Challenge Yourself, Not the Government

Making my way to the Boston Harbor Hotel, I found myself suddenly surrounded by the new fashionable style of protesting called “Occupy –insert name of place being occupied here-“. In this instance “Occupy Boston” happened to be huddled into a small public park across the street from South Station and the Federal Reserve building. As I made my way past the encampment of disillusioned youth, I heard announcements about utilizing the “meditation tents” from the “spiritual committee” and what appeared to be a well groomed, corporately-dressed supporter boldly claiming, “we are not so much focused on the demands, but using a real democratic process,” whatever that actually means, or how it is to be accomplished is still to be determined.

Looking around I had to ask myself what was the main objective of this ad-hoc gathering that seemed to have invaded a taxpayer funded public park (which is now completely in shambles, muddied, and the grass almost non-existent as a result of the 50 or so tents amassed within the narrow space). I could not discern any real, or articulated objective to which their protestations had been formed upon. As I continued, pass the bags of garbage that had piled up along the sidewalk, there were cardboard signs that read, “stop the budget cuts,” and, “fight the rich not their wars.” I could not help but wonder why these people, mostly students from hardworking and even some well to do families, have decided to protest soldiers who volunteered to serve and protect our nation in new era of global reality that was shown to us on September 11th 2001. It is most certainly the optimal time for us as Americans to rally together and grow as a nation, but instead these mostly troubled students in the very prime and flower of youth are resorting to their fears rather than their strengths.

The most alarming quality of these protests was the incoherence and lack of organization by these various citizens, many of whom were not even from Boston. There was no cohesive communal funding, the pizza deliveryman was becoming frustrated as the protestors figured out who was to pay for the forty pizzas and with what money; and the chaos continued.  Once past the area of the protestors, continuing on my trek to the hotel with the cannabis odor subsiding, thoughts rushed through my head as to what this means for us as a nation. Is wealth being used to undermine the democratic process, as one of the aggrieved shouted into the microphone? Are all the problems we face today the result of a specific type of corporatist philosophy?  One sign vividly stood out in my mind long after I witnessed the protest, which read, “The American Dream is in Debt,” but is it really?

These young protestors should take heed to five relative realities of life in respect to their grievances as they sit in these muddied quarters. First, in China the government would never have awarded the permit to protest, nor would their people have time to assemble, as they are busy working two, three, sometimes even four jobs to provide security and comfort for their family and contribute to economic productivity.  Second, in order to help the cause of wanting to pay more taxes, find a job first so the government will have a reason to take money from you. Third, when and if you do find a job, realize you will actually have to use some sort of talent or skill so the employer can adequately rationalize why they should pay you money; or in other words, jobs are the result of people being invested in for their capabilities and talents. Fourth, being gender-neutral is not all that it is hyped up to be, or even beneficial for a meaningful and productive society. I do not see how it is insulting for a man to be “classified” as the ‘provider for others’, and the women as ‘nurturers and caregivers’. Of course there is a serious subconscious psychological component I must be missing as to why an individual would feel inferior to someone who provides or to someone who loves well, but again it is probably another corporatist conspiracy (I must have lost that plot). Last but not least, my fifth piece of advice to these protestors is to lose the sense of entitlement, and all the destructive qualities that accompany it. Great achievements are the result of calculated hard work, and not from an incessant complaint to an alleged offender. Do you honestly want to embody the methods of spoiled and disillusioned children? Who can respect that?

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2 comments
  1. The park is gonna get muddied anyways when they pile the snow on it in winter. That’s besides the point though.

    No one is protesting against the troops, don’t understand how you came to that point from a sign that said “Fight the Rich, Not their Wars”. Subjective I suppose, because when I saw that sign I thought to myself, “Yea, we should reduce our military-industrial complex and bring our troops back home.”

    Now with your 5 realities:
    1) You’re right, we’re lucky enough to live in a country that allows us to assemble and protest. We are alike though; US and China’s working class have break their back working multiple jobs for little wages just to support their families.
    2) It’s easy to say, “Go get a job,” but unemployment didn’t rise because a bunch of people decided that they no longer wanted to work, it got to these levels because of numerous reason. Bubble bursts (housing, dotcom, soon to be college education), corporate utility maximization, and globalization.
    3) I agree, you don’t get hired just because you look pretty (unless if that’s your job, to look pretty). However this has been the downfall of many workers. Become to talented at your job and you’ll expect more money? Why pay someone more money for a job that you can hire a young buck out of college to do for much cheaper. Ever watch office space?
    4) I got a problem with your thinking here. I don’t blame you, it’s been pushed into our heads for thousands of years. Gender-neutrality is essential for our economy. If we paid everyone the same for their work, how would that make our economy weaker? Imagine if women made the same as men, think of what consumption levels would be like? Especially in our society which targets women mostly for discretionary spending. Also, try and think of one job that a woman can’t do that a man can? In our day and age of machines and technology, gender roles have no significance anymore.
    5) Why should we lose our sense of entitlement? We all understand that the American Dream of becoming rich and being featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous is only a dream, but aren’t we entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? It’s hard to find happiness in New England when during the winter you have to decide on spending your paycheck on either paying for heat or paying for food.

