PLOTT: For the love of money

Among the egregious claims posited by members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, one resonates as perhaps the most ill-informed dogma of them all: the idea that money is the root of all evil. Not only a misdirected sentiment toward a cause the protestors themselves cannot identify, this notion represents a flippant disregard for both the distinct line between cause and effect and the inherent fallibility of the human condition.

Liberal governments in the last century have been plagued with the underlying trend of personal blamelessness. This mentality has provoked a dangerous fallacy within the minds of many Americans — Occupy Wall Street protestors in particular. Instead of holding themselves accountable, liberals consistently search for an ambiguous (read: Republican) source of blame for policy gone awry — or blindly point to money as their scapegoat. However, the truth steadfastly remains that money is not the cause of corruption; people are.

When one claims money to be the root of evil, the cause of sorrow, he has openly resigned himself as a slave of both product and a mere tool of exchange. Because money is exactly that — a tool. In the same way a wrench is not deemed the source of evil for being used in the construction of a brothel, so money is not the cause of immoral tendencies; money is just a means of mechanics. Money cannot provide someone with desires; it is instead a means of bringing to life what one’s conscience already warrants.

This is not to say that love of money cannot be the root of evil. Love of money can cause someone to commit horrific acts, but, then again, so can lust for power, sex or revenge. The central culprit isn’t money but greed. An obsession with money is surely ignoble, but then again, so is an obsession with anything.

Love, though, can be coupled with money in an honorable manner. Money is the honest product of the mind, a man’s ability to harness his capacity to think and to produce. Making money is often the result of the most righteous and, indeed, American qualities, including ambition, intelligence and drive. Loving the object itself becomes infatuation and can only escalate into dangerous territory. Instead we love and revere the ingenuity and fruits of the mind behind its very existence; surely this is a path to good.

Though cloaked by a sharp cry of hatred for money, the Occupy Wall Street protestors represent, in actuality, the infatuation. Their very rhetoric should logically persuade them against protesting at all; if they indeed hate money, why bother asking for more? Why condemn those who have it? If money were so detestable, a protest centered on it would only further spread the disease.

Thus the entire movement becomes a fraud. Its smallest attempt at a thesis is rendered illogical; the protest conceals a gross infatuation with money and its supposed contribution to corruption. To the protestors, the ideal of making money is meaningless, as are the ethics that lead to it.

Instead, they consider governmental handouts meaningful and worthwhile. But taking governmental handouts — distribution of unearned money — is in fact stealing. It is an evil caused not by money but rather by selfishness. I would wager that, when presented with a dime, an Occupy Wall Street protestor would be quickest to run with it.

Money’s use for corruption stems from the human condition rather than the nature of money. Only when we recognize this can we revitalize the love of the work ethic that drives money’s very existence. Until then, we must acknowledge that whoever describes money as the root of all evil has instead described himself.

Comments

  • The Anti-Yale

    I thought the Occupy protests were against the mile-wide, lopsided golden salaries and golden parachutes of Wall Street executives compared with the tin salaries and zero parachutes of the ordinary Jane and Joe.

  • guestuser

    …….huh?

  • River_Tam

    Money is the root of all evil! Give us more of it!

  • Yalienz

    This is one of the most disturbing and delusional editorials ever.

  • Branford73

    As the modern day progressives would say, this essay drips with privilege. Oh yeah, the financial sector’s greed has nothing to do with the cratering ecomomy, it was all the Liberals’ fault, blah, blah blah. Ms. Plott seems to be converting the “Let them eat cake” attitude to “Let them eat love and work ethic, that’s all the nourishment they need.”

    I drove by an OWS site over the weekend and suggested to my companions that someone should shout out, “Get a job.” * My friends got the joke. The crux of the anger driving OWS is rampant unemployment or underemployment existing side-by-side with ever-growing record income and wealth accumulation of the “top 1%”. The non-hippie contingent of OWS do want jobs or jobs that provides some of the self-satisfaction of applying ones education and acquired skills to productive work which they had before they were laid off.

    *(FN – “Get a job” was the often-flung insult shouted at youthful anti-Vietnam war protesters in the late 60’s & early 70’s.)

