I Think Occupy Wallstreet Might Be Occupying the Wrong Place: They Might Start a Little More Local

Oct 11 2011

Poor Boston Students

I promise I won’t do this very often but I have to rant and get a little politico on you.

I have to admit it bothers me. From the people protesting at Occupy, to the guy complaining while standing in line at the convenient store buying lottery tickets and cigarettes, there are a lot of unhappy people. They all look so miserable and all blaming the big banks,big business, and the rich, for their difficult life. I understand that life is difficult for many right now but general protesting for change may get them the attention they desire,  not the change they need. Officially I’m the 1 percent that they are protesting about. I don’t feel like the bad one percent. I don’t feel privileged but evidently I am. Evidently my choices of living below my means, gradual building of wealth, and stressing the importance of a balanced, healthy lifestyle makes me arrogant,uppity, and wrong. I guess the politicians that no longer listen to their local constituents get off the hook while everyone protests the companies that buy their thoughts.  I feel somewhat perplexed with the protesting of lack of voice and ability to attain wealth from people that are tweeting from iPads and iPhones or sitting there typing on their $1000 computers.  And who’s running this thing?  I’ve seen more organization during the improv line dances that break out at the Rose Bowl Tavern.  What I see is a whole lot of want and not very much how.

From a very young age I knew that life had to be more fun than it was. I wasn’t bad at school, I just didn’t like it. I realized the importance of school but just felt there were so many things I was being taught really weren’t going to help. I felt half the teachers looked like they were going through the motions. I had moved quite a bit and never lived anywhere more than 4 years so I constantly had to make new friends and got to a point where I was tired of reintroducing even “rebranding” who I was to a new group of people.I couldn’t wait to try and actually do something instead of learning about doing something.  It wasn’t until college that I saw the light. I saw some passion in some of the teachers. One of those teachers was a finance teacher. The guy was a bit of a nut but he was passionate about finance, especially the markets. I could see that the guy absolutely loved coming in every day and talking to the class. I became a trader because of that teacher but in hindsight it wasn’t because he made me love trading, it was because his enthusiasm was infectious. His smiles and laughs made it seem like that particular world he loved so much was a world I wanted to be a part of. It wasn’t just the money. It was the excitement, the thrill, and the emotion. It was then I knew that just as important as learning and teaching, was living and working in a comfortable environment. When people are comfortable and enjoy their surroundings they will perform at a higher level. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to push them to an uncomfortable level to reach new highs, but it means when you do, they know and trust that the person pushing them probably is doing it for a good reason.  People have stood up because they can no longer take being uncomfortable.  But who’s to blame?

I look around me when I’m out and I just don’t see that passion. I still see it in kids every day. Maybe they’re too young to know that life is supposed to suck. Eventually they learn from their parents and surroundings about what life really is. That you are supposed to go to a job you don’t like and then come home and do what you want to do. Eat whatever you want, watch tv and wake up and do it again. Go day to day and then you die. What a shitty way to live. The protesters at Occupy are protesting about the class differences but I’d like to protest the attitude problems. Most people are where they are because they put themselves there. They accepted what and where they are in life and feel that it’s because of somebody else’s doing. Almost all the college students there are from families in the 1%.

I understand Occupy Wallstreet people are tired of rich people having everything but what do they want? What are THEY going to do to change things other than stand outside and complain? From the looks of many of the campers, they haven’t done a lot to help society or better themselves in quite a while. This isn’t a Peta rally. This isn’t a Syria protest.  Syrians are rallying for the opportunities you already have.  Occupy is protesting for MORE opportunity than they all ready have.  Herman Cain said the other day “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself. It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed”.

You really can have everything you want in life in the United States if you temper your wants. If you’ve read The Millionaire Next Door you realize that most millionaires weren’t given the money from their families or won the lottery. They are elite because they slowly built up to that level. The problems of today are no worse then they have been at points in the past.  Opportunity has not left although it is a little harder to find. As for most of today’s millionaires, they saved a little each month and lived a modest lifestyle until they had saved a million dollars. Most never made over $80,000 a year as a family. Here were the keys according to the book

1. They live well below their means.
2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
7. They chose the right occupation.

So life can be good. It just takes self control and sacrifice. Taking a job you enjoy over one that pays better. Or on the contrary, accepting a job temporarily that pays better but you don’t enjoy, in sacrifice for building some savings in order to do what you want later on.  Tempering your needs. Forgetting about the Jones’ and trying to keep up. Living in a town or neighborhood that will provide positivity in your life. Surrounding yourself with people and friends that will encourage a better you and remind you when you’ve strayed. Keeping your mind and body healthy to avoid the aches and pains of growing older. Money certainly plays a part in all of this but it’s much less than people realize. Money is only a problem if you don’t have enough is the old saying but take someone that doesn’t know how to manage money and  give them a big influx of money and see what happens.  They’ll most likely be at square one in due time.  I feel you have to live life with the thought that you have to save for the future but what good is having money in the future if the journey was terrible. Youth is wasted on the young. The youth are protesting right now, they just don’t exactly know why. What they really need to protest is making sure the doors of opportunity stay open. If businesses continue to shut down that opportunity will diminish. The only role the banks have in this is the tightening of credit to businesses.  They’re protesting big money for the w.  What they should be doing is protesting their local politicians for selling their vote.  Protest until your politician is forced to represents their constituents or else not get elected. You’re elected official is supposed to vote what the majority of his constituents want even if it’s wrong.  Money from banks and big business should not change his mind.  If you’re still voting for him then you are the issue not the bank.  Money is not evil. Blaming others for your lack of it may be.

