According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Wall Street Woes R Us

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wall Street Woes R Us

Sam and I are concerned about the “revolution” supposedly occurring in America. We’re not sure what this Occupy Wall Street movement (aka OWS) really is all about or just how serious it might be. Worse, we worry what it could eventually lead to. 

The word “revolution” is scary. Are we talking about tearing down our financial institutions and, “Off with their heads,” of our political leaders? Our forefathers gave us the Constitutional right of bearing arms to overthrow our government - just as we did when we sent our English over-lords back across the Pond, and just as we have recently seen happen in Egypt and Libya. But do we want another Civil War worse than the last one? How many times have you said to yourself – rightly so – that American democracy might not be the best system in the world, but nobody has come up with a better one – certainly not communism? 

We may be fed up with being broke, out of work and getting evicted from our homes and it’s easy to blame big banks (rightly so) for the home mortgage fiasco, and we get totally ticked off every time some corporate CEO or Wall Street whiz-kid is paid a bonus that would keep most of us in home and stocked up on groceries for several years (rightly so), but don’t we realize that as greedy as corporate America is, we ourselves are just as greedy and just as responsible for America’s current economic woes? I empathize with anyone out of work – been there. I empathize with anyone broke – been there. I empathize with anyone whose car has been repossessed or who can’t make the rent or mortgage payment – been there. 

But demanding reform of banks and corporations isn’t going to do any good until we reform ourselves. As the comic strip Pogo once said (paraphrased), “When we meet the enemy we will see that he is us.” Maybe our battle cry should be, “Off with our own heads!” 

Once our laborers banded together and demanded better working conditions and wages (rightly so), paychecks got fatter. When paychecks got fatter, we wanted to buy more stuff. Now, we think we need a house that is about three times as big as American homes used to be. And our rapacious greed is such that when the Joneses down the street sell their home, we think we should be able to sell ours for more money. We don’t just need transportation to go from one place to the other anymore, we need to arrive speedily in a luxury vehicle that’s got four-wheel drive and blows our nose for us. 

We think we should be able to eat out a couple of times a week. We think we deserve designer clothes that cost a lot of money, even if our $150 jeans already have holes in them and even if our $100 cowboy hat is already crushed out of shape and has never seen a horse. We think we should travel as much as we want. 

We need, we want, we must have and we are p----d off because we can’t have what we want. Granted, corporate America and its slick advertising campaigns have created such a lust in our loins for things we really don’t need (an ipad?) that we have gone way out on the limb financially and are in grave danger of sawing our credit off behind us. But who is really to blame? 

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