The Occupy Wall Street movement is the latest example of the nanny state mentality of many Americans. Another is a recent article in the Wall St. Journal questioning whether corporations are responsible for creating jobs. I’m being interviewed by the Washington Post this week on these subjects and others in regards to American’s lack of self-reliance. It’s sad, and if we don’t grow up and get mentally tough, this country is done. Watch this short video post I shot on St. Pete Beach, Florida and I’ll look forward to your comments.    Steve Siebold  ( 3:32 )

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

38 thoughts on “Mental Toughness vs. Occupy Wall Street”

  1. Oh yeah, and by the way….there are those who are not Entrepreneurs, they will be who they are,,,pretty much waiting on the next opportunity of someone making their way for them, consequently they will make the comments such as “Companies are responsible to make jobs” but for those who are Entrepreneurs,,,we make our own way without reservation or an apology. I don’t care for the jobs they are offering anyway. There are too many loops to jump through and one day I fell hard and broke something,lol which was good for me. I live Authentically Me…

    The question is

    Who are you?

  2. That is always going to be an issue when people put God (Jesus Christ) in a box. He made us complete and with the brain and will to do as we please. Now those who have substance of a dream or passion of life then Faith can take hold to what it is that you want out of the life you are living, however if you are taking no responsibility for your life and what you do, regardless to the outcome then where is the substance of things hoped for…it’s impossible to please God without Faith. As the story of the men who were granted the talents from the master and one man buried it. The master was not pleased because his first thought was that the master was hard in his rewarding….those are the people who need to understand the purpose of Jesus Christ and what is important to please God…they simply don’t understand because they were not taught the principles of the doctrine. Now, does time play a part in the deliverance of what you have been waiting on? Yes, I have been waiting for the opportunity to be a speaker, teacher and author….yes, big stuff for me, but I didn’t go to school to do it, nor did I find the avenues to accomplish my goals in the years past. I continued to write, read, educate myself and work on my craft in other ways. I knew at the time I was not strong enough (mental toughness) and I was a single parent and could not travel due to my own beliefs of failure.The more I understood who God was to me the more I understood who I am to Him, and I like that I am His child and He is one who gives good gifts. I trust God with my life and breath, does that mean that it was His fault I didn’t accomplish my dreams and goals…not at all…This is my time and you better believe it I am running hard and fast to do me…and yes Steve I am loving it. I feel free, with Gods Blessings upon me.

    Faith without works if dead….

  3. Companies are not responsible for making jobs. Companies can’t police themselves because they will be less competitive. It is the government’s job to police them so that they do not destroy the global economy, thereby wiping out jobs, savings, homes, etc.

    The government is no longer doing this. They can’t because many of them are essentially owned by multinational corporations.

    Alexis de Tocqueville visited The United States in 1831 and wrote in his ensuing volume, “Democracy In America” that our system seemed quite innovative and sound. He had one concern, which is what might happen when our companies (now corporations) gained too much power. He said this wasn’t likely and would require generations to achieve, but nevertheless it was a weak area. He said that theoretically they could bring capitalism down.

    We are there now. Multinational corporations are countryless, lawless, and do not pay their fair share towards our common good, as we citizens must do. Fair is fair. The balance of power is very badly out of whack, and people are going hungry as a result. We’ve been highjacked.

  4. Great question Steve, are corporations responsible for creating jobs? No, I don’t believe they are. Although I have no obligation to provide a living for anyone, I accept as an employer myself, that 25 or so families rely on the employment I give them. I don’t owe them anything (just as they owe me nothing) but they contribute to my success as much as I contribute to theirs, and with rational self-interest, I prefer to protect that two-way street. With that power comes a responsibility to be ethical in terms of protecting your business – and this is where many corporations fall down. They need to get back to real values, the kind of values small to medium enterprises have (like mine) because the people that make the profit, own the company, and also take all the risks. The accountability is entirely on my shoulders. Instead these corporations are owned by a faceless no one, and play with peoples lives and money as if it were frivolous, in an attempt to make as much money as possible for their faceless shareholders. And should these CEOs fail, they simply move on to the next job. If I fail, I lose my company, I lose my reputation, I lose everything. Therefore, I am more cautious about the decisions I make. My profits may be less, but I’m still fairly wealthy as a result. How much money is too much money? For shareholders of faceless corporations there’s not such thing as too much. More more more. Its destroying civil society because profits are being made without any thought to what they are doing to the business. And don’t even get me started on those Wall Street guys. What do they produce? Absolutely nothing. I don’t necessarily agree with the OWS protesters because they’re anti capitalists and I can’t actually figure out what they want (do they even know?) but I DO think the governments of the world need to regulate the financial sector to prevent them from causing harm. It’s our right to be successful, to make profits, to owe people nothing. But, once you start harming society, then you start to infringe on other peoples rights, and therein lies the problem.

