Protests show disillusionment with Wall Street capitalism

Joanna Kalafatis's picture

Approximately 700 protesters gathered in Wall Street today to protest what they perceive as the greed and corruption plaguing the U.S. government and economy, greed that led to the economic recession which refuses to release its stranglehold on U.S. citizens.

The protesters are disillusioned with the U.S. form of capitalism that has been creating increasing inequality over the past decades, wiping out millions of jobs while increasing the paychecks of the lucky high-income 1% of the population.

Many youngsters turned up to the protests, reflecting the difficulties young people, even college graduates, face today when trying to secure employment. Current youth unemployment rates stand at 18.3% for young men, and 17.8% for young women, well over the average unemployment rate of 9.1% throughout the country.

Police blocked the crowd from continuing to the stock exchange, so many people ended up outside Cipriani Wall Street. In a somewhat fitting scene emblematic of the current U.S. economic climate, many of the well-paid traders inside the restaurant laughed and raised their drinks towards the protesters, while the crowd outside responded with “pay your share”.

This scene is as tragic as it is laughable, as it exemplifies exactly the problem that plague the U.S. today. Many of the financial organizations and banks that triggered the recession were bailed out by the government with few strings attached, basically returning to business as usual, while as a result of their callous actions, millions of Americans lost their jobs, their health insurance, and their homes.

The CEOs of such companies either held on to their positions or obtained huge bonuses and severance packages when they were let go, thus allowing them to continue their luxurious lifestyles.

The lack of culpability among Wall Street continues to anger the American public, and the low-income and middle class continue to pay and suffer for the ruses and cons conducted by greedy executives. Such a system is unsustainable, and the growing public anger with an unchecked financial system and this form of unrestrained capitalism continues to mount.

Unless the government finds a way to keep tabs on U.S. banks and financial organizations, in order to rein in the often illicit and dishonest accounting that takes place in those businesses, the American people will rightfully continue to resent the financial institutions that swipe their money, and the politicians that allow it to happen.

The recession and the continuing stagnant economy has caused a huge public outcry, but little in the way of permanent reform. If Obama truly wants to leave his mark as a president that will herald change, controlling the duplicitous actions of Wall Street should be his first order of business.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
actually- the people at the cipriani were celebrating an engagement party, they had nothing to do with investment bankers, some people at the cipriani actually happened to work for non- profit organizations, so just goes to show you how clueless the protesters were, maybe they should install their efforts in trying to get jobs rather than protesting about it

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
So....your okay that this obvious greed is crippling our country? Maybe the people inside were mocking the protesters, maybe they weren't but can you honestly say there isn't a problem? If you can then those protesters are not the ones who are clueless. It doesn't take an economics major to see what is happening to this country. And finding jobs? I couldn't even tell you how people I know and people I have met over the years that have college degrees, people that I could even see being at the top of their field, are working in restaurants and warehouses because they can't get jobs. Maybe you should install your efforts in understanding a world outside your little bubble.

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