Every time I see the news, I find myself increasingly bothered by the Occupy Wall Street Protests. Why? Because they’re doing it wrong.
On CNN today, they showed a segment about a reporter who decided to join up with the Wall Street protesters to give us an in-depth look at how the event is organized. To tell you the truth, I actually applaud how the protest is arranged. The people convene and work together so everyone is fed and has a tent to stay in. It’s clear that these people have enough in common with each other to forge relationships that will prove valuable if they ever receive the jobs for which they are protesting.
First of all, the United States unemployment rate currently stands at ten percent. For every person that is unemployed, nine people don’t seem to have a problem finding work. I’m not surprised that these people are getting noticed; if you go out to eat with ten of your friends and one doesn’t like the restaurant, I think you can figure out who among you is unhappy.
That being said, these people are protesting the wrong things. America was founded on the pursuit of happiness. “Pursuit” is the operative word here; I can pursue a new car, but if I don’t have $20,000 I cannot get one. If a Camaro fell from the sky, that would be great. I don’t stare up at the sky and wait for it to happen because I don’t expect it to.
There are a few reasons these people are out of work, but one common link between them that has gone utterly ignored is the role European markets play in America’s economy. Greece, the proverbial “cash cow” in the mix has been making money disappear faster than Harry Houdini resurrecting himself from the dead at a one night spectacular in Las Vegas. The rest of Europe, semi-socialist since the dawn of modern politics, continues to feed Greece money despite the fact that their economy is a total sham. No amount of bailouts will ever fix the corruption within Greece; only a push by Grecian citizens for political change will improve economic conditions.
So what should America, as the third wheel in this situation, be doing to counteract the European and Grecian disruption to our economy? Had I an extremist opinion I would suggest that everyone pack up and move to Greece. But in all seriousness, maybe a boycott of European goods should be in order?
By keeping our money within our own country through the purchase of American goods, not only will we be able to cut out the international markets being dragged under by one country’s corruption, but we can generate more revenue for ourselves in the process. I’m no economist, but when the economy improves, I bet we would see an increase in employment.
If the protesters can orchestrate a “sit in” at the park near Wall Street, I doubt that a boycott is beyond their ability. Just to clarify, we need to stop buying goods made in Europe. If it comes from outside the USA, it is only bringing us down.
A separate issue that we as Americans need to work together on improving is the education system. I don’t think that every individual needs to go out and get a masters degree in everything, but our public school systems and colleges have been manufacturing a generation of students who specialize in one field. I spent most of my life not sticking to one concept for the future. In tenth grade, I stopped taking chorus class because I didn’t see the value in improving on that particular field. When I feel confident in my writing, maybe I'll move on to something else.
Too many people come out of four-year universities with a plan that involves a perfect world. If you want to be an artist that’s great; if you can translate English to Spanish, you automatically stand a better chance in the job market than someone who doesn’t. By learning language, mathematics and reasoning skills you can broaden your horizons and become a viable candidate for more jobs. The only way I see this aspect of the economy improving is through restructuring the education system we have in place. We haven’t changed our teaching methods since the 18th century; after 300 years I think it is safe to call it rusty.
So that is my opinion on the current situation in Wall Street. I think it’s great that people are speaking out about what they dislike, but to assume that America will conform to the standards of a minority is to expect a Camaro to fall from the sky.