  5. Not everyone is a mental toughness genius !
    Those who aren’t have a right for decent living too !

  6. Steve you are absolutely right. The people that come up to you and say “isn’t God responsible for my well being?” Obviously do not read their Bible.God is not responsible for us He gave us everything we will ever need, but it is up to us to appropiate it. He gave us the abilty to be successful__Deuteronomy8:18 READ it people, this is a manuscript that is over 2000 years old__get a grip and get with it. Most people that “want” someone else to be responsible are the same people that reject the Bible because the Bible is absolute truth and with absolute truth then someone has to be responsible and the Bible puts it on us, and let’s face it a “big” majority of people really do not want to be responsible, for themselves or anyone else.
    So in conclusion the corporations are not responsible for us we are!!

  7. It’s not that they are responsible for creating jobs, but if you do have a job at least let someone in this country get a first stab at it instead of sending it overseas because you can get cheaper labor.

  8. Wow !, I’ve seen many posts on this topic and I must say the “heat is on” for REAL here on this thread. Steve, here’s a Headline concerning The Wall Street Journal:

    ” Wall Street Journal circulation scam claims senior Murdoch executive ”

    Andrew Langhoff resigns as European publishing chief after exposure of secret channels of cash to help boost sales figures ”

    You can do a search for the full story. Ouch ! Ya might want to rethink that boast about credibility. Also,if I’m not making a mistake, they are referring to Rupert Murdoch somewhere in the hierarchy of the ” Journal ” and wasn’t there some little matter about some less than “credible” practices concerning another shall we say, “sibling publication” across the Atlantic a few months ago. Uh oh ! damn facts mess up a good spin.

    We’re talking ethics, at least many are. Ethics, Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, and not -One for me, one for you, one-two for me, Two for you, One Two Three for me, Three for you, etc. No doubt there is a large number of misinformed people involved with OWS. To suggest that “they all ” are this, that or the other is arrogance, or as you admit condescending which by definition means :showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude toward others. “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Words written by a man known for his wealth AND Wisdom. I wonder if there is a connection between Wealth and Wisdom. If so let me learn from Real Masters living or those who have transitioned to another plane of existence yet left wisdom for those aware enough to study.

    Here’s a news flash :Your country is B-R-O-K-E. And no matter how hard you try to bolster the lie, the sitting president inherited a system that was tanking when he took office. I DO NOT hold him blameless however since then. I actually thought it was a good idea to surround himself with those knowledgeable of the way the financial markets and systems worked. Damn ! WTF was I thinking ? These people are financial vampires. That’s why some many people are in the streets. I personally am an entrepreneur. I don’t expect anyone to give me anything. I come up hard baby, on the “other side of the tracks. You know, where there were no “country clubs”. Where the toxic wastes were left. You know, where the public schools have more students, fewer books, marginal supplies. Where Big Money Speakers with the exception of just a few do not go. You see, the schools can’t pay. THOSE kind of fees. If YOU reading this DO GO or Have GONE, I honor you. God Bless You and Yours.

    Because of you someone can see, if just for a few moments a different reality. To the rest of you, just get the money. To hell with those losers. There’s profits to be made and somebody has got to make them. Hook or crook. As I said. I’m an entrepreneur. I LOVE profits. But I LOVE people more. And I hate to see many suffer DIRECTLY from the actions of others. Yes, many took out loans they could not afford. And the bankers knew they could not afford them. But the bankers packaged and sold them to others as AAA rated investments while at the same time, down the proverbial hallways or on the next floor they were at the same time betting against the likelihood of those loans performing.

    AIG, who has just asked for Billions more of the taxpayers money ,took those corrupted, fraudulant bets. Shame, Shame,Shame,Where did those loans come from ? Who created them ? Who marketed them ? And to whom did they market them to primarily ? I’ll tell you who, they started with minorities primarily. You know the ones in the areas with the lower tax base, which has the substandard schools, which leads to less education. But “hey” Caveat Emptor. It was all right there in legal speak for all the world to see. Somewhere among that mountain of papers.The likes of which even the “country club” crowd could not decipher. I guess they should have gotten a lawyer. Sure, that’s it.

