Occupy Wall Street

https://occupywallst.org/article/A-Message-From-O…

Day 8 - The Over Hype of the Century

So these clowns are complaining of "the man" violating their rights and all. I mean they have been protesting for 8 days, which is 8 days longer than Syria or Iran would deal with. They piss and moan about being "caged in" yet fail to realize that peaceful protesting doesn't mean blocking the sidewalk in a busy part of town and forcing people to walk in the street and endanger themselves.

Police stopped them from protesting into another area which they didn't have a permit for. I guess they equate protesting with violating other peoples rights. A few got maced, as compared to shot as in the middle east.

End of the day these guys are clowns. You really never realize that society is separated until you see clueless people protesting something they don't really understand and then complain that police try and force them to respect other people (which they clearly do not).

Why is it that socialism only benefits the people who put the least effort in life and punishes those who put the most effort in? Why do we worry about the underachievers at the expense of those who achieve? Why am I not seeing hard working Americans who have lost their jobs, who have lost their houses, etc protesting? Instead I see young kids with god knows what kind of educational background complaining?

Go long mace and cattle prods.

 

so all of wall street's current practices are ok? (outright fraud, mismanagement of risk at US taxpayers expense, etc)

I think this is what they are protesting.....

And if this bothers you, this is just the beginning of civil unrest in the US. Just wait till people loose everything in their 401k.

Why aren't you seeing hardworking American's who have lost their jobs etc, protesting? because they are too busy looking for work, or working some shitty job to provide for their families.

Why do you see young kids with "god knows what kind of educational background" ( I really cant see how you can assume that) protesting? well its because they cant find a fucking job and they have nothing else to do.

Really ANT, respect, but I find your post quite naive.....

 
mfoste1:
so all of wall street's current practices are ok? (outright fraud, mismanagement of risk at US taxpayers expense, etc)

I think this is what they are protesting.....

Are you sure those are the reasons they're protesting, and not the reasons you'd find legitimate? Watched a few of the protesters get interviewed, and none of them said anything coherent, or even pointed out a specific problem/issue.
 
mfoste1:

And if this bothers you, this is just the beginning of civil unrest in the US. Just wait till people loose everything in their 401k.

Retirement is a privileged, not a right. Besides, this is a rather extreme view of the future of our country.

Solid post, ANT. Agree with most of what you said. Would give a SB if I weren't a cheap bastard.

 
STorIB:

Retirement is a privileged, not a right.

Ok ass, let's see you working at wal-mart at the age of 75, and then tell me this. your lack of compassion is frightening, frankly.

trust me, i came from a country at a time when the governemnt had this view and i remember seeing crippled, old women going to the dump to look for food and clothing. you think you're in a place where you won't have to worry about retirement in a few decades, but trust me if the banking sector (and govt. regulators) fuck up again as royally as they did a few years ago, we'll all be trying to figure out how to save our asses. but honestly in the meantime, read a fucking vonnegut book to get a little perspective.

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.
 

Here's my issue with all of this blame aimed at wall street for the current state of the economy. American's are at large very ignorant about the real way capitalism works and honestly I dot think they want to know it just needs to work. Well right now it isn't working, that's all we know so let's blame the people who we feel have the most money or power (wall street/ government).

I've not yet heard any decent suggestions on alternatives from this lot, but I have one. What if Americans lived within their means, started new innovative small businesses and decided they wouldn't purchase foreign goods/services until their situation was sorted.

What if Americans rebuilt America themselves with real balls, real sweat, and real resolve as opposed to relying on theoretical government plans. But they don't want to, because they have become the spoiled brats of this world. They want something for nothing and they'll get what they paid for.

 
jktecon:
Here's my issue with all of this blame aimed at wall street for the current state of the economy. American's are at large very ignorant about the real way capitalism works and honestly I dot think they want to know it just needs to work. Well right now it isn't working, that's all we know so let's blame the people who we feel have the most money or power (wall street/ government).

I've not yet heard any decent suggestions on alternatives from this lot, but I have one. What if Americans lived within their means, started new innovative small businesses and decided they wouldn't purchase foreign goods/services until their situation was sorted.

