Occupy Wall Street….Why?

As I was on my way to the greedy corporate Starbucks in Colorado Springs to get my vanilla latte recently, I saw the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I couldn’t help but notice some of their signs. There were sayings like, “We’re the 99%.” Or my favorite, “Even in a good economy, I’m unemployable.” I couldn’t help but snap a picture of this sign. It made me laugh.

The demonstrators want the upper 1% to pay more taxes, so it’s fair to the 99%. (Although 47% of Americans don’t pay any taxes at all right now.) This makes sense: Most of our country’s taxes are paid by the 1%, but they should pay more. Huh?

When I got back to my room, I decided to look up just what the protesters stand for, since I was confused. I did some research online and found out …. so are they. The group really doesn’t seem to know what they are demonstrating about. The main theme seems to be that corporations are ruining our country. Their greed and tax loops are destroying our landscape.

Seriously? This is what you’re fighting for? Further explanation from an interview said that income and equality are worse than they have ever been in America. That 1% has never had as much as they do now, while the rest of us are buried in debt and have credit card bills piling up. When asked if the protest was anti-government, the interviewee said that it’s not. They want the government to step in to help people who have lost their homes through foreclosures or who are buried under student debt. They believe the government has done a horrific job.

He continued to say it’s not anti-government, it’s better government. Because, apparently, better government means allowing people to go deeply in debt, and then stepping in and cleaning up the mess. That, of course, would be passing their debts onto the rest of us. When asked if the protesters are aiming their fight at the right institution, meaning Wall Street, the interviewee said yes. Corporations have seen their profits rise, while not having to pay taxes.

So essentially, if I get this right, the reason people are suffering in America is because big greedy corporations, which employ much of America, have created products that we have no choice but to purchase by going deeply in debt. This, in turn, causes us to live well beyond our means.  And even though the rich pay the most taxes in this country, they aren’t paying enough. Hmmmm … WHAT?!?!

So again, it’s not my fault if I’ve gone deeply in debt and chose not to save money, as opposed to living beyond my needs. It’s because the 1% don’t pay enough taxes. OK, what if we make it equal by having everyone pay the same exact tax percentage? That way, the 1% can’t “hide” from paying taxes, and the 47% will start paying. Sounds fair to me. I’ll honk for that equality.

Question: What’s your take on the protest?



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

86 thoughts on “Occupy Wall Street….Why?”

  1. While I do enjoy seeing people live their right to protest, I sure wish some of them would arm themselves with more facts, rather than what they “think” is going on in the U.S. Something else that comes to mind is protesting is a trade off, meaning what are you not doing when you’ve chosen to do this? I don’t know about you, well actually I do, but I’d rather concentrate on tangible things I can do today to better my life, rather than protest “the man.” But that’s just me.

    1. I agree. It funny that there are protests against “the man” when it’s not “the man’s” fault. Big biz didn’t make anyone pick student loans, credit cards, or a mortgage.

  2. This malaise has now spread to the UK. If you look at the demands of the OWS / OSX people you can see quite clearly why a lot of them are not going to be moving up the income percentiles any time soon. Here in the UK they don’t seem to realise that a large chunk of Govt debt was incurred so that they could have a welfare lifestyle choice.

  3. Chris, these people scare me. I wonder how many of them are truly protesting something they believe in or are many of them just confused masses being used by someone else. Do they really want to wake up tomorrow in the America they are asking for? If the protests begin to get violent then we need to reconsider their intentions entirely.

        1. They are asking for common sense things that will benefit all of us. Things like:

          The reinstatement of Glass-Steagall

          Fair taxation.

          Oversight and regulatory efforts against institutions who can, on their own, send our entire economy entire a downward spiral that lasts for years and affects millions of people — excluding the people of course who work at the institution.

          Those are three simple, common sense things that people are asking for.

  4. Ah, people with too much time on their hands, shows how well off we really are; they would be working the fields, or carrying a rifle back in the 1800s or prior…

    Get a job… I saw Target was hiring on Sunday. You have to start somewhere…

    My mom, dad, sister, and I never got a job from a poor/broke man or woman.

