How valid are the comments regarding the "system" deliberately and systemically fucking over the general population? See below for one of the top comments from the thread.
There was never a point at which "the stock market" as we know it wasn't a playground for the super-wealthy. There has never been a point at which derivatives weren't used to corner markets, and there has never been a point at which speculation didn't create asset bubbles that imperiled working people.
People who work on Wall Street, or wish they did, always argue that what they do is essential to the economy--that optionssupplies necessary liquidity, for example. They use confusing jargon that they don't even understand to obscure the reality that there is no more proof of this than there is for trickle-down economics. It is a fucking dogma.
On the other hand, there is proof that the maniacal trade of complex financial instruments by a wealthy and irresponsible few can--and has, and will--destabilize the economy and lead to catastrophe for the rest of us. Prior to the Great Recession, the insurance market for mortgage-backed securities was 20X the size of the housing market itself. And when the bubble burst, $5 trillion disappeared from regular people's balance sheets--pensions, retirement funds, home values. All because of a few thousand people working on Wall Street who believed (correctly, as it turns out) that they would never have the pay personally for the risks they were taking.
We need a fundamental shift in the way we think about risk management in our economy, because right now, the incentives are rotten to the core. A wealth tax might be a good idea for other reasons, and I favor it, but it will not address the basic problems with our financial markets.