    It’s all about debt and greed in the minds of many in the Occupy Movement.
    Some camped out there are clueless, chronically unemployed. Probably some criminals, some agitators, spies, ,professors, moms, dads, grandmothers, civil servants,veterans, technical people, accountants,teachers, small business owners, network marketers, writers, musicians, marathon runners, cooks, and on and on and on.They all make up the masses or as they like to call it
    the 99 %. I predict they will win. What will they win ? If nothing else, a moral victory. Those protecting the current status may be able to hold on for awhile, Enjoy it while you can. The will of the people will not be denied.It’s really not a political issue. Neither was Civil Rights. It became political. It began from a higher plane. Only those with the proper insight can see what’s really going on. It’s much bigger than your “hold the line” corporate purchased talk station pseudo leaders can inform you about. They wouldn’t dare if they knew. They’re raking in the dough to “spin the tales” of make believe these people are all losers. We will see. Won’t we ? The jig is up. Do you know what an Economic Hit man is ? If not do a search with those key words. You’ll come up with a name of Perkins. Former Central Intelligence Agency operative. Read what he has to say about the Occupy Movement. I bid you Peace.

  9. Steve,

    Interesting Critical Thinking Question. The reason I felt like commenting on this one is because of the comment you made about the amount of people who you meet who feel God is responsible for their lives.

    In my short time here on this Earth I have done my fair share of living. I am always intrigued with God, Faith, Spirituality, Science, Mind, Body, Soul, etc.

    For those people out there that believe God is responsible for their lives they are 100% correct. The thing that most people do not understand when it comes to God and spirituality is that “GOD” is inside everyone. So in essence “GOD” is responsible for their lives. The problem is most people are nowhere near understanding this because they are ran by their “EGO” which is the opposite of “GOD”! It has taken me many years to understand this.

  10. Hi Steve,
    I do not remember who said it, but consider….. “the Government is the enemy, enemy, ENEMY… until you NEED a friend!!” While I understand about the concept of over-taxation, is the US really the highest taxed country in the family of Western nations? I do not think so. Hear me out, ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!We are all in this together!! This is one economy, one society, one Nation and we are going through one of the worst patches in our existence. We are seeing a significant sector sitting on their hands, unwilling to participate in the conversation, the airing of opposing views and to walk in another’s shoes, far less for investing in the future possibilities of our economy and workforce.
    Should we live in a nation with NO taxes, who would secure the population, let alone the assets of the factories? Who would educate our children in any sort of meaningful way….. to provide a world-class workforce…(for the factories)? Who would build the roads, highways and other means of communication to the population,…. and the factories…. etc etc…. and who would do the BASIC RESEARCH that gave the US its “standard advantages” in technology, the sciences and advanced processes? Of course, when this research is turned over to private enterprise, at an uneconomic price, ALL CREDIT goes to the reapers of the fruit, and not the seeders and nurturers and growers laboring to make the previously unthought possibilities come alive!!
    Steve, whose hand is feeding whom, and whose hand is being bitten…. by whom?
    In America many take things for granted, both the 99percent AND the 1 percent, and until we can acknowledge that the other has a part to play, a MEANINGFUL part to play, in the development of a thriving democracy, economy and society, we will ever be short-changing ourselves, and this great Nation that we all claim. May we all meet in a spirit of unity as we face these uncertain times!!

  11. Butch,
    yes, Steve is sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others all the time. Beside the speech workshops and private coaching he also founded SSN with intention to get more new speakers to the top. He is running several blogs.
    Does he make some money on some of these? Yes, but compared to the income from the corporate speaking it is rather small. Beside, paying for some of these services guarantees that the participants actually are engaged and willing and eager to learn. No sense trying to teach people, who only do it as it is a freebie.
    Mike Jacobi
    PS I did spend my own money on all the above and I am getting far more back in return from him, than what it has cost me.

  12. We should all be accountable. Including the corporations, the Government and the Banks.. The corporations get their bail out, the government, gets the Fed and their endless supply of “free” money, the bank get their “interest” on money that doesn’t cost them anything to make. If we asked every one to be accountable them let’s all be accountable and not single out the few, even if misguided, for the abuses of Big Business and the Government.

