Protesting a protest…


Saw this picture tagged on Facebook yesterday, thought I’d share it with you all…

To be perfectly honest, I’ve kind of stayed in the dark about the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’ve personally never been a big fan of huge protests…especially when half the people protesting don’t really know exactly what they’re protesting….

Organizer Anthony Bondi said he has what he referred to as a “message team” working on the primary goals of the local protests, which he admitted “was kind of vague.”

“The message team will reveal that tomorrow [Friday] morning,” Bondi said.

“So you guys are in the process of forming the reasons why you are here?” asked CBS13 reporter Tony Lopez.

“Exactly correct,” Bondi said.

Look, I know big businesses suck (did you see my blog post about Bank Of America last week?!). I also know that rich people seem to be getting richer, and the middle/lower classes aren’t necessarily following suit. There is no denying that things are jacked up in America right now.

That said, I think the Occupy Wall Street movement is a big fat waste of time. If people want to show their disgust with a corporation, stop buying products from said corporation. It you aren’t happy with the government, do yourself a favor and actually vote in the next election (only 37% of eligible people do). While the Occupy Wall Street protest has definitely helped stir people’s emotions, it will be a complete and utter failure if it doesn’t result in any actionable/measurable behavioral changes.

You think Bank of America is going to stop charging that $5 debit card fee if you say “I hate you Bank of America” while you’re swiping it at the grocery store? Not a chance. You have to say “I hate you Bank of America” and start banking somewhere else. Empty threats are a waste of oxygen.

Even though I don’t necessarily fully agree with the Facebook picture above, I like it. It communicates a simple and straightforward message: Accept responsibility and take action.  If everyone (literally everyone) started doing that, we’d all be doing just fine.

How do you feel about the Occupy Wall Street movement? Do you think there will be lasting change as a result? How/when do you think it will finally end (we should start like an office pool betting on the date)? Let the debating begin….

58 thoughts on “Protesting a protest…

  1. I just hope it doesn’t become violent. I prefer law and order over anarchy and chaos. It just seems that people are very angry these days. From the Tea Party to the Occupy Wall Street, people are pissed off.

  2. Organizers are looking to bring ‘Occupy Wall Street’ up to Canada to ‘Occupy Bay Street’ in Toronto. Considering Occupy Wall Street doesn’t have their message/demands fully clear I don’t understand how a protest can move to other cities to achieve anything other than a bunch of vague squatters banging drums as life moves on.

  3. I see a lot of complaints, a lot of selfish, where’s my bailout? type of complaints. The movement itself has a long giant manifesto and list of demands, but most are or border on the ridiculous (some I agree with – infrastructure spending now, equal rights):

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/oct/3/picket-occupy-wall-street-protesters-post-manifest/

    The ironic thing is that this movement is seen as the Tea Party of the Left… but they agree on a number of things! Both want no bailouts and no more corporate influence on Congress.

    • I’ve seen this posted like 50 times in the last few days, mostly by anti-OWS people looking to discount the protest as fringe hippy communists. The “manifesto” you refer to is the idea of ONE GUY on a forum thread. It isn’t official in any way shape or form. The WP link you posted even acknowledges that.

      Just thought you should know so you don’t go around spreading more garbage. Thanks.

  4. Oh PS… I give this post about 3 hours before the OWS trolls take it over.

    Have you seen Kevin’s Thousandaire post on this… after only a few days it had over 100 comments, he said many were deleted.

    Frankly… what do they have to do all day except troll the internet, you can only hold up a sign for so long before you start to think, what is this really doing?

    • Of course, you don’t mention that of those 100+ comments, 25 are by you, and some quite lengthy. Guess the “OWL trolls” are not the only ones with time on their hands.

      • Good point, but did you also notice my lengthy posts were almost never responded to? I’m biased, but I thought I made some good points.

        It seemed as though all they wanted to do was ignore healthy debate. Am I wrong?

        • There were some snide one-liners there, but actually I thought some people opposed to you made some very good points themselves, including Nikki Angelo. I wanted to put together a few observations myself, but I haven’t had found enough free time and/or concentration (just as I wanted to reply to your comments on Christian charity a few weeks back, but couldn’t find the wording I wanted). Maybe this weekend; these issues aren’t going away.

