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Occupy Wall Street in New York, Essay Example

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Essay

Occupy Wall Street

Roughly two weeks ago, a group of protestors in New York City gradually moved down from New York University to Wall Street, their expressed purpose was to “occupy Wall Street.” After the march finished, with numerous protestors being arrested, a group of people (temporarily) settled in Liberty Square- to this day, they have not left.

There is no one clear answer to the question: What are the protestors protesting against?  The inevitable answer is every protestor inevitably has a problem or issue they believe is related to the economic downturn: lost employment, foreclosed properties, excessive debt, reduced standard of living, excessive and mind numbing boredom. Some of the protestors then tenuously connect to their problems to the problems of Wall Street, they inevitably believed that Wall Street caused the crisis without participation by other individuals.  A quick look at the “Occupy Wall Street” web site contains a laundry list of requests that include items related economic and social injustice: increased government spending on public works projects, jailing of Wall Street executive, a “living wage” for all Americans, a halt on all existing and future foreclosures (Occupy Wall Street Web Site, 2011).  This is certainly an interesting list of demands, but some of them inevitably those who made personal mistakes that simply dovetailed with the onset of the financial crisis.

Indeed, in understanding the current movement one must separate the rhetoric from the reality.  Politicians are largely responsible for the current anger directed at Wall Street: In the halcyon early days of the crisis, a Faustian bargain was offered to the American people.  If Washington bailed out Wall Street, the politicians argued, the benefits would inevitably trickle down to the average man on Main Street.  The putative benefits of this “grand bargain” never came to pass, and many individuals have not only failed to revive their previous standard of living, many have suffered through loss of unemployment and reduced earning prospects. While it is true that the bailout of Wall Street was never going to save Main Street, the behavior of Wall Street executives still seems out of step with the pain felt by the average American- particularly those who are currently “occupying” Wall Street.

Reference

Occupy Wall Street Website (2011).  Available at: http://occupywallst.org/.

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