Seems like politics are running in the same spirit as late night infomercials as of late. Everyone has a quick and easy solution that requires only 10 minutes a day and you can do it while you watch television with absolutely no effort. Like infomercial solutions, all these easy fixes are overpriced when you break them down and few actually work.
We the people are getting frustrated with being fed the same old baloney year after year. It’s not an American problem, it’s global as we can see from the Austerity Strikes in Europe and the way the Occupy Wallstreet has gone international. The masses are scared, frustrated and gathering; a good recipe for violence and revolution.
The truly frustrating thing is that usually revolution just serves as a way to go feral without any real progress. The recent riots in England are a prime example of this. I heard an interview with a group of the rioters at the time and when asked why they were doing it they made vague statements about police oppression. When asked what the game consoles they were stealing had to do with being oppressed they got angry.
The truth is that most of us want to blame someone but we don’t understand what or who. We tend to go with the first passing crowd holding picket signs. I say “we” because I do it too. As a teenager in the 80’s I had the classic anarchy symbol spray painted on my jacket and roamed the streets at night loudly singing Sex Pistol’s songs with my friends. We preached anti government slogans and craved the freedom of a lawless society.
Then one day I thought about what what anarchy actually meant and realized that it was not a good deal for small underweight (at the time) girls like myself. That was the first time I realized, as uncool and sometimes unethical as ‘the Man’ was they were still acting in my best interests, even if their own best interests were put first.
The idea of revolution is often romanticized but seldom effective. Bringing down the establishment often just results in a less scrupulous takeover. The solution is, unfortunately, simple and involves common sense. It can’t be done in ten minutes a day with no work while you watch tv. The most effective way is through small lifestyle changes and by taking responsibility.
We the people need to remember that while we are governed we are far from powerless. Our decisions en masse form government policy. When we demand cheaper housing, the government loosens up the lending standards. When we demand cheaper goods, corporations move factories to sweatshop countries. We think we are the puppets, but it is us that hold the strings. We are protesting the show of our own creation.
In America we have the right to free speech, bear arms and be free of oppression. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say we have the right to have a boat, a big house and a big screen tv. Those are our choices. We are responsible for balancing our own checkbooks and reading the fine print on loans. We are responsible for self-regulating our spending, calories and alcohol intake. We are empowered, but only if we recognize that we have power.
I’m not trying to defend bureaucracy, far from it. In general politicians are interested in votes, not results. Serving your country as a leader has somehow gone from being a service to a role of entitlement. I’m tired of our leaders confusing our government with a sovereignty. If they want to be king they need to marry a princess.
I do want us all to realize the power that we have. It’s a quiet power that doesn’t require gathering in crowds to hold up traffic. I am frustrated with the status quo as well, and I feel like the trust we have placed in the powers that be have been misplaced but I don’t think a protest is the solution. The fix requires us saying no to the throw away, possession minded society we have become.
‘Wall Street’ is who has told us we always need to have bigger and better. They don’t care if we yell chants at them; we’re still buying. When we start making our own decisions based on our real needs rather than what we have been told we need, we will make a difference.
Stop buying for a week and watch ‘Wall Street’ tremble. Stop begging for personal debt and watch our governments put on the financial brakes. Stop looking for someone to fix us and start fixing ourselves.
The only change we can control is what is in our pockets now.
On that note:
Early Retirement Extreme on 99 Percenters, Capitalism and Natural Slaves
CNBC on living debt free