Memo to OWS Crowd (Mary Beth Hicks, Wash Times)

The following was written by Mary Beth Hicks of the Washington Times recently. It is worth your reading:

Call it an occupational hazard, but I can’t look at the Occupy Wall Street
protesters without thinking, “Who parented these people?”

As a culture columnist, I’ve commented on the social and political
ramifications of the “movement” – now known as “OWS” – whose fairyland agenda
can be summarized by one of their placards: “Everything for everybody.”

Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it’s clear there are people with serious
designs on “transformational” change in America who are using the protesters
like bed springs in a brothel.

Yet it’s not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but
rather the fact that I’m the mother of four teens and young adults. There are
some crucial life lessons that the protesters’ moms clearly have not passed
Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters’ mothers should have taught
their children but obviously didn’t, so I will:

• Life isn’t fair. The concept of justice – that everyone should be treated
fairly – is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was
founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger
said, “You can’t always get what you want.”

No matter how you try to “level the playing field,” some people have better
luck, skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem
to have all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand
they’re dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and
some find jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons . Is it
fair? Stupid question.

• Nothing is “free.” Protesting with signs that seek “free” college degrees and
“free” health care make you look like idiots, because colleges and hospitals
don’t operate on rainbows and sunshine. There is no magic money machine to tap
for your meandering educational careers and “slow paths” to adulthood, and the
53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you neither a degree nor an annual
physical. While I’m pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are
not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling,
repairs to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that
inexplicably appears on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real
people with real dollars are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.

• Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt,
you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. Loans
are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces you to borrow
money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don’t require loans, or
to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support yourself
and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college
student is not a state of victimization. It’s a privilege that billions of
young people around the globe would die for – literally.

• A protest is not a party. On Saturday in New York , while making a mad dash
from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid you, I saw what isn’t evident in
the newsreel footage of your demonstrations: Most of you are doing this only
for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober pursuit of social and
political change don’t dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like attendees of a
Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are clearly high
and you don’t seem to realize that all around you are people who deem you

• There are reasons you haven’t found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks,
gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting.
Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn’t a virtue. Occupy reality:
Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4
percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It’s not them. It’s you.





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