  • yalealumnus

    If you disagree with the protesters, at least address their arguments in an honest way. They are not driven by a “hatred of money” — this is just something you’ve made up. OWS is about, fundamentally, higher taxes and more social services. If you disagree with these ideas, fine, but at least respond to them thoughtfully. As it is, you simply label them “stealing” without any explanation and move on, as if that was supposed to constitute an argument. Anyway, this is just pure BS.

  • CrazyBus

    Pure vitriol. I can’t believe the YDN is publishing this; clearly, Plott has no regard for facts or reality.

  • River_Tam

    Elaina Plott should be canonized.

  • MapleLeaf14

    River_Tam…we get it. You’re conservative. You’re so special. Yay.

    Why don’t you address the fact that this column makes no freakin’ sense. OWS doesn’t hate the idea of money. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

  • justayalemom

    Best column posted in a long time. Hope to read more from Elaina Plott in the future. Thank you, finally something worth reading.

  • Yale12

    This entire column is just an enormous straw man.

  • River_Tam

    > OWS doesn’t hate the idea of money. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

    OWS doesn’t hate the idea of money if we take money to mean “stuff my parents give me to buy an iPhone with”. They hate the idea of money if we take money to mean “a common medium of exchange usually rendered in exchange for goods or services.”

    IE: they’re materialistic without the work ethic. they want to the streets to be paved with someone else’s gold.

    Which was exactly Ms. Plott’s point.

    > River_Tam…we get it. You’re conservative. You’re so special. Yay.

    No, no, no. Liberals are the ones who are oh-so-special individual snowflakes. They’re the ones who are hyphenated Americans. Conservatives realize that they’re the same as everyone else.

  • Yale12

    > No, no, no. Liberals are the ones who
    > are oh-so-special individual
    > snowflakes. They’re the ones who are
    > hyphenated Americans. Conservatives
    > realize that they’re the same as
    > everyone else.

    That statement makes a lot of sense given OWS’ slogan.

  • River_Tam

    > That statement makes a lot of sense given OWS’ slogan.

    It certainly does. Why else do they feel the need to post their asinine personalized stories of how they majored in English, took out $150k in student loans, and now blame *banks* for not being able to find a job?

    They really do all think they’re special, different, and (especially!) persecuted.

    Read them and tell me they don’t see themselves as induhviduals (to steal a Dilbertism). Why would the story of your eating disorder be relevant to your inability to get a job now? Oh, that’s right – it’s not. It’s just you deciding to use OWS for group therapy time:

    http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

  • MapleLeaf14

    The point, River_Tam, is that they’re not “special, different, and (especially!) persecuted,” but that so, so many of them are persecuted. It’s not a unique thing–it’s really common, and that’s what’s wrong with out financial system.

    And yes, I see something wrong with the richest 400 people being worth more than the poorest 150 MILLION people. It just isn’t fair…and won’t work. Just ask Louis XVI…

    Oh, and I still don’t get how any of this has anything to do with Plott’s stupid, random, and wrong claim that OWSers hate money. Show me one of them saying, “Our lives would be so much better if money didn’t exist.”

    Oh, and, as usual, get a life. You don’t go here, darling.

  • yalealumnus

    “they want to the streets to be paved with someone else’s gold.”

    Again, a straw man. Just total BS. The point is that the protestors have a job or multiple jobs, and are (reasonably) asking why so many **working** people in America can’t expect a living wage, even though taxes are as low as they have ever been. They believe that corporate “speech” has made politicians beholden to special interests who are opposed to raising taxes for any reason, where what we really need are more taxes and more services. Don’t worry — I know it’s easier to attack them ad hominem than address the underlying arguments head on. But it doesn’t make you seem very smart.

  • Goldie08

    River, I’m telling your associate that you spend all day commenting on the YDN

  • Vpierre

    This is brilliant. It’s great to see Conservatives taking a stand, especially at a place like Yale where the environment for such people is as hostile as ever. (Just a brief perusal of the comments can prove that) I’ll be looking forward to reading more of your articles!

  • Yale12

    > They really do all think they’re
    > special, different, and (especially!)
    > persecuted.

    The *entire point* of posting their experiences on that Tumblr is to demonstrate that those experiences do *not* make them unique – they make them, as they say, part of “the 99%.”

