The Huffington Post reports that the Occupy Wall Street movement is now twice as popular as the Tea Party. To me that is like bragging about being the tallest midget. In order to qualify as a “movement”, one would have to be in fact ‘moving’ – that is, trying to accomplish something. To be sure the occupiers have some legitimate gripes. A quick read of this Business Insider article will give you more than enough statistics to make even a one-percent’r worried http://read.bi/orjvdE Here are a few of highlights…umm, lowlights:
- Three years post financial meltdown, unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression (with the exception of a minor blip in the 80’s when I was searching for my first job).
- Over 40% of those unemployed have been out of work for greater than 6 months.
- Corporate profits are near an all-time high both in dollars and as a percentage of GDP.
- CEO pay is now 350X the average worker’s, up from 50X in the 50’s thanks to all of those CEO compensation studies by consultants hired by CEO’s.
- The US ranks 93rd on the income equality index, behind China, India and Iran.
Getting depressed? Don’t! Do something about it. When I graduated from college, the overwhelming sentiment was negative. Japanese investors were buying landmark buildings, interest rates were in the high teens and inflation was rampant. Education testing scores were down and many people felt that America’s best days were behind it. That proved not to be the case because we collectively worked to make it better.
The American economy is nothing more than the sum total of the goods and services that we collectively produce. If you don’t like the financial picture, produce more. I know that sounds harsh from a guy who has political leanings just to the left of Fidel Castro but hear me out. If you are unlucky enough to be unemployed (or under-employed) the best thing to do is to act. As Rodney Atkins sings, “When you’re going through hell, keep going” (had to search www.cowboylyrics.com for that little gem).
If you can’t get that dream job, settle for one that you can get. If you can’t get a job at all (many can’t), offer to work for free for your dream employer. If they won’t let you work for free, they’re never going to hire you and it’s time to pick another dream employer. After a while, they’ll see your value and mysteriously, money will materialize in the budget to keep you around. Even if that doesn’t work, you’ll have co-workers who will likely pitch in to help with your full-time (paid) job search. When you get back on your feet, help out those less fortunate. It’s not clear to me that the government will act and I’m certainly not pinning my hopes on Goldman Sachs suddenly seeing the light. I’m betting on us – can’t imagine the smart money betting against us. Comments welcomed and link sharing is appreciated J