Occupying the Wrong Street?

By now you have to be living under a rock if you haven’t seen the “Occupy Wall Street” phenom on the news. For me, the more I watch or listen to the gripes, and demands from the protesters I have to wonder, is it me, or do they really have no understanding of what they’re really doing?

Let’s cast away who’s right or who’s wrong for a moment. Let’s actually take what seems to be the overlying theme and try to make sense of it. Here’s how I interpret what I see, and hear from this crowd.

  1. Most are in their 20’s and feel burdened from debt. A debt that was created from student loans to attend school. That’s not a Wall St. issue. That’s an issue for the Universities, and the Federal Government. Besides, no loans are made in the private sector any longer. The current administration ended all private companies from loaning for education.
  2. They shout “Banks got bailed out, but they didn’t.” As true as this seems at first blush if capitalism was able to work as it is intended to, none of these banks would have been bailed out. They would have failed, been liquidated, and put out of business. It was the current administration that not only approved of the bailouts, but argued for them.
  3. More shout the injustices of foreclosures on homes by banks. As this is heartbreaking for many, not all foreclosures were unwarranted. Some people were not ever going to be able to pay the mortgage they thought they could once afford. It’s a sad fact. However, refinancing, new home purchases, and alike are either underwritten by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or they don’t get done..period. All mortgages in the country (last was over 97%) are underwritten by these government agencies. If they’re not, it doesn’t get approved. There currently is no true private lending any longer.
  4. “Wall Street is the home of greed.” Well even I can agree with that to some extent but one has to wonder if they understand without Wall Street there is NO Twitter to mobilize their friends, NO iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or other smart phone to call others in solidarity. I won’t even go into no Google or web. It seems they just have no comprehension.
  5. Others are worried about their 401K’s, so they protest the very spot that if it is disrupted, it hurts their own pocket-book even more.
  6. As we watch in the news we see more and more signs that have nothing to do with the first set of gripes, but now are world philosophies that they want imposed. Philosophies that if they were to get what they wanted, would have them all unable to even demonstrate the way they are currently. I mean forget who’s right or wrong. This whole thing is a mess to anyone who can critically think. And hence lies the question of the day in my opinion. Is critical thought what is truly missing?

There was a time that I thought I might have been at a disadvantage because I didn’t take the time and pursue a higher education. But the more I look at what goes on for what some are calling educated people, I now think it was a blessing I didn’t.

At least I don’t need a GPS to tell me I’m on the wrong street.

Mark

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