    Keep trying to claim that liberals consider themselves “special” and “different” – the indisputable fact that their movement’s central premise is identifying with the rest of the country is going to make proving your point impossible.

  • River_Tam

    > River, I’m telling your associate that you spend all day commenting on the YDN

    @Goldie08 – As long as the models get done, everyone’s happy.

    > Oh, and, as usual, get a life. You don’t go here, darling.

    I really should report you to the Title IX complaintants for that one.

  • River_Tam

    > And yes, I see something wrong with the richest 400 people being worth more than the poorest 150 MILLION people. It just isn’t fair…and won’t work. Just ask Louis XVI…

    Are you really comparing Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg to the King of France? Are you suggesting we behead entrepreneurs who are too successful at making products that people like and use?

    If I create something of value that every person in the US is willing to pay $20 to use, I’m as rich as Steve Jobs. (ie: I’d rank in the 50’s on that last). Is that “unfair”? Of course it isn’t. If the richest 400 people in the US are wealthier than the poorest 150 million, that’s because they created (or own – some inherited it) the products and services (Windows, Amazon, Facebook, iPods, iPads, WalMart) that have all made our lives immeasurably better.

    > The entire point of posting their experiences on that Tumblr is to demonstrate that those experiences do not make them unique – they make them, as they say, part of “the 99%.”

    To the contrary, the “99%” exists by definition – everyone not in the 99th percentile of wealth is a part of the “99%” as defined by the OWS crowd. A father of three making $300K a year is in the “99%”. The sob stories on Tumblr exist to turn a policy discussion into a therapy session where each person tries to outdo one another with their personal story of first-world hardship and psychological issues.

  • MapleLeaf14

    River_Tam, Title IX only applies to people in an “education program”–meaning college (or somewhere receiving federal monies)! To get back to the point, that you ignored, you don’t go here! Seriously: what do yo do all day!

    And I meant darling strictly in an affectionate, friendly way. I’m hurt you misconstrued it…

  • eecmmngs

    OK, so.
    Paragraph 1: As I understand it, the OWS is mostly a protest about the increasing Gini coefficient in America. It has nothing to do with the hatred of money. While the abolition of money may be a fringe movement (as might be, say, the 9-9-9 tax) the whole point is the government-sponsored disparity of wealth. Assigning a motive to the OWS movement other than its actual one seems to be a ploy to get more people to disagree with it, and sounds like something that a media outlet bent upon discrediting the movement would say.
    Paragraph 2: By blamelessness do you include treating corporations as people and thus legally sponsoring corporate irresponsibility? How about corporate tax evasion? I’m not sure what you mean by “liberals…blindly point to money as their scapegoat” because that statement is just false. While liberals often point to Republicans to blame, the same statement holds vice-versa (if not with even more force; look at Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck).
    Paragraph 3: You seem to make a serious distinction between money and the love of money, but, like anything else and the love of that thing, they are intrinsically related. For instance, people don’t just collect money. When we say that money is the root of all evil, we mean that the love of money is the root of all evil, for without money there can be no love of money, and modern culture advocates gain so deeply (see: capitalism) that they can be regarded as the same thing.
    Paragraph 4: Your last sentence doesn’t make sense. An obsession with science or helping others is not ignoble, and I am certain that you think that an obsession with God is not ignoble. Also, because money by definition represents almost anything and everything, a lot can be done in its name.

  • eecmmngs

    Paragraph 5: I’m not sure how you manage to worm money into “ingenuity and fruits of the mind” as money does not follow from intelligence. Gaddafi was the richest person in the world when he died, by over a factor of two, and yet I would not love nor revere him. So these things are not mutually inclusive, so the link between them is not strong. Also, I have a problem with your use of the word “American”, which both implies that these qualities are uniquely American and that liberals are not American, which in most cases is verifiably wrong. I’m sure that most OCW protestors are American citizens. There is a trend in your writing to confuse the word “American” with the word “Conservative” that would be worth fixing, if only for credibility’s sake.
    Paragraph 6: See first paragraph and the original intent of the OCW movement.
    Paragraph 7: There is literally nothing in this paragraph that logically follows from the rest of the paragraph once you realize that the intention of the OCW movement is not to abolish money. If this were formal logic, your paragraph would be called “hand-wavey” for demonstrating your result without proving it but accepting it as given.
    Paragraph 8: Actually, taking government handouts is in fact legal, seeing as the government is giving it out. You cannot steal from someone who is actively giving you the thing you seek. That follows from the definition of theft. Addressing the second sentence: I am in support of what the OWS movement stands for (namely, fixing the economic disparity in this country), but I stand to gain nothing from it. In fact, I stand to lose money should new laws in accordance with decreasing the Gini coefficient be enacted.
    Paragraph 9: This is the first and last time you mention OCW protestors being evil, and there are no arguments for or against this thesis anywhere else in your essay. This is also the first time you mention work ethic being somehow not alive. Also, money’s existence is not driven by work ethic. Money’s existence is driven by the need for a better form of financial interaction than directly exchanging goods. You seem to end an essay about one thing with a paragraph about something else entirely.
    I apologize for breaking the comment up, but it had too many characters to fit in one comment.

