The 99 percent solution

You know, I haven’t been following this whole “Occupy Wall Street” protest all that closely because, to be perfectly honest, I work for a living (unlike them.)

It must be nice to be able to go protest all day without a visible means of support, since one has to assume that for them to hang out at Wall Street for days on end they must not have jobs, unless they’re selling their bodies or some such act. Judging by what many say they must be getting a government check of some sort, probably unemployment benefits.

On the other hand, I have two jobs outside the home and writing clients I do work for inside the home, plus I run this website, volunteer in my community, and try to spend a little quality time with someone special when I can. Now, would that make me a member of the REAL 99 percent?

Perhaps those playing anarchist in various cities around the country don’t understand that demands like a “free” education or forgiveness of debt would make Atlas shrug in a heartbeat. I was reading their idea of a “fair” salary for everyone and saw that many millions of Americans would take a tremendous pay cut. Do you REALLY think union employees would agree to that? And why would you start a business in order to take a $10,000 salary when you have to pay your hired laborers twice that much?

I guess the first thing not being taught in schools is basic economics, because it’s obvious whoever came up with this redistribution scheme has flunked the course. Nor do they understand human nature.

I met someone today who, even in this economy, is taking the risk to begin his own business. By what I understand it’s a modest one-man shop, but he’s taking the skills he’s acquired in life and trying to make a go of things in order to support himself and perhaps his family. (I didn’t give him the third degree as to whether he has a wife or kids.)

Yet I don’t foresee this man, who is a military veteran, whining and complaining about how life has mistreated him should his endeavor fail. That fate happens to millions of businesses a year – anything from a one-man shop to a longstanding business like Benedict Florist. Salisbury is strewn with vacant storefronts which once held the dreams of people who saw that as their future. But much as we’d like to see success, their dreams didn’t come true for any number of reasons. Bad breaks do happen to good people sometimes.

The real 99 percent are the ones who would pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get back into the fray somehow. Maybe they slink back to a former employer or competitor, or they try a different avocation altogether. They most likely aren’t going to write a one-page sob story about how life did them wrong after they got their degree in a field of study where no one can find a job.

While I have a degree from a public university of some reputation, I found the venue where I learned the most was at work in the office. That’s not to disparage my school, since they did the best they could with me and maybe I didn’t take advantage of all which was offered. By the time I was about three years in I just wanted to get to that last semester where I could coast home and enjoy that last spring of carefree living (aside from having to work in the dining hall for spending money.) Once I got out, it actually took me about six months to find a job and for a brief time I worked in the retail industry before securing my first architectural job (for a whopping $5 per hour, no less.) In the meantime I traveled to the city where my uncle lived and pounded the pavement there for a few days – they would have taken me in had I found work.

Long story short – these people who make a spectacle of themselves would be better off trying to make lemonade out of the lemons rather than attempt to be a story. Once the snow flies and the money runs out, these people of Occupy Wall Street will be looking for the next handout instead of taking the next hand up that may be extended to them.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.