BLOGNAME: LOUDER THAN WORDSAn informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur
|Eat The Rich|
And Let The Anarchists Have Their Day?
By Paul Tomori
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 07:29:14 (EDT)
I am still watching this grass-roots Occupy movement with a bit of bewilderment. No doubt, this is a difficult economic period that has no clear ending and it is not surprising to see people wanting to vent, point the finger of blame, and resent those for whom these do not appear to be lean times. The diffuse nature of the complaining is due to the fact that the agenda of the protestors is also fairly vague. They hold up signs that read: "We are the 99% who just woke up"... and "Eat the Rich".
The more eloquent representatives refer to concepts like "social inequality" and "resentment toward wealth concentration" and other abstract wordings that prima facie sound legitimate and of high merit.
For the record, I am in the 99% and am not one of the "rich oppressors".
However, I don't count myself in with the protestors... and while I do get a bit sleepy sometimes about some matters of import, I don't refer to any recent stage of my life as being in a state of economic sleep.
Let's agree on one thing. The outrageously illegal financial schemes that have been undertaken in the last decade are completely unacceptable. If the protestors want to shout at Bernie Madoff, let 'em!
However, the targets of their tirades are rarely so well-defined. It just seems to be a generalized hatred toward any channel or organization that deals in dollars.
I have always viewed the variances of success in life to be attributable to varying degrees of ingenuity, motivation, hard work, etc... (ya, I am a real traditionalist that way). To me, if I want to be richer, I simply need to indulge all 3 of the above qualities a little more. Anyone can exercise the brain more. Anyone can muster up motivation. Anyone can work harder. Sure, luck can be a factor... but it really is negligible. People have overcome significant bad luck to make successes of their lives.
So what exactly are they wanting? For rich people to hand over their wealth? How would THAT be socially just? Why would we punish successful people just for being successful? Don't the protestors realize that disabling the rewards of ingenuity, motivation and hard work will result in less entrepreneurialism? I for one, would shut down all my business interests in a heartbeat if I were told that my efforts were not going to be compensated for. It already feels like self-castigation to deal with many matters of being a businessperson. Why would anyone put up with the challenges if there was no reward?
The protestors ask "how is it fair that a bank president can be paid millions while the tellers are paid the bare minimum"? The answer to that question is easy. The president of the bank is worth more! Not "as a person" worth more. I believe all people deserve a status of equality in terms of their basic rights. But what I mean is the president of the bank is "worth more TO THE BANK... and to the bank's shareholders". Let's take an example. Jamie Dimon of JP MORGAN. Here's a guy who runs a tight ship. JP MORGAN is one of the most stable and successful banks in the world. That's no small feat. Think of the thousands of banks, many of whom are holding on by their fingernails. If I were a shareholder, I would want the JP MORGAN board to do everything in their power to keep Dimon at the helm (including paying the guy huge wages and bonuses). So, you might ask "who are these shareholders" of the bank and why should we protect THOSE rich bastards too?!? Answer: you and me are the owners. The everyman can be an owner of JP MORGAN and probably is by virtue of any US index mutual fund. That's right - your neighbour who lives an ordinary life and who is nursing a 401K or RRSP account likely has a stake in many companies like JP MORGAN. These people need to have their investments protected, BECAUSE they are part of the 99%. They (we) NEED a guy like Jamie Dimon to keep his bank functioning in the black... when the banking sector is swimming in a sea of red. Without his high compensation from JP MORGAN, he would be quickly lured away to fix another bank and bring profits to its investors AND JOBS TO ITS EMPLOYEES! The guy is worth many times his weight in gold.
As for the "inequality" of richness, I think anyone can see that the protestors are for the most part not exactly "poor". Parading around Wall Street with their designer clothes, and smart phones and laptops, they look more like spoiled brats than anything else. Don't they see that they are infinitely richer than the majority of the world's people. How dare they have a smartphone when the "exorbitant" $500 cost of their phone would have fed dozens of people in Africa for a month. Hey - inequality goes in both directions, right? Wealth really is just relative.
Anyway, here's a pictorial review of what happens when the capitalists "leave the building" leaving a void for the anarchists to take over.
You won't enjoy this... but it should be illuminating:
The Ruins of Detroit (click here)
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