Critique of Dave Ramsey’s Critique of Occupy Wallstreet

Dave Ramsey’s dismissal of OWS is either him pandering to his base or he does not understand how history repeats itself.

The arc of history shows movements are always disorganized at the beginning. “They are not organized” is an unfortunate blind spot many have fallen victim to such as…

  • Aleric and the Goths were “not very organized” but they were more hungry than the Romans so they won out and sacked Rome.
  • 1517 When he could not ex-communicate him, Pope Leo X often paid early print journalists and town criers make fun of Martin Luther’s petulance and lack of respect for The Church
  • 1764 The Stamp act started the calls for United States’ Independence from England. The King at the time described their protests as the “whiny little babies. Telling them to “grow up” was a common refrain of the loyalists.
  • People wrote volumes about how disorganized the peoples’ revolution was in China; yet it succeeded wildly
  • 1930-33 Journalists joked about the terribly inept German National Socialists were in 1930-33 lead by a goofy man named Adolph Hitler. We all know how that turned out.
  • Most recently the April 6 movement in Egypt was smeared as small band of anarchists with no agenda.

None of these writers were wrong at the time for saying they were disorganized. They were wrong to believe that state would continue ad infinitum. The elites believe mass disorganization of the protesters will be their downfall; and they are right. It will be THEIR downfall because masses cannot be controlled through government or other mechanisms they have implemented to maintain order.

Intense discontent is never found in ONE ISSUE.

  • The Declaration of Independence indicted the King of England on 27 points,
  • Martin Luther had a whopping 95 theses.
  • Mein Kampf carefully pieced together 30+ concepts Hitler collected and argued in the German streets before his failed coup attempt and imprisonment.

With social media in hand, rants, objections, ideas and solutions are be promoted, refined, battled for, catching on, dying off and building a following much faster than any campaign or election. OWS will find their voice in the stew of ideas percolating through Zuccotti park and around the Country.  I am not in favor of socialism and am in fact scared this will be the result.

I believe the OWS and Tea Party will eventually join forces. They already agree on 1) no bail outs, 2) let chips fall where they may. I see them in the near future agreeing on the common position of

“Government does not work for us.”

and then the battle for power will really be joined.

Some selected rejections of Ramsey’s “Celebrate the Land of Opportunity” section

Dave Ramsey Quote:

“This is the greatest country on the planet, but even here, you’re not guaranteed wealth…”

Craig Burma Response:

Ummm Dave there are a lot of people in this country who are guaranteed exactly that. Institutions and government policies reinforce inter-generational wealth that is NOT up for grabs for the next generation. The unbelievably low inheritance taxes assure that.

Dave Ramsey Quote:

You are, however, guaranteed the freedom to make your life what you want it to be.

Craig Burma Response:

Their is more oppty here than almost anywhere, but only the 1% get to “make your life what you want it to be;” the other 99% fight it out for their table scraps.

Dave Ramsey Quote:

… when you build your life around your dreams and passions and hard work, you’re guaranteed the right to keep it. No one has the right to take it away from you

Craig Burma Response:

I think Jesus answers this one best Luke 12: “Watch out and guard yourself from 37 all types of greed, 38 because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 12:16 He then 39 told them a parable: 40 “The land of a certain rich man produced 41 an abundant crop, 12:17 so 42 he thought to himself, 43 ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 44 12:18 Then 45 he said, ‘I 46 will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 12:19 And I will say to myself, 47 “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life 48 will be demanded back from 49 you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 50 12:21 So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, 51 but is not rich toward God.”

Dave Ramsey Quote:

So to summarize, I’m not very impressed at the moment. I’m not impressed by your temper fit. I’m not impressed at your lack of goals and focus. I’m not impressed by the fact that the only thing I see about your movement is ignorance, immaturity and envy. Grow up—and get a job.

Craig Burma Response:

Dave, over 40% of the people marching in OWS have a job and probably work much harder than you do. So get over yourself and stop labeling people. I see hotel workers union workers, and a lot of white collar folks too all working but knowing they are not getting very far in comparison to the 1% because the game is rigged.

Dave Ramsey Quote:

you’ll get to become the very thing you’re now protesting: rich people who actually earned their money.

Craig Burma Response:

1. Barely any of the 1% earned it first generation, to believe that shows your ignorance.

2. We do not want to be like you. Your pride blinds you from that fact.

3. We protest because it is morally reprehensible to have this concentration of wealth in this Country or any country

Finally, I hold you culpable for continuing the BIG LIE that a person’s lot in life is completely up to their will. If that were true, thousands of immigrants would be millionaires; they have worked harder for less most Americans. Electricians, house cleaners and nurses work a lot harder than all the Wall Street bankers but will never sniff at their kind of money. At least the Hindu Caste system has the decency to acknowledge the unfortunate reality of birth in the upper limits of your upward mobility. Instead you guilt people into believing if they had just worked harder or wanted it more, they could have made it.

I pray for sensible democratic reforms that restrain not the attainment of wealth, but rather the institutional mechanisms that allow for the riskless concentration of wealth and the corresponding disparity of the masses.


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