Publisher's Note: Jim Bispo's weekly column appears in the Beaufort Observer.
So what about the "Wall Street Protestors"?? Do they have a point?? Maybe. It looks a lot like Woodstock without the rain and mud; well, the mud anyway. (The NY traffic jams were already there so they didn't have to be recreated.) Plenty of sex, booze, and drugs (from what we hear reported) and decent weather - until the last few days, that is. With the advent of cooler and rainy weather, we will see how truly dedicated they are.. But are we sure they should be picketing Wall Street because a lot of folks there earn a lot of money - some of which came from the bailouts a couple of years ago"?? There are a lot of folks who would argue that taxpayer bailout money should not be used to pay big wall street salaries or bonuses for leading many of the companies there to near ruination (me among them). In fact there are a lot of folks who do not believe that there should have been any bailouts at all (again, me among them.) But beyond that, how about taking a look at where that bailout money came from. It was requested by each of the last two administrations, and it was ultimately approved by the congress - which in each case was a "Democratic Congress". So who should the protestors be picketing, Wall Street or the folks who requested the money or the Congress which appropriated the funds?? My vote is for Congress. Of course now it may be too late for anything even approaching rationality. With George Soros, SEIU, AFL, and various others allegedly bankrolling the protests, sensibility seems to have become a rather scarce commodity. In the beginning we saw a lot of hand lettered signs. Now we are seeing more and more "professionally printed" signs. Does that suggest anything to anyone?? It sure does to me.
It is rather difficult to tell who among the protestors is being paid and who is there just for the excitement of it all. Before the unions showed up and the politicians started running their mouths, there seemed to be two rather distinct types of people participating; Those who looked like they motored in from the Hamptons for the "excitement" of being part of a protest (they were the ones with the alpaca sweaters), and those who looked like they haven't seen a hair brush or shower for some time and just came for the handouts (and whatever else they could get). A lot of the crowd seemed to have been nurtured by visions of entitlement that suggest that they subscribe to the notion that "equal opportunity" and "equal results" are synonymous; a tribute to the days when everyone who participated in a competitive environment is entitled to a trophy, not just those who are successful. Even before the unions showed up, there did not seem to be a shortage of a sense of entitlement..
Two of the most heard demands seem to be that they would like to have their student loans and the mortgages forgiven. It isn't clear whose mortgages they would like to be forgiven - maybe everybody. More about the mortgages another time.
With respect to student loans, we can only wonder how much of the student loan money was spent on going to a Florida or a Mexican resort or Europe or somewhere else for Easter vacation (oops - not Easter Vacation; "Spring Break". Hmmm..) In the olden days a lot of college students found a job during Easter vacation. I suppose that is now impossible since we no longer have Easter vacation. It would seem that "Spring Break" is a time of partying and more partying.
Apparently a lot of the University Graduates in the OWS mob are having difficulty finding appropriate employment (or is it an appropriate "position"?? - with "appropriate being the operative word) That may not be such a hard thing to understand if you only look at some of the majors offered at some universities.
What kind of a job market would you expect to find for graduates in Art Studies; Film studies; Non-profit studies; Self designed BA/BS in Interdisciplinary studies; and Women & Gender studies?? My guess is that there is not nearly the demand for the foregoing (all offered at N.C. State) as there is for computer science, nursing, engineering, biology and the like.
It sounds like the "student loan forgiveness" chant has really resonated with the anointed one. Surely it is all a matter of fairness; it has nothing to do with trying to buy votes.
The Prez is talking in terms of making it easier for all those people with outstanding student loans to pay them off with new loans; new loans (this time from the Government - thanks to Obamacare) with lower interest rates, maximum payments not to exceed 10% of their income (versus the current 15%) and forgiveness of the loans after 20 years (instead of the current 25 years). Guess who picks up the tab for all this generosity. If you said "The long suffering taxpayers", go to the head of the class.
When candidate Obama was running for Prez., we were promised the most "transparent" administration ever. Well, maybe it is actually happening.
It was only last week that the Chief Community Organizer told us that he was keeping one of his campaign promises by withdrawing all out troops from Iraq. This despite the fact that the administration (this one, not the prior one) had been trying, to negotiate keeping American troops in Iraq longer to give the Iraqis more time to get their act together in terms of being able to protect themselves. In what was clearly a "transparent" effort to disguise a failed negotiation we declare victory, pick up all our marbles, and head for home. Could the withdrawal have possibly been another "transparent" effort to get the military vote??
And guess what. The Obamacare bill had the change in student loans starting in 2014, but now the anointed one is moving the implementation to 2012 - and guess when the next election is. Hmmm... Of course there is nothing in what the Prez is doing that is even remotely political. It surely is not a rather transparent effort to get the student vote. Of course not.
As is usual with this administration, they don't seem to have looked past the Executive Order that implements this change. (Presuming that legislation can be changed as easily as that..) What happens when the folks whose vote he is trying to buy, find out that , as The Atlantic reported, that the average loan payment will decrease by between $4 and $8 per month. They further report that the payment on a $100,000 loan would only decrease by about $28.50 per month. And what do you make of the Rasmussen report that 66% of the population opposes forgiving the student debt.
I suppose if someone didn't trust the administration, they could easily come to the conclusion that the new "giveaway" is nothing more than a bald faced effort to get the youth back into the fold for the 2012 elections. In the meantime, too bad for the rest of us. As is quite common for the anointed one and his spear carriers, no one seems to have asked "what then?". I don't suppose anyone ever thought that for every vote he is able to garner with his student loan forgiveness program, there could well be an honest hardworking, tax paying American whose vote he stands to lose..