I have watched a number of videos from the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Whatever events. It would be easy to dismiss most of them as staged or edited to make the protesters look smarter or dumber than the true overall average. You do, however, get a feel for a lot of the thinking of this group and I must say that many of the comments from protesters are so idiotic it is hard for me to relate. Like many people I recognize that the Fed and the incestuous relationship between government and the financial sector is pure evil. But some of these demands – guaranteed jobs, forgiving of student loans to name a couple – what?
It’s because of my personal story that goes like this. When I graduated from high school my family did not have money to send me to college so I went to school on a student loan. I chose a major that was marketable, electrical engineering, so that I had a good chance of getting a job when I graduated. I would have rather majored in something more fun but obviously there is a difference between a hobby and a career. After I graduated I worked hard and paid off my loan. Of course I enjoyed some splurges now and then but I exercised enough self discipline to save a little every month and after a while it started to add up – funny how that works. As I advanced in my career I was able to save more and start to invest. I made the most of tax advantaged investments such as IRAs and 401(k)s. I didn’t make any risky bets, mostly just boring but regular investments. I didn’t blow all my money on the latest gadgets, cars and partying, just enough to be happy. I ended up underwater on my second house but stuck it out for 12 years and ended up selling at a gain, no big windfall just a decent profit. And then I retired at age 45 with zero debt and enough cash and investments to never have to work again.
This little rage comic sums up how I feel about Occupy Wall Street.