  13. Parents have failed to take responsibility for raising competent children. What made America great? Parents who made their young kids get up and do chores before school. Parents who made their young kids work after school. By the time they reached adulthood these kids knew how to work and had a work ethic. Some of them turned out to be self made millionaires. These OWS protesters are spoiled brats who who don’t have a clue how to perform an honest days work. Who wants to hire someone who doesn’t know how to work?????

  14. I agree with what you’re saying, Steve. Corporations aren’t obliged to create jobs (quite the reverse in fact).

    But I do think you’ve missed some of the point of the protests.

    At the moment, you have nothing like a level playing field but rather a winner takes all – forever. A lot of highly self-reliant small business people are being crushed by big business which has co-opted the governments of the world for their own ends because they have the money (and therefore the power) to do so.

    Here’s an example. Let’s say I had a business which a big corporation didn’t like. They are sufficiently powerful to either lawyer up and tie me and my assets up in a legal case for years or get the law changed to put me out of business. The multinational seed companies have done exactly to small farmers who save their seed (even if they aren’t using the multinational’s seed but their neighbours might be).

    Now, the question is what would a world class person about monopolistic practices? Perhaps, lead a revolution to bring about change?

  15. Let’s all take a step back and look at the purpose of this blog: it is a Mental Toughness blog with the purpose and intention of making us, the readers and commentators use critical thinking on different issues, including gambling, religion, the role of government etc .etc.
    From this point of view, there are a few observations to be made: corporations cannot be good or bad. They can’t even pay taxes. Corporations are legal entities. The people running the corporations are the same people as you and I. They have their ambitions, some are ethical others are not. Some want maximum profit at whatever cost, others are customer and stock holder oriented and operate ethical. What is lacking is the “Rule of Law”, which means that every law is equally applied to everybody. If we had the true rule of law, unethical behavior by corporate officers would be punished in a court of law or by the public, by not buying products from that company. Unfortunately, the lobbying and corruption in Washington (and in the court system) are so big, that the Rule of Law no longer exists. However, this is a key pillar of our Constitution.
    Socialism in its various forms cannot succeed, as every human being has different dreams, goals, drives and abilities. If all were to be treated equal, you will soon find the pigs which are more equal than other pigs (Orwell). Tell me one socialist country that has succeeded. Even China is finally prosperous, after it allowed capitalism in. We see a similar, if slower change in Cuba. Most people have Middle Class thinking or below. Only the top 10 to 15% are Upper Class and World Class. This is a reality we can’t change, as we can’t change other people, they have to do that themselves.
    The Occupy movement did not spring up by chance and uncoordinated. Ex ACORN employees play a vital role as other left leaning community organizers including Ayers. Many of them live a rather comfortable life at home. These are the same protesters who disturb conventions, G-20 meetings etc. Their sole purpose is to create enough “unrest” and “dissatisfaction” that new government programs and regulations further limit our freedoms.
    Having shown some of the problems, are there solutions? Yes, we must diminish the size and reach of the federal government. The basis of our constitution is that as much govern is done as close to the people as possible. If must revoke the 17th amendment to have the Senate back in state hands, so that the states have to approve through their senators, every law in Washington. We then can dismantle some of Washington and put it back in States hand. The states in turn should delegate many functions back to the counties. That should include most of the social programs, as the local administrators have a better judgment, who is truly deserving of help. Probably abolish all public employee unions at every level, again to get an even playing field. Reestablish true and competitive testing in schools and require history and logical/critical thinking classes.
    Again, my blog entry is nothing else but another viewpoint in the Critical Thinking process. Self reliance comes from oneself and if you were lucky, your parents taught it to you.
    Mike Jacobi

  16. No more than 60 seconds on this one Steve…

    Corps don’t’ breathe people do. So, I address the people. Find a ‘skill’, develop your skill, market your skill with leverage, and jobs will find you.

    Is the lack of transparency on wall street an issue? Absolutely. If you’d like to pop that kid’s balloon, then vote with your feet, your wallet, your voice, and your influence.

    Keep your pineal glands operational and have a fantastic November, All!


