Occupy Wall Street or Phoenix or Chicago or…

by Joseph · 3 comments

in Miscellaneous

Picture from Occupy Phoenix

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere you’ve surely heard about the protests going on all around the United States and even other parts of the world. It started as Occupy Wall Street and has grown into protests going on in basically every major city in the U.S. Here in my hometown of Phoenix Arizona the protestors have been hanging out downtown protesting everything from politicians to corporate greed. In fact, I was reading an article when I saw this little snippet from an interview, which gave me a bit of a chuckle.

What Phoenix’s occupiers are mad about varies, depending on whom you ask.
According to Darren Lansing, who was interviewed while shirtless and blowing bubbles, his gripe’s with politicians.
“[We've got to] get the money out of the hands of the politicians and back to the public,” he tells New Times.
When asked how he plans to do it, Lansing says, “We’re doing it right now, man.”
Apparently, blowing bubbles is the key to redistributing wealth. Who knew?

No offense meant to any of the protestors, but there has got to be a better way to protest. The act of protesting alone will not likely solve anything. His bubble blowing form of protest certainly isn’t getting the money “out of the hands of the politicians.”

I’m lucky. I’ve got a job and so does my wife. We make pretty decent money between both of our jobs and we are wise with our money. We’ve saved an emergency fund, starting saving for retirement and have even started to set aside money for a new car, house upgrades and vacations. We’re frugal on the things we don’t care much about but are happy to spend our money on things that we enjoy.

We aren’t out of a job like a lot of the protestors. I get that.

I wish there were more jobs to go around for everyone who wants one. There just aren’t right now. A lot of things that have happened are out of a lot of peoples control — home values dropping in half, high unemployment, high rents. Life’s tough for a lot of people. Like I said, I get that. What I don’t get is why so many people today feel like they don’t have the ability to take their destiny into their own hands.

Instead of ‘Occupying Wall Street’ all day, every day, why don’t more people start a small business, or get training for a new job? Yes, jobs are scarce, but they aren’t nonexistent – not to those with skills.

One really awesome suggestion I found:

If you really want to do something radical, help start a new community bank. The number of banks has shrunk over the past few years.

Create more funding institutions to help decentralize financial power. If you don’t have the expertise, see who you could bring together in your community to create a new lender.

Banks are a huge part of this protest. People are mad about excessive fees, bailouts and just about everything else. If you want to take power out of the banks hands, then start a community bank (or credit union). I can’t think of a better way to take power out of the hands of the bankers and the politicians.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey November 1, 2011 at 7:48 am

you said it.

I know that not everyone out of a job is coming from a place that makes it easy for them to look for way to change their lives. But why does protesting, er… camping out sound like it’s a better idea than being resourceful and learning a new skill, or taking a job that you might feel is below your skill level because it’s.still.a.job. When did we start just expecting things to be given to us?

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Matt November 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Interesting take! I wonder if a community bank idea like this could harness the power of peer to peer lending, like Prosper.com, but in a physical traditional bank-like setting. You know, have a brick and mortor building with tellers and all where investors would come in to deposit money and borrowers would come in to make loans. Perhaps more people would embrace the concept if it wasn’t done solely on the internet.

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a. farmer November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Why is no one saying anything about where the 401k’s have gone? Into the pockets of greedy CEO’s? My sister worked and paid into her’s for 35 years only to see it evaporate now when she is close to retirement.

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