Terry Paulson

The mirror into modern-day America created by the "occupiers" who have taken to the streets reveals painful images and insights for those committed to traditional American values. Even without a clear, core message, most Americans can identify with the anger at those who have contributed to our broken economy. But many tax-paying Americans are equally fed up with the stream of complaints from the self-obsessed protestors who want their debts forgiven and the "rich" to pay for their "free" education.

This is not the orderly and respectful Tea Party crowd who scheduled demonstrations around working hours and cleaned up after their events. More than 1,500 protestors across the country have been arrested for charges ranging from assaulting police officers and disorderly conduct to trespassing. Instead of championing liberty and smaller government, the "occupiers" seem committed to attacking capitalism and using government to take from others to meet their selfish needs.

But these demonstrators are some of our fellow citizens, neighbors, and students--products of our educational system. A look at a variety of their signs challenges citizens to look at the culture we've helped create.

"Smash Capitalism--People Not Profits" and "Stop the War on Working People"...We've failed to sell the free-enterprise system that's created the American Dream. Without capital willing to invest, entrepreneurs willing take the risk, leaders and workers ready to deliver on the vision, and a profit to sustain the enterprise, there are no jobs, and people suffer. We've elected an administration that has altered the incentives that drive economic growth. Uncertainty and the fear of increased costs and taxes have put growth and jobs on hold. The "occupiers" should be marching on Washington, not Wall Street.

"The Too Big to Fail...Should Be In Jail!"... I'll wave that sign! Instead of bailing out big, failing corporations that turned public funds into big executive bonuses, we should've let them fail or encouraged guided bankruptcies. In America, we let people and corporations earn their successes AND their failures. But where's the anger at the politicians who mandated banks to give home loans to people who couldn't afford them? Such "caring" loans have turned cruel forcing many Americans to lose their homes and their credit.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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