Occupy Encore with a Side of Children

Remember all of those folks who were interested in occupying everything last fall/winter? Apparently, they are gearing up for a new wave. Once again, their friends in the media are doing their best to help:

April showers didn’t bring May flowers this year – they bloomed early – but May Day did bring some new people into the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Why were the old people not working? Was it because the tent cities they built became literal cesspools and garbage dumps? Nah, that couldn’t be it. Let’s see who the new folks are.

For young people, the day was a chance to join the movement – even if it meant missing school.

“There is the realization that we need to take the country back from the corporations,” says Jeremy Cohen, 14, who, together with two friends, his mom, and a friend’s mom, came in from Princeton, N.J., for the May Day protests. The three eighth-graders stood behind an Occupy banner that Jeremy had used his birthday money to buy online.

Ha ha ha. Sorry, “even if it meant missing school” is simply too good to pass up. We are talking about 14-yr old kids. They are, nearly to an 8th grader, quite happy to miss school. This is was a good excuse.

And, then there is the detail about Jeremy standing behind a banner that he bought with his birthday money. Yep, not money that he earned doing anything of value (shoveling snow, packing groceries, or watching younger siblings) but money he gained for simply being alive on the anniversary of his birth.

Seems as though he an excellent fit for a lifetime in the re-imagined Occupy movement. He got someone to pay for him to visit an event when he should be doing something else–and he spent someone else’s money on the props he needed for his performance once he got there.

I’ll close with this:

“I agree with almost everything that Occupy Wall Street is promoting,” says Jeremy Taylor, also 14. “It’s great to be part of something larger than yourself.”

If getting ignorant children to support the Occupy movement is the future of the movement, I believe there is hope–hope that the children will grow up and find out how incredibly foolish they used to be.

12 thoughts on “Occupy Encore with a Side of Children

  1. After seeing Sarah Palin run as a viable vice-president, and witnessing Glen Beck qualify as a serious news-person, I believed that conservatives could sink no lower. I was proven wrong just after reading this article criticizing my political action, realizing that you have reached a new low. Is attacking children for their attempts to encourage economic change really how low you people have fallen? Is my supporting a good cause really worse then the contingent of your party who continue to believe that our president is not really a United States citizen? By seeing how you view youth action, I have become more liberal then ever, and believing more and more that the one thing I will never be is a conservative.

  2. Jeremy,

    I am not attacking children for attempts to encourage economic change: I am attacking ignorance and naïveté as displayed by children who are using the resources of others to make political statements about things which they cannot comprehend.

    I admire your ability to attempt to twist the argument by placing your support for a cause on a par with the support of others, commonly called Birthers, with whom you mistakenly align me. I am, after all, a man without a party.

    Regarding your response to my response to your “youth action” I will only say that you are free to make up your mind to follow whatever folly you choose. That is, after all, the negative byproduct of life in a free society.

    May time and pain allow you to learn what rallies will not teach you.

  3. You claim you are “not attacking children for attempts to encourage economic change” yet you call two 14 year olds standing up for what they believe to be pure ignorance and influence from the public. Have you ever considered the possibility that they might actually know what they’re doing? That, perhaps, instead of just being little sheep mimicking the general public’s response to this issue, they might actually have taken the time to educate themselves on the issue and created their own opinions based on this? I find it admirable that America’s youth is educating themselves on the problems that our country faces and taking a stand against the current political issues.
    Instead of calling them ignorant for speaking out (which seems to make you the more childish side of the argument, calling someone ignorant purely because you are older than them), try to open your mind and treat them as you would any other educated protester.

    On the topic of birthday money, what did you get when you turned fourteen? I’d assume you didn’t get a banner for protesting against a political issue, but I could be wrong.

  4. Avian,

    The two 14-year-olds, as referenced in the story, are doing nothing which costs them anything. Yes, I’ve considered that they know exactly what they are doing. That does not mean that they are doing something right, good and proper.

    There is a reason that most of the general public is not up in arms against Wall Street. They (the general public) realize that Wall Street, while comprised of imperfect people, is largely supportive of the nation as a whole–as represented by regular returns on investments in pension funds, 401K plans and the like.

    I am not terming them ignorant for speaking out. I am calling them ignorant in their speech. Children may be our future, but right now they are children–and they speak as children and act as children. Perhaps when they grow up they will put away childish things–of which Occupy thinking is one.

    Since, as you pointed out, I am such an old individual, I cannot honestly remember what I got for my 14th birthday. However, since I usually received a birthday meal and little else on all of my birthdays, I’m guessing it was similar on this one.