          • Oh i completely agree that they did. In fact, I agree with some of points they are trying to make.

            However, the overarching points I was trying to have them address were never responded to.

            Also, I never really jumped into the mix in all of my massive commenting until after they started trolling the post. You obviously ready all of what they had to say. A majority of their comments were worthless and baseless. Also, if you get Kevin’s newsletter, you would have found out that he deleted a bunch of posts from OWS commenters that were personally bashing his regulars. So I might have been 25% of that stream, but a majority of those who commented from the OWS group were drive by comments.

  5. The biggest problem is that most people truly believe they are entitled to things. Whether it be “free” money, or a job making 60K (or more) right out of college. No one wants to work for anything anymore. Personally, I LOVE the sign in that picture and I would hire that person immediately!

    As for the protest, it will not result in change of any kind, but they have to right to protest… besides, it’s probably really good for NYC tourism….

  6. I don’t really see what the “occupy” movement is going to accomplish. I think that voting out elected officials you disagree with and voting with your Idollar is the most powerful thing you can do. However, I get the point of protesting government bailouts. It’s ridiculous that banks can make bad business deals, lose money, and get a tax free loan from the government. I’m sorry, if you run your business badly, you close. End of story. I don’t care if you’re Bank of America of Goldman-Sachs. Why on earth does the government lend a ridiculous amount of money to corporations with golden-parachute mentalities while students are getting absolutely RIPPED on the interest rate for federal loans? It’s the fact that corporations and the fed are in bed together that really gets me angry. THAT point, I agree with. Stop giving favors and handouts to big business. STOP giving tax breaks to corporations for shipping jobs overseas. STOP the insanity!!

  7. I have a hard time with this. On one hand, a lot of people in my generation (I’m 27) and the OWS crowd do seem to be acting a bit entitled. But Wall Street did get bailed out. True, their bad decisions would have led to catastrophe for the rest of us without that bailout, but, while the institutions needed bailing out, the individuals certainly did not deserve it. I can’t imagine anyone honestly not understanding why, in light of that, others would feel jipped when they must continue to suffer more devastating consequences for their own, much smaller, mistakes. Sure, we’ve made our mistakes and we should take responsibility, but it is harder to do that without complaining when the people who made the biggest mistakes still got outsized rewards.

    I struggle to reconcile myself with the idea that I am an entitled whiner. I long believed that I had to work twice as hard as everyone else to get half the reward because I have had the bad luck to have a lot of jerk adults in my life. After a lot of therapy, I’ve learned that I don’t actually deserve this, which does give me a sense of entitlement; I want to make up for lost time and get all those rewards I missed out on.

    The mistakes that have put me in a dire financial situation are my responsibility in large part. However, my parents, who told me not to consider college cost to heavily and to take out all private student loans, also bear some responsibility. However, because I am the one bound to the loans, they get to shirk their responsibility for this and let me carry the consequences alone. Abuse and mental illness have exacerbated my situation. Am I a whiny, overly-entitled whiner? Maybe. I’m leaning toward no. Perhaps when people lament the over-entitlement of my generation, they would excuse me if they knew my situation.

    In response to the handwritten note at the top: Yes, you worked hard. You worked harder than many of your peers and you have successfully come out ahead. You are also lucky. I also worked my ass off, in different ways, but I was unlucky. Without mental illness, without abusive parents, I might have done as well as you. I don’t expect things to be handed to me for free, but I am finally beginning to expect to be compensated fairly for the work I do. I agree, that IS how it is supposed to work. My being part of the 99% wasn’t my decision. I wish more people like you understood that.

    • “Sure, we’ve made our mistakes and we should take responsibility, but it is harder to do that without complaining when the people who made the biggest mistakes still got outsized rewards.”

