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12 Oct 2011

My views on the "Occupy Wall Street Movement"

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I think the Occupy Wall Street movement should not surprise anyone. Nor should it surprise anyone that the movement has gained so much popularity and support. If anything, i’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. From what i can understand, the entire movement is based on anger towards Wall Street, in that many ordinary, every day Americans believe that they were treated unfairly while the top firms and executives on Wall Street had been given a free pass. It’s true that a lot of the problems we face today arguably resulted from a dysfunction in the financial sector, but Wall Street isn’t the only one to blame for these bad economic times. The government’s poor foresight and lack of regulation had just as much a part to play in causing the financial crisis and subsequent recession. There were also many parties and factors involved in causing the recession, but it can be argued that most of the blame should rest on Wall Street. What I have to ask myself is, are these protesters justified in their anger? To a certain extent, their anger is justifiable. The crisis caused by problems in the financial sector and its involvement in the housing markets had cost many Americans their jobs. Even though it was due to the excessively risky practices of these institutions that led to their own downfall, they were not the ones who suffered for it. The government intervened, and saved many of them from bankruptcy, even though some of them like Lehman Brothers did go bankrupt. While the whole situation seemed unfair,  i believe that many of the protesters are just protesting without fully understanding the role Wall Street had played. I think a lot of them are just protesting because they are just angry and need to pick someone to mount this anger against. On that note, i guess Wall Street does make the best candidate. What all of this reflects is this growing separation between the very rich, and the rest of us. As seen in the 2010 poverty report, we can see how the middle class in America is slowly disappearing and being slowly replaced by just a poor and rich class. If things don’t get better soon, this class conflict will only increase until eventually something drastic will happen. What that may be, I can’t say.    

Joseph Antony

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