Occupy Wall Street Failed
Occupy Wall Street was the response to the 2008 Financial Crisis. Americans had lost their jobs, homes and retirement savings. Why did the bankers not lose their jobs and their homes? Why did banks get bailed out but not the people?
The height of the movement was in 2011 when I had just moved to New York City. I would walk down to Zuccotti Park and listen to speeches, take pictures and try to learn what the protestors wanted. There were signs everywhere that had messages like:
J.P. Morgan Chase: Give Us Our Money Back! All $92.7 Billion!
A Job Is a Right! Capitalism Doesn’t Work!
1,000,000,000,000 in Student Loan Debt, Big Banks Stole Our Future!!
Wall Street Stole My Retirement Fund!
A couple weeks before OWS, I had finished reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. For the first time in my life, I could see the lines between Government — Media — Society — Business. The protestors were right to be mad, but they were wrong about who to blame….
Related Reading: Corporate Accountability is Over
Why Occupy Wall Street Failed
Occupy Wall Street blamed the Financial Crisis on the following:
- The 1%
- Bank executives
- Corporate executives (i.e., AIG)
Why would a bank turn down billions of dollars offered to them by the government? Mortgage brokers conned people to take out mortgages they couldn’t afford — but no one called the authorities? Why not? The protestors said Wall Street stole their retirement funds, but not one executive went to jail for theft?
Occupy Wall Street failed because they never figured out who to blame: The Government.
The biggest lie you’ve been told is that politicians represent the people. In reality, politicians work for corporations and special interest groups. Wall Street pays off politicians — but so does Silicon Valley, Big Pharma and dozens more special interest groups. Occupy Wall Street said that capitalism caused the crisis, but is there even capitalism in America? Our elected officials give special favors to certain companies in exchange for money. This is called corporatism, not capitalism, and THAT is why the authorities weren’t called and no one went to jail.
Occupy Wall Street could have used their spotlight to inform the public that mortgage brokers are mandated by the government to sell a certain number of mortgages each month. The program is called the Community Reinvestment Act and is designed to gentrify neighborhoods, support diversity, and limit discrimination. Moreover, Occupy Wall Street could have used their platform to tell the public the government is who approves all conforming mortgages. In other words, it is outrageous for someone making $15/hour to take out a $500k home mortgage…. but it’s even worse when you realize the government is who approved it. Highly recommend watching this:
Related Reading: What is Anarcho Capitalism?
Lessons from Occupy Wall Street
Not a single lesson was learned after Occupy Wall Street. It is only a matter of time before the next crash hits us and Wall Street gets bailed out again:
Americans Still Love Wall Street
The stock market has boomed since Occupy Wall Street. The same protestors who said Wall Street “stole” their retirement savings — are piling in to invest again. The average person doesn’t understand monetary policy, what impacts the markets, how to read a balance sheet or what they are invested in. So when the stock market crashes, they wrongly assume that Wall Street stole their money. Pathetic.
Related Reading: Is a 401k Worth It?
Americans Still Love Student Loans
In 2009, after the crisis, President Obama decided the government should lend directly to students and cut out the banks. This has directly led to a massive growth of student loan debt, and the imprisonment of young people forever. What is the point of protesting student loan debt if you’re going to turn around and take out even more student loans?
Related Reading: Cancel Student Debt. Now.
Americans Still Love Mortgages
Following the crisis, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to 0%. They wanted to help businesses and households borrow money and keep the economy afloat. To translate, the government wanted Americans to borrow money to buy things they didn’t need. It worked. People still think the 30-year mortgage is an amazing deal and they’ve borrowed billions of dollars to pay for it. How long will this last? When something is built on a house of cards, no one can be sure…
Why Occupy Wall Street Failed
Greasy mortgage brokers sat at the kitchen tables of illiterate, poor families and convinced them to sign the dotted line for a brand new home. It’s easy to say they are the bad guys — but humans have the capacity to be evil which is why we have systems in place to catch their behavior and kick them out. The name of that system is called the government. In the case of the 2008 Financial Crisis, the government failed to protect the people.
The best thing out of Occupy Wall Street was: WE ARE THE 99%. The public finally noticed that the global elite never suffers the consequences. They don’t suffer because they have the power. They have the power because we give it to them. The transfer of wealth in 2009 was massive. Trillions of dollars went from the Federal Reserve to the global elite, and not one penny to you. Fast forward to 2020: There was a massive transfer of wealth from the Federal Reserve to the global elite, and you got pennies. If you read this and still think expanding the role of government is a good thing — I beg you to reconsider. Wake up.