Occupy Main Street, Restructure America

November 6, 2011: It has been almost 4 years since the United States and the entire Western World has been mired in this recessionary state. What has happened should not be a surprise to anyone. After scrambling for an ever higher quality of life, sending labor-intensive industries overseas, and losing more than 2.5 million manufacturing jobs and more than 850,000 professional service and information sector jobs to outsourcing, we foolishly blame our government and the top 1% of our earning population for our hardships. Most Americans lack the skills and motivation to innovate, and are fit to work only in commoditized industries, yet most of our commoditized industries have been sent overseas. The government has unsuccessfully spent trillions on the economy to lessen market volatility, to reassure pensioners, to bolster bank and corporate balance sheets, and to create jobs. Over the past 10 years, spending growth for prisons has risen at a rate 6x the rate of spending on education because this society simply does not value education as much as it should. The truth of the matter is, we are all to blame. After inflating real estate and securities prices through leverage, after fighting senseless wars in pursuit of oil when we have enough natural gas reserves to last 200 years, and after allowing an entire generation of our citizens to lose their values of hard work and integrity, we ALL are to blame.

Instead of pushing our children to embrace globalization, we have allowed them to grow up isolated from the rest of the world. Instead of encouraging them to be productive and to earn their own keep from a young age, we have allowed them to spend hours watching brainless television and to lose themselves in drugs and alcoholism in communities where families aren't the norm and divorce rates are greater than 70%. Instead of building secure homes, we have a bred a completely confused generation just asking to be taken advantage of by the rest of the world.

We need to OCCUPY MAIN ST.; we need to restructure America, the American lifestyle, and the American mind before it's too late. We need to instill passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, we need to teach our children practical skills and make sure that they are proficient in math and science, we need to encourage competition, and we need to instill the values of hard work and integrity into our youth so they can grow up to be proud and self-sufficient. No able bodied person should feel entitled to anything material in life without providing value or giving back to society.

Today, there are 45 million Americans on food stamps.

The number of very poor Americans (those at less than 50% of the official poverty level) has risen to 6.7%, or to 20.5 million. This is the highest percentage of the population since 1993. At least 2.2 million more Americans, a 30% rise since 2000, live in neighborhoods where the poverty rate is 40% or higher. Last year, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty, which was the largest increase since 1959. In 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty; today 15.1% of Americans are living in poverty. The poverty rate for children living in the U.S. has increased to 22%. There are 314 counties in the U.S. where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity. More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry. In 2010, 42% of all single mothers in the U.S. were on food stamps. More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid. One out of every six Americans is enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program. I agree that we should help the poor and that compassion is a virtue, but shouldn't these people help themselves as well? What specifically has caused their plight? Is only the government to blame? Are only the rich to blame? No, of course not.

Inflation adjusted wages have not grown since 1999, the S&P 500 is at 1998 levels, and real estate prices are at 2002 levels. It is up to us to realize what caused the "lost decade" and avoid a "lost century."

Why has this happened? By the 1970s, the average American was 20x richer than the average Chinese person. Today, it is only 5x. The Western world rose to power because "they had laws and rules invented by reason." Our institutions, our basic freedoms and property rights, our discipline, and our motivation to work hard created $130 trillion of wealth in the Western World. Unfortunately, we have lost our work ethic and our intellectual drive. The average Korean works 1,000 hours more per year than the average German. The Chinese soon will have filed more intellectual property patents than the Germans. This is the END of the great divergence between the West and the East. There is little that differentiates us from the rest in a world that is being forced to understand the idea of resource scarcity more than ever before.

In 1776, Adam Smith, in The Wealth of Nations, explained how the East lagged behind because it lacked capitalism and property laws. Niall Ferguson explains how in addition to this, Competition, Applied Science, Property Rights, Modern Medicine, the Consumer Society, and Work Ethic propelled the West into prosperity:

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This video link (http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/03/opinion/ferguson-we…) by Niall Ferguson shows why the Western world may lag behind as emerging market nations continue to gain in global wealth.

