Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Socialist Experiment in Failure

The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor. ~Benjamin Franklin

Just who is being greedy?

Hypocrisy is so fascinating to me. I say this because I readily admit I am a hypocrite and I have never yet met anyone who is not in some way or another, it is just that some hide it better than others. However, get a group of people together that criticize how unfair it is for so many to have so much less money and power than a few and you are sure to find the same among them.

All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for.
~Logan Pearsall Smith

I found it rather interesting that Michael Moore, a multi-millionaire ($50 million net worth, actually) in support of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), denied he was in the 1% on a CNN interview. Who else is in the 1% and supporting OWS? Yoko Ono ($500 million); Russell Simmons ($325 million) hip-hop mogul and founder of a high fee credit card company called UniRush Financial Services; Roseanne Barr ($80 million) who stated that anyone with over $100 million should be beheaded; Deepak Chopra ($80 million); Kanye West ($70 million); Alec Baldwin ($65 million); Susan Sarandon ($50 million); Tim Robbins ($50 million); Nancy Pelosi ($35.5 million); and George Soros ($22 billion, yes with a "b"), who has a net worth of nearly 17 times the sum of all the ones previously listed put together. The first question that comes to my mind is that if these people are really in favor of socialism, why haven't they given away most of their own money? More to the point, why would anyone who has accumulated as much as Soros be in favor of socialism unless he had something to gain from it?

Oh, just to get an idea of how mega rich these people are, in 2009 to qualify for the top 1% you would need to make $340,000 in a year. Pelosi was the lowest of the list above and her net worth is over 100 times that. Are these people really in touch with the 99%? I don't think they can be in touch with anyone who is worth just one million, let alone all the people making less than $300,000 a year!

It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. ~Alfred Adler

Now the Occupiers of Wall Street have been given donations and have accumulated about $500,000--that is half a million dollars being handled by inexperienced people who never have had much money and yet want all the things that money provide. (It makes me think of giving a group of teenagers a credit card.) According to MailOnline there are now squabbles about how that money should be "shared" fairly, especially with winter coming.

Mr Smith, who works in TV production, is a member of the Comfort Working Group, which is charged with finding out what basic necessities campers need, such as thermal underwear, and then raising money by asking for donations on the street, the New York Post reported.

'The other day, I took in $2,000. I kept $650 for my group, and gave the rest to Finance, he told the paper.

'Then I went to them with a request - so many people need things, and they should not be going without basic comfort items - and I was told to fill out paperwork. Paperwork! Are they the government now?

'We need winter gear, shoes, socks. I could spend $10,000 alone for backpacks people need. We raise all this money. Where is it?'

Where, indeed? And paperwork! Bureaucracy has now become part of the Occupation. I am wondering how far this will go.

Pete Dutro, 36, a Brooklyn tattoo artist studying a master's in finance and sits on the Finance Committee, said big purchases can't get the green light straight away.

'We don’t have the power for that. They have to go to the General Assembly. If it's approved, we pay out that amount and make sure everything is accounted for,' he told the New York Post.

It seems to me that they are getting just a taste of what it is like to govern themselves. Perhaps it is a good thing...?

The devil loves nothing better than the intolerance of reformers. ~James Russell Lowell

The most notable hypocrisy about those calling themselves the 99%, those that say they are fighting for the poor and calling for redistribution of wealth, those that now have $500,000 with more coming in, those who have not paid for one permit to hold this rally, is that they do not want to share their good fortune with all the homeless and newly released convicts have been attracted to the gourmet food, free infirmary, and warm sleeping bags in a "safe and friendly" environment.

Oh, yes! These poor, who are in such great need without homes, it seems that they are a drag on the OWS folks. The people who are willing to take what is not theirs, that take what belongs to someone else, that do not work for it, they been have judged to be undeserving of OWS's stuff! Just who saw that one coming? However, OWS cannot exactly push them out, so the protesters hope to discourage them with a brown rice bland diet for three days.

It is also reported that the volunteer kitchen staff have been working up to eighteen hours a day and now are having a kind of labor dispute because they are doing more than their "fair share." They plan to provide directions to local soup kitchens for those not in the protest movement. However, it is a public park and these homeless people have just as much of a right to be there as the protesters and, if the protesters really believe what they say they do, then they should be giving their fair share to these less fortunate people--or perhaps they feel that is what the 1% should be doing, not them?

Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves. ~Author Unknown

The protesters will probably make adjustments, of course, but in the end I think many will lose heart because the use of the money and the labor each does will never be fairly distributed. There are always people who will believe they deserve more than they have, who truly have greater needs, who are willing to take from people who have more. If numbers at OWS do not dwindle in the coming winter, they will create a representative governing body out of necessity instead of the collective making all decisions, leaders will clash as they already are, and people will complain about the money within the group as much or more so than outside of it. It will become everything they claim to hate and implode or just dwindle to complete ineffectiveness.

Perhaps then they will realize that the problems they have with 1% is the same problem they have within themselves.... Well, probably not. It is my hope, but it more likely will always be someone else at fault, but I am hopeful that at least a few will learn before they become ill living in the freezing cold.

~ My Lord, we are all hypocrites. The saddest part is when it goes unrecognized. May we be embarrassed and repentant of being so. ~

2 comments:

  1. I don't think I understand either the point or what this movement is about. On principle I try & avoid large groups of anything. It always ends in squabbles. People are chronically incaplable of fair shares of anythng or governing themselves equitably ~ which is why we elect politicians ~ you know, those people who actually enjoy living in an ongoing squabble! There is only one solution to the ills of this world ~ & I do wish he'd get a move on & get here to sort our mess out!

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  2. Ganeida, I am not sure they know themselves. Each group is putting together their own list of grievances! Basically, they blame Wall Street for the economy, but I think they should be protesting at the White House and the Fed. They think the 1% should pay their fair share, but will not name a percentage when asked. Most of the college students are realizing they are in the now bursting college bubble and that their degrees will not mean much at all but for which they will be paying back the student loans for years (I had a video on earlier). For them it is like the Prodigal Son: they went off to college with big dreams, had a party, and now are thinking that the people who labor in the factories or work at Walmart have it better than they. It is a hard lesson, but as the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun.

    My point is that they want everything to be better for themselves--who doesn't? They camp out on public property, like the homeless, but with far more organization and resources, yet they do not want to share with the homeless, the the ones needier than they, who are right in front of them, in the process of trying to get what they want. Pretty much what they accuse the 1% of doing as I see it.

    With winter coming, such vagueness of purpose, and hypocrisy abounding in so many directions that I am wondering how long the camp-out protest can sustain itself.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.