Occupy Wall Street – The Beginning of the End?

Despite the mainstream media’s lack of attention when the OWS protest first started they have been forced to report on it recently simply because of its size and the fact that it’s now spread across the country and overseas.  Despite the fact that many reports I’ve read poke fun at the fact that the movement is not centrally organized with one central point, or points, it continues to grow in size and popularity.  And despite what you read about the protest, by most accounts it’s a peaceful demonstration, at least in NYC.  Check out this great post at The Burning Platform about a first hand visit to the city.  The protestors aren’t just young hippies rebelling against the system, it’s a broad cross section of the population out there telling the corporate world that we’re tired of the kleptocracy that our nation is becoming.

I’ve got nothing against banks making a profit, but when they’re sucking the last of the money out of people who simply can’t afford it anymore to give themselves fat paychecks.  The money they make on Wall Street is just crazy when you see the numbers:

Despite that, Goldman still allocated $10 billion in the first three quarters of 2011, to compensation expenses.

That works out to an average of about $292,000 for each of Goldman’s workers. A year ago, Goldman set aside approximately $13 billion for its staff. That amounted to more than $370,000 per Goldman employee.

I realize that this is an average number, but I’d be willing to bet that the lion’s share of people at GS won’t make $292,000 this year.  I’d also be willing to bet that the CEO and other top executives are bringing home stupid money.

According to this story the poor guy (Lloyd Blankfein)won’t be making quite that much this year, but I still find it hard to feel sorry for him.

Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, saw his 2010 compensation rise to $14.1 million from just over $1 million in 2009, according to an Associated Press analysis of data filed with regulators on Friday.

Is it any wonder people are mad?  The (official) unemployment rate is still around 9.1%, yet the people who caused the housing mess and subsequent market crash with their dubious financial instruments (CDOs and the like) are making money off the funds we used to bail them out with.  People should be mad in my opinion.

Greed

But – the citizens of the United States and Europe aren’t without blame either.

The whole mess can be laid at the alter of greed.  People wanted more things and the banks were happy to help them get their stuff –  for a percentage of course.  And the government was happy because the economy continued to grow because debt is the grease that makes everything go round and round.  Big houses, big cars, big TV sets, tiny computers, smart phones, iPods, vacations, cruises, and so forth and so on, and all of it put on credit cards.

With this attitude it was inevitable.

I think the reason for the outrage is that big companies just did it better than everybody else and have made screwing the people out of their money a career that they happen to excel at.

Most preppers understand how valuable it is to live within your means and have taken steps to cut debt and get ahead on supplies that will help them stay above water when the trouble starts.  I hope that if you aren’t out of debt that you’re working on it and I wish you success in your endeavor.

I’m sure some of you will agree with me and I’m also sure others will be saying, “Jarhead.  Are you off your freakin’ tree?”  Maybe, but I’ll let my brothers-in-arms speak for me.

Sound off in the comments.  Let me know what you think.

 

-Jarhead Survivor