What is the message that the Wall Street Protestors are trying to send?
The Protestors have not voiced a consensus of thought or a focus that lends credible evidence for a valid uprising. Put aside their cosmetic, fashion and behavioral preferences, and I would speculate that their undefined mission may include several diverse arenas of concern and perhaps, a few may have merit.
First, their frustration for the limited accountability for those financial manipulators on Wall Street, the greedy Corporate Executives scheming to fill their pockets and egos; and our Government officials who have lied and benefited from those lies. Most of us can support this cause.
Second, the protestors personal feelings of despair due to the lengthy economic down turn make them believe that they are entitled to welfare. These feelings border on a Socialist Society that is not a part of our historical democratic and capitalistic success. However, I support government “entitlements” that are given to people as a hand up not a hand out. Those who prey on government handouts live a life free of personal responsibility. The hand out mentality is not acceptable because it is a parasite on the backs of those individuals who have made the personal sacrifices it takes to prepare them and find the opportunities afforded to all.
Therefore it seems that one message the Wall Street Protestors need to deliver is that the Corporate Boards of Director’s should be held accountable for the unconscionable bonuses given to its corporate officers and executives. The key and operative words are: unconscionable bonuses. Those that enhance a firm’s bottom line should be rewarded; but multi-millions of dollars in bonuses and stock options do not appear to be based on merit alone but rather a status symbol: my bonus was bigger than your bonus.
One solution for the excess compensation falls on the stockholders who should fire the corporate board of directors and the executives who create these bonus plans and parachute contracts. Rightfully, the stockholders are entitled to the profits, after rational executive rewards. Remember, it is the stockholders that own the corporation; and it is the stockholders who take the risk of their capital that funds these corporations and they should not permit the insane rewards.
In the arena of protest of limited accountability, The Wall Street Protestors need to move on to the Federal Government who regulates the operation and tax structure that inhibits corporate growth within the USA and therefore, jobs. We need a rational Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that protects people, not lizards in Texas, and a need for a decisive Energy Department, unlike the one that spent decades studying energy solutions with little results. These policy changes will go a long way in creating jobs and mitigate the feelings of despair of the Protestors.
In a website commentary, Suze Orman wrote about the Protestors:
“………To deride the movement because it has yet to formulate a well-delineated platform says plenty more about the critics than the protestors. Revolutions tend to be messy, especially in the early going. The unholy alliance of much of Congress, K Street and Wall Street that has set the agenda from day one of the financial crisis is simply trying to protect its turf by casting aspersions on the ad hoc nature of the movement to date……….”
The Government, at all levels, should limit its stifling regulations and get involved when a reasonable regulation or a law has been broken. Unfortunately, the Government has failed too often to do due diligence without political prejudice to bring those violators to justice.
Far too many Government officials have not been held accountable for the blatant lies to its citizens, the alliances to the lobbyists and to those corporations that donate to their election campaign. Two Presidential debaters surprisingly and refreshingly called for several prominent Congressional figures to be “jailed” for past infringements of the law. I support that view, as justice needed and past due; but I am afraid political ties prevent that from occurring. Oversight committees with their political associations have failed so often in its duty to keep things on the up and up.
The lesson seems far too simple for some to comprehend. Full accountability and personal responsibility, limited government controls but with some government hand up assistance where the need is warranted could keep this country great!
So if any of the above solutions appear on the horizon then the Wall Street Protestors will have succeeded in their disjointed mission.