Who can blame Occupy Wall Street?
The demonstrators could just as easily be targeting Congress, but the alienation in this country is palpable.
Occupy Wall Street has, in a few short weeks, gone from a sideshow to the fulcrum of a national debate about wealth and jobs and a sense of despair that's palpable among many Americans. You can't be on the sidelines on this one; you are pro or con.
Which, frankly, is the problem, because I am not sure what being pro or con actually means in this case.
Am I pro justice for the people who got us into this mess -- chiefly the lenders who lent recklessly and should have known better, and the investment bankers who pooled their miserable loans into unfathomable tranches that have done so much to impair the American economy? You bet.
From the lenders to the processors to the robo-signers to those who took huge bonuses after being saved by TARP and yet were integral to this corrupt process, to the ratings agencies that checked off on it all, I've seen little or no justice at all.
You mean to tell me that no one did anything wrong at Lehman? Can you honestly believe that no one at Countrywide has gotten in trouble with the authorities? How about the outrageous acts of the executives who ran Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the ground and made fortunes doing so?
Where are the indictments?
But that doesn't seem to be the focus of the protests. The focus seems to be against the rich. Who can blame them? I think the rich have gotten a great deal in this country. I believe they should have to pay more than they are. Is that a radical position? Lest anyone forget, that was Abe Lincoln's position during the Civil War, and he remains the greatest force of honesty in the history of American political debate.
Yet the rich have gotten away with this outrage because of Congress. Is it "Wall Street's fault"? Congressional Republicans seem addicted to the dollars of the rich and let them get off scot-free.
So I don't get the geographic focus.
All that said, the alienation in this country is palpable. It is caused by a dysfunctional government that can't get its act together and has created a level of uncertainty that makes it difficult for companies to hire. And by a presidential emphasis on creating green jobs when the only real growth area that needs employees is in the oil and gas patch. And by a belief that we are being crushed by our trading partners who take our jobs at will.
Once again, though, those seem not to be the targets of Occupy Wall Street.
So am I pro Occupy Wall Street? If they were to embrace any parts of the issues I am talking about in any coherent fashion, you bet I am.
Until they do, let's just say: Who can blame them? There's plenty wrong with society right now. But can I join them? Not until I know exactly what they really stand for. If they stand for any of the issues I just described, you bet I can.
Where are the indictments?Agree totally, but not only for the CEOs and CFOs of the banker and mortgage robbers under Sabanes-Oxley. How about the appraisers, borrowers and realtors that all lied while committing loan fraud? And how about those Congress members that voted to repeal Glass-Steagall bank regulation. It's kind of like the immigration laws. Once you let a few break the law it becomes a flood that's impossible to enforce. Greed and larceny are basic human traits.
ceo's make 460 times what the average worker makes
there is not a person who has ever lived worth that salary
until this is fixed the problem will just keep wosening
These same people demanded cheaper goods, goods that were unnecessary, multiple televisions in the homes. Cell phones for their 9 and 10 year old children, ipods, iphones.
Multiple cars for their family. Cheaper food so that they could waste more, paper towels, paper plates, throw away this and throw away that. Even the poor are living a livestyle that
80 years ago would have seemed beyond the means of even the wealthiest. A Lifestyle
that by Third World standards is beyond dreams. A lifestyle that to dumpster divers here in
the US is sumptuous. The crybabies that occupy Wallstreet don't want to work, they turn
their noses up at the millions of illegal aliens driving nails, shoveling dirt, or picking fruit
and vegetables for living and demand that someone gives them something. I spent
nearly 30 years working in an American factory watching 30% of the well paid union workers,
complain how hard the work was in a year around airconditined factory, using automated
machinery to do the work our fathers and grandfather did by hand. They stole supplies and tools from the company that gave them a great wage, bonuses, benefits and retirement.
The Union wore down the people that started the factories that gave them jobs until the
companies packed the jobs overseas where people would be glad to have the jobs.
