My message to all those folks asking me to join the Occupy Boston Movement:

If there was some type of message I might be able to discern from your movement I might consider joining the cause but to be honest I‘m exhausted working close to 100 hours a week trying to do the right thing and support my family.

If y’all ever get your shit together and come up with a bullet list that doesn’t include bailing on your financial and personal responsibilities I might consider it.

But until then I’ll be down the wharf grinding out a living. 

Good luck. 

You can read my rant here, it was about personal responsibility ,not about bailing on it.

If you want, what would be near the top of my list after the Congressional reforms, would be shareholder revolt.  Shareholders should demand  that the board of directors of these big public companies get haircuts in pay and they need to return more dough back to the shareholders.  After all, that is the reason you buy stocks to begin with- to participate in that company profits in the form of dividends.  Companies are sitting on record amounts of cash but they don’t even pretend to return it to the investors in higher dividends.  Could you imagine how much they would be rewarded by folks that can’t get by on the meager returns in banks if they could get reasonable dividend returns?

Get rid of lobbyists, and stop putting barriers and ridiculous demands on small businesses to drive them out and into the hands of large businesses and when I say large business I don’t mean 50- 500 employee companies I mean Fortune 500 companies.

Did I hear that the big unions are getting involved?  What a shame it would be if all the good that might have come from it ends up being something that hurts small businesses, because you know that’s generally who ends up taking it in the culo.  Small businesses and the middle class working man.


  • If you need a bullet list and can spare a minute and forty-nine seconds Alan Grayson can tick the bullet list off for you here.


  • “If y’all ever get your shit together and come up with a bullet list that doesn’t include bailing on your financial and personal responsibilities I might consider it.”

    That’s disappointing. You should really educate yourself on exactly what they are standing up for. It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with what you just said.


    • Well if it doesn’t have anything to do with bailing on personal responsibilities then that would be a good thing. Pretty sure I said if.


      • I didn’t see the if.

        I will tell you, from someone who is an organizer of Occupy Fort Lauderdale, and seen the majority of 400 ppl being well over the age of college, that it has very little to do with bailing on responsibilities.

        The message is simple : The 1% has owned our government and influenced the laws of the land. The rest of us, want it back.


  • The Occupy Wall Street (and Boston etc.) protesters are finally saying what a lot of us know, that the deck is stacked for the 1 per cent and against the 99 per cent, that big money buys our politics, and that the concerns of the small folks and the unemployed are nowhere on the current national agenda. I understand your interest in the small business guy, and agree, but most people in unions are small guys, too, and right now they too are being crushed. It might be time for the rest of us to get together and tell the really big interests to back off. They could start, the rich and the corporations, by paying their fair share of taxes and getting out of the way of US elections, and allowing bank reform so we don’t keep rewarding financiers and risk repeating the crash of 2008. JF


  • Why is it immoderate to say what I just said? I was not rude or insulting. A growing number of folks would say it’s just common perception. You can disagree, but don’t call it immoderate or censor it. JF


  • Sad to say, but if the rich corporations (mostly owned by shareholders like you and I) get squeezed, they just take the jobs out of the country to a more favorable environment. Actually, it is mostly the shareholders who demand the profits and therefore, you and I are just as much to blame in a way. Perhaps the message should be that too many at the top are getting massive pay checks regardless if they perform or not and then there is that way “Wall Street” greets layoffs….with bloodlust. But, again, have a 401(k)? Then you are part of the problem.