What if Americans rebuilt America themselves with real balls, real sweat, and real resolve as opposed to relying on theoretical government plans. But they don't want to, because they have become the spoiled brats of this world. They want something for nothing and they'll get what they paid for.

I'm sure they would..as soon as they got jobs

 

Well your in for the society that your expectations warrant. Jobs are a luxury if they are provided by someone else and Americans aren't worth the price they demand.

As a result they won't get jobs because they still haven't taken in the concept that businesses are for profit entities. Enjoy it because I'm sure the majority of the population shares your beliefs. Sometimes people say America has no culture; I think there is: it's ignorance, the society as it stands relies and thrives on it.

You came up with a great solution though, just get jobs, I'll notify Obama.

 

So a few banks make all of Wall Street guilty? Cost for tax payers? You must be talking about Freddie and Fannie since all the other banks paid back TARP. Yeah, the US govt stepped in and played Mr. Liquidity. We could do the free market vs. government intervention argument, but at the end of the day the big banks returned the money and with interest.

These kids can't find jobs? Work at Walmart or something. Join the Peace Corps/Americorps. Join the military. I didn't realize that this was the first bad economy. I mean we have never had a bad economy since the great depression.

I have ZERO issue with people protesting. This is America and that is what it is all about. I absolutely disagree with these people and think they are either uneducated of immature. With that said, they have the right to be poor morons and I support their right.

What I DO NOT support it a protest in a very busy, business center that pushed people into the street or inhibits day to day business. This is a protest based on subjective beliefs. It should not endanger people going about their normal business. It should not impede day to day business.

Freedom is free until you violate someone elses rights and freedom. From what I saw these people were getting tired of being back of the bus at their park and no one was paying attention to this protest so they decided to move it or try and block the sidewalk/business area. Can't do that. When the police "caged" them in so they were not blocking the side walk things got messy.

Maybe the police overreacted, maybe they didn't. I don't know. I am more than happy to condemn the police once I find out the whole story.

Also, to say that evil corporations control America is to be against every person who works for those evil corporations. My dad works for a corporation and my parents mortgages is paid through this salary. Millions of Americans are employed. If these kids think Europe is any better they should open their eyes. The unemployment we have been experiencing has been common place in Europe. Companies don't hire because they can never fire people. There is so much government interference that Europe has become an arthritic economy.

When you talk about global economy influences you talk about China, India, the USA, Brazil, etc. Places with growth. Europe is just chillin' , living the good life, not really hungry. Unfortunately the trust fund is ending and the world has moved on.

These protesters have no understanding of basic economics, how wealth is created or how to actually make a change. Bunch of kids who don't want to be productive members of society and think they are changing something. Nothing warms my heart than to think of these fools getting maced while I sit in my luxury apt and polish my Italian shoes.

Let them eat cake.

 

I agree with above. You are entitled to nothing in this world. How many children come down with cancer and die before then can truly start living. These kids suck it up and soldier on while little cunts protest wall street because they can't get enough kick backs.

This country is going to shit because we have allowed the weak to take control.

I had some scumbag tell me to buy him something today. I ignored him like I ignore most of the bums in this city, but I couldn't help but be shocked that someone on the street would tell ME to buy him something. This guy was probably getting laid and drunk while I was working full time and going to school. Now that he has realize the error of his ways he wants ME to take care of him.

Ever since I was a little kid, everyone and everything has told me that getting and education is the most important thing someone can do. Everyone has told me that hard work is what you have to do. I grew up with people who would be seriously fucked up and still go to work. My dad hasn't taken a vacation in 15 years. My mom worked full time, with kids and went to school.

Some people don't have the fire inside to succeed. Nature needs to take its course.

Buy me something. Mother fucker. Can you believe that entitled Obama supporter!

 

I have empathy for the crippled guy living on the street. I have empathy for the Indian kid living in a gutter. I have empathy for the kid in Africa that watched his parents die of AIDS. I have empathy for sick kids who can't make it to 18.

