OccupyWorkSpace! Join the Movement

John Ransom
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Posted: Oct 11, 2011 12:01 AM

It’s a simple concept that’s been around since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden:

Get a job.

That’s how all the stuff you have is paid for, even if you live in a socialist country.

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return - Genesis 3:19 KJV

Of course capitalism produces more bread, more efficiently, and there is more innovation and surplus than in socialist countries. Out of that surplus bread come things like the arts, entertainment, books- the things that add color to life.

Show me a country where people aren’t free to buy and sell bread and I’ll show you one that doesn’t respect freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom from search and seizure. Try defecating on a cop car in China and see how quickly you are Tiananmen Squared.   

In a capitalist society a job is about more than just bread. It’s about creating other jobs, creating value for yourself and for- gasp!- shareholders. It’s about investing in yourself over the long-term; it’s about the freedom to become whatever you want to be. It’s about becoming a stakeholder in society.

And it’s the stakeholders of society who create demand for art history majors and novelists and stand-up comedians.  

The more jobs that we have that create value- not just a time-serving paycheck- the more jobs we can create for those people who just want bread, who just want security.    

Say for example, you’re a political activist who just finished up an election cycle and who also works as a freelance writer. Let’s say you previously had a professional career that makes you highly knowledgeable in a popular subject.

You can take a job with a high traffic website, and create a whole new channel for them in that subject. As the business grows, they can hire sales people to sell more ad space; companies can buy ads; and when they sell more products, those companies hire more people to service more business.

That, in a nutshell, is how half the jobs in the country are created- by the incremental success of small businesses, like our hypothetical website.

It starts with a company looking for one guy who wants a job that creates value for the company he works for and creates value for himself.

When companies like that grow, they hire more workers.

And if the government would stop putting obstacles in the path of small company growth that creates value jobs, we could get unemployment to 5 percent or less pretty quickly. If government would let the rest of us take the risk to innovate, we could provide the security that the rest of society craves.      

Yes. I know things are tough and there is less security now.

Many of us are making half or less than we used to make. Some entrepreneurs I know haven’t gotten paid in two years or more, even though they’ve never missed a payroll for their employees.

Yes. Some people don’t have jobs. In fact about 11 percent of the workforce doesn’t.  

But it’s not the fault of the bankers, or of Wall Street, that unemployment is so high, even though banks as institutions are hardly blameless.

It’s the nexus between government and business that is the real culprit here. The government tried to buy your vote and business was anxious to lend them the cash to do it.

That’s why we have to get government out of business.  

The real advances in the quality of life in the last 100 years- the things that most define us- haven’t come from government. They have come from the private sector.

Air travel, mass communication, biotechnology, agriculture, energy development are all the product of private sector innovation in what is the most successful society in the history of mankind. There is no society that is more humane, more inclusive, more democratic, more caring for civil rights, more aligned with the happiness of its citizens than the United States of America.

And our government is very close to screwing the whole thing up.

If you want to blame a group as a class for where we are today, blame politicians at the federal and state level for messing with our freedom.

It’s the politicians who expanded the mortgage market that created the market mess we are in. They did it in order to buy your vote. It’s the politicians who spent a trillion dollars and created no jobs in order to buy your vote; it’s the politicians who took money from the very same financial institutions that they later bailed out in order to buy their money to buy your vote.

It’s the politicians who created an entitlement system that was unsustainable in order to buy your vote.

You remember those ads on the internet that told you money was available to go to school and get your degree? The ones that said: “Obama wants you to go back to school!”

Blame him.

It’s his fault that you have a degree in art history; a degree with such awful earning power that you can never earn back the money to pay the interest on the principal that you borrowed from the government because He wanted to buy your vote.

And your only hope is that there is another guy out there who is willing to take a risk on a job that can provide some extra value for us all; value that one day will pay your student loan.

That guy needs a job.

And right now, all you’re doing is demanding his bread.