  • “Well if it doesn’t have anything to do with bailing on personal responsibilities then that would be a good thing. Pretty sure I said if.”
    Preamble – I cashed it ALL out this summer and I’m DONE. Done working, done watching those who do for me screwing half the people HERE in my home town and pretending it ain’t happening just because I only read about it in the third person. I have plenty to live on. I moved the IRA into all green start-ups (risky, but whatever)
    It DOESN’T I’ve been in Manhattan on 3 separate days in the last three weeks and I agree with you frequently,…. But Ya know what Joey, you quoted the kids I have spoken to 3 times in your reason NOT to support em. And really, it’s a mere matter of time before it hits out shore and frankly, I will walk down there when they tell nice guys like Scotty D and his colleagues to get rid of em, and I’ll hold out my hands for the cuffs.
    The closest thing I saw to ANYONE asking for a handout was a group of kids circulating a petition to give a moratorium on college loans for the unemployed. one might say “oh, so what they went to college and got the sheepskin, let em work it off’
    Lemme give you an example. My Buddy G… He’s a professional Drummer who’s worked on tour for acts like Rickey Lee Jones, Carlos Santana , and worked in the studio with everybody from Phish,to David Crosby to Stevie Wonder… Doing that always required TONS of travel and never being really able to set down roots. He decided to go back to school and get his teaching degree from Berkley School Of Music (which pitched “the best placement program in the business” during his entry interviews). He took his savings and then had to get into the college loans. They won’t give musicians the 20 year loans if they’re older apparently and he had to go for 10 years.
    Okay so he works night and day LITERALLY, and he finishes Magna Cum Laude. So he then goes right after the sheepskin down to Alumi services for placement and they hand him a gig list instead of a list of schools where there might be openings. He asks “What about teaching jobs?” The woman says with a tough sh*t tone of voice; “You want to teach? We’ll list you as an instructor”. So now this guy has to chase his tail worse than any three guys I know doing lessons by day and gigging with local jazz bands at night. His biggest bill each month is $1,150… Guess what that is? Speaking as a guy who probably ends up with a $40k tax burden each year. I would support him getting a moratorium till he gets on his feet with something AT LEAST approximating what he’s going after. As opposed to seeing a fellow I admire locked into a crappy life till well after the grey hair comes in (not long for him and I really).
    Okay, thanks for an opportunity to say my piece. And I hope people approach this conversation that’s coming with open minds instead of closed ones. We haven’t got a whole hell of a lot left if we let the Banksters use our own material anxieties to pit us against each other, so we don’t deal with them as the ultimate cause.
    In closing I just want to say. You write the warmest, most entertaining, most human blog anywhere in the area. Keep going, your readers look forward to it
    Best Regards


  • We Americans believe in self-reliance. We Americans believe in fairness towards all people and peoples. We Americans believe every person has a voice in our in our democracy. We do not believe democracy should be bought and sold and we do not believe that Big Money has a right to hog the megaphone. Speak out, Americans ! We are the 99%.


  • I suppose I would be remiss if I didn’t chime in here. Being part of the 99% who haven’t succeeded on a remarkable level doesn’t make you a victim and you aren’t owed anything by those who have worked harder and smarter than you. If anyone should be complaining, it’s the 53% who are actually paying taxes. Ronald Reagan’s words still ring true “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one!”