I have NO empathy for grown, healthy American's who expect others to take care of them.

 

Exactly. It seriously angers me when I see people younger than me (~23) begging me for money and when I refuse, cuss me out. I have no respect for them.

We live in the richest country in the world, which grants us many opportunities. People in "third world" countries would kill for such chances. It is depressing that most will never be able to get in but that is why there are some excellent charities that do manage to make an impact with the truly impoverished.

Instead of sitting around whining out of laziness, it really is out duty to make sure we are doing everything possible to take advantage of what is in front of us.

 

I've said it so many times before, when I look at recent immigrants I see real Americans. American's need to be deported to 3rd world countries to get a true taste of what disadvantaged truly is.

It's cool though. The BB sale will cheer me up. I feel bad for those who cannot afford the slim fit non irons. Such a travesty.

 
ANT:

Why is it that socialism only benefits the people who put the least effort in life and punishes those who put the most effort in? Why do we worry about the underachievers at the expense of those who achieve? Why am I not seeing hard working Americans who have lost their jobs, who have lost their houses, etc protesting? Instead I see young kids with god knows what kind of educational background complaining?

Go long mace and cattle prods.

You're right, the banks never benefitted from socialism. Oh wait, they were bailed out to the tune of $1 trillion+ within the last three years. TARP, TALF, Fed lending programs, etc.

Not even saying I'm agreeing with these people (I imagine that most of them don't understand the details of all of the bailouts and the financial crisis at large), but still. Let's not act like these random fucking dudes are a bunch of lazy socialists after the banks benefitted from the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world.

 

TARP was repaid with a profit. The Fed is still in the hole with Freddie and Fannie and GM. I think AIG will end up break even. Many of the banks that were FORCED to take aid didn't even need it.

If you want to have scorn for the financial community, fine, but at least limit to the banks that needed the bailouts.

 
ANT:
TARP was repaid with a profit. The Fed is still in the hole with Freddie and Fannie and GM. I think AIG will end up break even. Many of the banks that were FORCED to take aid didn't even need it.

If you want to have scorn for the financial community, fine, but at least limit to the banks that needed the bailouts.

Again, TARP was not the only program. The Fed was lending at virtually 0% interest rates to every bank on Earth (essentially) and even non-banking companies with finance arms. TARP was paid back "with interest" because the entire deck was stacked in the banks' favor. It isn't like the pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. As much as you might like to frame it that way, that's not reality.

And regardless, the crux of your response is basically "socialism is ok when it's for the banks and AIG." I understand that it's easier to say "durr lazy people bad! banks good!" because you worked oh-so-hard to get a big bad banking job (or whatever the fuck it is that you do) than it is to look at things honestly, but it's really tiresome and makes you look like a buffoon.

 

Honestly dude, right now I wish the banks would of failed. This country would of been crippled and the "people" would of gotten exactly what they deserve.

Lending at 0% interest? Big deal. The Fed was a liquidity provider of last resort. The financial sector is the heart of the economy and allowing it to collapse because of a liquidity crisis is most likely not going to benefit everyone.

You are right TheKing. The bailouts are what have bankrupted this country. Has nothing to do with social spending or government waste. Also, I am sure every socialist in this country appreciates how you give the people who over extended or who over spent a free pass.

Please OH please, provide me the names of the bankers who tied up hard working Americans, put guns to their heads and forced them to cash out equity or over extend themselves. Please help me find these criminals who FORCED people to buy 2 H2's and a couple LCD's.

A lot of people were to blame, individuals, the government and banks. Blaming the financial sector is a cop out.

FYI, I am not the buffoon in this conversation.

 
ANT:
Honestly dude, right now I wish the banks would of failed. This country would of been crippled and the "people" would of gotten exactly what they deserve.

Lending at 0% interest? Big deal. The Fed was a liquidity provider of last resort. The financial sector is the heart of the economy and allowing it to collapse because of a liquidity crisis is most likely not going to benefit everyone.

You are right TheKing. The bailouts are what have bankrupted this country. Has nothing to do with social spending or government waste. Also, I am sure every socialist in this country appreciates how you give the people who over extended or who over spent a free pass.

