Saturday, October 22, 2011

Occupy Your Mind...With Information!

Hey, All You Financial Freedom Fighters!

So, I read this letter in our free weekly newspaper The Coast the other day crapping on the recent "Occupy Wall Street" movement:

"So, the Wall Street/Bay Street lads and lasses are going to return their huge bonuses after listening to the ramblings of 35 dossers in a coffee shop in Halifax?  Viva La Revolution and pass the latte and organic sugar!"

In addition to being supremely cynical, this letter endeavors to beat up on people who, at very least, have done more then just bitch about how messed up things are.  They've actually detached themselves from the opiate of mainstream media, gotten up off their asses, gone out of their homes, hooked up with like-minded people and have begun to fight for change in the only method available to them.

Remember, Emerson once wrote: "Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind”.  No, those Wall Street/Bay Street lads and lasses aren't going to return their ill-gotten gains but maybe a few of them can be taxed, prosecuted or prevented from committing grand-scale larceny ever again if a few of these brave rabble-rousers can get a spotlight on these issues.

Then, after a bit of research, I stumbled across the "We Are The 53%" contingent, typified by poor, misinformed shlubs like this guy:

So, these people claim to represent the 53% of the American population who supposedly work, pay taxes and merrily keep their heads buried in the sand so they don't have to come to grips with how corrupt and one-sided the entire system is.  Instead of actually researching things and trying to keep an open mind, all these jokers want to do is characterize the Occupy Wall Street protesters as a bunch of unwashed, Granola-eating layabouts who are freeloading off the system.

Never mind the fact that if the Occupy folks actually got some respect, media attention and political representation to champion their cause, guys like Erick Erickson wouldn't have to work three jobs, be stuck with a worthless home or get screwed on his insurance premiums!  People like this are so uninformed and ignorant about what the Occupy movement represents, they don't understand that a rampant, profit-drunk Wall Street is exactly who's to blame for Deep Six-ing the economy!  The Occupy people are fighting for everyone, including Tea Party-supporting rednecks!  

Back to our local paper, I also noticed this little homily of naive and woefully unmitigated snarkiness:

"Stick it to the man and the evil corporations who run this country! Don't forget about our terrible conservative government! We've been pushed around and lied to for long enough! Isn't this movement totally relatable to the Arab Spring? I mean we are soooo oppressed aren't we? Who do the corporate bastards and the government think they are! All we have is a favourable economy, public healthcare, access to unbiased education, freedom of speech, 3 meals a day, hot showers and access to all the shitty social media we can handle.

Don't even get me started on the deadly Tar Sands. Did you know that it takes 9 barrels of oil to produce one barrel of tar sands oil? And they kill thousands of ducks on purpose! I know this is 100% true because I read it on some shitty blog. My liberal art degree entitles me to know how to solve the worlds problems, never mind all those dumbass business, economic and engineering types. I mean, what the fuck do they know? Get your cardboard sign up in the air and lets protest this terrible situation we Canadians have been put in!" 

OooOooo, wow, sarcasm!  Nice!

No-one in the Occupy Canada movement is saying that our country is in the same state as Libya.  What they're trying to tell your uneducated ass is that things aren't what they used to be and if we continue to stand around bent over the pool table with our knickers on the floor, we're gonna keep getting drilled.

The sad fact of the matter is:
  • The gap between the rich and the poor is growing faster in Canada then it is in the U.S.
  • Canada's top CEO's make more money in a single day then the average Canadian makes in a year.
  • Between 1997 and 2007, the salaries of Canadian CEO's went up 444% 
  • In the last 25 years the average Canadian family income (thanks to inflation) hasn't really grown at all! 
So there, dumbass!  Canada may still be a great country, but as it turns out, we're not perfect after all!

So, in light of all of this rampant sarcasm, here's my own contribution to the toxicity of this debate.  Here's:

  1. You're got more money then God and you want politicians to keep offering you sweet tax shelters.  And you're not Warren Buffet, apparently...
  2. You really think that lobbyists representing obscenely rich corporations should keep influencing government policy to the detriment of the average citizen.
  3. You think its a great idea for banks to keep making "Liars Loans" by knowingly granting mortgages to people who can't afford them.  Bonus points if you also believe that it's a sound business practice to group all of these bad loans together and resell them as if they're prime investments.  More bonus points if you think it's creative and clever for these same financial institutions to secretly bet against these ventures (after scoring an exemption from the federal government to avoid prosecution under state gaming laws).  Instant demerit if you actually think all of this sounds kinda illegal.  
  4. You believe it's a swell idea to bail out shady outfits like Goldman Sachs, despite the fact that they gambled with the collective savings of the American people like a bunch of drunken lemurs. 
  5. You love to see currency get printed like Monopoly money, thereby creating gobs of inflation and reducing your hard-earned life savings to the value of some loose string, bits of twigs and a dead vole.
  6. You can say with a straight face that there's absolutely no conflict of interest whatsoever when  high-ranking government positions are habitually stocked with shady corporate alumni like Hank Paulson, Timothy Geithner and Robert Rubin.
  7. You and your spouse really enjoy working 2-5 jobs with a combined work week of 122 hours.  Meanwhile, your kids are being raised in a daycare that once featured prominently on 60 Minutes.  Speaking of the young 'uns, you're also pretty jazzed with the concept of of letting them grow up in a world where they'll inherit our mountain of debt and, as a result, become modern-day serfs in a 21'st century feudal system.   
  8. You love living in a world where massive conglomerates dictate what news, entertainment and information you see via a Tongan Death grip on our media.  You also believe wholeheartedly that these media giants willingly and routinely report news stories that are detrimental to their corporate interests.  In a completely unrelated point, you also have no idea who Rupert Murdoch is.        
  9. You think it's co-incidence that wars break out after fat military contracts get handed out like coupons for Domino's Pizza.    
  10. You're prone to say "Please, sir, may I have another?" when the company you work for shit-cans you after ten years of loyal service, not because the organization is struggling but because the investors want to squeeze another few dimes of profit out of the machine by exporting your job to Tobago.
So, by all means, if these things appeal to you keep being apathetic or, even better, continue to mock something you barely understand.

If you're gonna trash the Occupy Wall Street folks, then at least have the decency to occupy your mind with a couple of facts first...
EPIC  A tad alarmist, but then again, we should be alarmed...

FAIL  Rich douchebag Kevin O'Leary tries to single-handedly turn the CBC into Fox News with this shameful exchange with respected journalist Chris Hedges.  While it's certainly in O'Leary's best interest to make sure the Occupy movement gets no attention, a stunt like this would get the average person fired.


Brodie said...

Kudos for writing about this topic! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You nailed it David. One more point The concentration on your own financial opportunities doesn't really feel very good internally. That may account for the anger with which some people recieve news of dissent , they don't feel as good about themselves as do people who are working activily for the good of us all.