Friday, November 4, 2011

Since You Have the Time...

It turns out the Appleton protesters will not be camping out in City Park all weekend.  I expect there will be a few people who decide they are going to partake in "civil disobedience" and will still pitch a tent--for the exclusive purpose of being arrested and (they hope) making the news.  But for the rest, might I suggest a few other activities to fill your time?

Instead of just standing outside the banks and yelling about the people in suits inside and on Wall Street, why not ask the people actually using the bank if they have a personal budget?  If they do not--provide them with the knowledge they need to make one.  People who have--and stick to--a budget are far less likely to use high-interest credit cards, borrow to purchase big-ticket items like vehicles, and default on their mortgages.  Think about how "empowered" "the 99%" would feel if they were actually in control of their money--instead of sending it to those "evil Wall Street bankers" in the form of interest, late fees and overdraft charges?  If you need some information on fiscal responsibility (and I'm guessing you probably do, Mr Protester), you can find books by Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman and Clark Howard at the public library.

Looking to make a "social impact"?  Why not occupy the streets of known drug dealers?  Based on stories from other protests, many of you seem to know where the marijuana dealers are.  Here in Oshkosh, those criminals took $2.4-million from people who couldn't afford to lose that money--and sent much of it to the drug cartels that are terrorizing people in border towns down south.  I can guarantee "the 1%" didn't contribute anything to that $2.4-million--thereby widening the gap in personal wealth that you hate so much.  If you want to patrol the bars looking for drunks to set on the right path--you could do that as well.

And as you complain about the "lack of access to education"--why not take some time to make sure those with access to free education actually take advantage of it?  The vast majority of kids in K-thru-12 who fail classes and fall behind their peers are those who don't actually go to class.  "Adopt" one of these at-risk kids and make sure they are getting to school every day--not just telling their mom they are "going to school".  Sit with that kid and make sure they actually pay attention to the teacher--and that if they don't understand something, ask a question--rather than thinking it will make them look "dumb" or like a "nerd".  Watch them do their homework (and don't just give them the answers--you don't learn like that) before they settle in for a night of sitting in front of the TV or the video games or the internet.  You might want to chaperone dates as well to make sure they practice safe sex and not add to the "99%" before they can support that baby.

I'll admit, these activities aren't as easy as sitting around in a drum circle and blaming others for your problems--but they might actually earn you the respect of the rest of the 98.9999999% you claim to be "fighting for".

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