Please OH please, provide me the names of the bankers who tied up hard working Americans, put guns to their heads and forced them to cash out equity or over extend themselves. Please help me find these criminals who FORCED people to buy 2 H2's and a couple LCD's.

A lot of people were to blame, individuals, the government and banks. Blaming the financial sector is a cop out.

FYI, I am not the buffoon in this conversation.

Many parties are at fault, I've said that forever. I'm just saying that it's ridiculous for you to complain about socialism in the context of the banks. I blame the lending houses and banks above all else because they failed in their fiduciary responsibilities and CDOs and CDS took a big problem and made it exponentially worse. And then...they were bailed out for it.

The government played a role via Freddie and Fannie and, yes, changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, thanks to dickheads like Bob Rubin and friends in the late 1990s / early 2000. But, let's not act like the lenders aren't majorly at fault for knowingly selling shitty products to major credit risks to drive short-term growth. And let's not act like the banks didn't go and create CDOs, CDO^2s, and CDS that helped crater the global economy.

And even if you want to take your position, which is essentially saying "we had to bail them out to save everything." Even if you want to really take that position, to then call other people socialist is mind boggling. At least be honest and say "I think some socialism is better than other forms of it!"

 

Socialism is not a one time event. I don't understand how saving the country from financial collapse = socialism.

I think the banks should of been winded down or broken up, etc. I also think this is the time of the true investment bank, the middle market firm, boutique, etc. We can happily debate that issue. But to say that I support socialism in one circumstance and not another is grossly overstating my opinion.

Ok, maybe I will boil my point down further. These kids are protesting the banks and the bail outs without realizing that a strong financial sector is fundamentally important for a nation. The financial community provides financing for large and small businesses, employees millions, provides ample taxes for the cities that house these communities and helps to create value. Millions of Americans are invested in the market and depend on dividends, etc.

Also, for a lot of firms, the issue wasn't needing a bailout, but the liquidity in the market. AIG simply could not liquidate assets fast enough to provide the needed capital. Many banks were fine, but there was a domino effect and people started making runs on healthy banks.

The bailout was bullshit and a handful of institutions fucked up. If these "protesters" were focusing Freddie, Fannie and AIG, I would have even less of an issue. JPM didn't need it. Wells Fargo didn't. Many of the other banks in FiDi didn't.

IMO, these kids are more against bankers and the perception of greed. You, me, everyone should be worried that this idea that some people make too much and that someone else should decide our (respectively) salaries terrifies me.

People who hate WS only see the paycheck, they don't see the work that went into getting that job and keeping it.

 
ANT:
Socialism is not a one time event. I don't understand how saving the country from financial collapse = socialism.

Subsidizing losses to the tune of $1 trillion+ is socialism. You can call it whatever you want, but it's still socialism. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...it's a duck.

ANT:
I think the banks should of been winded down or broken up, etc. I also think this is the time of the true investment bank, the middle market firm, boutique, etc. We can happily debate that issue. But to say that I support socialism in one circumstance and not another is grossly overstating my opinion.

I agree with the first sentence here, big time. I take it further, however, and say that it still needs to be done. Bring back Glass-Steagall, get rid of too big to fail forever so bank failures can't destroy the world. As to the rest of what you said here, if it's the time of the true investment bank, let's make it clear by breaking them up.

ANT:
Ok, maybe I will boil my point down further. These kids are protesting the banks and the bail outs without realizing that a strong financial sector is fundamentally important for a nation. The financial community provides financing for large and small businesses, employees millions, provides ample taxes for the cities that house these communities and helps to create value. Millions of Americans are invested in the market and depend on dividends, etc.