    Me, I am going to work, then I have class (paid for) after work… and I already have a 4-year degree… getting closer To Living Like No One Else ©.

  5. Being from India, I was following up on this “Occupy Wall Street” protests from various print media like WSJ, FT, Economist, HBR, Forbes, Business Week, Time, etc.

    In my view, Occupy Wall Street has a lot more in common with India’s anti-corruption movement than with the Arab spring. It also reveals the need for businesses to address the issues raised by the Wall Street protesters before it’s too late.

    The U.S. movement draws its greatest media attention when protesters are arrested, and despite longstanding complaints about the financial industry’s role in the recession and worldwide downturn, industry leaders were blindsided by the tenacity of the demonstrators in lower Manhattan.

    In a sense, Occupy Wall Street remains essentially leaderless and it’s open to everyone, from students to unions to politicians.It is is a signal that there is authentic, deep-seated unhappiness with the failings of the U.S. economic system.

    Hence, there are certain things which corporate America can do : businesses need to address the protesters’ key points — that a very low percentage of Americans possess a disproportionately large slice of wealth and that there’s a high ratio of average CEO pay to average employee pay in the U.S., compared with other countries. They need to find ways to reward performance without increasing pay disparities. Also, businesses should find ways of empathizing with protesters’ frustrations on points of genuine concern.

    Regardless of whether the protest vanishes or continues to acquire strength, the underlying economic inequality issues it points to are not likely to go away anytime soon. So, let us approach the events that are occurring in the streets as a learning opportunity to set right the imbalances in the system.

    1. Hmmm, not so much. Equality is not about the gap or disproportions between me and my neighbor. Its not about me getting what he has and both of us driving a black Mercedes and each of our 2.3 kids having an iPad.

      The American dream is not “Everyone should and can have a house.” The American dream is in a word: “Opportunity.” You by living here, have the opportunity to succeed. You also have the opportunity to fail.

      Let me shed some light on dis-equality. It is just as wrong for you to blame your failure on the Government/system and demand assistance as it is for the Government to step in and take your house after your success.

    2. Great comment Uma. My question is, why is it the fault of businesses that these folks have chosen to go deeply in debt, and businesses should have to pay for that? How did the greed of a select FEW cause millions and millions of people to make horrid decisions with their finances? The protests, and now violence, are costing the American tax payers millions of dollars. Because this group wants to be greedy by passing their terrible financial decisions and debt on to Business. It doesn’t make sense to me.

  6. My take? I’m thinking “seriously, dude?” You are furious at big corporations who …

    1) manufacture the medicine your grandmother takes to live a long healthy life; (or maybe she could just go ahead and die)

    2) design the equipment to detect the cancer in its early stages in your Aunt Sarah (or maybe she could just wait until the cancer develops and take a home remedy – best case scenario – she would die quickly)

    3) operate the helicopter and pay the pilots who will airlift your buddy to the hospital when he crashes his car into a tree; (or just let him live or die where he lands)

    4) who are employing your father so he can pay YOUR bills (or maybe just let that corporate shut down at which time Dad will probably kick YOU out to live in the streets)

    5) paying the pension for your grandfather (OR just let that stop and maybe he could move in with Dad? No…wait, Dad doesn’t have a home or a job either now)

    6) build the hospitals and pay the nurses, doctors, and hundreds of other specialist who will set the bone in your leg (and probably give you a little pain medication) when you trip down a flight of stairs; (or just let you suffer and the let that leg heal – or not – good luck with that one)

    7) loan money to those nasty, greedy, mean, independent mortgage bankers who may one day ……if you decide you want to get a real life, have a family, get a job, and decide you want to live in a home of your own…..they “might” loan you the money to buy that home. (OR you could raise your family in the streets – that IS where your parents and grandparents who are still living – so maybe it has become a way of life)

    Ok – I’ll think about it today – and maybe I’ll later tell you what I really think……………………..

