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Occupy Wall Street Discussion

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Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began in 2011 in Manhattan's Financial District. The movement has spread to over 100 cities in the U.S. and over 1,500 cities worldwide. The movement was created to fight back against the power that is held by major banks and multinational corporations, and the role that Wall Street has had in creating an economic collapse.

Occupy Wall Street believes that Wall Street has caused the greatest recession in generations. "The movement is to fight back against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future." Arguments for Occupy Wall Street include, Wall Street’s priorities have hurt workers and the middle class. Wall Street’s primary focus on "shareholder value" has undermined American workers and middle class by justifying cost-cutting measures to boost earnings. This cost cutting can be seen in foreign outsourcing, breaking apart unions, and eliminating benefits. Another argument for Occupy Wall Street is people believe Wall Street caused the financial crisis. Wall Street's want for more mortgages that they could then bundle into securities helped fuel the irresponsible lending that led to the financial crisis. The influence that Wall Street had on credit rating agencies caused the agencies to turn a blind eye to the huge risks that accompanied the securities backed by subprime loans. Wall Street was basically making over leveraged bets backed by assets and these bets served no economic productive purpose. Therefore, Occupy Wall Street believes the investment firms laid the groundwork for the global financial disaster. Occupy Wall Street's goal to bridge the gap between class income levels is a great sounding movement, but will we see change? 

It is easy to hate Wall Street because of movies and other things, but is it really their fault? The Occupy Wall Street movement’s anger is directed towards bankers, and investors that they feel are out to rob the poor and feed the rich. That is not the case. They are doing real work that holds together the global financial industry. Wall Street feels that the protestors are misunderstanding of what they do. Even if the majority of the U.S. accepted the message of the protestors, Congress would not act because of practicality. New financial transaction taxes or more regulation may not be good for the economy in the short-run. Many Democrats are even worried that such aggressive actions threaten the recovery. As the banking industry is fragile right now, the government is not likely to add on new fees and taxes just because a few thousand protesters are making noise. The last thing we need is another financial crisis.  



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