A friend recently sent me a link to this: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2816630/posts. If you would like to take a few moments to read it, please do so—it is extremely instructive in how many Americans think, especially the dumbest ones.
It is so blatantly full of hypocrisy I don’t care to point out each and every one, but looking at a few of them is pretty interesting.
For one, he says, the “Greatest Generation suffered through the Great Depression, which makes every bad economy we’ve had since then look like a tea party with the queen.” A few points:
1) The Great Depression was caused by a similar lack of regulations and oversight on the market, and it was exacerbated both times the Republicans attempted to enact austerity measures, first when Hoover was in office, and then again just as the economy was recovering in the late 1930’s.
2) The government, which the writer hates, actually did a ton to end the Great Depression. Roosevelt didn’t sit there and tell everybody “tough shit, get a job,” he actually decided to act, and in doing so built the foundations for this country to grow and become truly great, a fact that the “Greatest Generation” benefitted from immensely. By the way, I find it highly ironic the “Greats” are happy to carry this brand while advocating to pay lower taxes and leeching as much as they can from Social Security and Medicare, all while whining about the deficit, and telling the rest of us to shut up, work hard, and be humble. Isn’t that just great?
3) If the Great Depression was so bad that it makes “every bad economy we’ve had since then look like a tea party with the queen,” why does the writer endorse and want to go back to the same policies that led to it happening in the first place? Moreover, why do they want to avoid the fixes—like economic stimulus in the form of infrastructure building—that got us out of the Great Depression?
The next pile of steaming horseshit worth examining is the author’s screed about “man-children” and the idea that if you ever do anything irresponsible, “somebody will pay for it,” and by somebody he’s implying the government.
This is an old conservative line, that of course, is based on nothing real or substantive, other than the fact that men, when they age, get crusty, crotchety, and curmudgeonly. How do I know this? Because if they were really worried about government spending, they’d be pissed off that we spend so much money on the military, the fact that we lose billions of dollars every year through subsidies and tax cuts for massive, multinational corporations, and the fact that we spend another shit pot of money taking care of crusty old fucks, many of whom need their Social Security money, and all of whom would be fresh out of luck buying health insurance if it wasn’t for Medicare.
See, the reason assholes like this guy like to complain about people behaving irresponsibly is simply because they don’t like people that behave irresponsibly. That’s it. Because frankly, our society horrifies you if you are irresponsible, and in some cases, like say health care, you can be perfectly responsible and still be horrified because the insurance companies have rigged the game, and until the Affordable Health Care Act, our government was doing nothing to stop them.
But the main thing about this bastard’s editorial is that it misses the point completely: Occupy Wall Street is pissed off because we got screwed by the banksters, who ruined our economy, and not only did no one go to jail, but our government bailed them out for fucking up.
I mean, maybe I missed it, but when did a large portion of our society just completely abandon the idea that we have a rule of law, and that laws exist to prevent people from doing bad things, as well as to make sure that our society is fair, so that in the eyes of the law at least, “all men are created equal.”
That is what OWS is about, whether the protesters know it or not. Our government and its laws, especially as they relate to money, have been taken over by the 1%, who basically bribe politicians to write laws that benefit their exclusive interests.
But wait a second, I thought the whole point of the author’s diatribe was to say that you shouldn’t expect the rules to be bent in your favor; instead, you should work hard and compete with the guy next to you to get what you want, right? Why then, is this logic not applied to the oil industry, who has all kinds of special laws written just for them, or the health insurance industry which has anti-trust exemption status, because our politicians are for sale? If these companies are so great, why do they need special protections, subsidies, and tax breaks to compete? According to this ass clown’s logic, they shouldn’t, but he conveniently leaves their malfeasance out of his rant.
Look, there is something to be said about making people compete, and I agree that in general, parents are far too easy on their kids these days, but that has nothing to do with OWS. The fact is, there aren’t very many jobs, and the few that there are, are low paying. This notion conservatives have that you can just pull yourself up by your bootstraps is wrong. In 1950, a child born into poverty had a 50% chance of getting out. In 1980, they had a 40% chance of getting out. Now, their chances are around 30%. Upward mobility is going away, and it’s absurd to claim that it is entirely the fault of those who are impoverished.
