The leisure conversations I participated in this weekend had a recurring theme, Occupy. Three of the conversations were with women I respect. Admittedly, like-minded, independent, individuals. Of the four of us, I am likely the most conservative and the most confused.
One of the women has the good fortune of being exposed to brilliant minds, on a daily basis in an Ivy League setting, another is a CFO in medical R&D, and the third is retired from a large Manhattan corporation. My Ivy League friend is energized by the Occupy movement and cites articles she has been reading. She goes so far as to denounce the labor unions for riding the coattails of the movement without contributing anything meaningful. My Type A, CFO friend is pleased to tell me that a lot of her organization’s work is funded by wealthy donors, acidly she says,”It’s the least they can do; find cures to save their own asses and save some of the common people in the process.” The oldest among them worries that she sounds like part of the lunatic fringe when she confesses that she feels the country is ruled by an oligarchy.
Each time I mention my own past extravagance, my friends are dismissive. One tells me, “So you allowed yourself to be sucked into expensive haircuts, you paid for them and you didn’t cheat anyone to get them.” When I mention that we all must place something on the bargaining table, all of my friends express doubt that anyone other than the working class is willing to offer concessions. We all believe the working class has given enough.
I don’t want something for nothing. It is a shameful pity, that we have homeless citizens and an abundance of empty homes; work to be done repairing all of the country’s infrastructure, roads/highways, electrical grid, water supply, introduction of an efficient recycling stream and people who are without jobs. It should be easy to merge our jobless people with jobs to repair this country and to house them in empty homes.
We need to behave like adults. I think it’s too late.