Fueling the fire.

Occupy Wall Street. I appreciate the anger, but perhaps it's time to point the finger of blame somewhere else as well.

I know who the 99% are. I don't need your signs. I am one of the 99%, just not one of you. Fact is, there's a few groups in that 99%. And many of them aren't actually blameless. And for a liberal, that's probably heresy. But I am partly responsible for my lot in life and accept that. Partly. Remember that. Wall Street is a major player in the downfall of our economy. Just not all of it. And not everyone who works there.

As much as I hate to say it, the sign-carrying protesters are beginning to bug me. As someone who believes in, and supports, their underlying message, I am also a bit frustrated with them.

I saw a woman interviewed as she was leaving a protest let's just say somewhere in middle America. As she walked away, yakking on what appeared to be an iPhone, I began imagining just what she'd do next. Her pace was fast. Probably in a hurry to meet her friends at a trendy corporate owned bar. Happy hour special lets her save money. Has to hit the Big Bank ATM on the way. Girls' night out. Husband home in front of the 50" flat screen TV from Korea watching his favorite NFL players prancing around earning their 20 million dollar bonuses. Kids in the basement playing video games made in Japan, dressed in their PJ's made in China.

How many of you can honestly say none of that reflects your life. We are all part of the 99%. Angry at what Wall Street has done to us, yet not willing to take a hard look at our own role in this fiasco.

You think it's classy and chic to buy things because they say "imported"? It is. It puts you right up there in the world of the 1%. Which is what this is about. You want what they have. I understand that. But you can't  have it both ways. If you truly are the 99% and want your fair share, then take the necessary steps to get it back. They can't steal from you if you don't give them the opportunity. And remember, wanting what they have is not the same as wanting your fair share. Their share isn't fair at all. If you want what they have, yet don't believe it's a fair share, then why would you want it? Hmm? We have to start admitting to ourselves that many of us want what they have. That insidious part of us that shares something in common with the 1%. An appetite for more. More of whatever we have, and even more of whatever they have. There is a portion of the 99% that truly didn't play a role here. Those who truly are victimized by the economy. And this is not about them. It's about the rest of us.

Bottom line. We can change the ethos of Wall Street.

If we don't support corporate America, built off the backs of cheap off-shore labor and funded by our hard-earned investment dollars, they cannot continue their odious ways. Do your homework. Try to understand what you do in your everyday life that may contribute to this repugnant situation. Maybe what disturbs me most is the fact that Wall Street has behaved badly for decades, but it wasn't a problem when everyday American's were seeing huge gains in their worth. While our homes appreciated at an insane pace. And while many had good paying jobs with incredible benefits. As long as Wall Street was good for us, we left them alone. Tacitly approving of their practices. It's only when it turned sour for us that we decide enough is enough. Those who are crooks now were crooks then. We just turned our heads. Shame on us.

Here's a few suggestions for everyday changes that WILL make a difference. Drive right past wally world and head into your local grocery store instead. Perhaps stop at the Farmer's Market. Put down your iPhone made in China. Realize that we're smart enough and able enough here in America to start producing our own smartphones. Don't go to the trendy upscale happy hour. Go to the local Pub that's been there for 50 years and help them stick around for another 50. Move your bank account to your community bank or Credit Union. They are there for you, so be there for them. Invest in companies that you believe in. Simple as that. If you like a company, believe in their character, support them. If your investment strategy for retirement is a who's who of Corporate America behaving badly, you can't complain. You wanted the growth and income, and it came at your own peril.

Check the labels on every item you buy and make an educated decision about whether it's necessary. We do manufacture clothes here. You don't NEED to buy apparel made outside our borders. If you are able to, and want to support those in need around the world, check out some of the online sites that sell local goods from towns and villages in the most remote areas of the world and directly support them... with your cash.

It's about practicing what you preach. Support your community, your neighbors, your schools, warts and all. That is what you can do to benefit the 99%. In fact if nothing else, support your schools. Education is the only way up and out of this mess. The 1% is overjoyed at our negligence. We cut spending where we need it most. And invest precious resources in the hopes that Wall Street will magically make our savings grow. Like a Beanstalk. Time to chop down the beanstalks and raise a little awareness.

Unfortunately, I suppose, it's simply easier to carry a sign.

Popular posts from this blog

Rich Chocolate Gluten Free Cake that's Deliciously low in carbs

Look out KFC, there's a new chicken in town

Lemon Meringue Pie