First off, this was quite possibly the most painful two minutes I've spent in...quite awhile. Since the last time I was forced to sit through an Obama speech. Or Rick Perry's ramblings. This gentleman seems quite confused as to what, exactly, a protest is supposed to be. When a protest/rally has degenerated to the point where, as the interviewer said, the protesters are "putting your Christmas list on a sign and waving it in the air," I think we can definitively say that it has sunk to the point where it will most likely achieve nothing of consequence.
Now, I know that this young man is only one among thousands. And my purpose in this post isn't necessarily just to nitpick on the fact that he doesn't seem to know what he wants. It's more to prove why his wish-list is pretty ridiculous, and why the wish-list of so many others in the Occupy movement are just as far-fetched.
Yes, corporations are bad. They restrict the free market, monopolizing market resources and pooling them into huge vats of capital that they can draw from at will. They also have a bad habit of forgetting the little guy in the midst of their financial orgy. I think it would be a very good thing if they ceased to exist entirely, to be replaced by something more friendly to the idea of liberty. At the same time, corporations and rich people are not necessarily synonymous.
There is a line that needs to be drawn there, in my opinion. Rich people may have gotten rich using a corporatist model. Or they may not have. And even if they did, they still earned the money. Perhaps not fairly, but since when has life been fair? The mere possession of money does not make a person evil or, in the language of my siblings and certain statist Democrats, "mean." It simply means that they were more clever and quicker on their feet than the rest of us. (Nor, I would add, is inherited wealth a bad thing. It was still earned, and should belong to whoever its original owner wants it to.)
What concerns me is not necessarily the idea that corporations or bad, or even the idea that rich people are bad. What does concern me is the very prevalent idea that the government should do something about the badness of corporations and rich people--usually, the idea goes, by stealing money from them and giving it to poorer people. Or, at least, giving it to the government so that it can give it to poorer people.
Or, as the gentleman in this video seems to want, to pay for his college tuition.
I totally get the value of a good education. I think that it is necessary to maintain our standard of living and the society we have now. I do dislike the idea that college is the only place you can get such an education (seeing as I'm probably not going to be attending college), but I also realize that there are some professions that require the specialized education a college course can give one. That said, I think it is far from the government's responsibility to ensure that everyone gets a good education. We've been trying that, through the public school system, for the past thirty years, and the quality of our education has only declined. Do we really want to get the government involved in our places of higher learning?
There is also the libertarian argument that for government to pay for college tuition would be utterly unfair, since it isn't my responsibility to make sure anyone else gets an education. Go get a job and pay for your own college degree if it means that much to you.
Now, this young man may be saying that he wants the evil rich people to pay for his college tuition. But that isn't right, either. If some philanthropic, wealthy individual does want to help him through college, more power to them. But they are under no compunction to do so, and they shouldn't be. That is called plunder, and whether legal or illegal, it is wrong. We simply can't take money from private citizens and give it to other private citizens--or rather, we shouldn't.
And that is my take on this subject.