  7. One more thing – EQUAL to WHAT? They want equality for EVERYONE? Are you kidding me? So that means that no matter how hard I work, how many hours, how many days, or how much money I invest in my business ….there can be someone who sleeps until noon – drags in and whines the rest of the day because “work’s too hard” and “life is not fair” – and they get to be equal to ME? Or does it mean that I get to be equal to THEM?

    Hard work and common sense is just not so common anymore.

    And the Bible says you don’t work – you don’t eat…

    Just saying…………………

  8. I agree with you 110%. I just wrote a similar post, http://employmentforumblog.com/?p=621 about the rally in D. C.
    The double standards are numerous. Do they plan to protest the Eagles game because Michael Vick makes $100 playing football, that’s not fair! What about Kanye West, all he does is perform and he makes millions. I say whatever you do, make as much money as you can!
    I think if we turn or heads, they will go away.

  9. Picking up on Louise Thaxton’s post…

    8) companies that make the equipment that makes the magic of the Internet (you know that series of tubes) work, that way you can meet online for these protest.

    9) the company that makes the iPhone in your hand… you know Apple is a publicly traded for profit corporation… just saying…

    1. Anybody should be able to get a job at Target, McDonald’s, or something like that. The only reason he might be unemployable is if he has a criminal record, but even that can be pardonned given that a number of years has gone by and he keeps clean. And there are organizations that help ex-cons reassimilate into society and get jobs.

      There are no excuses for not having work, except if you’re lazy and you don’t want to work.

  10. I think a lot of the disgruntlement comes from the fact that we live in an instant gratification world this generation sees the wealth of that our parents now have after working for 20+ years.

    But this generation is forgetting about the lean years and the hard work that our parents have put into their jobs and lives; now they’re older they have more disposable income as their debts are paid off and children move out. Our parents have nice things so we automatically think we need nice things and so we borrow to get nice new things. To me, this is where a lot of the debt crisis comes from, we’re trying to live up to the standard of living of our parents’ generation but without paying the price they’ve paid over the years.

    Not to mention the fact that college graduates believe that they can walk out of college and into a job and receive the same pay as someone who has worked for a company for 20 years.

  11. nothing annoys me more than folks who blame others for their debt. and I mean that will all the vigor I have! we have 5 kids and our current income situation indicates we fall on all low income or poverty graphs. but we are not in debt! we got debt free years ago when dave ramsey first started financial peace and thank God because now, when times are tough we are able to exist. the cable’s gone. we’ve not bought new clothes in a year or upgraded our car. but we’re riding it out. my financial situation isn’t anyone else’s fault.
    the only problem I have will the top 1% is this: how much is enough? how much is too much? how much money does one really need to make?

  12. “The demonstrators want the upper 1% to pay more taxes, so it’s fair to the 99%. (Although 47% of Americans don’t pay any taxes at all right now.) This makes sense: Most of our country’s taxes are paid by the 1%, but they should pay more. Huh?”

    What data are you basing your opinion on?

    1,470 millionaires and billionaires paid zero taxes in 2009.

    You’re delusional.

  13. I currently have a job and a degree and no debt, thanks to the hard work of my grandfather who put aside some money for my college, I am very thankful for his hard work which has put me in a good position for the future.. With that said, I am still sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Most of the comments in this thread thus far have pointed to a misplaced desire by the 99% to have their debts forgiven. The comments seem to be of the opinion that if someone has accrued a debt of their own making, then it is their responsibility to make good on that debt, not the government. But, what about the recent bailouts? Isn’t that an example of a couple of corporations getting into debt of their own making and then the government paying for that debt?

    I appreciate your challenge to the OWS movement to find what they are looking for but I think it would be more constructive, rather than just setting up a straw man and burning it down, to sit down and engage with some of the challenges that they are presenting.

      1. In theory I agree with what you are saying but I don’t understand the connection to my comments. Nowhere did I state that all people should be equal, nor did I state that we should take away anyone’s freedoms.

