Retirement Guys: Occupy the voting booth, not Wall StreetWritten by Nolan Baker Mark Clair | | email@example.com
A few months ago, I, Nolan, had the opportunity to go with my family to Indiana to see where my great-great-grandparents raised a lot of our family. My grandfather and his sister were the tour guides and told us all about growing up on the farm and working for the railroad. The long hours, hard work and strong family values all paid off, as my dad and his brother went on to college and both became successful in their careers and life.
The same tradition of hard work bringing the opportunity for great rewards has carried on for my generation. At the age of 18, I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves and worked at a brass refinery on the weekends and was able to pay my own way through college. Today, I have a successful business I started with the support of my wife.
The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to grow and spread. According to www.occupywallst.org, “Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.”
If 99 percent of Americans feel that capitalism is to blame for our country’s problems, then I guess that puts my family in the 1 percent. If 99 percent of Americans feel the wealthy control Washington, D.C., then we the 99 percent should get educated on our current elected leaders and their election opponents and vote.
Why did the ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire, the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and Libya all fail? They didn’t fail because of capitalism. I agree that our country has serious and significant financial problems, yet I believe the anger should lay with our elected political leaders. Those regimes failed because their leaders turned their backs on their people. The filthy-rich heads of oil and technology companies and Wall Street tycoons have little impact on me personally. Yet, it is our government that interferes with me every step of my day.
It is our current government leaders who are out of control. They overpay and waste money. They sell off our debts and assets to other countries. It’s the government leaders’ policies and regulations that have resulted in selling out America’s manufacturing to other nations. It is the government that created programs to lend money to people who shouldn’t have taken on so much debt to begin with. It is the Democrats and Republicans who have both lost touch with reality and the 99 percent.
It is the government that is to blame, yet we as individuals need to take personal responsibility for our own actions. At the heart of capitalism is savings and investing. Save and plan for a rainy day, don’t have a sense of entitlement, avoid debt and certainly don’t rely on others to take care of you. I say, instead of occupying Wall Street, next month let’s make sure we occupy the voting booths.
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