Occupy Wall Street: America’s Silver Spoon Generation On The March

Beneath the allegedly young idealism are very cobwebbed assumptions about societal permanence. The agitators for “American Autumn” think that such demands are reasonable for no other reason than that they happen to have been born in America, and expectations that no other society in human history has ever expected are just part of their birthright. But a society can live on the accumulated capital of a glorious inheritance only for so long. And, in that sense, this bloodless, insipid revolution is just a somewhat smellier front for the sclerotic status quo. — Mark Steyn

“God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.” — Saint Augustine

Everyone knows the perils of growing up rich. When everything is handed to you on a silver plate, it’s all too easy to become a rotten, spoiled, incompetent, ill tempered brat who thinks privilege is her birthright. There are so many sad examples of this mentality that it’s become a cliche: See Paris Hilton, Meghan McCain, & Kim Kardashian among many, many others, some of whom you probably know personally.

However, in a nation as wealthy as America, this expectation of prosperity isn’t just limited to the rich. We have a lot of Americans who believe they’re entitled to a certain lifestyle, not because of anything they’ve done, but because of who they are.

If they have a kid out of wedlock, well, somebody else should pay the bill. If they haven’t worked in a couple of years, the government should take care of that. If they racked up $50,000 in student loans to get a philosophy degree that entitles them to get a job as a janitor, the government should pay off their debt. If they just want to stay at home, play video games and get high for a few years while they “find themselves,” they should be able to do that.

Why shouldn’t they have the same kind of money that bankers or stockbrokers make? How is it fair that some corporate CEO can makes tens of millions of dollars a year while they can’t even afford to pay for their share when their friends order pizza? The fact that those guys have so much money when so many other people don’t PROVES that there’s just something wrong with the world!

Of course, if someone believes Wall Street brokers, bankers, and CEOs make an “unfair” amount of income, there is an obvious solution to the problem. He should become a broker, banker, or CEO. But that would require taking a major that isn’t “fun” and working ridiculous hours for decades in a highly competitive field where you have to produce to keep your job. This seems “unfair” to many people who think the world owes them a new car every 5 years, an iPhone, and lots of leisure time because of the number of times a teacher said they were “special” and “important.”

Back in the real world, many of the people who have money today were once poor. They used to work two jobs, drove decade-old cars, sold things to pay bills — and then they picked a career that paid a lot of money, worked their butts off, and after ceaseless effort, started to make big money. Do you think most of those people feel guilty that they’re doing better than people who are poor or are they thinking, “If I paid my dues and pulled myself up by my bootstraps, why can’t everyone else do it, too?”

If you’re a protester at Occupy Wall Street, that may not sound “fair.” After all, how many times have we said that young Americans are “the future?”

The good news is that’s true. The fact that it’s true is also the bad news because if you’re lazy, have no skills, are hosing your life up, or went $100,000 into debt to get an African-American studies degree, your future isn’t very bright — especially since you probably support a party that believes in borrowing trillions of dollars from a national credit card with your name on it so that they can spend it today. That is one advantage the people who’ve already made their money have over younger Americans; previous generations didn’t have to try to accumulate their fortune while paying off an enormous national debt and supporting, along with their significant other, their own personal senior citizen with their taxes.

What it all comes down to is that if you’re young and times are hard, well, they’re supposed to be. Times are usually hard for young Americans because you don’t have a lot of skills, a lot of life experience, or a lot of seniority. You’re supposed to struggle, persevere, and tough your way through. Life is hard and not only does no one owe you a living, no one owes you vacations in Paris, an iPod, or a 42 inch flat screen TV either. So suck it up, stop whining, and stop expecting Wall Street, “The Rich,” or the government to pick you up on their backs and carry you to the good life. If you want a cushy lifestyle, then you need to earn it instead of expecting someone to hand it to you because you’re so wonderful. If you were actually as wonderful as you think you are, you could pay your own way.

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