Occupy Wall Street was a long time coming. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, the United States of America is ranked 39th against other countries in economic inequality. In other words, the U.S. ranks worse in equality than a long list of other countries with a smaller divide between the rich and the poor. Even Iran, Nigeria and Uganda rank better than a country with one of the biggest economies in the world. While it seems like these protests came out of nowhere, they in fact were not sudden. The strong emotions seem to emanate from the accumulated pain and frustration of a generation forced to deal with a broken job market. It's striking that all the views and aspirations of nearly every racial and age demographic have aligned. While there is no united message from the protesters, all you need to do is travel to your nearest government building to hear men, women and even children decrying economic inequality.
I think the protesters feel a need to sew closed a widening gap that seems to have continued increasing since Bill Clinton left office. It was actually when I was listening to President Clinton speak at the World Business Forum and heard him take notice of the growing movement a couple of weeks ago that I was inspired to visit the protesters' encampment in my backyard. The son of a baby-boomer, I've grown up listening to fascinating tales from a tumultuous time when there were only a handful of television channels and having someone walk on the moon seemed an impossible fantasy. Of all the stories my dad told, the one that I found most intriguing was the anti-war sentiment that spread across the nation during the Vietnam War era. Occupy Wall Street is my generation's Woodstock.
"The people are too big to fail" was one of the signs I found most telling at the protests. Although this movement is just in its infancy, the photos in the slideshow below -- taken at Zuccotti Park and Times Square in New York City -- show what "democracy really looks like."