  17. Hi Steve,
    Whilst I get your point about self-reliance and responsibility, let not the discussion be railroaded by the extremism of the times!! There is a need for saner heads to prevail as a Society tries to come to grips with its multi-faceted problems. These problems were not manifested in a vacuum, nor might they be solved with simple jingo-istic responses, like “self reliance”, “are corporations responsible…?” , and any of the other mine-fields waiting to trap the un-wary and un-ambitious.
    That is all commentary upon the issues, please be aware of the CONTEXT within which they are framed!! 1: The IDEA of Corporate Person-hood, for the sole purpose of influencing the politics and politicians at ALL levels!. 2: The wilful planning that it took to execute the export of manufacturing plants abroad…. and now we wonder… WHY there are no jobs being created within these shores? 3. The unwillingness of those who profit the most in these times to pay their fair share of the freight in seeing the country through these perilous times.
    These are but three, and, I know, they are answers in search of THE question which would tie in all elements to the Problem facing us the citizenry of the US.
    I do not have THE question, that much I know, yet, smirking at the “lost souls” out there marching is not adding to the solution in any way either.

    1. Christian,
      The concept of self-reliance requires no context. You are self-reliant or you are not. It’s a zero-sum equation.
      You mention the unwillingness of people who profit most to pay their “fair share”. What do you consider “fair share”? Without rich corporations creating jobs and paying taxes, America would not exist. Without wealthy American’s paying taxes, their would be a very small income tax base. Luxury spending alone accounts for 14% of the GDP. Only the rich can affford to purchase major luxury products. Quite simply, over-taxing the rich and demonizing major companies is biting the hand that feeds us. These people and companies are the producers that make America possible, and everyone else feeds off of them. Our 9.1% unemployment rate is made up of entrepreneurs; it’s made up of people who need someone else to employ them. There’s nothing wrong with that, but without the job creators the job seekers are lost. So let’s celebrate the producers and thank them for supplying as many jobs as they can.

      Your thoughts?

  18. Steve, while shivering here in the post snow storm we had here in Utah, your backdrop made me envious. Lucky dude!

    Hey, while I agree with you about self reliance and pretty much everything you mentioned on this post, why in heck are you for legalized gambling from one of the posts before??? Legalized gambling and self reliance are at polar opposites from each other. Gambling is cancerous to principles of self reliance in every way conceivable and strikes a common chord with the investment fraud so pervasive as of late. Both are related in the “something for nothing” mindset. I’m fuzzy on where you stand with this self reliance thing because those two sure don’t go together…

    There sure seems to be an epidemic of an attitude of entitlement, and I think that with that Americans in general (not all) have latched onto the mentality that Lee Iacocca once decribed as people believing that all their woes are someone else’s fault and someone’s gonna pay…Personal responsibility went out of style a long time ago and it’s time it made a comeback.

    While I doubt the protesters will achieve much of an objective before they about freeze to death, I do think the outcry of reform is justified. Corporate glutting is a problem, and although corporations as it were, are not really so much responsible for providing jobs, as they are for their impact on the economy by their conduct in financial markets, and as Leslie Stahl of TV’s “60 Minutes” has so aptly shown in some of her interviews. Corporate America has a ‘scarlet letter’ to be reckoned with and the near bankrupt state we are in as a nation is going to mandate change one way or another. It’s no secret corporate corruption played a major role in getting us where we are.

    It will be interesting indeed to see where 2012 takes us. Self reliance will be a priceless asset to those who espouse it over the next decade.


  19. Hello Steve,
    I am in Singapore – beautiful weather also!
    I just saw a TV broadcast about the floods in Thailand. It definitely supported that the government was responsible for mitigating the damage to people and property. I almost got sick. Maybe the government with massive resources can help (and maybe it will just make things worse) but you, the people in Thailand, the protesters on Wall Street, and I are responsible for our own well-being. Go straighten out the people at the Post.

  20. Steve, I have to be honest with you… I’ve heard you sing… and you don’t rock! You may pebble a little, but rock? No. Sorry Bud. But you do cut a mean guitar!

    Now… what was it? Oh yes…

    Corporations responsible for creating jobs??? Don’t get me started!

    Corporations are actually responsible for many things – they have the responsibility for becoming profitable, They have a responsibility to pay their taxes according to the law. They are responsible to operate ethically, without damaging the country or citizens (as per T.J. Williams comment), and should look to reducing their carbon footprint and seek to be environmentally friendly and a whole heap of that sort of stuff. But responsible to create jobs? You have to be kidding me!!

