11 thoughts on “Great essay by Dave Ramsey on the Occupies”

  1. It’s worthwhile to point out that, similarly to Mr. Correia, Dave Ramsey has been both up and down in his financial life. Kinda takes some steam out of the argument that you can’t move upward in America anymore.

    I also like Mr. Ramsey’s point that it doesn’t make sense to complain that a company is too rich while simultaneously complaining that they aren’t rich enough to hire you.

    1. Yeah, it seems many of us have been beat down by agent Frank’s counterparts before, yet we keep standing right back up and trying for a lucky shot in their nuts.

      Sometimes it’s the Pitts, but somebody’s got to take their licks and make the big taxable bucks.

  2. I don’t know. I don’t think Ramsey is entirely being fair when he says that all it takes in this country is some creativity and effort to get rich. If you have to support a family, or you’re in debt, or you don’t have any starting capital or collateral, maybe you can’t spend a year or five getting a business off the ground. And not everyone is that creative or focused, or knows how to run a business. Sure, for him, it’s as easy as getting a library card (or not, since he’s had his down times too…), but he’s not the average unemployed worker.

    So you can try to get a job instead of make one. But maybe you don’t have the education to get a really good job (college tuition is the only thing in this country rising in cost as fast as healthcare, I’d bet). Or you just graduated, so you don’t have any experience, and you’re competing against legions of unemployed that actually have worked in your field. Or you’re disabled, or too old, or any number of other reasons why “get a job” is tricky during normal years, when there isn’t so much competition. When times are tough, it’s people on the edge that lose their shirts first.

    And it might be that this isn’t like all those other times when the economy hit the skids. Life is changing. We’re getting more productive every year (even though median incomes in America have been flat since the seventies… for most of us, life isn’t getting any better than what our parents had. Weird, right?). In the middle of this recession, there’s no shortage of stuff to eat and wear. Ramsey says “stop complaining that companies are TOO RICH while also complaining that they aren’t RICH ENOUGH to hire you”. The reality is, they have the money to hire people. They don’t need to do it.

    The people they have are working hard, and every year more of them are replaced by machines. Why hire more workers if you are satisfying the demands of your customers? The way to make money in that situation is not to hire people and make more stuff, since no one would buy it. If you want more cash, then you have to cut the number of people working for you, and replace them with more machines that don’t need healthcare, wages, time off, or even managers.

    The world is changing fundamentally. As a result, fewer workers are needed to to get everyone on earth enough of what they need. That’s why these people are protesting with iPhones in their pockets instead of quietly starving to death in a corner. If they can’t get jobs, there are going to be big big problems. It doesn’t matter one pin whether or not the protesters have reasonable demands. This is what they are doing because they can’t figure out anything better to do.

    And we’re lucky that they’re just hanging out in parks. In the Middle East, unemployed youths are starting protest movements that overthrow governments that have held power for decades. In London and Paris, they’re rioting and looting. What will they do if they’re not working? Form gangs? Spend all day trying to get high? Rob and murder? March in the streets? Right now, this a peaceful political movement that irritates Dave Ramsey with its lack of specificity. Advising them to “get a job” is not a solution to the problem of millions of people with nothing to do. And it could get much much worse. This is how countries burn.

    So I hope someone is seriously thinking about how we got into this situation, instead of just blaming the unemployed for their lack of initiative. Business executives should be thinking hard, if they’re serious about continuing to make a profit. Politicians should be watching and planning, if they’re serious about governing a country.

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