    1. The current protests are now costing those of us who actually pay taxes millions of dollars. I don’t see that as setting up a straw man. The challenges they are presenting, as I have seen it, is about how they are suffering with their debt due to taxation of business. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  14. The Occupy movement was originally supposed to be bipartisan, but has unfortunately been getting more and more hijacked by partisan left leaning ideals.

    The original premise of the Occupy movement wasn’t that “We are the 99% and the 1% pays less taxes than us”

    It was “We are the 99% and the 1% are treated as better humans than us”

    People were angry over the fact that business were getting bailouts that an individual would never get.

    That corporations are given constitutional individual rights when they are not individuals protected by the constitution. They then abuse these rights to increase a hold over political happenings in America.

    People are frustrated with an unnecessarily massive tax code filled with corporate loopholes that is only getting bigger because lobbyists bribe politicians to add even more tax loopholes to newly introduced bills so they can have greater ways to work the system.

    Most importantly, and probably the thing I resonate with most, is the treatment of lobbyist bribes for politicians as a form of “free speech” that goes completely unchecked. It is this sort of thing that causes a politician to vote not for the interest of their constituents, but for the interests of their wallet and lobbyist friends.

    If nothing else, I think most Americans can agree, regardless of political affiliations, that these things are completely messed up, and if the Occupy movement would stick to these talking points they would stop alienating a large portion of Americans who do resonate with that message, but trip over their personal support of Capitalism.

    1. Thank you for sharing some clarity! That makes sense to me and that’s definitely not the message that I’ve “gathered” from the little bit that I’ve heard about the protests.

    1. No marketable skills, a high school drop out, maybe… but most people can work at Target, Wal-Mart type jobs.

      Maybe someone who is (really) disabled/sick/ill. There are people that can not work, but most would be people who cannot get up and out (mentally or physically disabled). Not fake ‘I just don’t want to work’ disabled.

    2. It doesn’t even have to be a high school drop out or low marketing skills.

      It’s an employers market right now. The unemployment rate is high and the market is flooded with people needing jobs. I would suggest taking a look at companies hiring for positions advertised as “entry level” but require a minimum of an undergraduate degree (preference given to those with graduate level) and 5-10 years of experience.

      For an entry level job…

      Can we agree, that is a little ridiculous?

      I think these people calling themselves unemployable is a stretch, but if you’re an undergrad fresh out of college and can’t even get a company to interview you for an entry level position because of your lack of experience, it’s a little upsetting. Especially when your student loan bills start rolling in.

  15. The Christian sociologist in me couldn’t let this lop-sided dialog pass without comment.

    The Occupy movement is not about laziness, though I am certain there ARE lazy people in the movement who would just as soon take an extra slice of the entitlement pie as go about working hard to find a job.

    The Occupy movement is also not about forced redistribution of wealth, though I am certain there ARE some raving leftists out there who would love to see the government force the uber-wealthy to contribute more to the common good than pass down their wealth in perpetuity to their descendants.

    The Occupy movement is merely the tip of an iceberg that’s been growing beneath the surface of American society for decades.

    What the Occupy movement represents is the telegraphed punch of street-level turmoil on the horizon “out there” somewhere if that fabled “top 1%” don’t stop and ask themselves a simple question…

    How many mansions, yachts, luxury cars, and condos in Europe do I need if it means I have to lay off another employee I could otherwise keep working and providing for his/her family?

    Forced redistribution of wealth or greater government intervention isn’t the answer.

    Self-restraint, recognition of the power of greed, and a healthy appreciation for the corrupting power of money is the answer.

    It’s time for Christians to find their voice and speak truth into our world.

    Then again, the words of Jesus may just be a little to harsh for our tender ears. I’m one of those who likes having three Toyotas in the driveway. Maybe I’m part of the problem.

    Matthew 19: 16-30 (NIV 2011)
    The Rich and the Kingdom of God

    16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
    17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

    18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

    Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”

    20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

    21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

    26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

    28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

    1. First, you just buckled yourself into the boat with the rest that think Rich people are evil. Enjoy your float, that boat doesn’t have a rudder, engine or destination but the waves and hot air of the blabbering passengers will make you feel like you’re going somewhere.

