Older and more respectable (i.e. employed) lefties weren’t occupying Wall Street. Instead, they were smiling happily and fantasizing about the Revolution, or at least another great big wave of punitive regulation and taxation, as the young, the dumb, and the Bohemian took to the streets in Lower Manhattan to protest against Wall Street and the bankers.
Somebody gave those protesters the wrong address.
If they want to wave signs and shout slogans at the people really responsible for our economic problems, they ought to be protesting in front of the offices of their own educators, the same people who overcharged them and left them quite commonly without either wisdom or marketable skills, but buried in student loans.
Those protestors are typically college graduates, and there they are on the streets, bearing allegiance to political sentiments and theories alien to their own country’s fundamental values and traditions. They are overloaded with fashionable poses and slogans, but are perfectly innocent of serious political philosophy. They don’t like their own country’s political and economic system, institutions, and history, but they might think very differently if they had ever actually been informed accurately what any of those things are.
If those protestors knew enough of history and economics to associate the material prosperity and technological progress that they are accustomed to with the free economic system that produced them, if they even had been given enough of an adult understanding of the world that they could understand that business corporations, like Wall Street banks, are not, and cannot possibly be, charities, they would not be protesting where they are.
Wall Street did not cause the recession. Government caused the recession (by following the same left-wing philosophy that those protestors and the people who educated them embrace) by inadvertently grossly inflating home real estate prices, as the product of efforts to make long-term mortgage financing ever more widely and easily available. Government has worsened, and prolonged the recession, by dramatically meddling in the economy in the area of health care, by adding to the regulatory burden, and by generally increasing uncertainty. All of the damage was done on the basis of precisely the same ideas and philosophy that those demonstrators are trying to advance.
If all those kids, drop outs, poets, and Bohemians had the benefit of a decent education; if they actually understood history, economics, and political philosophy; if they understood how the world actually works and what banks do; none of them would be where they are doing what they are doing.