“Blame Yourself for Joblessness”

Have you not heard what a Presidential candidate, Herman Cain, said about individuals who are protesting in New York, an action labeled “Occupy Wall Street”?  As reported by Yahoo’s Daily Caller,

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s blunt  style was on full display in a Wall Street Journal interview published Wednesday.

Cain told reporter Alan Murray that he isn’t a fan of New York City’s “Occupy  Wall Street”
protesters. “Don’t blame Wall Street,” Cain said. ”[D]on’t blame the big banks,
if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”

The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, currently
tied with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in polls for the Republican presidential nomination, speculated the
the protests were a ploy to distract voters from Democrats’ responsibility for the state of the economy.

“I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these protests are planned and orchestrated to distract
from the failed policies of the Obama administration,” he said.

Pressed on whether major banks had anything to do with the current economic recession, Cain conceded that they did, but
described their role as historical. “They did have something to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008, but we’re not in 2008, we’re in 2011,” Cain added.

“It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded, it is a person’s fault if they failed,” he continued. “And so this is
why I don’t understand these demonstrations and what is it that they’re looking for.”

First, I strongly dislike the callous remark – blame yourself for joblessness.  In today’s Wall Street Journal there is an article about Friendly Ice Cream Corporation filing for bankruptcy.  Friendly’s employs about 10,000 individuals and operates over 400 restaurants.  “Friendly’s said it has closed 63 underperforming restaurants as part of an effort to trim costs and will keep 424 restaurants open for business during the restructuring.”  I guess if any employee lost a job due to  the closing of one of the 63 underperforming restaurants, according to Cain, it is their own fault!

Second, I wish to challenge a basic assumption by Cain, namely, that people blame the big banks because they, the people, are jealous because they are not rich.  Hello, not everyone wants to be rich.  Some just want to live comfortably.  [And, I think people are upset about the taxpayers bail out of the banks, the banks’ recovery and the suffering of the little guy.  The government should have allowed the big banks to fail like Lehman’s Brothers.  That’s what a free market system is about after all, right?].

But, maybe Cain is onto something.  There are a lot of Americans who dream about becoming rich.  And when they become rich, they don’t want higher taxes or too much government regulation (except when there’s an oil spill or food poisoning and then they wonder why the government isn’t doing its job).  So, they vote with the hope of one day being that rich person.  But they live in a reality of being part of the shrinking middle class, the working poor or the destitute.

Well, I live in reality, not in fantasy.  And I listen to individuals who really know something about personal finance without a political agenda (i.e., Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey).  And I don’t waste my hard earn dollars on any politician.

But, hey, for those who dream about being rich, but struggle with “making it” even with a full-time job, remember, you can’t blame anyone for your predicament but yourself.


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