    If it is necessary for the operations and profitability of the company to create jobs then yes! Of course it IS the responsibility of those in charge of the company to ensure that the necessary jobs are created in order to sustain and grow the company. It is NOT the other way around.

    If by creating jobs the company flounders, is inefficient, is unprofitable without the likelihood of becoming profitable with the associated staff costs, then the company MUST NOT provide jobs that make the company unsustainable,

    It is NOT the core function of any for-profit enterprise to create jobs!

    We have a big problem with that right here in Australia at the moment. Our biggest national airline, Qantas, is on the verge of going under. Baggage handlers, pilots, the catering staff and more have boycotted their duties and have gone on strike because Qantas is looking to cut costs so that they are more competitive in this fearlessly competitive air ‘war’. The striking employees speak of holding-out for their job ‘security’, which echoes Australia’s ‘nanny-state’ mentality! Should the employees not realise that if Qantas does not cut costs and be profitable, then it will fold and EVERYONE will lose their jobs! Just like it will also fold if these people remain on strike.

    Has the western world gone mad??? How is it that under-performing staff can hold a company to ransom? Of course we should have those measures in place that help protect workers from exploitation, danger and abuse etc, but when it becomes a question of either being more competitive or going under I think it should be up to the company directors/owners/shareholders to decide, and it is their responsibilty make the correct decision based on the desired outcomes.

    Job ‘Security’ is a nonsense! The only perceived job ‘security’ that anyone should be able to muster is one that is directly related to job ‘PERFORMANCE’! Increased job performance may allow for increased perceived job security, but then again, this should only be a perception.

    The world does not owe anyone anything.

    Companies do not owe society jobs.

    If you have a job then but for the grace of your company go you! Work like stink and you may get to keep it!

    Does the person who started the company have any job ‘security’ going into the business? Who backs the person who puts their house, their savings, their relationships for God’s sake, on the line when they start-up a new venture? What happens if they don’t cut a profit? Who loses? If there are employees involved, they may lose their job. They can get another one somewhere else EASILY if they are good performers! The owner on the other hand loses their house, their car, their credit rating, and most likely any relationship they were in. Owners can lose the lot!

    And then there are the survivors… after years of 120 hour working weeks, and in the process almost losing the shirts off their backs, selling their washing machines and dryers and engagement rings to pay bills or to live, enduring stress, sleepless nights, worry, drinking to forget, not answering the phone for fear of debt collectors, leaving too early in the morning to see the kids and arriving so late at night they can only gaze down on them while they sleep… they finally… FINALLY… can see that they have built something of value, something that makes all the bad times seem worth it, something that can at last give them something that will sustain them.

    Then the cry comes… ‘CREATE JOBS FOR US!’

    ‘GIVE ME A JOB!’


    You’re killing me!

    It is preposterous!

    Job creation is, and should only be, as a result of the advent of necessary workplace operational and/or strategic intents, not because of any conceived social or otherwise ‘responsiblilty’ for an organisation to provide a job.

    If you want a job… either prove that you are valuable to an organisation or…

    do what every company founder and enterpreneur did…


    ..Now you’ve got me started…

  21. I see OWS as something completely different, and agree with TJ on most of his points.

    As I see it, the protesters are looking for fairness, not a handout. It amazes me that people continue to see this as people whining about not getting things they apparently don’t deserve because they didn’t earn it. In fact, if you bother to look close, you see that firemen, veterans, retired people – people from all walks of life – are showing up to make their voices heard. And they’re getting support from people in dozens of countries, because the messages of the protest are resonating world-wide. The average citizens of the world have been getting fucked by governments and corporations for decades and they’re standing up to the oppression.

    Believe me, I’m all for people being responsible, using their own intelligence and abilities and making their way in this world. And I’m for the free market, up to a point. That point that I differ with the free market is when corporations pollute air and water, manipulate stock prices, fire people indiscriminately for specious reasons and generally are self-serving, thoughtless citizens of the society. A corporation has responsibilities to more than the shareholders. Our society has given them the environment to thrive and they owe something back. Roads, police protection, and education of workers didn’t just happen – society has a stake in it because society helped pay for all of those pieces, without which the corporation could not grow.

    When large banks conspire to manipulate markets and sell overvalued assets as they did leading up to the meltdown in 2008, and they are not held accountable, it’s not surprising that citizens would finally start to protest. Government has not held them accountable – and citizens would like to make this world a more accountable place, hence the protests.