    • Ronald Reagan … Oh Please… the guy was long out of influence when this transfer of wealth scam began. And ignorance of cons like derivatives were cooked up… forget this delusional thin man / fat man gimmick and look at a cold hard fact. A week after this started, Jamie Dimon got very worried and paid a 4.5 million dollar bribe when the Chief started making comments about tied hands.
      Someone commented “Too many Americans expect the government to bail us out when we have a problem. When a college student signs a loan agreement there is no clause that says, “If I can’t get a job I like I don’t have to pay this back”.”
      Well I have a friend who wonders why he should have to go into default over a school loan when the education delivered NOTHING. Maybe he wonders when he asks for a delay (Look Up moratorium) so he isn’t a burden on others. I might add that my friend WORKS is not involved in the protest and is in fact just wondering why all the hedge fund jackasses are sheltered and protected. Our conversations indicate a terrible frustration with these callous jerks that tell him “Just get a job when he has two”.
      I myself would extrapolate those feelings he has to say “The person who’s making an ill-informed statement like the one I cited, just hasn’t been there and has no valid knowledge of what they speak of.
      The first day I was there was a Saturday and I got to watch Geraldo interviewed by a student of journalism and even though this character lives less than a mile or two from where this is happening and HANGS OUT socially with the banksters claimed no knowledge. A JOURNALIST in Manhattan didn’t know???? Let alone Fox’s ‘what’s going down’ man… Let me tell you, if you’re getting ANY of your information from him or anyone associated with him. It’s off by half a compass dial.
      I have no problem with a group of people wanting job stimulus (it’s already been in the hands of big business for a year, no increases or extensions in the unemployment benefits, no new spending, and now they say they want something else and maybe they’ll hire. Its total crap),want a temporary respite from student loans, and some want the people who have been KNOWINGLY and CONCERTEDLY ripping us off and BUYING a higher place than the voter in the Representative Government owned by those very voters instead of the biggest donors getting to walk into the House Of Representatives like they were the Pope or some head of state and be able to walk up to congressmen and congresswomen from their own and every other jurisdiction and hand them a contract telling them how to behave? Does represent you or anyone you know? No. And no person here can look me in the eye and say they know the guy and he’s explained his conduct to them either. But with that one very pushy, very public arm turning act, demonstrated the power of you vote was meaningless in opposition to the vote.
      The Paperwork says he’s head of “Americans For Tax Reform” but it really seems to be a lobbying corporation for big banks, Jack Abramoff’s ‘special clients’. I invite you though, prove me wrong. Grover lives right over in Weston and I am sure is very approachable. Go one out and get the story from the horse’s mouth. I hope the realization that in his eyes you are yet another peasant isn’t too disheartening.
      The more I hear from people further out as the rings of Saturn from what’s really and truly apparent of this emerging movement or whatever it is. The More I thin they are the folks I will be hanging my hat with. I’ll leave you with this that I stumbled upon in august as my suggestion of what their movement is really about. It’s what I hear in bits and pieces as I’ve navigated my conversations with these people:

      God Help Us All


  • Americans USED to believe in self-reliance. That is still true of some. However, “We Americans” as a group are no longer the people “we” used to be. Too many Americans expect the government to bail us out when we have a problem. When a college student signs a loan agreement there is no clause that says, “If I can’t get a job I like I don’t have to pay this back”. Mortgage contracts don’t say, “If I can’t afford the variable rate (or balloon payment) on this mortgage the government will pay it for me”. We can’t blame the banks for enforcing contracts we shouldn’t have signed. If people read their loan/mortgage agreements before signing, and asked questions until they understood them, and didn’t sign for more than they could handle, they wouldn’t be in this trouble they brought on themselves. Yes, American banks are high-handed and greedy and yes, our legislators are in bed with them, and yes, our economic system needs a change, but that doesn’t excuse “We Americans” who buy more than we can afford on credit and whine when the payments become due. We can’t insist on corporate responsibility while we deny personal responsibility. Calling banks greedy while we expect the government to cover our mistakes is hypocritical. The bank bail-outs are nothing but huge replicas of what people expect the government to do for individuals. If it is wrong to use tax money to cover corporate greed it is also wrong to use it to cover individual greed. Occupy Wall Street would be a lot more credible if they each accepted their own responsibility and stuck to national issues.


    • Chuck,
      It is so heart warming that you can quit work and go live off your laurels the rest of your days. So,now you can go and occupy and be a bump on a log and moan about big corporations and try to get THEIR money to help the rest of society. These Squatters,as I call them,need to go back home and stop being a pimple on the rear end of life. I agree with Joey C. Some of us don’t buy into their games.


      • For the record those weren’t my words. I see fault with both sides but do sympathize that someone somewhere is trying to make a difference.

        I don’t have the energy to “occupy” as I’m too busy working but letting the government mismanage our tax dollars, allowing lobbyists control how laws are made instead of what is bottom line the responsible thing to do drives me nuts.
        I’m not about dissolving debt for people that took out loans or for the banks that made them.
        There should be pain associated with making shitty decisions and taking extraordinary risks so that people will think twice before taking those leaps because they feel like there is always teh safety net of a bail out around the corner.