Wait a minute Cramer. There are dozens of Democrats in Congress who received big contributions from rich folks. Why single out Republicans in Congress?
Because Democrats actually want to raise their taxes while the Republicans fight it at every turn. Duh! How about a little bit of critical thinking?
So, Jim, you are putting most of the blame on "Congressionals Republicans seem addicted to the dollars of the rich."? Goodness, Congress was actually a democratic congress up until a year ago......does that fact have anything to do with the truth?
You also overlook the responsibility of the individual who signed their name to the dotted lines saying they could afford the homes they were moving into.
No one put a gun to their head and told them to borrow money they may or may not be able to repay.
No one in our society wants to take responsibility for anything anymore. We all have learned to pass the buck onto big business and big money.
There will be a time when our entire system will collapse because no one is watching the hen house.
I do agree that Wall Street protestors don't have their banners right but this is a political statement that is being demonstrated and the masses are just out there not really having a clue what they are protesting.
The Democrats controlled the House and Senate from 2006. They had unstoppable majorities in the House and Senate from Jan 2009 until Jan 2011 and the Presidency. They could have punished anyone, righted any wrong (real or imagined) and fixed any injustice in the tax code as you indicate. But they didn't. So don't blame only the Republicans. The Democrats are just as beholden to the money interests as anyone. After all, who pays for their re-election. The wealthy and big business.
Oh and by the way, who do you think risks their wealth by investing in business to provide jobs for anyone. Without them, no one would have jobs because there would be no investment. Yes maybe the executives get paid too much, but as you know their salaries are set by the board of directors of the company. But that's another topic for another time.
I enjoyed your pint of view.
Hold the lending field responsible and force write downs to current values to help keep good job holding people in their homes.
Change import tariff structures with countries whom we have a vast trade deficit with until the deficit is balanced. An individual has to balance the checkbook, our import and export should be no different. Will be painful in the short term for the consumer, but will turn us around in the long term.
Stop the bailouts and stop giving billions in aid to foreign countries!
If government wants to be big and regulate everything, step in and regulate energy commodities. The effects of energy costs are too great on our country. Why should speculators be at the helm?
Why will none of this happen? Because gov't is all puppets for those that would be deprived their billions in profits and bonus's by such changes.
The movement should be renamed "occupy government".
Jim must have received a few hundred last night from a Democrat to write this article today... And that is the problem with the 99% of the people who write there articles. They can't see the fundamental problem.
BOTH SIDES ARE TO BLAME.
Someday, when the 1% of the people who realize that we need a complete house cleaning get that message to the 99%, then the 99% protesting will probably see a lot of their problems they have against the 1% fixed by the 99% who can't take their one-sided blinders off that the 1% put there for them, and the 1% who have no blinders on can't get the message through to the 99%...
Ugh. What a mess we are in. BOTH SIDES ARE TO BLAME. PERIOD.
Here we are at 9.1% (?) unemployment, protestors around the world against the greed of Wall Street...
And the DUMBOCRATS and the REPULICONS will spend HOW MANY BILLIONS on an election campaign next year? Money BURNED up in TV ads, signs, trips all while they will appeal to the people who are out of work, out of money.
How many states could balance their budgets on what will be spent on the election alone?
BOTH SIDES ARE TO BLAME. Money doesn't say "D" or "R" on it, and isn't RED OR BLUE.
You refer to the rich as "they" as in "they should pay more". Aren't you part of the rich? Why is it that many rich folks never think of themselves as being rich and don't include themselves in the group that should do more? One exception to this is Warren Buffet who thinks he should pay more. What is preventing him from writing a check to the government? Is he only willing to pay more if he is forced to by revising the tax laws? The whole system is a mess since the upper income folks already pay the lion's share of income taxes and such a large percentage of people don't pay any income taxes. The taxation system needs to be overhauled so everyone pays their fair share.
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
The market's cheap money addiction is laid bare. No one knows how it will end.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.