The Ultimate Irony: The 99% Have Created the Monster

Capitalism is the ultimate democracy.

Read that again.

No where else do we exercise our free agency more independently that how we choose to spend our pay cheques.

Think about the decision-making process of a consumer.

You deposit your pay cheque and then you make a decision, completely independent of any Wall Street clowns, about what you are going to do with it. 

You decide you are going to buy some groceries.

Where do you go to get them - democratic decision number 1.  Safeway, WallMart, the local farmer's market, the corner store.. it's completely up to you.

Once you arrive, now the democratic process really takes over.  What do you buy?  Doritos?  If so, what flavor?  Nacho Cheese, Buffalo Wing, Ranch, Onion Rings and Ketchup.. the choices abound.  And not so much as a soft hand on your shoulder as you vote for your favorite. 

And so it goes.  Do you buy Kraft dinner, or do you go with the generic brand of mac n' cheese.  Or do you make it from scratch yourself, and buy a bag of elbow macaroni, a block of cheddar, some milk and floor?

Note, again, no one telling you what choice you have to make. 

By the end of the shopping experience, you've made, perhaps, a hundred choices - all by your big boy self - with nary a government employee or evil corporate magnate compelling you to make any of them..

Oh sure - they market and advertise and, to some extent, brainwash you into thinking that this brand or that brand will make you happier, sexier, more fulfilled - but at the end of the day, you are a complete free agent in how you choose to spend your dollar.

And so goes virtually all of our decisions on spending our dollars - the sole exception being income tax.  That is the least democratic expenditure you make..  no control there.  The government tells you to hand over your money - and only in the most oblique way, do you have any impact on how they spend it.

How ironic, then, that the call from the "Occupiers" is for higher tax.

Because what they conveniently forget, is that massive gap between the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy, is a product, for the most part, of the democratic process inherent in capitalism.

No one forced any of us to purchase the new iPhone.

And yet we did.  And Apple suddenly earns billions of dollars - and becomes part of the hated "1%".

Likewise with almost all major corporate giants - from Microsoft, to Coca-Cola, to Time-Warner, to Anheiser Busch. 

They earn billions of dollars, not because they are able to force you to buy their products, but because you CHOOSE to buy their products.

This is the great failing of the anti-corporate anarchist types.

Because while they may capture the angst and, yes, envy, of the masses that they don't have what the wealthy have - what they can't do, in any meaningful way, is convince the marchers at OWS to throw away their iPhones.

To NOT shop at WallMart.

To NOT go see the latest piece of garbage from Michael Moore, or Sandra Bullock.

To NOT, effectively, hand over their hard-earned money to Michael Vick and Ben Roethlesberger.

To NOT invest their savings in marginal return, but very safe, GIC's, and Term Deposits.

We want what we want.  And while many of us may feel a certain sense of unfairness in the wealth of corporate giants - we're not prepared to vote against them en mass with our pocket books.

And maybe we should.

And THAT is the message that these Occupy clowns aren't getting out.  Because that would require work and sacrifice. 

If you really want to benefit the small guy, if you really want to turn the tables - stop shopping at WalMart.  Go to your local grocer, to your local produce market.  Stop going out for dinner at Wendy's or McDonald's, and go to your local burger joint, or your local restaurant instead of Chili's and Tony Roma's and Olive Garden.

If you are tired of unheard of profits going to greed-heads at Goldman-Sachs - well, put your money in savings.  Make lump-sum payments on your mortgage.  Or invest in a local business that you can see and touch. 

Will it happen?

Don't hold your breath.

Because while the "99%" like to talk the talk, they aren't ever going to walk the walk. 

Certainly, some people can't afford to make those capitalist distinctions.  The difference between buying $100 worth of groceries which would cost $125.00 locally may be too painful for those at the low end of the income scale.

But WallMart isn't making their billions from low-income families.  They are making the vast majority of their money from the burgeoning middle class - who could choose to spend a little more to help the little guy - but don't.


Want to change the gap between the 99% and the 1%?

Who's stopping you?