      Case in point:

      http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2011/09/fired_hp_ceo_leo_apotheker_lea.html
      “Recently fired Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker is walking away with more than $13 million in cash and stock after an 11-month reign that saw the technology’s company market value plunge by nearly $40 billion. Apotheker’s parting package includes a $7.2 million severance payment and a $2.4 million bonus for his performance while he was CEO. He also will keep restricted stock currently worth about $3.7 million. The value of Apotheker’s other stock awards will depend on how the company fares in the next few years, according to documents filed Thursday. Hewlett-Packard Co. also will cover Apotheker’s expenses for an anticipated move to France or Belgium.”

      This is not being “rewarded for hard work.” It’s being rewarded by powerful cronies for being a fuckup and a failure.

      $13M per annum is enough to employ 150 people at $86.66K, 200 at $65K.

  8. I’m actually very supportive of the movement. I think a lot of the complaining about “where’s my bailout” is not actually a complaint; it’s rhetoric to show that the current economy favors big business over 99% of regular taxpayers, who are shouldering burdens like the bank bailout.

    It’s vital to live within your means; every person who reads PF blogs has had that pounded into their head a thousand times, and for good reason. But how do you live within your means when you have no job? No money for rent, food, etc. Even people who do live within their means and need some kind of financial assistance (I have a GF who works a decent job but gets no healthcare through her employer and can’t afford private HC; she is pregnant, and has gone on WIC until the baby can get HC through the father, who she is lives with and is committed to, despite not being married).

    Much like the Tea Party (yeah, there’s a connection) these people are angry at the direction of our country and the people in power; the two factions (Occupy Wall Street & Tea Party) just have very different ideas about who exactly has the power in this country. And given the lobbying power of large corporations, I’m inclined to agree with Occupy Wall Street…

    • Nail, head. It’s not about whining, it’s about how things aren’t working in this country, from bailouts to Congress feeling it was elected on an economic mandate yet not passing bills related to fiscal soundness or economic policy.

  9. I agree that the whole protest seems kind of stupid. I posted about how people just expect to have a job when they get out of school, but what are they don’t to get the job? Also, I think this whole “blame others for your misfortune or bad decisions” is stupid.
    Here is a question: if these people are hating Wall Street and big corporations so much, are they hating the likes of Apple? I bet half of them own iPhones and are reading this post on it.

  10. I’m glad I live in a country were people can freely express their opinions and protest what they feel is wrong. That being said, this group does not seem to have much direction or an “end game” to decide when things are done or a goal is accomplished.

    I also agree with what you said. Most of these people who hate corporations and wall street and posting their views using corporate made technologies and eating free pizza from pizza hut (another corporation). Yet they don’t seem to see the irony in it.

    I give it until the first sustained cold streak in NYC before the majority of them give up.

  11. I definitely sympathize with the picture (though when I graduated school my story was the exact opposite). I feel like these people are just looking for someone to blame for something. They want to blame wall street (fine) but they dont know what to blame them for. Are they blaming wall street for kicking puppies and tearing daises out of the ground every time they see them?

  12. The problem with images like that one from Facebook is that it is RIDICULOUSLY privileged. Not everyone has the physical ability to work and go to school at the same time. Going to college in itself is a privilege that not everyone can afford, and the fact that many people who DO go to college are stuck paying student loans for the rest of their lives is just wrong.

    The Occupy Wall Street movement is not about people not accepting responsibility for their own debt. It’s about the fact that 1% of the country’s populating is in control of a huge majority of the nation’s wealth and does very little to help out the other 99%. as Graduate.Living said above, the problem is less that ordinary people weren’t given a bailout, and more that big businesses have had no consequences for essentially crashing our economy.

    Also, for all of the people saying that those people are using iPhones and eating Pizza Hut: I’m pretty sure that Apple and Pizza Hut weren’t given billions of dollars in the bailouts. This isn’t about corporations, it’s about responsibility and unequal treatment. I think a lot of the people bitching about the OWS movement are really ignorant about what it’s actually about.

    • Ditto what Shelly said.

