Crabs in a Bucket

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Last updated on February 4th, 2024 at 08:52 pm

The world is tearing itself apart at the seams. Greece is trying to figure how it will survive economically; people are waiting to see whether the world will still exist after 2012, and the Occupy movement is causing more of a stir and attention on economic matters than most people are used to.

On one side of the Occupy movement, you have the protesters aiming to bridge the gap between rich and poor, since:

  • the economy as we once knew it is in shambles
  • there are numerous tax loopholes that benefit the rich, allowing them to pay taxes at a lower percentage than many middle-class families
  • corporations are not generally held too accountable for their actions (see bailouts, lack of litigation of some pretty heinous corporate crimes)
  • corporations often have too much influence in electoral processes, due to the sheer size of their contributions

But their critics question whether the methods used by the Occupy movement are the right way to go about raising these points at all, since:

  • they’re seen as anti-capitalist (I’m not entirely convinced that this is a bad thing, looking at where capitalism has gotten us in recent years)
  • there’ve been a number of Occupy-related arrests in movements across the globe
  • they’re seen as more of a burden on the locations they’re in than they are peaceful protests, as the infrastructures aren’t meant to maintain such a large tent-based population in such concentrated numbers for so long
  • finally, they question whether the protests are at all productive, or whether they’re just a bunch of people doing nothing more than giving the news something to write about

Both sides of the debate have their merit, but there’s one little thing that I think everyone’s overlooking.

While it’s very true that much of the world suffers a huge divide between the rich and the poor, some of the real problems come from within those class segments—rich fighting the rich, poor fighting the poor, and all the middle classers trying to get rich so they don’t wind up poor!

It’s like being a bunch of crabs trapped in a bucket.

We fight for the same jobs, battle for the same places to live and try to outdo one another to show our prowess. We refuse to help others who’re in a similar situation to us (or possibly worse off!) because we distrust them or fear that it might give them the extra boost they need to surpass us.

And that’s why we’ll remain crabs in the bucket!

The saying originates from the notion that if you have a number of crabs in a bucket when one scuttles over the backs of the others and is about to make a bid for their freedom, another will grab them back down and drag them back in.

Isn’t that just what we do to one another? Rather than revel in the successes of others and figuring out how we can use that success to help others become successful, we get jealous, trying to figure out what we need to do to get that success for ourselves, even if we have to drag that person back down to get it.

We have Occupy protests to condemn the actions and lifestyles of the wealthiest 1% in the world.

We’ve gotten better at being aware of the many issues that plague our world and threaten our continued existence.

But unless we start showing some solidarity and stop all this useless assaulting of one another for our own personal gain, we’re doomed to stay in the bucket with all the other crabs who drags us all down.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad



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