Viewpoint: Quit job to join protest


If you thought Wall Street was busy before — you’ve not seen anything yet.

Thousands of protesters huddle together in New York’s financial district. They’ve gone on strong for 27 days and they don’t seem willing to budge.

Some are there waiting for the demolition of capitalism and the redistribution of wealth, others to protest the war.

Some brave the cold, rainy weather for environmental reasons — for increased sanitation and decreased nukes — while their neighbor protests for legalization of marijuana and less business in politics.

Their laundry list of demands continues to grow each day as more and more people join the event, but they all have one thing in common.

They’ve spent the last 27 days doing nothing, expecting to receive something.

One protester shared her disapproving sentiments with Fox News.

“If the rich were willing to share, we could all live in prosperity,” she said.

When I was a toddler, my parents taught me how to share. When my friends came over we’d play with my toys. When my friends left the toys stayed with me.

Is this how she imagines the ambiguous “rich” share their wealth?

She couldn’t be inferring she expects those who are going to work everyday to give her — someone who’s spent the last 27 days doing nothing — a piece of their paycheck?

That would be ridiculous. That would mean this woman would get paid for another person’s work.

“The worldly aspiration of our day is to get something for nothing,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks said. “The ancient evil of greed shows its face in the assertion of entitlement.”

One protester speaking to a Fox News correspondent was questioned about the “Jobs” sign he held in his hand. Curious, the correspondent asked him if he had a job.

I did, he responded, but I quit to come to the protest.

Here’s a man with a job — something some 9.1% of Americans would die for — quitting to storm the streets.

He’s out there asking for more jobs when he left his company in a lurch looking for another qualified applicant.

He’s out there asking for more when he already had more than most.

Because of his shortsightedness, his inability to wait and improve the world with work, he’ll leave Wall Street in a month as one of the 9.1 percent.  When he looks around for help from his fellow protesters, they’ll all be in the same boat.

He’ll blame the government, but the government did nothing to hurt this man — he hurt himself.

I admit there are people just out of luck. I admit, sometimes, all anyone needs is a friendly hand and a little boost and they’ll be on their way to success and prosperity.

However, I do not believe Occupy Wall Street gives these poor souls a good name. I do not believe protests like this respect those who are wandering the streets for a job instead of wandering Wall Street for jobs.

How much better would it be if the protesters went to work, raised a family, taught their kids work ethic and increased prosperity in the next generation?

It wouldn’t be “now” like their chant demands, but it would do so much more for the American people then giving handouts and expecting welfare.

We’d remember what it means to work, what it means to truly earn the things we have. Maybe we won’t have as much. Maybe it will take us longer to get the flashy car or the big house.

But when we do, we’ll have earned it.

It will be ours.


Allie McCoy is the opinion editor for The Daily Universe. This viewpoint represents her opinion and not necessarily that of The Daily Universe, BYU, its administration or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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