Like you I only know what has been reported in the print and other media about those folks on Wall Street protesting something. I have tried to listen to as many of those interviews as I can to discern their motivation and goals. I eliminate the obvious crazies from the equation. Anytime you have a large crowd you will attract a few that are off on their own agenda which can include merely seeking personal publicity–trying to get their 15 minutes of fame or make money. What I found most curious though was when they would have these groups recitations with everyone repeating like mindless drones the words of a speaker at a “general assembly”.
That last image brought to mind the newsreels and accounts of the fervor of the Chinese Commies when they were all parroting the words of Chairman Mao during the Great Leap Forward and for years after. You youngsters won’t remember but they even made the passengers on their airlines repeat those slogans during flights. It was hard to imagine that people with brains would allow themselves to be subjected to such group think activities. There was no room for a dissenting voice or opinion. But you knew exactly what they were shouting for. All you had to do was read the handbook of Mao. It was laid out clearly. Well, it was clear to those in charge according to their interpretation. The masses were left to guess the meaning sometimes at their peril.
I can only gather that they hate banks, bankers, anyone involved in the investing world and anyone who has more wealth that the protesters think is appropriate. I have certainly have seen snippets of anti-Semitism. How wide-spread that is I don’t know but that it is tolerated at all by the group is disturbing. One interviewed young lady said she was against the rich and that they should have their excess money taken for the benefit of all. When asked what she thought was “rich” she finally said anyone with more than 200 thousand a year in income is “obscenely” rich and shouldn’t be allowed to keep it.
Did it ever occur to her that in many locales around the country that a fireman and his teacher wife or a dentist and his paralegal wife might well earn more than that? I doubt many of those people would consider themselves rich. Two public employees for the Federal govern;ment in DC might also earn that much. One wonders if that same young lady thinks that Lady Gaga should make millions a year? Or some rap star spewing filth is an OK guy even though he earns millions per year. What about those baseball stars earing 20 million a year to play a game. Those young men I bet often play those computer games and would they prefer that the inventors of those games not make millions for each iteration?
One big problem with that philosophy is exactly who gets to decide what is “fair”? It sure couldn’t be on a pure democratic vote. Even if they tried to make a proposal to one of their general assemblies for a number I doubt that they could get a consensus much less a majority to agree on the number. Of course the great unwashed public couldn’t be left to make such an important decision. That means the “elite” would have to make those decisions for the rest of us. Who chooses the elite? Who would they be accountable to?
There have even been a few I heard who try to base their position to confiscate the money of the wealthy on Biblical teachings of Jesus. What balderdash! Christ never preached against wealth as such. He attacked hypocrisy and the love of money. Yes, he chased the money changers from the Temple but that was because they were violating a true love of God with their greed, not because they were making money. Remember the parable of the servants entrusted with money from the Master while he was away. One invested the money poorly and lost it. One buried in under his mattress because he was so afraid of losing it and incurring the Master’s anger and the last one invested and earned a profit on the money. Jesus had the Master praise the one who earned the money and punished the others.
There is nothing wrong with being against crooks. Just don’t define everyone in a particular category as a crook. There are crooked plumbers, cops, bankers, preachers and all other manner of endeavors. Here we have naked greed at play. These folks want other people’s money pure and simple. I have no special regard for Trust Fund Babies but that doesn’t mean I think they are not entitled to the money left to them by their ancestors. Even if they squander the money I have no right to it. I probably make less than many of those kids on the street but I don’t want anyone else’s money. They complain that executives make too much money. Compared to whom? In Japan where humbleness, modesty and group harmony are the ultimate virtues the managers usually make about 10 to 20 times what the average worker at the plant makes. Apply that here. Many a UAW member makes close to 100K a year when all compensation is included. Hmm, then the President should make 2 million even under those standards. And who wants to have a society like the Japanese anyway? You can bet those kids on Wall Street sure wouldn’t. They would find it way too confining to their sense of personal freedom.
Fortunately winter is coming. Even more fortunate is that the large majority of Americans don’t want a world of such restrictions on opportunity. They want the hope they can grab the brass ring some day. They want to make more than that magic 200k. They certainly don’t want a dictatorship of the proletariat.
“In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property”. Karl Marx. www.olcranky.wordpress,ci