        The American Populace is no different than the Government who borrows too much or the lending institutions that don’t even bother to asses risk. Until the Government makes people and business more accountable then the lesson they are teaching the responsible people who are killing themselves to do the right thing is that we are all dopes for playing it straight.

        Watching people play the unemployment game of working for two years and then taking two years in unemployment and then working another two and taking a couple years “off”. Bailing on loans. Taking extraordinary risks without fearing any repercussions because there virtually are none.
        It sickens the working people who have in the past and continue to try to do the responsible thing. Save for our future and not mortgage our future generations.

        This Morning’s Rant- Can I Pass A Law?


      • Well, considering you’re using a patent of mine to communicate, that’s high praise.. And I won’t exactly be on my ‘laurels’ friend… I logged about 200 hours of volunteer time last 4 week (none of which was geared toward the occupation stuff btw).
        But I certainly won’t bother trying to convince a smart chap like you. Nothing more upsetting to some folks than a difference of opinion. And that’s fine just don’t go applying for the patent on complacency. It’ll be a colossal waste of your valuable time.
        Good Luck


        • BTW – The Above is A reply to John Russell Reilly … wish I wrote software as opposed to hardware O/S I’d write you some tweaks to add better hierarchy to these blogs.
          I still think that the point is entirely missed. I haven’t heard one of these people say they ‘want their house back’ or ‘want a grant’ what I’ve heard them repeatedly say is ‘I want my vote to be the same value as everyone else’s and I want big corporations to get out of government.
          This MYTH about these people looking for something of ‘ours’ won’t get any truer for the repeating. though, that’s for sure.
          And I’m and engineer and a scientist, not a teacher.


  • I have only one problem with the Wall Street, etc. protests. That is that Wall Street didn’t make the laws and create the bail-out that is causing so many of us to face financial ruin and they cannot do anything to reverse the trend. Congress passed those laws and orchestrated the bailouts. And only Congress has the power to reverse the situation. It seems to me that the marches should be directed at Washington and at those in office, in their home states. If we return those incumbent politicians to office in the next election, can we expect anything to change? I doubt it.


  • Joey, You are pretty spot on with what OWS is talking about. Here is a comment from conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan’s blog,

    A reader writes:

    I thought I’d write to you with our own experiences taking part in the Occupy LA protests. I’m in my early 40s, at a well-paying job as a web developer for a large hospital in Los Angeles. My wife and I have no children. We’re very fortunate – we actually have a steady income and good health insurance. Yet, we live in a house that we share with her cousin because we couldn’t afford our own place. The house is deep underwater, and we’re drowning in debt (and shame on us for not reading the fine print when some of the credit card issuers arbitrarily raised our interest rates to 30% on cards that had never had a late payment EVER). We’re barely making it check-to-check, but somehow we are still making all of our payments. It would be so much easier to walk away from it all, but we have a sense of responsibility to these debts that we voluntarily took on.

    What we’re demanding – what people in the Occupy movement are demanding – is the same responsibility from these large institutions, and the so-called 1%. It’s really that simple.

    When the financial industry came to the brink of collapse because of the reckless behavior of these “too big to fail” corporations, we saw an amazing ability for our government to come together to bail them out. In return, they’ve repaid the favor by working night and day to lift the already watered-down provisions of the Dodd-Frank reforms so they can continue with their same insanity, and to basically act like spoiled, entitled brats towards those of us who saved their butts in the first place.

    Contrast this with any legislation in Congress that might actually help out rank-and-file Americans, and suddenly everything becomes gridlocked and impossible to achieve. From out here, it appears that when you have a lobby on your side, government works, and if you don’t, well tough luck.

    We march for three simple things: tighter regulation of the financial industry (a return to Glass-Steagall would be a big step), a demand for shared sacrifice amongst *100%* of this country, and to wake up those in Congress who have been listening only to the lobbyists and the media chattering classes, and losing sight of the fact that this country is a DEMOCRACY, of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    These are not radical notions, and they’re not even strictly left-wing (personal responsibility seems like a classic conservative belief to me). This is the no-longer silent majority in this country, across the spectrum, who have finally had enough.


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