This split is now being exploited and inflamed by politicians who believe they can somehow benefit from the anger and protests.
I realize there is tremendous anger towards what is called Wall Street. Some of it is justified, they took big risks, get crazy bonuses and some firms got bailed out by the taxpayers.
Although it sounds good to blame our current economic straits on Wall Street, they didn’t crater the economy alone, there are others who contributed significantly – the Government – who pushed bankis to lend to people who could not afford to own a home, thousands of government regulators who failed to do their job, borrowers who hoped to flip the properties they bought for a quick profit, and people who simply lived beyond their income levels, using the equity in their homes like a piggy bank and maxing out their credit cards.
Does it make sense to target what people call Wall Street? I don’t think so, we need the banking system, it acts like a utility. Without electric for example, we cannot do much and without a sound financial system we are dead in the water. Also let’s not forget that for every CEO or hot shot trader making ten million dollars a year, there are thousands of hardworking employees making normal salaries.
There is enough blame to go around but the question is where do we go from here?
We can never achieve anything if we are pitted against each other. Targetting those who have acheived some measure of success is a zero sum game. I find it interesting that the finger is pointed at Wall Street excesses, but no complains when dysfunctional Hollywood actors get thirty million dollars a picture. Are we also going to attack athletes who make tens of millions? Or how about Google, Facebook, Apple etc whose founders make zillions. Do they make too much?
Whether the compensation is fair or not is not the question, its the system we have. I don’t agree with the crazy money some make, but why are we wasting time attacking them. It is called capitalism and it is the best system by far. Occupy Wall Street and its supporters don’t like the bailouts (and neither do I) but bailouts are a type of Socialism not capitalism! Government intervention in the private sector is definitely a part of the problem.
A point that the Occupy Wall Street crowd claims is that no one makes it alone, that America provides the infrastructure, system (capitalism by the way) and education. True to a small degree, but lets not forget that these things were built and supported with your tax dollars.
Americans have always been able to come together against an external threat or problem that needs solving. Yes, we do have a terrible habit of waiting till the water level reaches our noses before acting, but I fear we are losing our ability to pull together and get problems solved. It appears we have turned into a nation of blame placers.
We can never be the great country we have been with only half the people in the game. Protests are fine but should not inconvenience people, hurt local business, destroy property and obscure the real problems.
Instead of these silly protests, why don’t people present detailed written proposals with solutions and start doing the hard work to get America back to the top!