In one of the cities I travel through frequently, there has been, for over a year, a more or less regular bunch of people who are still "occupying" the public ways in protest. They are polite and respectful to passersby, but they are always there. Some are full time, some less so. Their presence is a more or less constant, rain or shine.
They protest the fact that a some people have significantly more wealth than they do.
I understand, I really do. They are unhappy with the fact that there are inequities in the distribution of wealth in this country. They are unhappy that some people have significantly more wealth, property, money and security than they do.
Of course, the fact that those people (the "rich") likely worked hard and made a lot of right decisions doesn't ever enter the minds of the "Occupiers". The fact that they (the "occupiers") could be working a second job (if they even have one) instead of "Occupying" the town square....making more money, earning more to use to invest and grow and maybe make a good decision to use for school to get a better job, or to start a business of their own. Instead, they waste their time holding up signs that very few people read , and delude themselves that they are making a difference in the world.
I admire their determination and dedication, if not their methods nor their philosophy. They think that protesting will make a difference, will change the ways of the US and the citizens therein. Foolish of them to think so.
They fail to realize that, to a large extent, they made the decisions which put them into the position they are in right now.....maybe they were unlucky, but also more likely they chose: not to learn a skill, or a trade, or to take the easy way out....or get a worthless degree (if they even worked that hard). That they likely made short sighted decisions and do only the minimum needed to get by to the end of the month....Most of them that I see have tattoos....... Which really are worthless, but are expensive. Where did the money for those come from?
The really really terribly sad fact is that if they were to look beyond this country, and open their eyes, and see beyond their imagined plight and distress that "that person has more than I do and it just isn't fair" that they would realize how very rich they actually are....and that, when viewed not just in the context of this country, but in the context of the world....
THEY ARE THE ONE PERCENT!
That's right....if they bother to look beyond their (imagined and mostly self imposed) plight of being in the bottom 99 percent of the population of the richest country in the world, they might realize how lucky they are to be in the top 1 or 2 percent of the wealthiest people on the planet.
Sure, by US standards they aren't rich. But they aren't poor either. They have the opportunity to bitch and moan about the fact that someone else is better off than they are, to protest instead of scrabble for enough calories to feed themselves and their families. To have the luxury of enough time to whine that they don't have all the worldly goods they want instead of hope that they have (or can find) enough fuel to cook that food and to keep themselves warm at night. And they have enough time to bemoan the fact that they (only) have small homes to go to when they leave their site of protest... a home that is dry and (generally) secure from vandals and thieves. And that is protected by police who are (mostly) honest.
Yeah, they whine about all those inequities. They have time to do so because they live in one of (if not the) most wealthy counties in the world. Where the poor live better than most other counties middle class, where the kind of poverty they believe they live in really doesn't exist. Where 99 percent of the rest of the world would change places with them in a heartbeat.
The sad part is that they cannot see how lucky they really are. They cannot see that they are really the "1 percent" that they complain about . All they can see is that they don't have (and really haven't done anything to earn) what some other people in the country DO have.
If only they could apply those same complaints that they have against those better off than they are, to themselves. I bet others in the world would consider them so lucky, and spoiled, and complain that they did not earn their position and wealth.....And if they were to really apply their complaint of unfairness to themselves, and their remedy "take what those undeserving rich bastards have and give it to us, who have less" then they'd be living in a much less nice and comfy existence with less food and property. But they won't ever help the real "99 percent". Few of the "occupiers" will ever understand, much less apply, their philosophy to those less fortunate than them. And they'd likely think it unfair if someone DID apply their philosophy to their wealth.