Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy my living room

I've been watching the comings and goings of the various Occupy-my-city groups.   I keep trying to have an open mind but so far I still have not seen anything that convinces me that they are anything other than bozos who like to complain really loudly but don't want to actually DO anything to create change.  I still fail to see how any of this protesting, marching, yelling, camping out on public property is going to change anything in our society?  Other than make some people feel like they are part of something "really important" and glorify in the excitement of a large group of people getting together and feeling passionate about something.  But seriously, how is it going to have any impact on corruption in our government? How are all these people chanting about what they don't like going to actually achieve health care for everyone, eradication of corruption in government and more jobs back in our country instead of being outsourced?  I keep hearing the same old same old "If we demand it loud enough, then the high-ups with make change!" No they won't.  That is the logic of 3-year olds.  "If I scream louder this time during my tantrum, Mama will let me have that cookie before dinner like I want!"  It doesn't work like that.   If the higher-ups are corrupt and making millions off of it, they really don't care what protesters think.  If politicians are ignoring what is good for the people in this country because they want to get more votes, they really don't care what protesters think.

Seriously, mama is not going to give you that cookie.  And if you REALLY want that cookie, you need to stop screaming, smile nicely, wait until mama leaves the kitchen and go get the cookie yourself.  Ok, that's a bad analogy because cookies before dinner aren't good for you.  But you get my point.  If you want the government to stop being corrupt, expose the corruption, vote out the ones who are corrupt.  If you want health care for everyone, get educated and start trying to come up with a solution.  If you want companies to stop outsourcing jobs, get into politics and learn about economics and figure out a way to reasonably convince companies they need to stop outsourcing (without driving all large corporations out of our country altogether).  These are intensely complicated issues and will never be solved by wasting one's time carrying signs, chanting, marching and sleeping outside.  It's a distraction from the real work of finding a solution.  It is the lazy man's way of pretending to care and pretending to want to make a difference - when the real difference, the one that comes of hard work and finding solutions, is just so hard compared to sitting on one's butt and screaming at mama to just get them the damn cookie already.

I think about these three issues a lot.  Especially when I'm having trouble sleeping.  I don't have any solutions yet (wouldn't that be cool if I did!) but I have some ideas.

1.  Affordable and good health care accessible to everyone.  How to do it?  Right now my thought is that the best way to get there is to create huge non-profit health care services (real non-profits - not like Kaiser and Regence that still are all about the financial bottom line).  We'd need some billionaire like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet to get something like that going.  But when everyone flocked to the giant non-profits with great health care for everyone it would create an enormous strain on the current health care system, which is all about making money.  They'd either have to go under or find a new mission that had more to do with accessible good health care than profits.

2.  Corruption in government.  No clue how to get that eradicated.  If it was taken away the whole government might collapse it is so intrinsic to the entire system.  But definitely exposure helps and educating people on just how much corruption there really is.  It's a tough one.

3.  Outsourcing.  I am convinced that a huge part of our failing economy is due to so many of our jobs are now in third world countries.   I've thought about how there should be an extra tax - especially a huge hike in paying unemployment - that all companies who outsource to other countries should have to pay.  Also, making it illegal to pay Indian (for example) workers less *in our money* than an employee in our country would be paid.  Then there would be no point to send jobs across the globe just to hike up profits.   Why pay factory workers in India $10 an hour in our money when that is what you'd pay a factory worker in Ohio?

Anyway, I think a lot about this stuff and those three issues are high on my priority list when I vote for politicians.  Unfortunately,  I have yet to see a politician who will actually address those issues head-on because they're all about getting their job in Congress or whatever because the unbelievable benefits politicians get make them royalty to the rest of us serfs.  So, of course they will lie, cheat and not address the real issues in order to get elected to be part of royalty.  And no, they are NOT listening to the protesters (unless it might gain some votes for them).

So, despite it is unpopular among many of my friends, I continue to think the Occupy-wherever protesters are bozos.  And the attorneys for whistleblowers,  the civil rights speakers/educators,  the people who work for the Innocence Project,  the union representatives who try really hard and want to stop corruption in the unions and in the large corporations,  the local politicians who dream of making a difference more than getting fancy politician benefits, the people like Bill & Melinda Gates who create foundations to better the world, and people like William Gates Sr. who write books to educate people on why taxing the rich is a good thing, and managers at places like F5 Networks that strive to have a competitive work environment where parents can work a normal work week and still get to go home to see their families (they've been written up a lot in the local paper - they are the anti-Microsoft as far as treating their workers like humans and that puts pressure on the Amazons and Microsofts to not treat their employees like slaves) - those are the real heroes who are out there actually making change.  And those are the people I will continue to give my support to.  Those are the people who are doing something, who are living the solution, and are making a difference.

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