I am sick and tired of watching Occupy Wall Street protests. Stupidity should not be tolerated; we should educate the rest and Occupy Main Street. I asked a protester two weeks ago why he was protesting, and he could not give me a straight answer. His parents unfortunately didn't teach him the values of hard work and self respect. It reminds me of the guy in this video asking for "millionaires & billionaires" to pay for his college tuition:

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To see graphics that accompany this article, please visit: (http://leverageacademy.com/blog/2011/11/06/occupy…)

Share the article with friends! We need to wake up.

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Comments (7)

Best Response
Nov 6, 2011 - 9:56am

redninja:
Step 1) Increase tax rates on income above $1m by 5%.
Step 2) Use this money to fund our schools and universities, making them world-class.
Step 3) Wait 10 years.
Step 4) Profit.

That is the last step. The first step is changing the minds of mainstreet, if you give someone with a spending problem a million dollars they will be poor within hours. Mainstreet has a spending problem that needs to be fixed. Then you can start to increase taxes after you change the mindset of the people you are trying to help. Throwing money at the problem makes no sense......It's like when you give a kid an allowance for no reason they learn no value of money so they spend it as such. A child will only learn the value of money when they have to work for it, once this happens they will learn how to spend it.

Also making our schools and universities world class what does that even mean of the top 10 universities in the world 7 of them in the US, how much more world class would you like to make our schools. It isn't about making the schools more world class its giving an incentive to the teachers/professors to actually teach something do away with tenure...what kind of shit is that ,stay 5 years and you can basically do whatever you want?! What kind of world is that. Sorry for rambling but basically you have to change the mindset and attitude of a generation before you can just throw money at a problem.

http://www.usnews.com/education/worlds-best-universities-rankings/top-4…

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  • 2
Nov 6, 2011 - 10:35am

Step one: stop thinking taking from someone else is always the fucking answer.

Increasing funding of public schools will result in nicer playgrounds and better paid administrators.

How about making school a year round thing. How about extending school hours for inner city schools. How about stop spending on fancy computer labs and just have kids learn the basics. The greatest scholars and inventors learned in one room shacks.

How about we shrink the size of the federal government. Less government means less tax dollars to fund it. How about we continue to provide opportunity and stop caring if free citizens CHOOSE to fail.

  • 1
Nov 6, 2011 - 12:40pm

^^^ the universities here are world class ( so many international students come here why?) The problem lies with making sure kids understand the material. Lots of teachers just fucking read a powerpoint and throw hwk at you, am I gonna fucking learn that way, fuck no.

The teachers that engage, that embrace, that understand, and that actually give a shit about the students than the paycheck are the ones that will actually teach the students here. Our schools are the worst in the developed countries because the teaching methods are too fucking old, and nothing lasts forever.

We need to change it so kids are actually learning AT THEIR OWN FUCKING PACE, thats another thing everyone times tests WTF is the point of that, some people cannot understand/read as fast as others. In india/china its the same way but they have soooooo many fucking people that that top of the class is still larger than all of the population of America.

Thats my opinion.

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed, Go Bucks!!
  • 2
Nov 6, 2011 - 12:46pm

And also, Lets say everybody on wallstreet gets a huge paycut ( where MD's are making 200/300k) the hours would be the same.

Does Occupy Wallstreet accept WallStreeters to just fucking take it? I mean if I could be a VP of someshit at a F500 and make 200/300k a year working 40 hours/week, wouldnt the wall streeters want that?

If OWS does ruin the salaries of WS, then expect all the Wall Street people to just leave their jobs and use the same cut throat nature, agressiveness and wit to dominate the Middle Class which means that the people in the middle class would down to the lower class. Is this really beneficial?

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed, Go Bucks!!
  • 1
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Nov 6, 2011 - 1:31pm

This is an excellent and insightful post - thanks.

Capitalist
Nov 6, 2011 - 4:17pm

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I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed, Go Bucks!!
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