I agree that a strong financial sector is necessary, a good system of commercial and investment banks acting responsibly and not acting as giant casinos would give us that. Nothing wrong with protesting so-called banks that helped drive the growth of a housing super-bubble via complex derivatives and silly lending practices which were put in place to "drive growth" and "gain market share." Yes, the government meddled in housing and that's simply wrong, but you can actually read company documents from WaMu and internal emails from WaMu execs that explain the conscious effort to shift from safe mortgage products to "high margin" (high risk) products (i.e. liar loans.) They did this because it fueled their bonuses and stock price and because they could simply pass the shitty loans to the big banks. The banks then packaged them into "investment grade" derivative securities and then passed them on to investment funds that needed to hold investment grade securities. It was a giant game of hot potato that was driven in large part by the banks at the top creating these highly rated, high yielding securities that needed new mortgages to be created...but I digress, I've said this too many times before and it falls on deaf ears.

ANT:
Also, for a lot of firms, the issue wasn't needing a bailout, but the liquidity in the market. AIG simply could not liquidate assets fast enough to provide the needed capital. Many banks were fine, but there was a domino effect and people started making runs on healthy banks.

The bailout was bullshit and a handful of institutions fucked up. If these "protesters" were focusing Freddie, Fannie and AIG, I would have even less of an issue. JPM didn't need it. Wells Fargo didn't. Many of the other banks in FiDi didn't.

I wouldn't say that "many banks were fine." JP Morgan was arguably the only major global bank that was truly "fine." Also, I'm pretty sure that "AIG could not liquidate its assets fast enough to provide the needed capital" is the understatement of the decade. It's also a bit misleading because AIG wrote naked CDS to the point where it took over $100 billion just to keep them afloat. And again, without the banks' CDO/CDO^2 money machine, there is no way that AIG would have even been able to have done that. The level of irresponsibility was absurd on almost every level and the number of people who are honest about the causes and necessary cures for what happened can be counted on one or two hands. It's truly disgusting.

ANT:
IMO, these kids are more against bankers and the perception of greed. You, me, everyone should be worried that this idea that some people make too much and that someone else should decide our (respectively) salaries terrifies me.

You're projecting what you want to believe on these people. No one is going to be dictating our pay anytime soon. Just not going to happen. And insatiable greed can be a bad thing (as we see in retrospect looking at what wall street and speculators in the housing market did from 2002 - 2007.)

ANT:
People who hate WS only see the paycheck, they don't see the work that went into getting that job and keeping it.

Please spare the white whine. "I worked hard! It's not fair!" I'm sure you worked hard, I work hard, too, as do a fuck ton of people on this forum and in the country at large. Hard work doesn't excuse shitbag irresponsible behavior on the part of the big banks, the sub-prime lending houses, the government, and society at large.

 

Seems like these guys are about three years late, it's over. The only thing the protest has accomplished, as far as I'm concerned, is making me 1.5 minutes later for work in the morning because I have to walk around the area that's fenced off. If someone wants to be a dirty hippie, fine, but don't make it my problem.

Do I DESPISE when peope on Wall Street say things like "fuck the poor" and "eat the poor".....yeah. I do. People saying this sound like a bunch of fucking jerkoffs who deserve to have the gov't take over their shit ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that they ran things into the ground a few years ago....Wall Street bought this on itself.

I'm just being honest because I stand nothing to gain or lose chugging the koolaid.

However, in the big picture, there's plenty of jobs...I've NEVER had a problem finding a way to make a buck, all it requires is shutting the hell up and getting to work. Years ago I got laid off from my nice cushy office job and guess what, I started working behind a bar TO GET PAID...did I fucking hate it? Yes. But I paid my bills while earning a living.

Listen, there's a shortage of high paying jobs w/ benefits right now, and that sucks for sure, but a few dozen people camping out does nothing to change this. The economy goes up, and it goes down, and the only thing you can do is be smart, plan ahead, and make an effort. kvetching about things can help blow off steam, but it does nothing to 'change' anything.

Coming from a guy with center left sympathies: Hippies, shut up and get to work.

Get busy living
 
UFOinsider:
Seems like these guys are about three years late, it's over. The only thing the protest has accomplished, as far as I'm concerned, is making me 1.5 minutes later for work in the morning because I have to walk around the area that's fenced off. If someone wants to be a dirty hippie, fine, but don't make it my problem.