Pictures courtesy of occupyweb.org

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Troy


    Just because you are in the top 1% (and I congratulate you) does not mean that these people are really protesting you and your lifestyle. While the most hardened of these protesters might choose to hate and protest you, a self made success that has done it without stepping on others, the majority of these individuals are protesting something much larger than you, and much more insidious. They are protesting the commercial banking industry in general and one has to have their head in the sand to be of the opinion that the commercial banking industry has done nothing to deserve the protest.

    There are rich people that have gotten that way through hard work and sacrifice, there are rich people that have gotten that way through luck, there are rich people that have gotten that way through creativity and then there are rich people that have gotten where they are through fraud and taking advantage of others mercilessly.

    The first three are acceptable in a free society, even desirable. The forth group is a group all of its own. It has many people in it, but is known mostly for having big money families, the FED and other organizations that have the ability to create and destroy money in thin air.

  2. Mike

    Troy – you took the words out of my mouth. +1.

    Besides a major protest movement, I see no other way for Americans of all income levels to come together and say, hey we’re sick of this fraud and corruption shit!

  3. RH

    Mike the way to do that is not sitting on an ipad blogging, look I care, its cool to protest and want people to see me doing it.

    You either believe in democracy or you don’t. Shane is right it starts at the local political level. So many people are upset but they all don’t vote.

    There are so many different groups for the protest that really don’t believe the same stuff.

    You got unions there, do you know how much Union money is invested in stocks and bonds ? Billions. So are they looking for Wall St to take a hit so their members can lose a lot of money ? No, they see it as a chance to maybe get back some ground lost over the years.

    I come from this field, the banks are to be blamed, absolutely. But this started way back, and everyone is too blame on some level.

    The HBO movie, “Too Big Too Fail” should be mandatory for every one to watch. The best at showing how things got here.

    But way before 2008, I said to a close friend who is a broker, that Glass-Streagall should have never been repealed. We should have never allowed that under Clinton. Banks are not supposed to grow like tech companies, they should be solid, safe returns. Pay a good dividend, make smart loans.

    We need term limits, if you said look, for any American wanting to help serve their country in Congress, you got six years and you can never be re elected. Things would improve just on that imo, because it would be less of a value to buy a politician. You would not have them there for a lifetime, maybe 40 years being a career politician.

    One thing that is no one’s fault is the world has changed. There are more people that can afford nice things, the middle class in China for one example. This brings greater demand for oil and food, which raises prices.

    We also are approaching 7 billion people, that’s a lot more people to take care of. Business is going to go for the cheapest labor it can find. There are many jobs that some here feel are beneath them which adds to the problem.

    We have more people that want to be celebrities, than teachers or a CEO.
    There was a poll where a bunch of high school kids were asked, which would you rather be ?

    A) Senator
    B) President of Harvard or Yale
    C) Ceo of a Fortune 500
    D) A celebrity assistant, just the person carrying the bags

    40 % picked Celebrity assistant.

    Maybe we need occupy major city education systems. Because they suck.
    Education is becoming a joke in this country. 7 out of 10 kids graduate high school, is a disgrace. Education needs a complete overall.

    Paying teachers better
    Modern subjects
    Protection for students against bullying
    Home Schooling via Computer
    More time spent in school

    You have to want everyone to have something to lose. You cannot have millions of people with nothing. That’s what needs to be worked on, solutions.

    If this protest is just peaceful and stays like this, then its a big deal at the beginning but after awhile, like ad blindness on a website, people walking by get protest blindness.

    We need to come up with solutions, that start small, you cannot fix a country this size overnight. We need innovation, education, and working on fixing entitlement programs. People should be using them when needed not feeling that Entitlement is the American Dream.

    Again IMO

  4. Lennard

    I agree with you Shane but the Protesters, also have a point. After watching The Documentary “Inside Job” I was in Total disbelief about what we let these CEO’s, Politicians and indeed Universities / Professors get away with.

  5. Kane

    “Eventually they learn from their parents and surroundings about what life really is. That you are supposed to go to a job you don’t like and then come home and do what you want to do. Eat whatever you want, watch tv and wake up and do it again. Go day to day and then you die. What a shitty way to live. ”

    You hit the nail on the head. I realized I didn’t want to do that at 15 and never settled for being in the 99%.

    These protesters are simply blaming others for their ignorance and then doing nothing about it to change it. Even if they redistribute the wealth a free market will lead everything back to those who are most productive and ambitious.

    Thus the circle of life.

  6. Jones

    Sometimes push comes to shove, and you have to take it to a grand scale, the fact that wall street was floated billions of tax payer dollars, to play in the stock market, only to hand out multi million dollar bonuses the year after, makes you wonder.

    Shane putting yourself in the top 1 percent is a little over the top…

  7. Pingback: Howard Stern makes fun of Wall Street protesters | Domain Shane

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