Over the past few weeks I have been watching the internet news and reports on Fox News about the Occupy Wall Street Protests. Much of what I have heard in the interviews with protestors is that many are against companies, banks, and the wealthy. When asked what they want they state they want economic justice, they want the wealthy to have their money redistributed to “The People”. In reality they mean they want their money. They never state why they deserve the money.
As I listen to all this I have thought of my thinking behind Living More Than OK. My belief is that the principles of Positive Psychology and spiritual principles help each of us to make better choices so as to improve our fulfillment of living in the world. The aim is to make better decisions in self empowerment. It has nothing to do with stealing money from the rich so I selfishly can have a better life. That is not what I hear from the OWS groups they want the money of the rich given to them by the Government.
I came across this Youtube link to a OWS protest in Oakland, CA. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuFQuEwJ5xI Take the time to listen to it. Especially, if you have not heard their comments about what they are doing. Listening to it was a combination of blood pressure rising, to despair of how our universities are brainwashing young people into Marxist zombies. What is economic justice? Several spoke of the need to redistribute the wealth. Do the wealthy owe me money? Sure, if Warren Buffet wants to hand me a million dollars I won’t say no, but do I have the right to demand it? Does the government have the right to take most of it?
Since when did the American Dream turn from self initiative and hard work to get ahead; to being a nation of entitlement seekers, stealing from the rich to gain easy money? The one man speaks of the billions left behind in Steve Jobs estate as Mr. Jobs died of pancreatic cancer recently. The interviewer reminds him there is an estate tax the family will have to deal with. The man’s response is, “That is not enough!”. That is sickening. What makes that man believe he deserves some of Steve Job’s money? There is also the young lady that gets defensive when the interviewer points to her IPhone. She is there complaining about corporations yet she uses their products. There is an insane level of hypocrisy within the OWS movement.
OF course they are not totally wrong. There has been abuse from rich companies that get corporate welfare and definitely do not pay their fair share. In those cases that is where justice should be done. General Electric, one of the wealthiest companies in the U. S. paid no taxes. Warren Buffet , Barak Obama supporter, who has complained he is not taxed enough, has been behind billions of dollars in taxes from his company. If he feels he is not being taxed enough he should start with making sure his company pays the billions in back taxes. These are the economic injustices that need to be solved.
Is it fair that 1% of the population who are the wealthiest pays about 40 percent of the total taxes received while 51% pay no taxes? I agree with those who say the OWS protestors are protesting at the wrong place. It is the Government that gave $500 billion to a Solar company that went bankrupt and another billion to another solar company whose factory is in Mexico. So our tax dollars are being funneled from the White House to Mexico job creation when we have so many out of work here.
Again I must say I am not letting the wealthy off the hook. They should be responsible with their wealth. But it is their wealth, not mine nor the governments to take. Jesus told a story in Luke 12:42-48 (NIV)
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Jesus is speaking of a manager a Master has put in charge. If he does right he will receive more responsibility. Managers who do wrong will be punished. The key verse is verse 48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” In the larger context Jesus is speaking of the kind of leadership qualities He wants in his disciples but an application of this verse relates to the issue that before God we are responsible for what we have been given in knowledge and in material benefits. Proverbs 29:7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” All of us need to care for the poor and that includes the wealthy. So we each need to be thankful for what we have been given and be accountable and responsible in using our material wealth and resources.
Reflection Think over of how you can be a better steward of the talents, gifts and material resources God has given you.