Do I DESPISE when peope on Wall Street say things like "fuck the poor" and "eat the poor".....yeah. I do. People saying this sound like a bunch of fucking jerkoffs who deserve to have the gov't take over their shit ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that they ran things into the ground a few years ago....Wall Street bought this on itself.

I'm just being honest because I stand nothing to gain or lose chugging the koolaid.

However, in the big picture, there's plenty of jobs...I've NEVER had a problem finding a way to make a buck, all it requires is shutting the hell up and getting to work. Years ago I got laid off from my nice cushy office job and guess what, I started working behind a bar TO GET PAID...did I fucking hate it? Yes. But I paid my bills while earning a living.

Listen, there's a shortage of high paying jobs w/ benefits right now, and that sucks for sure, but a few dozen people camping out does nothing to change this. The economy goes up, and it goes down, and the only thing you can do is be smart, plan ahead, and make an effort. kvetching about things can help blow off steam, but it does nothing to 'change' anything.

Coming from a guy with center left sympathies: Hippies, shut up and get to work.

Great post, coming from the same part of the political spectrum.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."
 

Retirement is in no way a right. Period. End of discussion. Speech, assembly, etc. those are rights. Retirement is privilege.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
 

1.) Have to give credit to conservatives who know how to throw a relatively calm protest. Juxtapose this with G-8 protesters in London throwing paint at bankers. 2.) The protesters do have a point. If you want the bail-out, you have to accept the regulation that comes with it. If you don't want the regulation, don't take the bail-out. 3.) This country's wealth is less evenly divided than any time in the 20th century. We need to figure out a way to change that trend in a way that's consistent with a Capitalist society.

So in some ways, I agree with ANT about the protests, but the fact is that part of what makes this country great is the middle-class. For the first 125 years of our history, we were able to boost the middle-class by giving away land out West. For the past 100 years, we've boosted the middle-class through wealth redistribution. Now the middle-class is beginning to shrink.

At the same time, over the past 30 years, we've seen a huge concentration of market cap in a small number of oil companies, railroads, banks, consumer product firms, even retailers. As GINI coefficients have gone up, the Herfindahl index has followed. We have become a more corporate, more stratified, less individualistic society over the past thirty years. And while that's come with the benefit of economic freedom, I think it should make a lot of libertarians sad; it sure makes me sad. The bail-outs- passed without serious regulations- were probably the worst part in all of this- we bailed out a bunch of large banks, brought the country deeper into debt, and helped the rich stay rich.

 
IlliniProgrammer:
3.) This country's wealth is less evenly divided than any time in the 20th century. We need to figure out a way to change that trend in a way that's consistent with a Capitalist society.

This claim is utterly false, not that there is a solid definition for a "middle class." I've seen ranges from $15,000 - 49,999 or $35,000 - 75,000, but no matter how you define it, the "shrink" has been talked about for the past 35 years and it hasn't happened the way economists and sociologists predicted. The income bracket above the various definitions of middle class have been growing.

IlliniProgrammer:
So in some ways, I agree with ANT about the protests, but the fact is that part of what makes this country great is the middle-class. For the first 125 years of our history, we were able to boost the middle-class by giving away land out West. For the past 100 years, we've boosted the middle-class through wealth redistribution. Now the middle-class is beginning to shrink.
Why would a middle class make this country great? Wouldn't it be better if we were all "upper" class citizens? For the past 125 years, we were able to boost the general wealth of the population through deregulation, innovation and free enterprise. Already addressed your regurgitated last sentence.
IlliniProgrammer:
At the same time, over the past 30 years, we've seen a huge concentration of market cap in a small number of oil companies, railroads, banks, consumer product firms, even retailers. As GINI coefficients have gone up, the Herfindahl index has followed. We have become a more corporate, more stratified, less individualistic society over the past thirty years.

Both GINI and Herfindalh statistics are based on arbitrary math. True monopolies in this country have been brought down by innovation and entrepreneurship, not government intervention and bureaucratic decision making.

Does anyone bother to do independent reading and research or are we all listening to Arianna Huffington, MSNBC and Fox News? Do a damn google search. And try to click on links that aren't obviously biased.

