Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Discipline to be Retained

Occupy Toronto is calling for everyone to call in sick on May 1 as a protest. While I certainly support the right of the people to protest, and the general call for higher taxation on the top income brackets (actually, I advocate a flat tax for everyone over the poverty line, as opposed to the current graduated system), I think this is about the dumbest idea I've ever heard.

Granted, I just got my job. But I've lost jobs in the past for exactly this kind of a stunt. Moreover, I've had to pick up the slack on people who pull this kind of thing. If you want to protest, fine. Declare it. You have legal protections in this country if you wish to protest. If you wish to defraud your employer you get no protection. And if you really want to protest taxation structure and a culture of entitlement, don't do it by allying yourself with Occupy. It always struck me as funny that such materialistic people would espouse socialist ideology, until I realized it was largely malfocused envy and their own sense of material entitlement.

You know what? Feeling entitled to having nice things is fine. Having a hissyfit, taking the day off and making the rest of us work harder is not. It's puerile. And God forbid now, that anyone actually happens to be sick on May 1. The odds are pretty good, given the time of year, that you might be, and now you're going to get lumped in with the protesters whether your illness was genuine or not.

The rest of us, though, are thankful we're working in an economy with 7.2% (StatsCan) unemployment (and that only counts the people who haven't given up on trying to find work). Pick eleven friends at random and one of them is probably unemployed. Some of us even have jobs where we need to work hard to hold onto them. Some of us would rather advance our positions as opposed to wallowing in self-pity. If we collectively work hard, earn money, and spend it, we create new jobs. We help that friend of ours find work.

Hard work and forbearance are virtuous. Protest is only valid if it's open. And if you don't have a potential solution, you're just complaining.

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