      Next, you are miss using this scripture passage. It is obvious that you do not know what an “eye of the needle” is. It is not the needle you sew clothes with or the big one use to knit with. Its a passageway, or entrance. Let me make that more simple, its a door way. A camel must get down on its knees after its master has removed all bagage from the camels back. The camel then must crawl through the eye of the needle – oops sorry, the doorway.

      I would suppose that is like watching your big uncle crawl through your little doggie door into the house.

      1. Richard,

        Two quick points.

        I never said, “Rich people are evil.” I apologize if I gave you that impression. That was not my intent.

        A rich person is no more or less evil than a poor person just by virtue of his or her financial standing. Rich and poor are both capable of equal evil.

        For example, Dennis Kozlowski, of Tyco, spent $300,000 of corporate money on an orgiastic birthday bash for his wife, complete with toga-wearing attendants and a life-sized sculpture with champagne flowing from its genitals. This was all going on even as the company was heading straight down the economic toilet. Was DK more or less evil than the hoodlum who killed a convenience store clerk for the $50 he had in the till? Both men were evil in the eyes of the Creator. Both destroyed lives. Both men must answer to God for their choices.

        Further, financial resources ultimately don’t matter to the God who created everything. You can’t buy your way into heaven just because you’re philanthropic. What you do with your money must evidence the overflow of a heart of faith, not an attempt to buy God’s forgiveness. Only faith in Christ gets you into heaven, whether you are rich or poor.

        I also don’t believe that God loves the poor person any more than He loves the rich person. God’s love is unconditional for those who call on the name of Jesus. His capacity to love us and forgive us has absolutely nothing to do with our station in society.

        Side note… I’m a card-carrying member of the local Chamber of Commerce and I am a vocal advocate of the power of disciplined entrepreneurship to empower economic development and job growth. Wealth to me is a means to an end, not the destination itself.

        As for the notion that Jesus was talking about a literal “place” called the “Eye of a Needle” versus a “metaphor” using an “eye of a needle” to convey the impossibility of the quest, you may find this scholarly discussion about the subject helpful.


        I wish you peace, Richard.


  16. I heard one of the ows protesters get interviewed last week. He said, I have a degree and have put out over 200 job applications and haven’t been hired yet.

    My thoughts:
    1. What is your degree in and does it pertain to any jobs that are out there?
    2. Does your attitude have anything to do with you not getting hired? I won’t hire anyone with a bad attitude.
    3. Are you applying at places that want your degree?
    4. Are you willing to start at the bottom, or are you looking for the “big bucks”?
    I started sweeping the floors here and now am part owner. Oh, wait, that took time and hard work. I should have been handed the keys on the first day!

    Jace- your comments are correct. I have long believed that money should be taken out of politics. If that is what the protesters were going for, they missed by a mile.

  17. Wow! There has been a lot of discussion on this post. I was thinking about this very same incident this weekend. After talking to another couple we came to the same conclusions that the protesters do not really know what they are protesting. In fact, they seem angry but they don’t seem to know where to look.

    The problem that I see with the protesters is that no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. In fact, that’s why so many people are wanting handouts from the government and wanting our government to fix everything. It’s also interesting that everyone is criticizing our political officials and saying bad things about them. If we don’t like our elected officials then we need to stop and look in the mirror because we are the ones who elected them to office! Our government is simply a reflection upon the people that put them there.

    In saying all of this I have come to the conclusion that we need to take responsibility for our own actions and our lives. I realize that some people have extenuating circumstances but most Americans are in debt (myself included) because we did not take responsibility for our actions or have not disciplined ourselves.

    The only way to get out of the mess that we have created is to repent to God and change our ways. It will take discipline to fix the mess that we are in. We didn’t get here over night and the mess can’t be fixed over night!

