October 17, 2011
I Am The .0000003%
As an idealistic young man, I too once participated in an “Occupy Wall Street” movement.
It was the early eighties. I had just graduated college. Sure, I could have gotten a degree in something practical, like Early French Romance Poetry, or Latin as a Second Language, but was I thinking about the future? No, and so I followed my heart, and got a degree in finance with an emphasis in accounting.
Ah, the self-indulgence of youth.
As luck would have it, I graduated straight into the teeth of a serious recession. Like today’s protesters, saddled with thousands of dollars in student loans and facing bleak job prospects, I decided to march on New York and occupy Wall Street.
By getting a job.
I wasn’t alone, though. Thousands of my comrades occupied jobs on Wall Street as well, intent on overthrowing the status quo. In so doing, we managed to bring down many existing power structures by helping to provide the capital necessary to fund many radical new ideas such as the personal computer.
No one person could do it alone, but working together in a voluntary fashion, with each participant pursuing his or her own self interest, these rebels of the eighties managed to raise the capital necessary from institutions and individuals from around the globe sympathetic to the cause, providing the funds to hire and employ thousands at such companies as Apple, Microsoft, and Dell. Ultimately, revolution came through the advent of superior products meeting consumer demand and thus cleaning out the old centers of power at such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Wang Laboratories, and Data General.
As Thomas Jefferson might have put it, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the red ink of failed business models.”
I have since moved on to support the “Occupy DC” movement, by occupying a desk at my job each day at a private investment firm where I am currently engaged in helping to provide capital to a young software company. It plans to use the investment funds we provided to double its workforce.
I do this less out of a deep-seated moral conviction to help others and more out of a deep-seated moral conviction to pay my mortgage. To achieve this I engaged in perhaps the most radical process of all:
A mutually agreeable negotiation with the person who owns my desk absent the threat of force or coercion in which he chooses to provide a salary and benefits in exchange for my labor.
And let me tell you this, I will absolutely refuse to vacate my desk unless and until its rightful owner tells me to.
It's just something I feel strongly about.
Crazy? Maybe just a little. But somehow between my boss pursuing his own self interest free from government intervention, and my pursuing my own self interest, and the executives, other investors, employees, suppliers and customers each doing the same we’ve created a spontaneous order of benefit to each participant and in which each participant bears the risk for his or her own individual failure and success.
I am one individual American of three hundred million fellow citizens taking personal responsibility for my actions and decisions with no expectation that I should be able to make others pay for my failures.
I am the .0000003%.
I paid my fair share and then some for the roads "the rest of us paid for."
I am the .0000003%.
I readily admit that I did not "do well on my own," but neither did I force anyone to help me either.
I am the .0000003%.
I've made many stupid mistakes, and I paid for each and every one.
Let the world know that you are the .0000003%. And when you oppose the Wall Street bailouts, it’s not because you just want your own bailout, it’s because you don’t think taxpayers should be forced to bail out anybody else’s bad decisions.
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You are adorable!!! I love your articles. Where can I get one of the "I am the .0000003% t-shirts?
Posted by: LeeAnn | Oct 17, 2011 4:13:40 PM
Ummm...LeeAnn? Are you sure you really want to facilitate this blogger's craven attempt to capitalize on his ideas with crass commercial activity?
If you're willing to stoop that low you might want to click on the "Let the world know" link, above.
Posted by: Michael | Oct 17, 2011 5:04:40 PM
Crass? Craven? Commercial? Stop, you're making me blush!
And sorry about the confusion, LeeAnn, I had set it up so that clicking on the picture would take you to the shop, but that was lost in a subsequent change. I'll take care of that now, thanks.
Posted by: Planet Moron | Oct 17, 2011 6:48:22 PM
I actually support the OWS movement. I don't agree with them, but they are an embarassment to the clowns who voted for these bailouts. My concern is that they lack only one factor in starting a revolution. They have the required widespread discontent, and the mob. The one missing piece is a unifying leader who gives them something to hate beyond reason. For now they are just puupets to be manipulated by the various interest clowns like Obama, the unions, and the Klan, but that may change very quickly, and then there will be a great fall of blood.
Posted by: John | Oct 18, 2011 7:01:34 PM
Put me down as a "no" when it comes to incoherent violent mobs growing increasingly agitated at the man oppressing their right to convenient iPod charging stations.
Posted by: Planet Moron | Oct 18, 2011 8:14:24 PM
But charging stations won't be the issue. These people are sheep, and they won't stay incoherent if a leader emerges. They are a tinderbox awaiting an igniter. They will become the partisans for whoever indoctrinates them. And they aren't the only ones out here who are disaffected. There will be other groups, and reactionaries to those groups. This is really bad, and has the potential to get much worse. The problem is that our system cannot deal with the kind of chaos that may ensue because there are too many groups with too many competing demands. The OWS group is just a symptom. Even if they go away, or are suppressed, the next time it will not be so easy.
Posted by: John | Oct 18, 2011 9:14:36 PM
Right now OWS is nothing but a bunch of Epsilons wondering where their Brave New World is. They're right to sense that something is amiss, but far too immature to take the responsibilty of actual change. No platform, no dialogue, no learning, and absolutely no self-reliance.
Great article. I might order up one of those shirts myself.
Posted by: Amarsir | Oct 19, 2011 11:06:41 PM
And obviously no critical thinking skills.
Posted by: barryjo | Oct 20, 2011 9:25:55 AM