 
STorIB:
This claim is utterly false, not that there is a solid definition for a "middle class." I've seen ranges from $15,000 - 49,999 or $35,000 - 75,000, but no matter how you define it, the "shrink" has been talked about for the past 35 years and it hasn't happened the way economists and sociologists predicted. The income bracket above the various definitions of middle class have been growing.
That's true. It hasn't turned out as dire as some of the predictions by the left in the early 1980s. Part of that reason was deficit spending- we kept the programs going and borrowed to pay for them.
IlliniProgrammer:
Why would a middle class make this country great? Wouldn't it be better if we were all "upper" class citizens? For the past 125 years, we were able to boost the general wealth of the population through deregulation, innovation and free enterprise. Already addressed your regurgitated last sentence.
Actually it would most likely be an environmental disaster. There's a hard geological limit, at least given the technology we've had over the past 50 years, to how much wealth this country can have. At least some of the regulations we have that keep the pool of rich people smaller is also regulations that keep our air safe to breathe and our tapwater safe to drink. Other environmental regulations ensure the sustainability of the size of the economic pie we have to split up. And of course there are other very basic regulations that we take for granted which allow us to not have to worry about our jobs killing us, employees looting the companies we hold stock in, and the like.
IlliniProgrammer:
Both GINI and Herfindalh statistics are based on arbitrary math. True monopolies in this country have been brought down by innovation and entrepreneurship, not government intervention and bureaucratic decision making.
Not really. There are currently only four major telecom companies left after the Ma Bell breakup produced ~12, and now they are trying to merge them down to three. In 1975, there were over 100 Class I railroads. Today there are 4 1/2.

Imagine trying to start up a new railroad or telecom firm today. Your competition has billions in capital to crush your business before it even gets off the ground. The concentration of business in this country deters entrepreneurship and we need to figure out how to reduce that concentration in a way that's consistent with Capitalism.

 

I fail to see how the middle class has been destroyed. More people have a college education and are making more money. Unskilled manufacturing has died, but it has been dying for 30-40 years now. Semi skilled and skilled manufacturing is actually growing and hurting for people. Sorry that you can't flub through high school and make 50k a year.

I grew up in the 80's and 90's. Everyone told me that you had to go to college or learn a skill/trade. Never once did I think I could stand in place and put a part together and make a good living.

Wealth is simply assets - liabilities. This is how immigrants get rich. They pay cash for everything, work like slaves and beat their kids if they get A-'s. Unfortunately in the USA, the second you get shit out you expect the world on a platter.

Sorry people, the world has gotten more competitive.

The Va-gini coefficient is worthless. There is so much opportunity out there, so much money to be made. If you are too lazy or too blind to do it, you never deserved it to begin with.

 

Illini, you are right. Starting a railroad or telecom business is impossible. We also enjoy cheap cell phones and rail travel. Starting an internet business is dirt cheap. The internet has made entrepreneurship available to everyone. Look at Ebay, Amazon, etc. All the ways you can sell your goods and services.

Knowledge is free and plentiful. You can take MIT classes for free. You can access all the worlds info with a $10.00 per month dial up.

Back in the 1920's I could see the argument being made about the rich holding the poor down. Not today. Laziness holds them down. The tools and mechanisms for wealth are out there. Take them and run with them.

 

Only three/four major telecomm companies? Sure, but what about substitute products? Right now there are 17.6 million users on Skype. These users can place telephone calls to anywhere in the world for either free or ridiculously cheaper than a landline or a cell phone...

Personally, I think it isn't fair to compare one class of people to another class. While the middle class may be declining in number or generating less income than previously, their quality of life continues to improve substantially, both relative to the prior generation of middle class folks and to foreigners. A middle class salary affords you a home, computers, cell phones, TVs, you name it. The middle class should stop complaining that the wealthy have a lot of money and start realizing that the rising tide is lifting all the ships.

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Agree with above. We don't live in a world of finite wealth. What someone else has means nothing to you. My income is not greater or less than because someone else makes more.

It boils down to jealousy or some childish concept of fairness.