The Occupy Wall Street movement may be easily dismissed by the right wing of Republican Party (sounds like a redundancy), but its validity can not be disputed. In the last twenty years we have seen fundamental changes on a tectonic scale in the world of business, technology and geopolitical alignment.
The Federal Reserve under Greenspan with ultra low interest rates and politicians in Washington advocating home ownership for everyone regardless of their ability to pay created a housing bubble of gigantic proportions that will take many more years to unwind. During that time China and India powered onto a global economic stage with a huge, very cheap and very hungry workforce which directly affected the US middle class in a very negative way. While health care, education costs and everyday expenses soared, incomes of the middle class have been stagnant since 1996.
In 2008 when major Wall Street firms were bailed out by US taxpayers and went on to come back with record profits it became abundantly clear that the system was rigged in favor of haves and have nots were left holding the bag. I think the central issue for most people is fairness. One only needs to look at what happened at Hewlett-Packard in 2005 when Carly Fiorina was dismissed with a 21 million dollar golden parachute after doing a very poor job as a CEO.
It has become a modus operandi to reward bad performance in the corporate world with huge paychecks reserved only for top brass and dismiss average Joe on the spot for a job done poorly.
America has always tolerated failure -- hell, one may say embraced it -- because of our culture of entrepreneurship and seeking new fronts to fight another day.
It can be said that optimism, never giving up and getting up after a knockdown were invented in a very unique way in this great land of ours. In a democracy such as ours most people applaud success, celebrate and respect great fortunes earned thru hard work, innovation and risk taking. However what most people detest and will not stand for is crony capitalism delivered on a silver platter or through special legislation by our representatives in Washington. Most hard working Americans feel trapped, cornered and disillusioned by the present system based on political connections, corrupt politicians and overwhelming odds stacked against them. I believe that the protests started around Wall Street because it is a symbol of our times.
It should be said unequivocally that most traders, asset managers, and speculators are accountable for their losses and the Federal Reserve, politicians in Washington and US Treasury do not come to the rescue when we get clocked in the markets. As we now know the rules were different for a chosen few, after they blew out with their hugely leveraged derivatives, after creating financial nuclear winter they were allowed to come back with our money and get rewarded all over again. What a country!
So to those who say OWS is a movement against the rich, I say hogwash it is clearly a protest against unfairness and giving advantage to those who need it the least.
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more