      For the record, I am not in debt and I also work my ass off and I paid my way through college with minimal family help. I have an emergency fund, savings accounts, a Roth, a 401k…BUT I can still see where weak regulations with businesses are really screwing over all of us as a whole and how. (The fact that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was under attack before it was even staffed is mind-blowing.) Understandably, individuals who own and run businesses have protection from personal liability but the protection that’s lent to businesses over individuals is astounding. There is very little transparency.

      Do I agree with every sign @ OWS? No. Do I like that it’s getting people to think about the issue? Yes. Do I think the media covers it in the most helpful way? No.

  13. I feel like they have a point, and am interested to see what kind of solutions they offer up (because I agree, a vague protest movement isn’t going to be productive).

    Whether that person wants to be or not, statistically, they ARE in the 99%. Perhaps they are in the top 10% (I probably am), perhaps they made good choices, and were lucky, born with ambition & and intelligence, and had a support system to get them through high school and on the road to college.

    I think it is sickening how the only people with REAL votes are people who can support with money. Yes, I have a vote. One little tiny vote. But those with (LOTS OF) money can get face time with a senator and buy policies that benefit them. It isn’t that direct (always), but is definitely happens. Get the money out of our politics. Make decisions based on logic. I hate that both sides cloud the economic issues with social agendas.

    I think it is sickening how little people what “their hard earned money” to go to social programs that help the poor.

    You make a couple bad decisions early in life and you are screwed forever? I have a close family member who is a good person, has been applying to jobs like mad, but she made some bad money decisions at some point, has a bad credit score, so she can’t get hired. But how can she then pay her bills and fix her credit? Those in a more privileged set have probably made equally stupid decisions, but had their parents to bail them out. But what action can she take? She has no skills to become a freelancer and education is expensive and would require (more) debt. I have another friend who did nothing wrong, has a great resume, a good credit score, and she just wants a part time job to pay the bills while she uses her MFA to work on her writing on the side. She’s an extremely responsible and mindful young woman. She can’t get hired – there are no jobs. She is not being picky. What actions are the two of them supposed to take?

    And why can businessmen have their businesses go bankrupt and have hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt wiped off their plate, while student loan debt is basically with you until you die? Why are loans given to people when the chance of them being able to pay them back is low? (because there is not much risk to the lender – they WILL get the money, even if future paychecks will be garnished)

    The very rich often pay less in taxes (as a percentage of income) then the middle class. Admittedly the poor pay very little – but who would want to trade places with them?

    “Because if this is gonna be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition — and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.” – Stephen Colbert

    This is much more about politics than I typically say. And no, I don’t quite understand their protest, and yes, they need to be specific about what they want. But I understand where they are coming from, and they have a point. This country is made up of people who are not super rich (even if some of us are well off!), and we want a voice in how the country is run.

    BTW, ninja, pretty sure you are in the 99% too.

  14. I’ve made my opinion very clear on my website, and I know you’ve read it Ninja, so I won’t repeat it here.

    I do want to point out the hypocrisy of their “wall street bailout” protests. I wonder if they realize that every single American citizen has a bailout waiting for them. It’s called bankruptcy. If you make a bunch of horrible money decisions, you can declare bankruptcy and wipe your slate clean of pretty much all debt except student loans. When I see people holding signs that say “where’s my bailout?”, I just laugh.

    • I think that saying bankruptcy is the personal-bailout-solution is a little disingenuous, especially when you acknowledge that student loans aren’t bankrupt-able, because that means your solution isn’t an option for “every single American citizen”. Student loan debt is a huge portion of what is being complained about and it is often the only debt an individual has to contend with, so there is nothing for us to bankrupt. I’m bad at estimating, but from what I’ve read on http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/, student loans are mentioned in at least half of the testimonies. I’ve been as responsible with my money as I know how throughout. In 2002-2007, in a haze of depression, before student loans were so demonized, taking out student loans was the considered responsible thing to do, by everyone around me. Hindsight tells me otherwise, but that doesn’t change the choices I made or make my past self able to anticipate this.

  15. It’s a mess here in Portland, we pride ourselves on “Keeping Portland Weird” however, it just seems like there are a bunch of people without jobs camping in nice texts in Downtown. Plus, they’ve blocked traffic and there has been reports of abuse coming from the camp. And there were arrests in Boston’s Occupy. Definitely could have been handled better.