  18. I’m still puzzled by the whole thing and i’m still struggling to understand their exact thought process. We make choices and we should be willing to live with the consequences. If i met one of the protestors today, i would gently ask them to re-axamine their lives, their lifestyles and figure out how they got to that point. Hopefully they’ll be willing to be honest with themselves and their circumstances, and from their we can figure out who got them into that mess in the first place.

  19. Yes the Occupy movement lacks coherence, but I also think you are out of touch with allot of lower income americans. Its really so easy to say get a job, but as I can see with so many of my recently graduated friends, who cant get a job at a bike shop much less the field they studied.

    Unemployment is dishearteningly high. Thats not made up. Perhaps your not paying student loans or making minimum wage.

    1. Seriously, who’s fault is it they took out student loans? And if they’re making minimum wage that’s a choice they made, just like unemployment.

      Not liking the job options available isn’t the same as not being able to find a job. If I find myself in a position where I can’t find a job I’m moving – to a new town, to a new state, whatever it takes. There is work somewhere, I have 3 jobs.

      In 1987 my family owned a jeep, a pop-up camper, and a land-barge buick. That’s it! No house, trailer, land, or anything. Today mom owns a business, dad owns a business, and my sister and I are doing just fine. No one gave us a handout, we embraced the American Dream. I refuse to believe anyone is stopping the Occupy crowd from doing the same.

    2. I’ve hit bottom a few times in my short life (I’m 25, now). At one point, after earning a relatively high income as a web developer, I lost most of what I had and moved back in with my family. I drove out to visit my girlfriend and her family and realized that I didn’t have gas money to get back home.

      That meant that when a local farmer said she was looking for a “hand” to help “buck hay”, I agreed. She said it I worked well, she’d pay me up to $8/hour. I thought myself $100/hour+ material at the time and it took swallowing some pride.

      I did it, though, and I worked hard really hard and she paid me fairly and I got just enough gas money to get home. I’ve never had to buck hay again and I’m back in my industry, earning more than before. I learned an important lesson that day, though, and I am willing to work for less, though I will always go for more.

      As for me, I know what its like to be a “lower income American”. My wife and I and now 19-month-old have been on and thankful for food stamps within just the past year, even though we’d prefer the Government not being involved that intimately in our lives. Before Food Stamps, we had those months where food was _truly_ scarce. I know what it’s like and, emotionally, it is difficult to get up and rise from that.

      You can, though. We did and I will do all in my power to help lift up my fellow brothers and sisters who are down.

      As for college, sadly, I see a lot of colleges that are poorly preparing students for the “real” world. I’ve had a graduate with a “Masters” degree submit a resume to my business. I looked at her work and was sorely disappointed – it appeared to be nearly all “class work” – it was low quality by our standards. I can’t make a call about her initiative or work ethic, but I can see that, assuming she just followed what the college suggested she do, she was poorly prepared to thrive in the work place.

  20. On a different note I’m starting the Occupy Chris Lucurto’s Front Yard movement – a new episode of the Entreleadership podcast every two weeks? Unacceptable.


    1. Lol! It does seem spread out.. But! I don’t see them planning to stop anytime soon, so if that’s the pace it has to be for now, then that’s the pace it has to be. Keep up the good work, Chris!

  21. Envy is in the air (again). It is a very destructive philosophy that undergirds political movements toward “equality”. Envy in action destroys the object of the envy. Just this morning in our men’s bible study, we were discussing spiritual warfare. I believe that if God would lift the veil for a moment to reveal the spiritual warfare going on around us, we would see how Satan uses envy as a major motivation behind the spiritual conflicts that spill out into the physical world. I recall 2 Kings 6:15-18, where Elisha ask God to “Open his (servant) eyes, LORD, so that he may see.”

    Example of Envy: “I want what you have. Therefore, I’m willing to destroy what you have so neither of us will have it.”

