Occupy Wall Street

I’ve been reading about the OWS protests and the one thing that is clear is that they are not a monolithic entity. There is general discontent over “Wall Street” and how they profited during this downturn, and there seems to be a general stance against “capitalism” and corporations. a more nuanced view seems to be that only “bad” corporations are the target of their ire. A generally accepted solution to this is that the government should do more, more regulation and more observation are what the protesters seem to be calling for the most.

You might not be surprised to hear that I don’t agree with their solution. I agree with the anger over bailouts, over saving failed companies with taxpayer dollars. The difference is that I direct my anger towards the ones that did the bailing out and set up the system that encouraged the financial entities to take the risks they did.

The OWS crowd seems as though they are so blinded with their view that Wall Street equals greed that they have never wondered why the banks and financial houses did what they did. The combination of low interest rates, guaranteed loans, and various regulations that made it profitable and logical to sell off and re-buy derivatives of mortgages was set up by the federal government, and then the feds bailed out the institutions that got into trouble doing that. Wall Street will always be about making money, but when there are actual risks of losing everything, they will not act so crazy. The bailouts have to stop, the distortions have to stop. Turning to the cause of the problems for a cure is incredibly misguided.

 

It’s also funny how the various anti-semitic signage seen at these things has been dismissed as crazies in the midst of the protest, unlike the tea party. One group is labeled as racists for their fringe and another is given a free pass over the crazy ones in their midst. It’s also strange how there are widespread reports of arrests of the OWS crowd when there wasn’t with the tea party crowds despite the fact the tea party had bigger gatherings.

 

So yeah, I’m with them on the anger about corporations profiting at taxpayer expense. They have lost me on the whys and the solution though.

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