  16. I don’t know too much about OWS, but a lot of people seem to be confused as to what they’re trying to communicate.

    I don’t think they’re saying they want hand outs or to graduate college with a guaranteed $60,000 job. They’re saying that it’s getting tougher and tougher just to make ends meet. I think that picture came from http://the53.tumblr.com/. The ironic thing is that a LOT of those people could easily say they were the 99%!

    People can call it socialism or entitlement or whatever, but I don’t think you should have to work 4 jobs or for 80 hrs a week just to provide a home and health care to your family. I think every American should be able to afford a vacation every few years. I think wanting more vacation days is healthy, not a sign you’re “lazy”. The U.S. guarantees no vacation days…almost all other countries do. There was a time, not that long ago, where wanting 8 an hour workday was seen as ridiculous. The right to an 8 hour workday was fought for by people who had had enough. They saw how much money industry was making and they believed they deserve a share of the same industry they helped run. Not just in financial terms, but in quality of life.

    For every 1 person that pulled themselves out of poverty, there’s a dozen more who never got the chance. Those weren’t healthy enough or didn’t get the right opportunities in life.

  17. Considering they practically throw grant and scholarship money at you at the Bachelor’s level, it’s easy to graduate with no debt. But a PhD, law degree, medical degree? Different story. I graduated debt-free from my BA with a 4.0 GPA. Now I have a PhD, $100K in debt, and make $40K per year. I’m tangentially employed in my field (higher education) but despite applying every year for jobs in my field for the past 5 years for which I am qualified and getting lots of interviews, haven’t gotten an offer. My husband is an attorney, also with $100K in student debt from law school, had a “great” job making $92K….where he worked over 80 hours/week and had to go to the ER regularly because of stress-related medical problems. He quit to start his own firm and is much happier, but makes probably half as much and only has benefits because I work for a state university. I understand taking responsibility for your own choices, but since we were both repeatedly lied to about our earning prospects in the field BY MENTORS IN THE FIELD, it’s hard to say that we could have seen the magnitude of this coming.

  18. I have no idea what’s going to happen, and I’m still confused, too.

    I also don’t really agree with the picture above. I think it’s great that this person has been able to achieve what they have in college and to graduate without debt. But you can’t tell me that corporations have nothing to do with textbooks that now cost $300 each. Corporations also target college students for credit cards because they know they’re easy victims. Yes, college kids are dumb for using credit cards, but they often don’t know better (I sure as hell didn’t). I remember we’d have vendors in the campus center offering free t-shirts for a credit card application. This is just setting students up to fail.

    I’ve digressed a bit, but I still think that the protests are a good thing in terms of drawing attention to a broad problem with corporations. Maybe their movement is unfocused, but I’m at least glad that people give a damn to get out there and do something.

  19. Why is 90% of the discuss here and elsewhere about the (supposed) composition and motivations of the protesters rather than the general message they are conveying?

    Has no one ever heard of an ad hominem attack?

    • I think my concerns with the protest are summed up in this point I made…

      “While the Occupy Wall Street protest has definitely helped stir people’s emotions, it will be a complete and utter failure if it doesn’t result in any actionable/measurable behavioral changes.

      You think Bank of America is going to stop charging that $5 debit card fee if you say “I hate you Bank of America” while you’re swiping it at the grocery store? Not a chance. You have to say “I hate you Bank of America” and start banking somewhere else. Empty threats are a waste of oxygen.”

      • The thing about events like these is that you never know which pragmatic do-er they’ll inspire. Or how they will shift thinking for a larger set of people. I think sometimes people with a common denominator getting together is good for both morale and networking — it helps people meet like-minded people and lightens the feeling that they cannot do ANYTHING about it. If the % of people in that crowd who vote inspire the rest of them to vote aligned with their values, then great. If nothing happens than a bunch of media outlets explaining that people are angry at the oversight of our economy, then okay, also fine.

        I understand it’s amorphous but I also think that is partly how things like this go. Demonstrations are usually just to put a number and a set of faces behind an issue so the issue is no longer invisible.