    These protests are a symptom of the disease of envy. Some people’s thinking is so deformed that they want to destroy the very mechanisms that provide sustenance, connection, protection and convenience in their lives. Envy is a spiritual and psychological sickness. The road called ‘envy’ leads to collective misery and suffering, eventually destruction. Let me also say that financial misbehavior by anyone should be dealt with. But, we know that this does not have to do with dealing with misbehavior… it has to do with envy. Some in power like to feed envy. Do they not know in the heavenly realms, they are a pawn of Satan in a spiritual battle???

    “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.”–Ronald Reagan

    WSJ: Nearly Half of U.S. Lives in Household Receiving Government Benefit http://ow.ly/6SuZO 46.4% of households will pay no fed income tax!

    Well, thanks for letting me say my piece 🙂

    1. Is it “envy” when nearly 18% of the American workforce is unemployed or underemployed and is struggling to hold on to their homes? They are the hundreds of thousands who had jobs but who lost them virtually overnight. And why did they lose these jobs? Largely as a result of greedy, shaky Ponzi schemes concocted by Wall Street hedge fund managers. These people don’t have “envy.” To suggest that is to have the hardest, most bitter, most narcissistic of hearts.

      These people are shell-shocked by circumstances they don’t understand, are not really trained to address, and for which the social safety net is far too weak.

      Are there lazy people in this world? You betcha. Those folks deserve to sit on the side of the street and watch as the world goes by.

      Are there, however, hard-working people who are struggling? You betcha. If you deny this, then you are blinded to the plight of a HUGE portion of the American populace.

      As an entrepreneur, I recognize the privilege of my state. I have a Bachelors degree, a Masters degree, and a great family behind me. I didn’t have to work my way through college and I didn’t have to take loans to get my degrees, so my life is not saddled with the debt many others face.

      That’s called sensitivity to others and appreciation for the gifts I’ve received.

      1. Steve,
        “To suggest that is to have the hardest, most bitter, most narcissistic of hearts.” You should have listed PhD in Psychology along with your many degrees.

        “And why did they lose these jobs? Largely as a result of greedy, shaky Ponzi schemes concocted by Wall Street hedge fund managers.” Obviously, you missed the day when they discussed Community Reinvestment Act, the the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (which repealed the Glass–Steagall Act), Collateralized Debt Obligations and Credit Default Swaps.

        18%? More like 20% of Americans are out of work (not actively looking for work). The main catalyst of the crisis of 2008 is the US Federal Government picking winners and losers in the private sector economy. If you analyze the empirical data and timeline of events in relation to legislative changes (and implementation), the evidence is clear that poor judgement on the part of legislators created an environment in which a crisis, like the one in 2008, was not only probable but eminent. All of this regulation and enforcement, and the regulators allowed CDOs to be rated, marketed and sold. Alan Greenspan admitted that he did not completely understand their risk and function. Banks leveraging 40-1? FDIC is leveraged 99-1?. I’m not going to spend time taking you through the shadowy world of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, you can do your own research.

        In 2011 we’re not seeing banks failing and receiving bailouts, we’re seeing entire countries failing and receiving bailouts. Te Euro-zone is a mess. Basically, we’re in the midst of global de-leveraging, which could take 5 years or more to run its course. So, make yourself comfortable, Steve.

        PPACA (Obamacare) crushed my industry and 40+ years of my father’s hard work with one swipe the presidential pen. Another example of the Federal Government picking winners and losers. My livelihood was essentially destroyed. What was my reaction to PPACA? By the GRACE of God (and some help from some good coaches), I created two businesses which employ 5 people. To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling “I watched the things I gave my life to, broken, And stooped and built them up with worn-out tools”. I’ve been in the trenches and I know how to navigate the battlefield. People must cease looking to the Government for answers and pointing the finger of blame at others b/c something unexpectedly bad happened. It is like chasing the wind.

        Steve, I can appreciate your point of view. But, like we say around here; “That dog won’t hunt’. I’ll stick with my envy argument and remain sensitive to the needs of others at the same time. Therefore, consider this a free seminar.

