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Should We Be Occupying Anything?

November 13, 2011

I’ve been closely watching the Occupy Movement for the past few months and I kept asking myself, “This looks good on paper but it does it look good in our pockets?”

 

The foundation of this movement is that the 1% exploited the 99% leading to economic collapse. The 99% are seemingly agree about this. But how we respond to our anger is the important thing to be honest about. The corporate greed went on for years and while it was being masked many were employed and not too angry. Is this movement really about the Corporate Greed or is it about those who lost their jobs as a result of it? If those who lost their jobs were still working (amidst corporate greed) would there be such a thing as an Occupy Movement? How many people who are gainfully employed out there protesting?

 

So if corporations decide to do a mass hiring, are we saying that the Occupy Movement would end? If that’s the case then we are no better than those who are doing the exploiting. Our issue doesn’t seem to be the exploitation, it seems to be that we want a piece of the action from the exploitation. Why do I say this? If we were really angry at the 1% then we wouldn’t be wanting jobs from them (which would contribute to their further wealth growth) nor would we be prancing around toting their goods and gadgets in our pockets (again, leading to them becoming more powerful). So what is this really about?

 

At some point we will all have our “Come-to-Jesus-Meeting”; where we will be forced to become honest with our motives and mindset. Would many of us trade unemployment for a corporate CEO position? Yes! After praying to God for a job, will many of us take the wages and squander them on frivolous items all over again while never giving any of the money towards tithing? Yes! So I say this is not about fighting corporate greed. It is about our jealousy of it. We want some of the greed-pie too!

 

I posed a question to one of my business classes. I said, “If offering our labor to a company is considered a service then why when we provide poor employment service and are eventually terminated, why aren’t companies entitled to a refund? Yet, we expect refunds from companies (or service providers) when they provide poor service to us?” I find this to be immature and elusive of taking responsibility. In fact, I would like to see this practice reversed. When we take advantage of businesses we are actually taking advantage of people. Messes like these is what leads to a sluggish economy. We can’t simply be eager to occupy public places but resist occupying our private spaces (minds, homes, communities).

 

Let’s not forget that the government contributes to the loss of the blue collar worker too. It employs or supports many technologies that have replaced the worker. Toll booth workers are becoming extinct and in just about every government office there is an ATM; not a satellite branch with workers, an ATM. Have you been enjoying your online banking, self check-out lanes at the grocery store or self check-in kiosks at the airport? So, my friends, as a group of man-eating carnivores we have become the laughing stock on many.

 

There is alot of money in “convincing people that they are the victim, even when they are not.” Pastors, lawyers, activists, community leaders, businesses, all do it. There’s actually logic to it. Tell people their shortcomings and they get upset, stick their money in their pockets and you never see them again. But victimizing them doesn’t repair our problems
or take us where we need to go as individuals. However, playing victim is also another form of exploitation. As much as corporations must be held liable for this, those of us who purchase from them or work for them are equally as liable!

 

Devin Robinson is an author and business and economics professor. Learn more about him at http://www.devinrobinson.com

 

 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2011 11:07 am

    Should We Be Occupying Anything? Yes ourselves, and how we can start achieving our own JOBS! There are many great people out there in this movement. I think coming together this way should lead to a more positive affect. Just think, if more of the people would come together and bring their knowledge, creative minds, talents, and so on. The Occupy movement could have a solid ground. This is just my opinion, and I appreciate all that “us” people are doing to be heard. Put that energy into a more sound ground, and help each other rebuild our communities. Thank You Professor Robinson, for all your words to restore our Souls…

    • Airet permalink
      November 14, 2011 4:50 pm

      The Bible teaches if a man don’t work, he won’t eat! What is the definition of work? We really need to occupy the Bible for the truth of justice, and economic equality!

  2. November 14, 2011 12:02 pm

    Devin I agree with you 100 percent and if I didn’t agree the way you wrote the article would give people a lot to think about. Great article. Maybe if you post this article in the AJC , this will give something for people to think about. Most people join movements and don’t have a clue what the movement is about. Keep writing my brother. You enlighten me on this beautiful morning.

  3. November 14, 2011 5:08 pm

    Wow! Again as usual you give us food for thought. And bring reality to the surface. Thank you for being you. I agree…let’s encourage more entrepreneurship. 🙂

  4. November 14, 2011 6:37 pm

    This was a very thoughtful article making full sense. However, there’s one aspect that was not pointed out: The 1% made tons of money and is still profiting while the majority is hanging on to survival. Do they have a responsibility to those (employees, customers, etc.) that helped them build that profit? The analogy I would make is that of a couple where both parties were having fun having 10 kids. But now that things are tough, the men moves on to a younger, childless woman while the woman is stuck caring for the kids without support. Both sides are guilty, but one side is surely better off than the other. Corporate greed had alot to do with how we got here. I know. I spent 10 years in the mortgage industry and saw it happen. I believe there’s a better way for the 99’ers to express their frustrations. But had it not been for their actions, many of us would not even be talking it, just wondering what to do.

  5. November 14, 2011 10:38 pm

    We can always depend on you to bring a fresh perspective to any issue, Devin! You bring out so many very valid points for discussion!! Keep up the good work and keep us on our toes.

  6. November 15, 2011 1:03 am

    Great article as usual. Most is not all of the occupy movement are not being honest with themselves about their frustrations and motives. Its like the saying goes, dont hate the player, hate the game. When they were getting their piece of the game it was all good. But when that stopped, all the players got vilified. I mean lets be serious. No one is going to choose being broke over being in the 1%. I will be glad when they start concentrating on looking for, or creating some jobs as oppsed to marching around complaining about how they dont have one.. Let be proactive instead of reactive! God gave us much more creativity than that and he expects us to use it..

  7. November 21, 2011 1:37 pm

    Very interesting perspective…makes you go hmmmmmmmm

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