That is a powerful example of voting with your wallet.

Changing the World With Our Votes

In national elections, less than two-thirds of eligible voters typically vote.  If we have issues with our politicians, the best way to bring about change is with the votes we place on Election Day.  In between elections, we can be in touch with the politicians who represent us, letting them know why we favor this issue or that.

Do you typically vote?  Do you know who represents you in your state and at the national level?  Do you know how they’ve voted on issues that matter to you?  Have you ever sent them your thoughts on the national deficit or other issues?

Celebrating Our Freedoms

I love this country and am thankful for the freedoms we enjoy, including the freedom of speech and the right to “peaceably assemble” that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are exercising.

But perhaps the greatest freedom in the U.S. is the freedom to make something of ourselves – the freedom of opportunity.

Those who are best at tapping into that freedom are those who take personal responsibility.  They don’t feel entitled; they feel empowered by the opportunities around them.  They don’t blame others for their difficulties; they blame themselves.  And when they make it, they don’t take all the credit and they don’t keep all the cash; they share.  Not because they have to, but because they want to.  It’s the best way they know to express their gratitude for the freedoms that gave them the potential for success.

I’ll say more about that last point – generosity – in my next post when I take up one of the Occupy Wall Street protesters’ central issues: wealth inequality.

For now, what are your thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street Movement?

Matt Bell is the author of three personal finance books published by NavPress, including the brand new "Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples."  He teaches a wide variety of workshops at churches, conferences, universities, and other venues throughout the country.  To learn more about his work and subscribe to his blog, go to: