"Boomerang", by Michael Lewis

I just finished a great book that I high recommend for anyone trying to understand the European debt crisis: Boomerang, by Michael Lewis. It’s a quick read that tackles a different distraught country chapter by chapter. Lewis, unlike many analysts or authors, attempts to pin each nation’s economic woes on some of their cultural habits and customs, which is interesting. He ends with America, which isn’t as screwed as many countries in the European Union, but is close. He also does an interesting analysis on who is to blame for America’s current economic crisis, elaborating on an overall economic moral failure. I highly recommend this book, as well as Michael Lewis’ others.

Entitled America

Occupy Wall Street is a dangerous movement. It’s an unorganized cluster of disenchanted young people, old Vietnam-era people who simply enjoy a good protest, and greedy union people who would rather not have to work. It vilifies wealthy Americans, who have created the jobs of their own often-wealthy parents and created the products that they cling to religiously. iPhones, REI tents, Patagonia clothes, etc.

A democratic society that doesn’t encourage or approve of wealthy people is a society that aims to settle for less. History has not drawn a winner from that pool of thought.

Herman Cain got it right in an op-ed piece the other day. He says, “That’s not America- and not how American dreams are made. Empowerment is the key to success, not entitlement. So those asking for a handout on Wall Street, my message is this: ‘If you’re not rich, don’t blame the rich- go on there and work for it. You have to earn it.’

I stopped by many of the Tea Party rallies in Washington during my almost five years there. They were made of up middle aged working people fighting for a cause: small government and adherence to the Constitution. Look at the pictures online from Occupy Wall Street. You won’t find a normal American in the bunch. They’re either hippies, homeless, or spoiled college students who have no idea what the real world is really like outside the gates of their university. And what’s their cause? Is it simply anti-rich people? Are they for tax reform? Are they environmental activists? Anti-war protestors? Who knows? It sounds to me like they’re just anti-everything.

Being anti-everything can’t sustain a movement. Instead, it only creates more social unrest, allowing people who truly are victims of the current economic crisis and the administration’s inability to handle that crisis to lose hope in their abilities and their futures. If everything has gone to hell, why bother to update your resume or continue to look for a job month after month? Why bother keeping your dream to buy that nice house across town? Why not just join the masses sitting on their asses in parks across the U.S. and just give up? Social unrest creates more social unrest. Just look at the youth riots across Europe over the past years- the result of a society that continues to tolerate the crisis of today’s “entitled” youth.

From a selfish political perspective, I say keep protesting. Because as more and more news outlets, who are obviously in favor of the protestors and their causes, expose the true colors of the protestors, the more Americans will see that the ideas they espouse are not what’s best for America. Liberal politicians who were quick to jump on the protest bandwagon will have a hard time explaining their support for socialist/anarchist youth to Independents casting their ballots next November. Also, people will begin to seriously wonder why these protestors aren’t camped outside the White House, directing some of their anger at the man who’s been in charge for three years and hasn’t enacted much of that “change” that they were all sold on back in 2008. If President Obama hasn’t been liberal enough for them, I urge them to continue making that argument to the American people. American voters simply won’t buy it.