  • justayalemom

    I don’t understand why liberals are such haters of CAPITALISM! The government was established to protect it’s citizens, not take everyone by the hand and give in to all their wants. In other words, take my hard earned money and give it to someone who sees fit to live off others and not contribute.

    River Tam, I thank GOD for you and others like you!

  • eecmmngs

    @justayalemom, speaking for liberals I know, it’s not capitalism that we resent, but huge economic disparity. If the government protecting its citizens means restructuring tax code so that some of the citizens who do not have enough money to live can buy food, get important medical treatment, and receive education, then that is what the government should do.

  • River_Tam

    > (or somewhere receiving federal monies)!

    Do banks count?

    (I kid, I kid – sort of)

  • Branford73

    It’s depressing to read that people think that Ms. Plott’s essay represents a good analysis of the OWS protesters. I hope that Yale provides her with a stronger set of critical thinking tools over time and that when she reads this again as a senior she will have the good sense to be embarrassed about it. YDN readers would be better served if it had her write about something she knows, like equestrian or polo ponies. Yale conservatives deserve a more coherent and mature voice.

    To theorize about the thought processes of people with whom you share no experiences and have no personal familiarity is ridiculous. And yes, many “progressives” do the same thing when they write about what the “right whingers” really think or want, in no less a ridiculous way.

    The Gini coefficient measures disparity in incomes. This paper presents the results of a survey of about a million Americans’ perceptions about disparity of accumulated *wealth*, a different measure.. It shows that most of us vastly underestimate the disparity. It’s only five pages and worth a read: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%2520ariely%2520in%2520press.pdf&pli=1

    For current Yalies who think grads or other YDN news readers should not comment on stories or published opinions, lobby the YDN board to restructure the comment sections so that only students with valid id numbers be allowed to sign in. No doubt there would be fewer comments to annoy you.

  • anothervoice

    **Elaina Plott, I have heard you speak at YPU events. Your outlook on American politics is both deluded and provincial. You extol a Puritan work ethic as the means to failure and success in America. First of all, you fail to realize how hard some people do work but because of structural barriers are exploited. I will keep my comment concise and even with a couple of questions. Where do you base the premise of your article? Have you ever spoken with the leaders of an Occupy movement? Have you ever spoken with someone from the lower class- no someone from the actual lower class? When you do, evaluate your conception of the world. **

  • RexMottram08

    Marvelous capitalism, not the crony capitalism practiced by the Fed, is tremendously egalitarian. It is planning by the many, not by the few.

    OWS = a bunch of near-anarchists demanding MORE not less government. Bizarre.

  • Quals

    Great article Elaina. This is a rough place to be a supporter of capitalism. Though it preaches diversity of thought, any questioning of statism causes flak to come from all corners. Ignore the haters.

  • silliwin01

    I think Elaina needs to write a followup article explaining how her parents amassed their wealth. Perhaps then we’d be able to understand her perspective on capitalism and the rewards of hard labor.

  • hereforaminute

    I would very much like to see a response from the Yale conservatives to this:

    http://www.news.va/en/news/full-text-note-on-financial-reform-from-the-pontif

  • RexMottram08

    @hereforaminute: A mediocre little note from a forgotten cardinal deep within the basement of the Curia? Something the pope never read and never will read? Yawn. This no more speaks for the Pontiff than some entry level State Department drone speaks for Obama.

