in country X.

John Konop October 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Dave,

The father of free market system supported tariffs for countries that violate trade agreements. And in the trade agreements many times we do have the proper language to stop violations. The crazy part is many times the countries put restrictions on our products in violation on top of the numerous violations and if we dare even complain let alone use fines ie tariffs, many would yell protectionist. Three Jack is a classic example he yells against enforcing trade agreements and than thinks if we just kick the old people out of nursing homes (Medicaid) and let them die in the streets this would help the economy. As he righteously points his fingers at others in his next breath screams about any cut-backs to his entitlement.

The irony how pro-life movement wants to force poor people to have children yet does not want to pay for the health care in many cases. Ironically on the left they want more people on the system yet have no solutions how to pay for it. Sounds like two spoiled kids in a debate.

It is time for real adult conversation. And my question is why would a country not violate the agreement if we do not enforce the agreement? This is not about blaming China, corporations……This is about our leaders not watching the shop like the lending crisis.

….. In fiscal year 2006, Medicaid spent an average of $4,575 per person: $1,708 per child, $10,691 for each elderly person enrolled and $12,874 for each disabled person. Total spending in fiscal year 2007 was $330 billion.

While most people enrolled in Medicaid are children and parents, most of the money — 68 percent in 2006 — is spent on the elderly and disabled…..

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113339184

Three Jack October 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

john, instead of the usual ad hominem attacks against me, how about addressing the difference in people who earn their government compensation (cops, teachers, military, etc.) and those who demand handouts for nothing.

it seems you would punish the middle class (teachers, police, military, etc.) in order to continue funding failed redistribution programs of fdr and lbj. you play the geezer card just as many on the left do everytime some of us try to introduce an adult conversation. at some point, freeloaders are going to have to accept responsibility for their lives or else the entire american experiment will implode.

John Konop October 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

You think elderly people, disabled people and children are “demand handouts for nothing”? HUH? You can do math?

rense October 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Bridget:

I know that you are sincere, but stuff like this is part of the problem, not the solution.

“I think if more Americans our age heard “Life is unfair, deal with it” instead of you deserve this and that, we’d be far better off as a generation.”

That is a false choice. The folks on talk radio and Fox News LOVE erecting these types of false choices … making you think that EVERYONE who is feeling the pinch right now is looking for a handout, and that the only LEGITIMATE issues that anyone is allowed to have HAS TO BE against unions, trial lawyers, regulations and taxes. Think about it: whose agenda does having me think like this benefit? Does it benefit ME or does it benefit someone else?

Please replace “Marketable” above with STEM (Science, Tech, Eng, & Math).

No, I won’t. First of all, because there are PLENTY of unemployed/underemployed STEM folks. Our colleges and trade schools are filled with them as we speak, and they’re homes and businesses are on the foreclosure list just like everyone else. Second, STEM degrees aren’t the only marketable ones. A human resources type degree from Emory is more marketable than a computer science degree from Columbus State will ever be.

“The ‘can’t afford an education’ doesn’t resonate with me.”

So it is all about you? Narcissistic much? Sadly, the “talk radio conservatism” encourages this mentality. Conservatism of earlier generations, I guess I can call it paleoconservatism, had a much broader, more realistic view of the world. Talk show conservatism is very humanistic … neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism are both on the same side of the “neo” coin and aren’t very far apart to be honest.

“It seems like an entire generation just got lazy and said “Math and computers are hard – I’ll just get a generic management degree.””

So … we are putting out fewer engineers and scientists than we did in 1930, when only like 3% of the population went to college in the first place because back then it was possible to support yourself with the factory or family farm (and also there was no G.I. Bill, no Pell Grants, no student loans/financial aid …) are you serious? And by the way … add “generic managers” to the people who work very hard. I used to unload trucks at Wal-Mart for minimum wage (that is how I paid for college by the way, and yes I do have a STEM degree … a lot of my peers changed their majors not because they were lazy, but because they just couldn’t handle linear algebra, differential equations, thermodynamics, mechanics and stuff like that) and the “generic managers” were required to work so many hours that I actually made more per hour than they did.

“I don’t think throwing loud tantrums and whining is the most productive way to spark true change.”

I don’t know … it seemed to work pretty well with the TEA Party. Had they not injected energy in a dead in the water GOP that was back then having a debate on which RINO was going to lead them how far to the left (or were considering a draft Sarah Palin to come lead and save us movement), the Democrats would have retained the House, and who knows how many bailouts and tax increases would have been passed by now. And we would have been downgraded by more than one (ideologically motivated) rating agency by now had that happened.

And pardon me, but there should be more than “The scandals happened. Yeah, they need to be addressed.” Where’s the same level of outrage at those than there is at, say Solyndra? Or some speech that Van Jones (who didn’t even have a real position in the Obama administration, he was just some consultant or advisor) made? The original TEA Party had that rage … that is until they were co-opted by some of the very same folks who got in on that Iraq reconstruction scam that bilked the taxpayers out of almost as much money as Obama’s stimulus did (and the Iraq reconstruction money didn’t stimulate our economy or the Iraqis … it just went into people’s pockets). But hey, keep letting the Club For Growth shape your worldview, and you won’t challenge or question stuff like that. Just like folks never questioned the $800 hammers or the $2000 toilet seats (and this was back in the 80s when that was real money) that defense contractors charged the government for during the Reagan administration either.

Rick Day October 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Perspective: get back to us 16 months after you have been laid off :)

Rick Day October 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Did I get these one a silver platter bestowed to me once I became the age of majority? Nope.

3 questions to put some wheels on your logicmobile:

1. Are you a white male?
2. Were your parents able to financially support you during school?
3. Did you take advantage of PELL, government supported scholarships or other state and federal handouts programs for funding your school?

If you answered yes to any two, your argument about ‘it just is about hard work, yo!’ is invalid.

But like the others, I agree that you have done more than the average college bound joe. Keep up the good work

TheEiger October 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm

So if you are born a white male in this country you are given things on a silver platter? And if you are a white male you can’t work hard to better yourself and if you say that you have worked hard to get where you are a commie SOB like yourself will try to belittle you. Got it.

Also, when are you going to answer my questions about the OWS demands? I can re post them if you like. Tell me why we shouldn’t call these kids commies when they make these types of demands.

Gary Cooper October 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

He’s not going to answer them because it takes away from his agenda of attacking the message instead of offering a different point of view.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm

So, no white male with a scholarship who was supported by his parents ever – in the history of the world – worked hard?

Really?

FAIL. Try again.

saltycracker October 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm

NathAn
Keep in mind not to take anything here seriously.
It is all for entertainment purposes only.
Your post was excellent.
Waiting around for everything to be fixed is to loose.
Control what you can and hope like hell for a little luck.

chefdavid October 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Good post Nathan. You have expressed my feelings exactly. I have been kicked in the peanuts over the last few years but I am making it. I had to take a job 1/2 of my salary just to keep the house but hey we are still here. There is a song somewhere that resonates in my head in these times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saYYm1CkX3M I don’t blame anybody just glad I can still get up.

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