Wednesday, August 22, 2012


This is a true tale of how different people react in very different ways to adversity. As I took a walk before lunch the other day, I saw two people, a man and woman, in their early 20s, sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Bank of America branch at 18th and K Streets. They were dressed in short cargo pants and T-shirts, one with a baseball cap and the other with a backpack, and neither appeared terribly concerned with personal hygiene. My guess is that they were part of the rag-tag group of Occupy Something protesters who have targeted this particular Bank of America branch. Because they were sitting on the sidewalk in the middle of a work day, I can only conclude that (a) they werenít working and (b) their solution to (a) was to find some fellow travelers and blame a corporation.

A few days before, I had interviewed a young man for an entry-level position at work. This man, in his mid-20s, had dropped out of high school at one point, joined the Marines, served his term, went to college, and graduated in the spring. He has been looking for work ever since, and said that he sent out over 200 job applications to public and private sector employers. As a stopgap measure, he was working at a temporary construction job in his home town.

When much of the media, along with liberal politicians and some ordinary citizens who should have known better, lionized the Occupy movement, they were implicitly saying that they preferred the first type of person - the man or woman who didnít bother to seek out jobs, who instead complained about the unfairness of it all - to the second type of person. One can only wonder why.

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