Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: The Entitlement Generation

In 2008, Obama got elected and the economy crashed. Both of those events' later dissections showed us that there was rampant voter fraud, and rampant government and banking fraud. People may become disappointed when their favored candidate loses, but overall acceptance of the system remains intact for one important reason: they trust it.

In 2009 people started to get angry. Their trust that though the people within the system may be flawed, the overall system is a good one was being tested. Scandals from Lehman Brothers in the form of outrageous bonuses and handouts and bailouts, to other banking institutions' revelations of rampant corruption, mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, nepotism and favoritism, and general malfeasance took root as a germ of anger in the American psyche. We don't mind the rich getting richer, as long as they do it fairly. The American Dream was still alive, then.

As more news came out about these things, the American people began to get really angry. CNBC Pundit Rick Santelli seemed to capture the spark of anger and ignite it in his soon to be dubbed "Shout Heard Round the World" a reference to the phrase "The Shot heard Round the World" regarding the historical events at Lexington and Concord which ignited the American Revolution.

Santelli's rant was 4 minutes of reverberating truth that captured the hard feelings about the injustice and corruption in the American system of governance and finance, and it sparked the Tea Party. For the first time, Americans began to think of a wholesale, instant change to the system, rather than incremental change from within the system. Protests were ongoing from 2009 to 2010.

Then in 2011 a series of other protests started, called "Occupy Wall Street." Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park, formerly "Liberty Plaza Park". The protest was originally called for by the Canadian activist group Adbusters; some compare the activity to the Arab Spring movement (particularly the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo, which initiated the 2011 Egyptian revolution). (source Wikipedia).

The suspicion of the inherent corruption in the system had morphed to overt anger and calls for violence, something the Tea Party had never ventured so far as to do. The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) anger is evidently deepening, while at the same time, the focus of the anger is widening from mail in a tea bag to Congress to illustrate that it is still the people in charge, to peaceful protests at known locations against big government, to the OWS general mayhem of protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, among other concerns. Many other concerns.

The OWS protests have been characterized by arrests, poor judgment, and violence and calls for violence. They are growing, and the world leaders are taking notice, as the Washington Post reports. The protests have grown in scope and momentum over the last 3 and a half weeks, spreading across the US and now to other nations.

Speaking of divergent demands, in an ongoing series in the National Review on the Occupy Wall Street protests, the latest posting shows us this:
An Occupy Wall Street protester wants college paid for because that's what he wants.
"But nothing had prepared me for meeting this gentleman, who wants his college paid for because, well . . . that’s what he wants. He has perfectly articulated a sentiment I have heard repeatedly but was struggling to distill with anything like the clarity he achieved: That being that if there is something someone doesn’t like about their life, someone else somewhere should change it. And if they don’t, well then, the American Dream is dead:"


Though we know that in the Tribulation, peace will be taken from the earth, (Revelation 6:4), and that the very wealthy will live in gross luxury while most of the world starves, (Rev 18), there is a deeper root for the current OWS protests. The Christian Post explains:

"Like most protests, the Occupy Wall Street folks are better at identifying something that is wrong than identifying a way forward that is right. But even if the protesters don't understand much about financial economics, they have a clear sense that something is wrong. That something, however, lies deeper than the behavior of a relative handful of Wall Street moguls. That something, I believe, is a sense of material entitlement that has crept into the American psyche. This sense of material entitlement has infected our personal choices, our politics, and our financial system."

"The crisis has spiritual roots. Jesus warns his followers, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions" (Luke 12:15, NIV). But a syncretistic form of Christianity has emerged in our country, a syncretism that mingles genuine New Testament Christianity with the consumer materialism of the American Dream."

The reality is, "“In America, you are the 99%, but in the rest of the world, you are still the 1%,” reads one image that’s been making the rounds, juxtaposing the protesters with starving African children. ... "As it turns out, the bottom 99 percent of the United States doesn’t make the top 1 percent of household incomes worldwide — but it comes surprisingly close. Branko Milanovic, lead economist for the World Bank research group, sent me this comparative analysis based on household income or consumption surveys worldwide, adjusted for purchasing power differences. Those at the 34th percentile of income in the United States are at the 90th percentile globally, and those at the 50th percentile in the United States are at the 93rd percentile globally. Even the very poorest Americans — those at the 2nd percentile of income in the United States — are at the 62nd percentile globally."

In other words, by world standards, we are rich, even the poorest of us. Yet we want what we want. Like that young man in the video above idling his time away at the protests with a hand made sign asking someone to pay his tuition.

That mindset is not one which sacrifices for others, as the bible calls us to do. That mindset is opposed to the notion that we are poor in spirit and not worthy of anything good except what God in His grace gives us from above. It is the result of a corrupt American spirit rejecting Christianity because Christianity doesn't give us anything and expects us to give what we have to others. The bible is clear that God does not promise ease to us. The notion of love under trying circumstances, giving, sacrificing, and humility is at odds with what we see on the streets these days. The nobility of a Christian character being purified through a Godly life is anathema to American entitlement culture today.

However, the last shall be first. The persevering will find satisfaction. The troubled will be eased. The tearful shall weep no more. "Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." (Is 49:13).

Entitlements. Pfffft. I'm only entitled to judgment and hell for my crimes against Jesus. But He pardoned them at the cross and rose again to extend that pardon to me. I believed on Him and now have been adopted into the family of God.

These protests may or may not spark a Second American Revolution, but we know for sure that the Tribulation will bring sin to the fore, and will be rife with violence as peace is taken from the earth. By His grace all believers can remain apart from the corruption of the world, knowing in secure promise that we will one day be living in a perfectly just, pure, and wholesome system of finance, governance and lifestyle for all eternity.


5 comments:

  1. I'm not surprised. They were raised to feel entitled, it's not an excuse but it is reality. You are taught that if you go to college (multiple degrees and a master's is a plus!) you will GET A JOB. Compare their generation to the generation (at their age) that endured the great depression.

    Anyway, at this point it's not just young people but older americans are joining it as well but they of course, have different platforms. I don't even think it matters how anyone intellectually dissects these protests, above everything, I think these protests are just another piece being put into place for prophecy and the dismantling of this once great country.

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  2. You cant fix an economy in one year. No republican or democrat can do that. Its up to the LORD to fix the economy. Stop putting your trust in the occupy wallstreet, teabaggers, repubs or dems. Its time CHRISTians to start trusting CHRIST.

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  3. You all believe in 'BLIND Faith'!

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Kay Cude poetry: The Wondrous Draw

Kay Cude poetry, Used with permission. Click to enlarge. It gets really big.