  • essentialsillimander

    Elaina! You are a brilliant writer. You have crafted a highly persuasive argument against any movement that deems money “the root of all evil”, and you have even me, a staunch liberal, convinced.
    I would point out only one small flaw: the Occupy movement does not propose that money is the root of all evil. **To the contrary, the movement is saying EXACTLY what you have said– specifically that “the central culprit isn’t money but *greed.*”**

    I urge you to take a quick walk down to the New Haven Green today and ask any Occupier which they think is more damaging to the United States and its founding principles: money or greed. You may be surprised to find that most Occupiers are neither stupid, nor un-American. Rather, they believe in the fundamental American values of universal freedom of opportunity and honest business.

  • bcrosby

    @RexMottram: Okay, I hate to continue this discussion about Catholic social thought, given its rather tangential relationship to the content of Plott’s (admittedly pretty uninspired) column, but crazy needs to be called out.

    Let’s go with your analogy: while official documents written up by some “entry level State Department drone” may not be read or approved personally by Obama, in any even moderately well-functioning bureaucracy, those documents are going to reflect at some level the values and priorities of the Obama White House.

    More importantly, though, your argument for the document’s irrelevance makes no mention of the history of Catholic social and economic thought in modernity – and for good reason, for a look at history here places the document under consideration squarely in the mainstream of Vatican pronouncements on economics. For well over a century, the position of the Catholic hierarchy, as set down in documents ranging from Papal encyclicals (to choose one of many examples, De Rerum Novarum, 1891) to pastoral constitutions produced by church councils (the most celebrated example being Gaudium et spes, 1961), the Vatican has consistently denounced laissez-faire capitalism even while attacking authoritarian state socialism. I could provide more examples, if you like, including statements made by the American Council of Bishops here on our shores.

    To be sure, the Church isn’t monolithic, hasn’t always lived up to its pronouncements, and has too often been willing to persecute its own priests and theologians in order to preserve oppressive political and economic structures (cf, Latin America). But I my point stands: at least officially, the Catholic Church stands against rampant deregulation, the glorification of greed, and the plundering of the poor – and stands for the welfare state, some degree of wealth redistribution, and a strong labor movement.

  • RexMottram08

    *”Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: ‘Just as many as you say, Father.’ Then again I asked him: ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said ‘It’s going to rain’, would that be bound to happen?’ ‘Oh, yes, Father.’ ‘But supposing it didn’t?’ He thought a moment and said, “I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.'”*

    My namesake was wrong then, and you are wrong now.

    The Church has no special competency in economics, just as She has no special competency in physics, or chemistry.

  • River_Tam

    Listening to the Church on the nature of economics is like listening to an Richard Dawkins on the nature of God. Woefully out of their depths and more than a little embarrassing.

  • bcrosby

    First of all, the question at hand wasn’t (at least initially) whether or not the Church has any authority to be speaking for economic issues – the question was whether or not a specific document was indicative of Catholic social thought. It is, like it or not.

    What’s more, I freely admit that the Catholic Church has no specific charism in economics. However, I do believe that the Church does have a certain authority in matters of morality. What the Church contests, as I understand it, is the notion that the economic sphere of society can and should be governed by laws wholly internal to that sphere and interpreted solely by technocratic elites. Rather, the Church (and I agree) demands that criteria perhaps external to the economic sphere as such (i.e., criteria beyond a narrowly-defined understanding of allocative efficiency) also be used to judge it. I may be a tad old-fashioned, but I am entirely unwilling to accept the utter privatization of religion – as I understand it, the commands of the Christian faith, to use one example, extend far beyond a supposedly-pristine, transcendent “religious” sphere but in fact demand the sanctification of all aspects of human existence, economic behavior most certainly included.

  • River_Tam

    > as I understand it, the commands of the Christian faith … demand the sanctification of all aspects of human existence, economic behavior most certainly included.

    Yep. I imagine that my understanding of economics is superior to that of a theologian. In particular, the reasons that laissez-faire capitalism is crucified (pun not intended) by the Church are misguided reasons – they consider it to be a brutal, impersonal force when in fact it laissez-faire capitalism itself merely grants people the right to do what they wish with their own possessions.

