As a resident of the Baltimore area I couldn’t help but notice the Baltimore Sun‘s coverage on the “Occupy Wall Streeet” protests. Apparently these protests have spread throughout the entire country’s big cities – not just New York but also Baltimore, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and other big and famous cities in the U.S. Most people’s first reaction about me, judging by my educational background, is to expect that I will be supporting the protests but I am not. This article will briefly explain why I do not support them.
First of all, I initially had no idea what these protests were about. Talks about “corporate greed” and “the top 1 percent” seem irrelevant in the U.S. world of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I would agree with the protesters if they meant the ways loans used to be given until recently but it looks like this was not well conveyed in these protests.
Second of all, I disagree with the protesters’ complaints about joblessness. Having a job is not a right but a privilege, and if one can’t find a certain job, one cannot blame it on Wall Street but has to look for another job or blame it on themselves. It doesn’t hurt to work something other than what one is specialized in, and situations like this happen in life. The Baltimore Sun article brings me to these thoughts. On page two 22-year old Josh Perry was quoted by the Baltimore Sun as expressing his frustration of not being able to find a job which forced him to live with his parents. The article doesn’t explain whether he was forced to leave his undergraduate studies for a while. However, I commend him for having worked a variety of jobs for the almost three years since he started his undergraduate degree, and since I have no information on what made him not work any of the jobs that he was quoted as mentioning so I can’t estimate why he is unemployed right now.
Third of all, Wall Street is not interested in high unemployment rate. The financial sector is interested in giving out business loans so that it collects more profit from the interest payments from businesses who use these loans to grow themselves thus hiring more and more people. The only frustration that I can understand is the one that has to do with the bailouts. The bailout decisions by the federal government created the image of the financial sector having government as its safe haven every time something goes wrong. And every time means every time means “we can do whatever we want to, the government is on our side no matter what happens” – something that we don’t observe with the so called 99 percent that the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters claim to be about. This is not fair and calls for reasonable action in the form of a reasonable public policy.
Fourth of all, take a look at the latter argument again. Charles Village jewelry maker Lani Miller “quit her job selling houses” because she hated it and started her own jewelry business. Warning! Warning! Warning! While Lani Miller quit her job because she considered it disgusting, I can’t understand what exactly she meant. How much does she think that an interest rate on a house has to be in order not to think of her now past job as disgusting? Interest is the cost of borrowing, and there is nothing wrong with it. For some people that cost will be higher, and lower for others depending on financial background. Also, if Ms. Miller can’t afford to pay for a bookkeeper and for a web designer – yet she scolds Wall Street for being unable to give out loans. Wall Street is times more complicated than her own business. There are constantly risks taken there, and the whole financial process demands a lot of calculations on risk taking and other situations there.
Those are some of the reasons why I am against the “Occupy Wall Street” protests.