It’s like being the parent of two children involved in a fight, both have their points to make, but the manner in which the conflict was initiated and the reaction are equally wrong.
We are referring to the Occupy Wall Street movement. For more than six weeks, protestors up-in-arms over improprieties conducted by big-time financiers and a few billionaires have taken their anger to the streets from New York to San Francisco.
While the bulk of Americans left jobless in corporate cutbacks are either busy making ends meet in other positions or are trying to get their careers back on track, the Occupy Wall Street crowd is composed primarily of admitted socialists and anarchists bent on bringing down capitalism.
Many of the protestors are the white suburban children of parents whose own investments allowed them the financial means to not have to work so they can take part in the latest national fad.
A Forbes survey of occupiers found that 80 percent of those polled think it is fair that the top 10 percent of taxpayers pay more than 70 percent of all taxes while 40 percent of employed Americans pay no federal income tax, and 88 percent want government controls on CEO compensation.
Note too, that the initiator behind this free speech attack on Wall Street is a Canadian anti-consumerist group known as the Adbusters Media Foundation.
On the flip side, Wall Street fat cats and corporate greed mongers have definitely harmed millions of lives. Citigroup, AIG and Bernie Madoff have joined the reputation ranks of Enron and WorldCom. Cheating employee investors, while top management receives multi-million dollar bonuses, out of their retirement and savings funds is reprehensible.
Capitalism, by practical definition, leads to growth and wealth based on what is put back into the business to enhance the wellbeing of all involved.
In its purest form, capitalism is not intended to benefit the greedy on the backs of workers, although that has historically been a dark reality in the system. It neither should be a free pass for those expecting entitlements with little or no personal investment, although this too has become an ugly development during the past quarter century.
Each side should just hush and go to their rooms while working and responsible contributors to the economic system determine a suitable punishment for both.