Last night America lost a great icon with the passing of Steve Jobs. As a young worker in the 70’s, Jobs and Woz represented a fresh new vision of what work could be.
Growing up, I watched my father toil for decades marching off to work at 7:00 AM in a suit, tie, and starched shirt, coming home at 5:30 PM for dinner, and then breaking out his briefcase and tackling “paperwork” until I went to bed.
I had zero interest in living a life like his.
I began my career in 1976, the same year Steve Jobs started building computers in his garage. Although Data Terminal Systems (my first employer) was no Apple, the founder shared Job's vision that work should be about more than punching a clock.
Within a few months in “business” I discovered a wonderful and rewarding life that bore no resemblance to my father’s daily toil. My career and I both grew up in the Steve Jobs era. We had tons of fun, made countless friends, created wonderful products, and made good money along the way.
Steve Jobs proved that capitalism could be fun, cool, and good for society!
Let's never forget this fact...
The morning news is funny. Needless to say, the opening story was about Job’s death, but ironically, the second story was about the anti-capitalism protesters on Wall Street – the juxtaposition was striking!
Besides the shocking discovering that work could be fun, the other thing I remember about my early youth was the “joy of protesting.” I was a teenager in the 1960’s and let me tell you, there was nothing better than skipping school to go to a loud rally with hot chicks.
I know I sound like an old codger, but we had a legitimate gripe back then. We were getting drafted and shipped to the jungle to die fighting in a war that pretty much everyone agreed wasn’t worth fighting. There was no mystery here, no imaginary bogymen, our government was using its power to take away our freedom and put our lives at risk.
Now let’s talk about the mindless clowns that are “occupying Wall Street” and other major urban centers. No one is "rounding them up" and sending them to the jungle to die. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Today they’re getting years of unemployment benefits, free healthcare, food stamps, medical marijuana, condoms, abortions, and clean needles if they need them!
I just spent a few minutes at their virtually content free web site occupywallst.org in an effort to figure out what all the fuss is about.
Like I said, it’s fairly light on details, but I did find this statement mentioned more than once:
“The American Dream has been stolen from the world. Workers are told that they aren't allowed health care, shelter, food. Students are told that they aren't allowed jobs, and that they will be in debt for the rest of their lives, unable to declare bankruptcy.”
Wow, that’s some bad ass stuff!
Let’s break it down and see what’s real and what’s delusional:
“Workers are told that they aren't allowed health care” – I have two problems with this claim. First is the choice of the word “allowed” and second, it is a bold faced lie.
There may be a shred of credibility if they said “Workers are told that they aren't given free health care,” but the word allowed implies that powers that be are blocking workers from buying or somehow acquiring healthcare.
Regardless, this claim is completely ludicrous. In 2003, 159 million American received some kind of health care benefit from their employer and in companies with 50 more employees, a mind boggling 97.8% received healthcare through their employer. I think it's safe to say that 100% of the employers on Wall Street provide there employees with healthcare!
And for those who don’t get healthcare at work, we offer Medicaid, which another 50 million use to access free healthcare.
Finally, everyone knows that one can just walk into any emergency room and get free healthcare any time they want (just ask an illegal alien).
“Workers are told that they aren't allowed shelter” – This one dives even deeper into the Twilight Zone. Who provides shelter for workers? Outside harsh work environments like offshore drilling or the Merchant Marines, no one in the free world. Now there are places in the world where workers are provided with shelter -- labor camps come to mind!
“Workers are told that they aren't allowed food.”—Huh?
"Students are told that they aren't allowed jobs, and that they will be in debt for the rest of their lives, unable to declare bankruptcy" -- Who told these numbskulls they weren't allowed jobs? Who told them to take out a college loan? Who told them to major in Cultural Studies? The last time I looked people who are failures were still "allowed" to declare bankruptcy!
I really can't believe that someone would seriously write this gibberish on a web site, let alone draw a following. I suspect there's a lot more to these so-called protests than this.
Clearly, the false claims about healthcare, shelter and food would never motivate anyone to take to the streets risking life and limb. No, that’s not what this is all about.
Take a look at occupywallst.org today’s “News” at and you’ll read:
Surprise, surprise, the Occupy Wall Street movement is nothing more than another scam by big labor (organized crime) to make capitalism look bad and Obama look good (note: there are no protests in Washington DC). In fact, the World Socialist Party is there too.
I admit that the 60’s and 70’s weren’t all bliss. In fact, back then we thought “the man” was evil and robbing the rest of us blind.
Fortunately, guys like Steve Jobs didn’t waste time whining about imaginary “oppressors.” He turned his dreams into reality and created things that bring great joy to hundreds of millions of people.
Oh yeah, he was also the most successful capitalist of our times – he made Apple the most valuable company on Wall Street.
Steve Jobs was a Capitalist Hero.
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