Why are the Occupy-ers upset? Their complaints are many, their solutions are few. But a recent NY Times column by the normally dry-as-dust Floyd Norris summed it up nicely.
“For companies, these are boom times. For workers, the opposite is true.”
Within the article are a series of graphs that paint a clear picture; it’s a great time to be a corporation, especially a big one. Not so for almost everyone else.
The graphs also showed that effective tax rates, both corporate and personal, are well below where they were during most of the past 50 years.
So again, beyond any doubt the rich are getting richer while everyone else treads water. Or worse. And yet so many of my fellow one-percenters are whining about “class warfare” being waged by Obama. The class warfare, if such a thing exists in the U.S., is built into the system. (I’ll have more to say on this topic in a later post.)
And speaking of my fellow Wall Street insiders (which I’m not really), I’m happy to report that a few agree with me that the system is dangerously unbalanced. Here’s an article that shows that yes, some insiders “get it.”
Reporter Jesse Eisinger interviewed a few enlightened insiders and gives us some of the best lines written about both the financial collapse and the (non)reaction to it. He presents the problem in a nutshell …
Wall Street is already occupied — from within.
The insiders have a critique similar to that of the outsiders. The financial industry has strayed far from being an intermediary between companies that want to raise capital so they can sell people things they want. Instead, it is a machine to enrich itself, fleecing customers and widening income inequality. When it goes off the rails, it impoverishes the rest of us. When the crises come, as they inevitably do, banks hold the economy hostage, warning that they will shoot us in the head if we don’t bail them out.
I would love to hear from anyone who disagrees with those damning words.