Plus, the whole idea that it’s our generation’s fault for going to college and getting degrees that end up being worthless is ass backwards. I recall growing up and CONSTANTLY being told, “go to college, go to college, go to college,” and so most everyone in our generation did, but when they got out, they found out that not only were their degrees worth nothing, but they were now $40,000 in debt to boot.
In the end, the guy’s whole diatribe is basically just a massive literary self-masturbation. Anyone who reads that and agrees is probably: A) rich, and well situated in life, B) has been pretty lucky in general, and C) is a compassionless fuck. And they read this stuff and listen to Rush Limbaugh so they can just sit and think about how great they are, and how if only everyone were more like them, the world would be a better place, but instead it is full of liberals, blacks, and women who want to have control of their own sexuality, and they’re ruining everything.
The person that wrote this garbage deserves to be pulled from his bed, stripped down, and placed in Sandusky’s prison cell. Afterwards, he should be drug out into the street and shot. In his world, after all, that would be perfectly OK.
To Make a Larger Point About OWS…
Look, something I think people forget is that any economic system requires government oversight and regulations. Capitalism may be the fairest way to reward those who work hard, but it’s no better than communism, fascism, or monarchy if the people with the most power wield it in a way that forgets the 99%, who just want to have a job, a chance to better themselves, and a decent life. Moreover, when any system/government is corrupted and forgets this, people rise up and revolt.
We celebrate our Revolution against the British, but why did we rebel? Because King George forgot to consider the colonists in his plans, and in so doing, created an environment of injustice, tyranny, and a basic lack of opportunity, just as we have now. So people revolted, and what you are seeing with OWS is the same. It doesn’t mean that it is always done with the clarity of a corporate operation who has the benefit of PR specialists, ad agencies, and calculated press releases. That is not the nature of social unrest. That is not the nature of revolution. The nature of these movements are messy, unplanned, and sometimes misguided. But it doesn’t mean they’re wrong, and I wonder if the same people now complaining about the parks being damaged would have said what an awful waste of good tea it was when revolutionaries dumped the East India Company’s wares into Boston Harbor.
It seems to me that the people who recoil from OWS are people who are comfortable, people who aren’t at risk, people who are middle aged and older. They don’t want to see social unrest, they don’t want to see revolution. And so when OWS damages parks, and when the police beat protesters, they’re happy to maintain a healthy distance, looking down their noses in scorn, at what they see, as so many petulant children. But deeper, in their gut, they’re afraid. They should be—they’ve allowed a system to come into being that is rife with corruption, and that has robbed young Americans of the opportunities they had when they were growing up. During the last 30 years, health care costs have skyrocketed, manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, salaries for the middle and lower class have flat lined, and higher education is more expensive every year. And a huge bulwark or our society has tacitly nodded their approval, because they were comfortable, and politically apathetic.
But what the old, comfortable men forget is that social unrest, and eventually, revolution, are the natural consequences of a corrupt society. I support OWS, because they’re right, and that they sometimes do things I don’t like, doesn’t make them wrong. We now, have a chance, to avoid social unrest, widespread poverty, and eventual revolution, but corrective measures have to be taken. That is why OWS exists, and if they exist, only as a sore throat does to signal that we are sick, then that is better than the rare cancer that leaves its host no symptoms, until, after a routine check up and a biopsy, you’re told you have 6 months to live.
OWS exists because they don’t have jobs, they can’t get good jobs, and they’re acutely aware of the fact that our politicians don’t care about anyone except people rich enough to get them re-elected. They should be a signal to every American that we have to put back in place the rules for a fair society, and our government has to enact laws that are best for the majority of our citizens, not the privileged few. And until we do those things, people like OWS aren’t going to go away, and the stable society of the comfortable old man is in danger.