    According to a Senate report, “the crisis (in 2008) was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.”

    The underlying social contract is unfortunately being broken by so many corporations that are not respecting their position in relation to the rest of society…to me that’s what the OWS and other continuing protests are about – creating a level playing field – or at least accountability.

    Personally, I think the protests should be in front of Congress in DC…I think they’re only symbolic on Wall Street – but if they were camped out in front of Congress for months it might get something accomplished.

    My two cents…

    1. Tim,
      Thanks for your comments. We agree on some things, but I’d also like to point out that the mortgage mess wasn’t just caused by Wall Street. People took out loans they couldn’t afford. Isn’t that their responsibility?

  22. No, corporations are not responsible for our welfare, however, they do have a responsability to conduct business in an ethical manner. I believe why people are so upset with Wall Street and government is due in large part that corporations have gotten away with many illegal and unethical business practices: example the bank bailout where many ceo’s and charimen received million dollar plus bonuses with our tax payer money.
    I am personally outraged after watching a documentary called ‘Iraq For Sale.; This film shows the company Halliburton having no regard for their employees. They have put some of their employees at risk by placing them in dangerous situations knowing there was a high probability of their employees being killed in the line of fire and yet allowed them to go ahead with their deliveries regardless of the danger. It didn’t matter to them because now they could replace their items and bill the government for them.There are also many examples in the film of Halliburton overcharging and overspending and wasting many of their resources and billing the government for these items. This is what enrages the American people, the abuse, the hypocrisy, the lack of integrity and disregard for human beings at any cost. The corporations are held to one standard by the government while the American people are held to another and not to question the fact that there has been no accountability.
    I for one am not out there protesting and joining the movement because I understand I cannot distract myself from my goals and the vision I see for my future which is to build an entertainment empire, but at the same token, I am proud of the American people, they are revolting because they are sick and fed up with the current economic system which in many ways does have them enslaved. I believe they are not just protesting the job market, but also demanding that corporations are held to a higher standard. I for one am all for that!

  23. What a breath of fresh Florida air, Steve. Thanks for saying it so plainly and passionately.

    Terry… spot-on re: our education system. Consider Wisconsin’s struggle—their governor’s position on collective bargaining. He deserves national support. “Collective bargaining.” Who could argue with something that sounds so fundamental, so “right” yet is so economically and spiritually poisonous!

    “Everyone deserves the right to earn a fair wage.”

    Kudos to the guy who thought that one up. It’s fooled a nation into:
    – Rewarding and celebrating public educators who are poor at what they do, solidifying their ability to dumb down a nation
    – Endlessly lowering test scores so we can feel like “everyone’s a winner”
    – Chasing motivated, talented teachers away from needy students
    – Taking the good idea of helping cognitively challenged kids and turning it into a weapon against gifted children

    Slowly but surely we have become a nation that celebrates entitlements in every aspect of our lives. It is nothing short of frightening. Thank you again, Steve.

  24. Steve,

    I agree with what you are saying the country was founded with entreprenuers. When the world wars started they turned it into needing more employees to build and put things together to help fight the war. And our govt as a whole has done a wonderful job of dummying down the country for politics with the country not realizing that they use political parties to fight each other so they dont realize what the govt is doing to us. People there is plenty of money out their for everybody but you have to get off your duff and work hard, get financially literate and learn to invest and guide the people in wall st so they cant rip you off. Get up dust yourself off create a business, get educated and invest for you and your family and help others do the same.

  25. I could not help but notice while watching the behavior of and listening to the words of the OWS crowd that many of them have little understanding of how capitalism and money actually work. If they understood it and had the wisdom to apply it to their own lives, they wouldn’t be out wandering around in the cold. The purpose of any business, incorporated or not, is to earn a profit for its owner(s). It has no obligation to provide a living for anyone. When a person brings true value to the marketplace, the marketplace will provide value in exchange that the person can then fashion into a living for himself/herself.

  26. Steve you are absolutely correct – it is about response-ability!
    As soon as we stop complaining and blaming we will have more energy to create!

    If these people would get off the street and start moving in the direction of their goals and dreams – they would be way more successful!