        1. Lance,

          I think the flow of the commentary is getting a little confused. I don’t have a PhD in psychology. I think you have me confused with someone else. I do consider myself a “sociologist,” but that’s not my profession. I am a managerial and community communications consultant and passionate builder of entrepreneurial incubators by trade.

          The problem with “free seminars,” Lance, is that they are almost always one-way affairs. I’m not sure you appreciate how condescending you came across in your last post. If that was your intent, you succeeded. If, instead, you wished to have an honest discussion, coming up with real solutions to deeply-entrenched problems, you failed.

          The reality, Lance, is that I completely agree with several of your assertions, especially with regard to the complexity of the web of questionable financial instruments and practices that led-up to the collapse.

          I also agree… This shake-out is going to take years, not months. We didn’t get into this hyper-leveraged mess overnight, we won’t get out of it in a month.

          My point, Lance, was merely to make this point. I am not empowered by God to know the hearts of men or women. To suggest that “envy” is the overwhelming motivation of those who are frustrated by a lack of meaningful work is a place I can’t go.

          Matthew 7:3-5
          New International Version (NIV)
          3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

          Bottom line… I wouldn’t be a management and communications consultant if I didn’t think I had valuable insight to offer companies in helping them grow their business. After all, I only do it because I believe I have insight nobody else can give them, so I pony up and speak.

          I also don’t presume to have all the answers. I certain won’t use the broad brush stroke of a word like “envy” to describe the abject hopelessness and pain experienced by millions of people who would rather be working than sitting around.

          If there is one word that I think we would both agree upon, it is this…

          “Greed.” Un-checked greed got us into this mess. We should never forget that lesson.

          I wish you peace.


          1. “To suggest that is to have the hardest, most bitter, most narcissistic of hearts.” Your words, Steve.

            In debate, that is a passive-aggressive charge. As is the use of Matthew 7:3-5 as an indirect offensive charge. You see, I am a sinner and a hypocrite. After all, I am human. However, that passage is a mirror more than a sword.

            I provided analysis and statements supported by evidence in my previous reply to you regarding how we got here.

            If you investigate the funding and organizing forces and support for Occupy Wall Street, you will find organizations built on the foundation of Envy. Given, there are some confused people getting caught up in the mob who really have no clue about the mechanisms underlying the protests. However, I do have a clue and so should you. You like sociology, research it for yourself.

            As a sociologist, you are held accountable to being as objective as possible. That means analyzing empirical data, outcomes, behavior and removing emotion from your analysis. The questions are: “why do societies and groups behave the way the do?” “What motivates and underlies this behavior?” “Are there similar behaviors in other societies or groups?”

            Again, I stand by my statements and evidence regarding envy as a major motivator behind these protests, as I do my analysis of the 2008 crisis. I never stated that ALL protestors were envious. So, constructing a straw-man out of non-statements does not further your case. I’m not being condescending by challenging your remarks. There is no need for victimization roles within the structure of debate. No personal attacks were made.

            I submit that Envy is a more destructive and more powerful motivator than Greed.

            Take care

  22. It is more powerful to be creative than to be competitive. Creativity builds a path for others to follow, creates jobs and inspires others. More importantly it does not look at the economy as limiting, rather looks at life as abounding in opportunity.

    Contrast that with competitive thinking which kicks out the ladder to which your posterity and humanity are on.

    I would ask: What creative mind, what creative personality has time to protest something. They are busy doing something.

  23. My take on the prostests is simple: normally, I hate winter, but I’m rather looking forward to it this year! It will be most educational to see how real weather affects the dedication of the movement.

  24. Great post Chris.
    My take on the protests, which to date I still don’t know what they have accomplished other than waste more tax payers dollars with having the local law enforcement having to deal with more things…it’s simple to me.

    If the protesters understood responsibilty versus equality, none of them would be standing up for what they think they believe in.

    If my kids do what they want, when they want and how they want, they sure won’t be able to come to mom and dad and expect us to rescue them out of their mess. Do we love them, sure we do? That’s why we are trying to teach them about responsibility at an early age.

    Again great post that is not mixed up with political lingo.

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