  20. Did you respond to the question about exactly what in the face book picture dont you agree with? If you did, I dont see it, where is it?

    • I think the message preaches self responsibility which I like, but I also think it states it a little too matter of fact. While there is no denying there are a lot of lazy societal leaches out there that want handouts and everything given to them, it’s also undeniable that certain groups of people have to fight much harder to try and make an honest living. I was lucky to be born in to an upper middle class family and I know that I was able to do things that other people weren’t as fortunate to.

      I also disagree with the last sentence in the image “I am not the 99%” because unless she is freakin’ loaded, she actually is in the 99%. She should have said “I’m in the 99% and doing alright” That way it doesn’t make it seem that only the top 1% of earners are doing well.

  21. I understand why some people feel that my generation is entitled, spoiled and unable to accept responsibility for our actions. But in my opinion, that description also describes the banking system and the CEO’s of major companies who got huge bonuses while cutitng thousands of jobs and essentially crashing the entire economy. I think the message of Occupy Wall St. has been somewhat distorted, partially as a result of a large collective group without leaders, but the majority of participants are not ‘anti-corporation’ or anti-capitalist or are refusing to accept responsibility for the debt they have (although some are). The main gist really seems to be that they are ‘anti-corporations controlling government policy/politicians and recieving huge bailouts while social services and job opportunities are reduced’.

    To be honest, I don’t think it’s necessarily the job of the protestors to identify solutions. In Canada and the US, that is the job and primary purpose of our elected officials. They are paid to make policies and develop answers to the country’s problems, focusing on the needs of citizens who elected them and not corporations. The Occupy Wall Street movement is mainly an attempt to force them to focus on the shrinking middle class, the extremely high unemployment rate and the crippling costs of medical care and post-secondary education.

    So in my mind, the success of the movement isn’t really whether or not they stay camped out in the park for months on end or create a list of demands that everyone agrees with. It’s whether or not politicians start paying attention to the issues that are affecting large segments of the American population.

    I’m Canadian so I don’t mean to rag on you Americans because we aren’t doing all that much better, but if what it says on the Statue of Liberty is true (give me your tired, your hungry and your poor) then having your interests taken seriously by politicians shouldn’t depend on how much your income is or how much you pay in taxes. If you are a citizen, your vote and your interests should be equal to everyone else’s but that isn’t really happening at the moment on either side of the ideological line.

  22. They come across as just complainers. When and if they come up with an actual focus for the protest, it may be too late.The tea party started in a similar fashio and now they became organized with a focus. Time will tell about their focus and how effective their movenment is.

  23. “Ninja,

    I am writing in regards to your recent post: Protesting a protest

    I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago and have quite enjoyed it. You make a point to be irreverent but knowledgeable, which is cool. And you use awesome stick figures. There’s a lot of PF douchebags out there, who often write from the assumption that they are better than their audience. You have not historically done that from what I can tell.

    Which is why I’m so ******* disappointed in your post. It reeks of someone who thinks that getting ahead in life is solely up to the individual. Frankly, it reeks of privilege. And that’s ******* lame. There’s an assumption that everyone starts from the same place on the totem pole and we make our own way. Good for those who do. The American Dream, right?

    Unless you’re: a person-of-color, a woman, gay, transgender, disabled, mentally ill, not Judeo-Christian, poor, unemployed, an immigrant, a non-English speaker, a veteran, uneducated, a child, uninsured, etc. Or God forbid, a combination of these. Then you’re just invisible. Sure, there are exceptions. But they are exceptions, not the rule. If it was easy to break the cycle of poverty in this nation (or within one’s own family), it would have already been done.

    No one exists in a vacuum. There are always social forces at work, in your favor or against you. Some people are taught that they have no power and that they’ll have to work 3x as hard to get a fraction of the same treatment as their “peers.” A lot of people do it without complaint. But is it just or fair?

    Is it right that corporations knowingly exploit vulnerable populations? Who do you think the subprime mortgage crisis has disproportionately affected? Perhaps Blacks and Latinos who now face the largest disparities in household wealth since the government began tracking this data 25 years ago. When the market started to recover, it was white people who reaped the benefits.