    By 14, however, I was already working and buying all of my own clothing as well as contributing food to the family’s table. One could say that I was rather too busy taking care of necessities to protest something in my childish ignorance.

  5. So is that supposed to mean that they need to pay to do something good? That they can’t speak for the benefit of others, but only their own needs? I’m sure they’re fully aware that this issue doesn’t directly affect them, but they know what’s right and wrong.

    I moved to Australia little over a year ago, and this country has something like the more just system sought by Occupy protesters, made to help and benefit the 99%. In the year that I have lived here I haven’t seen a single homeless person. Everyone has an income that they are happy about and it hasn’t caused the rest of the country any problems. Is this a “childish” thing to be fighting for? Is this ignorant?

  6. Avian,

    The issues which you refer to most certainly affect the young directly. If they were not living in country whose capitalistic system built the wealth which they and their families enjoy, they would not have the leisure to protest.

    Most certainly they can speak to the needs of others–but more importantly, they can do to help others. Talk is relatively cheap. If these protesters believe what they are saying, then they should be the first to divest themselves of the spoils of the system.

    If you believe Australia to have a better system, then by all means enjoy it. Your anecdotes on homelessness aside; however, Australia does have homeless multitudes–as confirmed by a quick search.

    Simply stating that “everyone has an income they are happy about” does not make it true. If this were true, then Australia (or perhaps just Queensland) would be heaven on earth.

  7. When I use the phrase “Income they are happy about” I do not mean that everyone in Australia makes as much money as they would like to, but rather that they make enough money for them to not feel the need to strike and protest the way they are in the US.

    Rather than just enjoying Australia’s system, I would prefer to use it as an example of something like what the Occupy protesters are fighting for, and to show what it results in. Could we all not agree that a system where the average person makes more instead of the big corporations is what the US needs?

    However, this debate can go on forever, so I think I’ll stop here.

  8. Avian,

    Most people in this country do not feel the need to strike and protest. Most people in Australia do not feel the need to strike and protest–but that doesn’t mean that such strikes don’t happen. I’m quite certain I wouldn’t have to look far to find evidence of recent strikes in Australia. Strikes occur where there are labor unions and Australia has them.

    People the world round are greedy. This tendency is innate. If people believe that they can make more or work less for the same amount by striking and/or protesting, then they generally do it. This is true regardless of the moral basis for their decision; that is, whether they are truly being put upon by the corporations or are simply as greedy in their own individual way as any McDuckish board of directors.

    If, in the most recent data I came across, an adult equivalent in an Australian household makes an average of 26,915 in US Dollars per year, and the same equivalent in a US household makes an average of 31,111 in US dollars for the same period, I fail to see how Australia has a system where the average person makes more.

    Thank you for engaging in the debate, but please go with facts rather than anecdotes when it comes to comparisons between the economic well-being of the citizens of various countries.

  9. According to my sources the average salaries were $41k/year in the US and $62k/year in Australia.

  10. Avian,

    Without knowing what those sources are, I’ve no way of verifying the data, seeing if the dollars in question are both US, if these are average salaries across all possible employment categories or just some of them, etc.

  11. I don’t think it should come to down to what a person earns in dollars, but the fact that they contribute to their own support. I make less than $25000/yr as a local government employee and all I do is field tax payer complaints. In one breath they’re complaining about their taxes being too high, and in the next they’re complaining about their roads not getting fixed. Something for nothing. I think that’s a vital portion of this argument. The current American atmosphere is to get something for nothing. Everyone is a victim of the system and no body is willing to be held accountable for their own actions or lack of motivation to better themselves. I like to see youth in action, but I also can’t help but wonder how much of a child’s action is based on their own thoughts or the thoughts of their parents and other adult influences. I saw just that with my teenagers, who have changed their minds several times as they’ve grown into young adults and learned “maybe Dad wasn’t right about that.” I think the most important thing I can teach them is to be productive members of society and that hard work will never go unrewarded.

  12. prairiehousewife,

    You are correct. It’s not what one earns–but what was does with the earnings. You point out the real issue of people wanting to have everything but simply not understanding that somebody somewhere (and it when it comes to government services, that someone is them) must pay for it. I can help but think that we have contributed to the lack of education of an entire generation by telling them they can do anything they want to–without explaining the downside to doing anything one wants.

    It is good to see youth in action, but not simply mindlessly repeating what they’ve been told by their elders or heard on TV. Maturation is the process whereby young people sort out who they are as individuals and figure out what parts of what they thought was so simply is not.

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