    Whether Catholics should prioritize the profit motive above all others is an issue that the Church should and does discuss. Whether capitalism causes the profit motive or merely liberates it from restriction is not a theological question – it’s a question of economics (and weight ratios).

  • RexMottram08

    You see government interference in commerce as “regulation” and laissez-faire capitalism as somehow morally illicit.

    I see government interference in commerce as “socialism” and laissez-faire capitalism as the simplest way to achieve Catholic ideals of subsidiarity (private property), solidarity (free trade), charity (free association).

    Solidarity in Poland resisted the GOVERNMENT, not the market.

    Our government meddlers and their crony capitalists (Obama’s GE buddy Immelt) are more Soviet than capitalist.

  • MapleLeaf14

    Let’s return to the point: this was a strange, vicious article that attacked a position held by no one.

  • River_Tam

    @MapleLeaf14, do you even go here?

  • bcrosby

    @Rex: A couple of things: First off, the notion that laissez-faire capitalism ever existed without government involvement is pretty historically untrue. Take Britain, the earliest example of a mature capitalist society: the workers who toiled away in the Manchester textile mills didn’t just spring from nowhere – they were largely former farmers forced off the land by the Enclosure Acts and the guns of the British army. The U.S., in the latter half of the 19th century? Regular U.S. military involvement to forcibly quell strikes and other popular movements. Neoliberalization as a result of the debt crisis of the 80s in places like Bolivia and Argentina? More guns. The question we should be asking ourselves is not “should the government be involved in economic life or not” but rather “what form should political economy take.”

    Moreover, your understanding of subsidiarity, charity, and solidarity seems to fly in the face of both Tradition and Scripture (as well as, y’know, common sense). Free association is very important, but has little as far as I can tell to do with ‘charity.’ Free trade as solidarity? REALLY? And the centralizing effects of capital over time, particularly when unhampered by things like antitrust laws, hardly reflects subsidiarity.

    Yes, Solidarity resisted a government – although they were also resisting certain arrangements of economic power as well (they were a labor union, if you recall). There have been plenty of popular (and in fact popular Catholic) resistance movements to ruinous configurations of political economy which legitimized themselves using the rhetoric of laissez-faire capitalism (El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Catholic Workers in the U.S., etc. etc.). Your point?

    But I think you’ve actually conceded the most important point here: economic systems can and should be judged by standards external to them. It should matter whether or not ‘laissez-faire capitalism’ is morally licit or illicit. Now, I believe – in long tradition of Catholic and non-Catholic social thought – that it is not. You obviously disagree. But unless I’m misreading you, you DO agree with me that these questions of political economy are (and should be considered as) more than just questions of optimization or efficiency internal to their respective spheres, answerable solely by technocratic elites. No – these are questions of morality, of values, even of religion…and thus the answers the self-appointed maintainers of these spheres give, from Alan Greenspan to old Polish Communist Party – can and should be contested on these grounds. That is why, to respond to River Tam, theologians can and should pass judgment on economic matters – not as economists, but as theologians.

  • MapleLeaf14

    Yeah, River_Tam. I’m a current student (graduating in 2014, as my name implies).

  • jg2040

    If the protesters don’t think graduating with $150,000 in student loans is fair, why are they protesting the banks who loaned them the money at a low interest rate? Shouldn’t they be protesting the Universities that charge such extremely high tuition when many of them, like Yale, have endowments in excess of a billion dollars? Why aren’t they protesting the Professors whose six figures salaries are driving up the tuition? Shouldn’t these noble Professors teach for the pure joy of the experience of departing their vast knowledge on the future generations, and not to enrich themselves with dirty money?

  • jg2040

    Capitalism is the fairest and most egalitarian system in the world. Pure capitalism, not crony capitalism that gives bailouts and subsidies to favored companies, in exchange for campaign contribution and the like. The Communist and Socialist countries are the least fair and the cruelest countries in the world. In Communist Russia, 99% of the people lived in poverty, forced to wait in lines for hours to get a roll of toilet paper while the members of “The Party” lived like kings. If you want to see the real unfair maldistribution of wealth, look at the communist countries around the world. The problem with those countries is that you can’t move from one class to the next. If you are born in poverty, you stay there. In America, under capitalism, people move from poverty to middle class all the time. I know many people who were born poor, and through their own efforts have been able to become very prosperous for themselves. I personally know 2 people who were born poor and by working 10-12 hour days, are now millionaires who employ many people.

