(The following appeared on Planet Moron on October 5, 2011.)
Like those before them in the 1960s, today’s young people have taken to the streets all over the nation, particularly “Wall Street,” to protest a grave social injustice they all suffer under:
Having to pay back their student loans.
At least, that is the main message one gets reading through the complaints posted on “We Are the 99%” web site. Well, that and assorted bouts with mental illness, drug use, and apparent belief that Medicaid doesn’t exist.
There are also a fair number of complaints about working 60 to 80 hours a week which we here at Planet Moron would have more sympathy for were it not for the fact that we refer to working 60 to 80 hours a week, “the 1990s.”
But really, is there a more oppressed class in today’s America than the recent college graduate? After having spent other people’s money getting an education unattainable to most, they now suffer under the tyrannical demand that they actually give that money back under the terms they had originally agreed to.
It’s pretty greedy of those banks to want that money back, particularly since most of it doesn’t even belong to them but rather belongs to the people who hold savings and checking accounts and CDs with the bank.
Maybe even some of the parents of these students.
But why should anyone have to pay for school? As one aspiring student puts it:
“Knowledge should be free.”
And by “knowledge,” she means instructors, books, classrooms and utilities, and by “free,” she means, “you should pay for it.”
After all, it benefits society. Those art history degrees with minors in LGBT diversity studies could come in handy should China ever want to compete with us in the lucrative and growing field of total self-absorption.
Incidentally, these protests should by no means be confused with the Tea Party protests of the past couple of years which were astroturfed events funded by the Koch brothers and populated primarily by Nazis. No, the “Occupy Wall Street” protests are completely grassroots oriented and are instead funded by George Soros, backed by powerful unions, and have very few if any Nazis present.
Socialists, yes, Nazis, no.
What does this whole movement remind you of? If you said “the Arab Spring,” you might just have a future in the Democratic Congressional leadership.
The similarities are striking. Consider this woman’s story:
“My fiancee convinced me to go to college, graduated with 2 degrees. 40k student loan. Had job for 5 months before losing it because of ‘season ending.’ Student loans were due the following month. Got married. Husband kicked me out and divorced me after 3 months of marriage, leaving me helpless. Been almost 2 years, current BF works 50 hours a week, we have a 4 month old daughter who is on medicare. We can barely afford to pay rent, buy food and diapers. I am hounded daily by the loan company demanding payment… They do not care that I am unemployed, they want full payment NOW.”
Here is a women brutally forced to live with the consequences of a series of poor life choices she made. How is that any different from an Arab youth taking to the streets and risking being shot in order to protest for his inalienable right to free speech?
Answer: It isn’t.
In fairness, many of these protesters oppose the bailouts of Wall Street and the banks, a policy we were also against. However, the lesson we hoped would be learned would be that it is bad policy to shield individuals from the consequences of their actions by bailing them out with other people’s money. The lesson these protesters seemed to have learned is that that is actually a really great idea, and they want in on it.
While there are many problems with that approach, the final one is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.
In totally unrelated news, I’ve started reading Atlas Shrugged.