Just As I Thought

Nothing is free

So, Forbes has published a list of “demands” of the Occupy Wall Street protestors, culled from a survey of the people on the street. I’m sad to say that I disagree with almost all of them — but I don’t know if they are real or have been “dumbed down” by Forbes to make them seem as if they came from a bunch of naive hippies.

So, Forbes has published a list of “demands” of the Occupy Wall Street protestors, culled from a survey of the people on the street. I’m sad to say that I disagree with almost all of them — but I don’t know if they are real or have been “dumbed down” by Forbes to make them seem as if they came from a bunch of naive hippies.

93% say that student loan debt should be forgiven

Huh? Why? You took out a loan, repay it. Sounds to me like what they really mean is that they think higher education shouldn’t be so expensive, but this is a ridiculous, simplistic solution.

98% believe that health care should be free

How can it be free? Are they saying that those nurses should donate their time? That hospitals should somehow pay their power bills with beads? Again, I think this is a simplistic, facile response to a complex situation and these days, no one is interested in complex solutions. I believe that health care should be a fundamental service that is provided to all — like police protection, the military, libraries, fire fighting — but people are mistaken if they think it is free. We all pay for it in our taxes. And yes, I think that healthcare should be provided in a national healthcare service, financed with our taxes. It has been proven around the world. But no, it’s not free.

54% do not believe that the Obama stimulus program was a good idea.

Complexity and lack of understanding. The stimulus was not only a good idea, it has been proven that it kept us out of a much worse recession — and, in fact, should have been much larger.

93% believe that communications like cell phone and internet access be a right and not just reserved for the rich and we should have free internet and cell phone service as a national goal.

I’m struck by how many people seem to think things should be “free.” I am hoping that this is a simplification from Forbes or the pollster. Are they also calling for free electricity, water, food? Nothing is free. Someone must pay for it. I don’t think that communications like cell phones should be some kind of “right,” and this smacks of a First World problem to me. People are starving, don’t have access to clean water, and we worry that they can’t log on to Facebook?

84% said they think that if a bank decides to implement a $5 debit card fee, the government should not allow it, while 16% said let them do what they want – customers can move.

I’m with the 16%. I am not a fan of banks, and I rail against all these stupid fees. So I use a credit union.

95% believe that drug prices should be controlled

I do, pretty much, agree with this — although again, I think the real solution is more complex.

Are these really the sentiments of the broad range of protestors? Or are these naive fantasies being cherry-picked from the group for another agenda?

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