    If the millionaires and the billionaires, earned their money legally why should they feel an ounce of guilt. If they didn’t earn their money legally, they should be thrown in jail.

    The OWS protesters are driven by two things, laziness and jealousy, and those are tow dangerous emotions. They are lazy because they want free college education and they want a guaranteed living wage whether they are employed or not. Basically, they want a lot of things but they do not want to work for it. They are jealous because they talk obsessively about how millionaires and billionaires make too much money, and that money should be redistributed. They are jealous that someone has more than they do. But instead of working their butts off to become wealthy, they simply want the government to take the money from billionaires and millionaires.

  • River_Tam

    @MapleLeaf14: Sorry, I thought that was your age. My bad.

  • Yale12

    Ooh, nice one, River Tam. Coming back to your college newspaper’s website to accuse current students of being immature simply because you disagree with them. Keep it classy!

  • CrazyBus

    So, to all of you who were saying something about the Pope and social movements, the Vatican actually published something about their social agenda that seems very much like what Occupy is saying….
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-vatican-meets-the-wall-street-occupiers/2011/10/26/gIQAGO8EKM_story.html
    http://www.news.va/en/news/full-text-note-on-financial-reform-from-the-pontif

    So, if the drone can’t speak for the Pope, can the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace?

  • River_Tam

    > Ooh, nice one, River Tam. Coming back to your college newspaper’s website to accuse current students of being immature simply because you disagree with them. Keep it classy!

    LOL.

    What percentage of your comments in the past two weeks have been a direct response to me? Who is more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows her?

  • RexMottram08

    Holy crap CrazyBus, what do you think we’ve been talking about????

  • MapleLeaf14

    River_Tam, you used that exact same line last time…but you keep calling yourself a fool lol. And, you still have ignored the point (as usual), that:

    This was a strange, vicious article that attacked a position held by no one.

  • ygrd

    Agreed, a truly bizarre article. How does anyone think money is evil? Here’s the source of the famous quote: 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the **love of** money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

    As can be seen, it is often misquoted and misunderstood. No one is saying money is evil.

  • NewCampus

    Yeah, this article is an embarrassment. Where does the notion that the OWS people hate money come from?

    Many hate levels of inequality unprecedented since 1929.

    Some seem upset that, through tax loopholes, some fund managers pay a lower percentage of income in taxes than your average middle class household.

    Others seem upset that the financial sector, which set us up for this recession by creating and selling sub prime mortgages is still as wealthy and unrepentant as ever.

    And certainly more than a few are just crazies drawn to the spectacle.

    But hating money? Where exactly did this come from? It’s total nonsense.

    And also, who are these fools in the comments section who think that all liberals hate capitalism? By historical standards, most people considered “liberal” on Yale’s campus hold views similar to republicans from the mid-20th century on economic issues. During our years of unprecedented growth and improved well being, the highest marginal tax rate was 90% (though it was admittedly easier to avoid ending up in a high bracket). Now it’s 35%.

    The belief that the rich should be taxed at a higher rate, common to liberals on campus and, apparently, a perceived sign of impending communism by nuts in the comments section here, is actually quite old-fashioned. We have the least progressive taxation system we have ever had; taxes are as low as they have ever been. Demanding that those in our society holding unprecedented levels of wealth pay their traditional share is neither socialist, nor communist, nor unreasonable in the slightest.

  • OneAmerican

    “jg2040 4 days, 8 hours ago
    If the protesters don’t think graduating with $150,000 in student loans is fair, why are they protesting the banks who loaned them the money at a low interest rate? Shouldn’t they be protesting the Universities that charge such extremely high tuition when many of them, like Yale, have endowments in excess of a billion dollars? Why aren’t they protesting the Professors whose six figures salaries are driving up the tuition? Shouldn’t these noble Professors teach for the pure joy of the experience of departing their vast knowledge on the future generations, and not to enrich themselves with dirty money?”

    Exactly right, jg2040! Most universities were founded with the noble intention of making society better at little or no cost, many didn’t initially charge tuition. Now they’re attacking the institutions that have provided them a way to afford this impossibly priced asset (higher education)? That’s nuts!!