    ” Once past the area of the protestors, continuing on my trek to the hotel with the cannabis odor subsiding, thoughts rushed through my head as to what this means for us as a nation.”

    Wow, I mean you don’t have to lie to invoke a response, no one at that camp is smoking dope or drinking alcohol, that would damage the whole validity of the protest. Your intelligent well-written response was good enough to provoke discussion.

    • “Wow, I mean you don’t have to lie to invoke a response, no one at that camp is smoking dope or drinking alcohol, that would damage the whole validity of the protest. Your intelligent well-written response was good enough to provoke discussion.”

      I do not believe in telling lies of such magnitude, especially against people who would otherwise be innocent.

      I am sure you could find a decent paying job with generous benefits at a foundry or weapons maker. In fact, many Americans, tens and tens of millions of them will agree with this assessment. Last time I checked, 9/11 was a direct attack on the United States and killed 3000 innocent civilians. To put it further into perspective, it was the greatest loss of life of Americans, on American soil since the 1860s (no one is alive from that time mind you).

      1. No. I am 100% certain that the anti-democratically structured government and society of China is in no way similar to the unionized working man in the United States. The Chinese people have no outlet to legally protest the communal sweatshops utilizing marginal wages for their workers. The 300 million “middle class” families that exist in the country (the population size of the United States, but still excluding 1 billion other Chinese people) have such lifestyles from only the equivalent of $800 a month. You need to be asking yourself whether 6 figure salaries with fully paid benefits and the right to collectively bargain overtime and pension payments of that overtime (I will spare you the trouble of discussing pension liabilities from these public and private unionized arrangements) is the same as a Chinese citizens struggle for economic justice? I’ll answer it for you, it’s not.

      This is why I will also incorporate (for lack of a better word) point number 5 in here as well. Lose the entitlement issues because it is the primary motivating factor that leads to disruptive and unproductive qualities such as arrogance, lack of innovation, and complacency, just to name a few. You are very brave to even attempt to assert the similar economic struggle of those who’s collective bargaining rights are being adequately and responsibly reformed here in the United States, to those of the actualities in China.

      2. It is easy to say, “Get a Job”, and it is even easier to actually get one if you can offer the employer one of the following:

      (a) a service that actualizes the company’s mission or goal, and thus ensuring the company achieves their stated mission or goal for their clients, or;
      (b) can make the company profits that lead to the expansion of that company, the hiring of more workers to either make more money or to perform needed services to achieve the mission and goals of that company.

      If this is not the case, well then most likely you will not get a job because a salary is essentially an investment in the capabilities, skills and talents of that individual, regardless of gender.

      3. No. the primary reasons workers are fired, or dont have jobs in the first place is for a number of reasons.

      (a) the worker did not perform as previously, or never at all;
      (b) the worker was too expensive to maintain, in that, their position made the company i.e. $10,000 while it cost the employer $100,000 a year by law to keep them, WWBD: What Would Buffet Do? To Hell with it, What Would Soros Do?
      (c) the worker was still vital or needed, but the services were outsourced because the domestic regulations burdened the profitability of the company, etc.

      4. If everyone was paid the same, then no work would get done. Humans work to get rewarded, they are rewarded for good results with money. If everyone was paid the same, there would be no incentive for expanded growth, meeting new challenges, etc. Gender-neutral was not used in the economic sense, as you have offered here, at the protest, but rather in a more social context. To the extent that the phrase “you guys” was excluded because it was too gender specific. Time to do something more productive with yourself when you have to philosophize and appease the psychological distortions and disturbances of such unsound minds. Of course most women and men are capable of performing the same types jobs, I agree, and we can rationalize and philosophize the facts of reality and biology out of existence; but if we really want to get down and dirty, can a vagina do the same performance as a cock? No, but they can both have sex, so there is common ground in that regards I suppose.

      5. Trust me, I am not that famous, nor do I have fantasies of the sort. I don’t want to be featured in any sort of thing as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. If I want something, I tap into my skills, talents and resources and acquire that pleasure, whatever it may be. What I will not do, is interfere in the lives of others, nor do I believe it proper or sound to attack the obstacle to pleasures; one should be competent enough to overcome obstacles, not have the incessant need to attack them to the point where everybody loses and stagnation ensues.

      To touch upon the previous Chinese them: Give a man a fish, he eats for the day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. I admire your attempt, but I advise you to save yourself and get out of that putrid mess of talentless envy sitting across the street from the Boston Federal Reserve building. Other than that, well you are on your own, but I suppose you already feared that?

      Cheers.

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