    It’s great that this chick whose story you highlighted has been able to get ahead in this economy. But it’s unfair for her and for you to assume that it’s just because she made good decisions in her life (i.e., “accepted responsibility”). Holy self-righteous, Batman. She was primed to make good decisions in her life by her overall situation, whatever that may be. Choices are a luxury and a privilege though, not a guarantee. And blaming people for their own circumstances is wrong.

    So maybe people need to occupy Wall Street to feel a semblance of control over their lives. But they don’t need anyone else criticizing them for trying to give themselves hope which they have long since been denied.

    Unsubscribing,
    Kristen”

    ::::::Ninja’s email back to Kristen::::::

    “So you read one post that you disagree with and you unsubscribe, even though you yourself said…

    “There’s a lot of PF douchebags out there, who often write from the assumption that they are better than their audience. You have not historically done that from what I can tell.”

    Doesn’t that seem a bit drastic? I mean, if you only wanted to read things you ALWAYS agree with, then PDITF is probably not for you. I like tolerance, and nothing from your email indicated you were willing to be tolerant of my opinion.

    You and I may not see eye to eye on a the Occupy Wall Street movement, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a meaningful conversation about it. I never intended to make the article seem as though corporations are awesome and unemployed people are lazy. In fact, I even said I didn’t 100% agree with the sign in that picture, but I do (and always will) believe that real change starts on an individual level. Did you not take in to consideration this point from the article….

    “You think Bank of America is going to stop charging that $5 debit card fee if you say “I hate you Bank of America” while you’re swiping it at the grocery store? Not a chance. You have to say “I hate you Bank of America” and start banking somewhere else. Empty threats are a waste of oxygen.”

    I’m all for people’s right to protest, especially when it is against corporations that operate unethically, but I think protesting with your money and vote, is far more effective than bitching on a sidewalk somewhere.

    Would love for you to share your comments in the post (minus the profanities) because I think you have valid concerns and that is what the post was meant to do, bring together opposing views.

    Ninja”

    • You absolutely have a right to your opinion. But I am beyond disappointed. I felt there were some real key issues and points missing from your post. It’s ultimately the sense of dismissiveness that has crossed into the territory of being offensive.

      I feel there are better ways to make a point about “self responsibility” rather than agreeing (even if not 100%) with some chick whose underlying message:
      – is racist
      – is classist
      – is able-ist
      – is incredibly entitled and privileged
      – is disempowering
      – is ignorant and uninformed rather than naive
      – overinflates her ego by attributing her success solely to her individual efforts
      – blames others entirely for their own circumstances
      – ignores the complexities of oppression
      – assumes she wasn’t conferred advantages by society
      – denies and minimizes the struggles of others
      – is completely lacking in empathy

      I am glad that she has been able to make out okay during the recession. Good for her. But it’s sad that she cannot extend compassion to others who struggle. It is also this type of mentality which is completely insidious. A seemingly harmless story about individual accountability. But it’s not harmless, it’s prejudicial. It’s victim blaming and it’s used to justify social injustices.

      I don’t blame rich people for being rich. Neither do I blame poor people for being poor. I also don’t blame the government or Wall Street for any bad decisions I make. I do blame them for the highly unethical decisions they do make and for gross abuses of power. I think people just want to be heard and are finally demanding that someone start caring about them too. Even if it’s a waste of oxygen. I leave it up to them to define success for themselves.

      • Hey, thanks for making a lot of points similar to my own, except better. (I kind of relied on my own experiences to make the point that your success doesn’t depend entirely on your own decisions.)

  24. It is so interesting what he wrote, not a lot of people see it the way he does and not even me,
    but so far that’s is truly been smart and responsible.

  25. Do the math on his sign. 30+ hours at minimum wage is barely $1000 a month before taxes. How are you paying all of your living expenses (rent, food, clothing) + books + that 10% of tuition not covered by your scholarships? Price out some studios in even the worst areas in NY and you will quickly realize this sign is fraudulent at best.

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