    As always, Steve you are so ‘on point’


  27. I do not read OWS in the same way. I believe that the protests are an attempt to provide a level playing field for those who want to be self-reliant, who want to compete. But it is hard to climb a ladder if you cannot reach the first rung. When there is an aptitude to obtain a good education but the inability to afford it, the playing field is not level. When an illness causes not only financial hardship but the inablilty to attain peak performance, the playing field is not level. Protesting to improve opportunities is in fact an act of self-reliance. Therefore, your criticism is misplaced by even your own definitions.

    So many myths seem to be circulating in some political circles and I will mention some. First, that corporations are responsible for creating jobs. No one credible believes that or advocates it. However, corporations have a civic responsibility to avoid damaging the country and it citizens. We have not seen that behavior on Wall Street. Second myth, people want to be cared for in some so-called nanny state or have welfare provided as a way of life or however this topic is characterized. There is often the misconception that the existence of a social safety net is evidence that people do not want the responsibility to provide for themselves. I have talked about the problem we have in the United States, and the western economies, with the enslavement of people by our corporate controlled economy. My video comment appears on my blog “A Snotty Liberal.” Without a safety net, our society will begin to crumble. We cannot endure having a large percentage of people without a means to provide for themselves.

    As a last comment, I have to say that those of us with assets, with excellent educations, with the ability to survive the ups and downs of economic activity have an obligation to those without those same things. Some believer that to whom much is given, much is expected. Indeed, it will redound to our great benefit to lift all people up. If for no other reason, think of how many businesses survive without customers, without people who can buy the stuff.

    Thank you, Steve for your comment and this opportunity to address it.

  28. Steve,

    You’re 100% right in mocking the idea that we as individuals are owed anything such as jobs or security from corporations.

    Freedom isn’t for everyone…that’s why people fight to find others to shackle them, uh, I mean provide for them in every area of life.

    End of conversation.


  29. Steve! I absolutely agree with you on all points with your video. This country (and perhaps the planet) is in deep trouble until we adopt (or readopt) an attitude of self-reliance and resolve. Whatever happened to the Rosie The Riveter call to action: WE CAN DO IT…? The idea with that rally cry was to get off our collective asses and get to work, NOT stop productivity and advancement by creating a sustained protest out of entitlement.

    Has there been corporate greed and a run of irresponsibility in big business over the past several years? Yes. And I understand a pendulum swing was bound to occur, but to have it be so dramatic or emotional is counterproductive. There is little (or no) critical thinking going on with the OWS demonstrations; all you have to do is observe one and see the mob mentality and the misplaced notion that they (the protesters) are exhibiting democracy through their ‘occupation’.

    In the end, we all have a choice to make: we can either be a victor or a victim. One uses mental toughness and critical thinking and the other uses excuses and finger-pointing.

    There is no winning where there is whining.

    Great post, Steve!

  30. Once our education system was brought down to the level which no one is left behind,
    the entitlement mentality began. Yes, the bankers and wall street boys are crooks, but what’s new? Liberals did not build this country, real folkes & real work did. Our forefathers would be ashamed of what we have let into our White House, and what whiney little people we have become. As a Russian leader said once upon a time;
    we do not need to attack the US, it will slowly disentigrate from within, and it is. Get
    tuff, or get stuffed, America. Revolution is the only way to be proud once again.
    Thanks for all you do, Steve…

  31. Hey Steve. While I agree with you regarding the OWS protesters that are just asking for more handouts, there are a few with legitimate complaints. It seems reasonable to me to be calling for tighter laws to protect people against some of the incredibly unhealthy “investment” practices that have lead, in part, to the financial melt-down that is happening in the American banking system.
    Those asking for more integrity from our elected officials, more environmental responsibility from our corporations and more accountability from the financial sector are not at odds with “mental toughness”.
    Right now in the American financial sector, the fox is definitely guarding the hen house and that is one of the reasons why so many Americans are upset enough to go and camp out for weeks. When Goldman-Sachs is effectively making the rules that govern investment banking you do not have “government of the people, for the people”. You have legalized theft.

  32. Corporations are responsible for staying in business. In most cases it takes people to do that. Typically when revenues are up, so is employment. If government is creating an environment that is hostile for corporations to stay in business, then the corporation–which is responsible to stay in business–will either lay people off or move out of the country. This is Econ. 101, and it only requires common sense to understand. The problem is that the OWS idiots have yet to prove they have any common sense. These are the same clueless idiots that voted for Obummer because “He speaks so eliquently.” and “He’s so smart.” and “This will be historic, because he’ll be the first Black president.” No one bothered to ask if he was qualified to run America.

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