Occupy Wall Street?

You know, I have been trying to figure out what the Occupy Wall Street movement is trying to accomplish. From what I can tell, the main complaints are corporate greed, the unbelievable salaries of some of the Wall Street executives and the disparity of the “Haves” and the “Have nots” in our country. How can a protest of this kind affect that?


I can understand the frustration of unemployment, under-employment and insecure employment. My family has been dealing with all three of those, and I believe those are some of the real reasons people are protesting. But what do they expect the government to do to solve that? And how do they expect the protest to effect change?


Are people looking for more government regulations on corporate salaries? Or are they looking for a spread-the-wealth plan? I’m not sure, but I don’t believe either would solve our problems.


I also believe the financial market salaries and corporate salaries should be separated. People like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs have changed the world with their creativity and work. Should we raid their bank accounts to solve our financial problems? Definitely not! Market capitalism is part of what makes our nation great. A financial incentive for creating new innovations that effect everyone is part of the reason inventions are pursued. Everything we use on a daily basis – Iphone, computer, microwave, tablets, etc. – are all part of that. Take away incentives and you stifle creativity.


The financial market is another story. The banks, stock brokers and other financial entities are not only risking their own money, they are risking everyone’s money. Look at what has happened to our 401k money. Some people have lost all of their retirement.


What has bothered me the most is that banks defaulted, while the company’s executives have kept large amounts of money. And then we have bailed them out with government funds. Also, companies like Freddie and Fannie paid hefty fines for bad practices, and then we bailed them out! Everyone loses in situations like that, especially the taxpayers, who often end up losing twice.


Regulating corporate salaries is not the answer, but having more regulations in the financial market may help take care of some of the economic issues. It may make people more careful with our money. Can that be accomplished through the protests? Maybe. But we need some more objective people in the treasury department who are not so connected to Wall Street.


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