Normally I try not to engage in political discourse in my blog. Lately however, the shear magnitude of news simply makes me want to scream. Some may remember my post regarding the closing of Pontiac leading up to an anticipated bankruptcy of GM. That’s about as close as I got to making a political statement. This time, it’s the Occupy Wall Street Protests (OWSP) I take issue with because I’m having trouble reconciling their position.

In my post about Pontiac, I eluded to the idea of corporate greed being the impetus for so many car choices. A ridiculous number of car choices, just from one manufacturer. Even though I may not be a fan of some unions, this situation just seemed more corporate in nature. What eventually happened is the US administration gave billions of dollars to the car companies and banks. At the time I didn’t think that was a very good idea. Apparently the OWSP don’t think so anymore, or is that even part of it?

If the objective was to put money in the hands of the people, how was giving it to the car companies and banks going to do that? Sure enough, almost immediately afterward, the press reported on big salaries, bonuses and other money being given to corporate executives, contractors and others. Shocking! That was sarcasm for those that didn’t recognize it from me. Did anyone expect anything different?

What happened?

What happened was that the companies paid out their internal obligations before any external and in some cases, as we’ve seen lately, companies -still- went into bankruptcy or simply closed their doors. Wow, who’d have thought? Well, a whole lot of us actually. Let’s take the Cash for Clunkers program for an example.

Can most low income people afford a new car? No. Can they afford a new car even under the Cash for Clunkers program? No. So who’d it benefit? Mostly middle and upper income folks who were tired of an older car. The cars being traded in could have been a benefit for the lower income folks by making more “newer” used cars available to them at a reduced price. But the terms were the trade-ins had to be destroyed. Who loses? The low income folks. Is this the kind of thing the OWSP are protesting about?

To go further, the US administration thought they should give bailouts to the banks, because their too big to fail as well. Did that work out for the low income folks? Not really. Again, a lot of money was used to stabilize the funding between banks or pay of internal debts. I’m sure the administration wanted it to go to the low income folks by way of reduced rates, paying for closing costs on loan restructuring and the like. But I don’t think it did nearly as much good as they hoped.

Sure, many banks worked to try and ease the burden on some of their customers. They worked to try and restructure loans, but they couldn’t do it with everyone. I imagine once again it was mostly the middle and upper income folks who benefit most. The banks began to deny those who should have really been denied in the first place.

Did anyone else out there try to warn us this wasn’t going to fix anything? Giving billions to the banks and car companies wasn’t going to trickle down to the little guy? Yes… many of us thought that and tried to lobby against it. If they really wanted to benefit the little guy, they should have given the little guy the money. Then if they spent it unwisely, well, they had their chance. As it is, it’s instead led to this whole OWSP thing.

Perhaps it was the success of the “Arab Spring” revolutions in the middle east. Did these people think they could be just as successful in overthrowing -something- here. Did they even define what it was they wanted to overthrow? Unfortunately, they aren’t organized very well and it shows.

That’s where I really start to take issues with these folks. I’m not really sure exactly what their message is, except they are protesting “Corporate Greed.” Alright, so what’s that mean? What do they want? Do they have a plan? How am I supposed to sympathize with their cause if I don’t really understand what their cause is and what their plan is to make it better?

It seems they want the banks to throw open the windows and begin tossing money out on the street. They want CEOs to give all their money away to the poor. So what’s been happening while these protests have been going on? Hmmm, well a lot of -us- folks have simply tried to keep working; creating more tax money to support these people. But let me take another tact for a moment.

This reminds me of the hippy days of the 60’s. All about free love and drugs. Let’s compare. The OWSP of today have disheveled looking people living in tents, doing drugs, having sex, raping, robbing, defecating in the streets, spray painting businesses, ruining public lawns, leaving trash in the street… (where should I stop?) They are beginning to find out that squatting on public property won’t be tolerated for a long time. It most especially won’t be tolerated if they make a mess.

Have you actually seen photos of these places once the police have moved in and moved the protesters out? It’s like a war zone slum. They must not be the kind of people who “care about the Earth” or they wouldn’t leave so much trash, killing grass, creating mud, strangling plants. These are the people that are supposed to be intellectually superior and more mentally mature than the Tea Party people? Really? They think they can affect change by lawlessness and vandalism? Well, sure I guess you could but…

In the end who’s going to win that one? The anti-gun mock-pacifist establishment? Nope. Mock-Pacifist? What? Yes, -mock-. Why do I say that? Because time and time again I’ve seen people like this who seem to be so “peace loving” and just want everybody to “get-along” by “distributing the wealth” turn into vicious, violent people in their own right if they don’t get their way. Ah, there is the crux of the entire reason the world will never totally get along. We can’t all have it our way.

So back to the point I was working up earlier. These protesters are living in the street, saying they want the banks and corporations to stop being “greedy” and holding all this money. They want to make it look like they can’t afford to live like others because they don’t get their fair share. Yet…. they’ve been tweeting and texting and phoning and blogging… how much does all that cost?

I’m reminded of a soup line photo with Michelle Obama serving to the needy. There in the photo was a man in the soup like taking a photo of Michelle with his cell phone. So maybe he can’t afford a place to live but he can sure afford a data plan with a cell phone? I guess these occupiers are the same. They can’t afford a nice place to live while trying to find a job, but they can sure afford cell phones, iPhones, iPads, computers, tents, coolers, fingernail polish, paint, gas masks, CDs, drugs.

For the little money they must be getting from the government to buy all those things, they sure have a funny way to repay the favor. Squat on public property where it requires a permit to protest. Choke sidewalks and cause businesses to lose customers; forcing them to lay off employees, possibly go out of business. Defecate and urinate in the streets and the parks. Break into unused offices they don’t own. Break into property not theirs. Leave their trash.

And we’re supposed to take them seriously? They need to get a clue. This isn’t well dressed Negros marching with Dr. King in the 60’s in peaceful protest and civil disobedience. That’s what these OWSP would like us to think. No, instead they resemble more the violent Negros causing mayhem and terror in the streets of the 60’s. They need to clean up and get organized.

The OWSP movement needs to move out of the parks and public properties. They need to separate themselves from the riff-raff they attracted which has seriously damaged their cause. They need to take a show and shave. They need to get dressed in clean, neat clothes. They need to find people who can represent them; well articulated individuals who can communicate their grievances. They need to form a strategy, one which includes a “plan” for how they see the US overcoming what they see is the shortfall. They need to offer ideas.

They will not be viewed as legitimate when they propose threats and warnings, engage in vandalism and violence, and don’t propose ideas to help fix the problem. If all they can do is complain, and complain some more, and then complain even more, without floating any intelligent, well thought out ideas to -help-, how are we supposed to take them seriously. It’s more of the same gimme-gimme-gimme mentality.

Apparently they wish us to act like parents responding to a crying child. They want to complain and they want the establishment to figure out exactly what they are crying about, find the answer and apply it to them. I guess if they wanted to be more adult about it they would be proposing changes instead; working through legitimate channels, like their local, state and federal representatives. Instead, they want to hold the nation hostage until they get their baby bottle.

They need to grow up, if they wish to affect lasting change.

Asa Jay

PS. Why aren’t they protesting the high salaries of sports players, coaches, team owners, stadium owners and others in the entire sports industry that make millions a year? Huh? Why? Many of them make more than a typical CEO in a year. So why aren’t they protesting that? They should take their tents, camp stoves and drugs to the closest sports stadium and set up on the parking lot just outside the main entrance. Oh wait….. I know why, because the sports fans that show up would simply kick their ass.

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Copyright 2014, Asa Jay Laughton