The Wall Street Protestors are Doing It Wrong

Every time I see the news, I find myself increasingly bothered by the Occupy Wall Street Protests. Why? Because they’re doing it wrong.

Every time I see the news, I find myself increasingly bothered by the Occupy Wall Street Protests. Why? Because they’re doing it wrong.

On CNN today, they showed a segment about a reporter who decided to join up with the Wall Street protesters to give us an in-depth look at how the event is organized. To tell you the truth, I actually applaud how the protest is arranged. The people convene and work together so everyone is fed and has a tent to stay in. It’s clear that these people have enough in common with each other to forge relationships that will prove valuable if they ever receive the jobs for which they are protesting.

First of all, the United States unemployment rate currently stands at ten percent. For every person that is unemployed, nine people don’t seem to have a problem finding work. I’m not surprised that these people are getting noticed; if you go out to eat with ten of your friends and one doesn’t like the restaurant, I think you can figure out who among you is unhappy.

That being said, these people are protesting the wrong things. America was founded on the pursuit of happiness. “Pursuit” is the operative word here; I can pursue a new car, but if I don’t have $20,000 I cannot get one. If a Camaro fell from the sky, that would be great. I don’t stare up at the sky and wait for it to happen because I don’t expect it to.

There are a few reasons these people are out of work, but one common link between them that has gone utterly ignored is the role European markets play in America’s economy. Greece, the proverbial “cash cow” in the mix has been making money disappear faster than Harry Houdini resurrecting himself from the dead at a one night spectacular in Las Vegas. The rest of Europe, semi-socialist since the dawn of modern politics, continues to feed Greece money despite the fact that their economy is a total sham. No amount of bailouts will ever fix the corruption within Greece; only a push by Grecian citizens for political change will improve economic conditions.

So what should America, as the third wheel in this situation, be doing to counteract the European and Grecian disruption to our economy? Had I an extremist opinion I would suggest that everyone pack up and move to Greece. But in all seriousness, maybe a boycott of European goods should be in order?

By keeping our money within our own country through the purchase of American goods, not only will we be able to cut out the international markets being dragged under by one country’s corruption, but we can generate more revenue for ourselves in the process. I’m no economist, but when the economy improves, I bet we would see an increase in employment.

If the protesters can orchestrate a “sit in” at the park near Wall Street, I doubt that a boycott is beyond their ability. Just to clarify, we need to stop buying goods made in Europe. If it comes from outside the USA, it is only bringing us down.

A separate issue that we as Americans need to work together on improving is the education system. I don’t think that every individual needs to go out and get a masters degree in everything, but our public school systems and colleges have been manufacturing a generation of students who specialize in one field. I spent most of my life not sticking to one concept for the future. In tenth grade, I stopped taking chorus class because I didn’t see the value in improving on that particular field. When I feel confident in my writing, maybe I'll move on to something else.

Too many people come out of four-year universities with a plan that involves a perfect world. If you want to be an artist that’s great; if you can translate English to Spanish, you automatically stand a better chance in the job market than someone who doesn’t. By learning language, mathematics and reasoning skills you can broaden your horizons and become a viable candidate for more jobs. The only way I see this aspect of the economy improving is through restructuring the education system we have in place. We haven’t changed our teaching methods since the 18th century; after 300 years I think it is safe to call it rusty.

So that is my opinion on the current situation in Wall Street. I think it’s great that people are speaking out about what they dislike, but to assume that America will conform to the standards of a minority is to expect a Camaro to fall from the sky.

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Samantha November 18, 2011 at 01:10 PM
For a 17 yr old to invoke such responses, I applaud you. Your story was very well written and I wouldn't give it up. I agree that these protester's need to have a mission. Things will just get out of control and I hope it does not turn into some "civil war" where things get ugly. A good cause should not turn into chaos because of undefined motives.
Bubba November 19, 2011 at 02:01 AM
I think you misunderstand what's happening with Greece. For the most part, private banks and investors loaned a lot of money to the Greek government because it offered attractive rates and, critically, because they assume that as a member of the EU it would be bailed out if it got into trouble and thus was unlikely to default. Now the citizens of the other European countries are being asked to bail out Greece, and in turn these private banks and investors, who would otherwise lose some or all of their investment if Greece was allowed to default. So the people as a whole are effectively bailing out the capitalist investors. Not exactly socialism.More like the reverse. And it should sound familiar (TARP, AIG, Goldman Sachs, ...). Yes Greece's public sector is an overinflated disaster. And yes, the citizens of Greece benefit from a bailout, but it's really only the private banks that walk away better off overall.
Jim Tobias November 19, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Steve's right -- this isn't socialism, it's hypercapitalism: pay off the banks no matter what. We're not done with our part of the financial crisis either -- Bank of America is shifting its toxic assets into accounts that are federally insured; they want the taxpayer to pay that bill as well: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-10-21/wall_street/30305411_1_derivatives-bofa-fdic
Jim Tobias November 19, 2011 at 05:11 PM
The Occupy movement is not only spreading everywhere, it's connecting up with specific actions that should be popular with anyone in the shrinking middle class: restore the tax rate on millionaires to Reagan-era levels, investigate and prosecute financial fraud, end tax breaks for outsourcing American jobs, stop fraudulent foreclosures, limit bonuses for executives of firms that received federal bailouts, promote businesses that create clean jobs, preserve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, etc. It's a movement, not a political party or legislative body. What's your issue? If it concerns economic justice, I think you'd find that the Occupy folks want to get on board.
Diana Noble November 21, 2011 at 02:47 AM
I only object to the statement that if the unemployment rate is 10% that means that 9 out of 10 people have no trouble finding a job. That infers that everyone is out in the job market having to 're-find' work again. This is simply untrue. Most people are staying in their jobs, even jobs they despise, rather than risk duking it out on the mean streets for a fresh job. The blogger's point of view is instructional in seeing just what prevalent world biases the jobless face.


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