Occupy Baltimore: Best to keep things vague

October 11, 2011

In Umar Farooq's recent letter concerning Occupy Baltimore ("Occupy Baltimore: The Sun doesn't get it," Oct. 10), he states that The Sun's reporters wouldn't understand the concerns of the protesters. On the contrary, I believe that a reporter for the Sun would understand them all too well. The lament that the janitor who sweeps the stands after a football game makes too little money is nothing new. There's a mechanism by which the wages of that janitor can be raised, and that would be to raise the minimum wage. Of course, the Sun reporter would write that sort of complaint down, then follow with the next logical statement that a rise in minimum wage would mean layoffs because companies would have to trim staff to keep within their budget.

Maybe in the protester's world, the janitor makes enough to buy a house with a two-car garage, but that would require some sort of socialist or communist state in which a bureaucrat decides how much the janitor is paid, because, frankly, the act of sweeping a stadium just doesn't quite have the same value as a construction foreman who can assemble a house from a set of blueprints, or a Steve Jobs type who has the brains to manipulate plastic, copper, and silicone in such a way that an iPod is born.

The Occupy Baltimore crowd rails against the system that forces students to pay for their higher eduction. Unfortunately, the complaints are made to people who have paid for their own higher education.

Better for the protesters to keep their beliefs a mystery for now. Anger that's unfocused, unclear messages, hatred of the rat race that is the world, all those things are more appealing before the argument is written down on paper and the proposed solutions are made official. Because, once the protesters jot down their ideas, there will be clear counter arguments made. And once the cold winds of the Chesapeake Bay blow through Baltimore In November, it'll be tougher to draw crowds of occupiers. Mr. Farooq probably won't want the Sun reporter there to cover that, either.

Fred Pasek, Frederick

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