Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

#OWS Is Back

My old friend Jon Greenberg wrote a piece for the Atlantic noting similarities to Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener

Jon acknowledges that Occupy's amorphous demands actually became a political asset.  Occupy, like the Tea Party, changed the conversation.  Since Occupy began, we are having a much saner discussion about our nation's priorities than deciding whether or not to default on our debt obligations.

Reading the comments makes me sad.  The privilege and obtuseness of the "get a job" attack is that this is the precise point: young people today can't get jobs.  That the crushing debt they accrue through their education leaves them with fewer options to pursue once they graduate.

Few countries put such economic burdens on their students.

The average cost for a year of four-year college in the US is about $32,000.

The average cost for a year of college in Britain is about $15,000.

The average cost for a year of college in Germany is about $660.

When OWS says, "I'd prefer not to", they are not saying they don't want to work, but rather they want to do work that is spiritually fulfilling and allows them to lead a comfortable life.  Instead they see a system where you either have to be already wealthy to afford college or work into your child bearing years to pay it off.

That is if there were any jobs around in the first place.

I'm not sure why that's so hard to understand.

Maybe if Melville wrote about the Tea Party, he would have called it Moby Dickhead.

No comments: