Read former hedge-fund manager Sam Polk’s excellent article on Wealth Addiction:
“I see Wall Street’s mantra — “We’re smarter and work harder than everyone else, so we deserve all this money” — for what it is: the rationalization of addicts. From a distance I can see what I couldn’t see then — that Wall Street is a toxic culture that encourages the grandiosity of people who are desperately trying to feel powerful.”–Sam Polk, For the Love of Money
Then listen to Ched Myers’ “Who then can be saved?“: Jesus and the Rich Man as a Text of Terror and Liberation.
The financial services industry went from having a 19 percent share of America’s corporate profits decades ago to having a 41 percent share in recent years. That doesn’t mean bankers ever represented anywhere near 41 percent of America’s labor value. It just means they’ve managed to make themselves horrifically overpaid relative to their counterparts in the rest of the economy.
A banker’s job is to be a prudent and dependable steward of other peoples’ money – being worthy of our trust in that area is the entire justification for their traditionally high compensation.
Yet these people have failed so spectacularly at that job in the last fifteen years that they’re lucky that God himself didn’t come down to earth at bonus time this year, angrily boot their asses out of those new condos, and command those Zagat-reading girlfriends of theirs to start getting acquainted with the McDonalds value meal lineup. They should be glad they’re still getting anything at all, not whining to New York magazine.–Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone (FEBRUARY 8, 2012)
I took this screen shot while watching the LiveStream of Occupy Wall Street this morning. As Occupiers shouted “Out of the offices and into the streets,” one office worker climbed out on his window ledge to offer encouragement.
“He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich – both come to poverty.”–Proverbs 22:16
On Sunday, more than a thousand demonstrators occupied Wall Street in New York City to draw attention to Wall Street’s criminal behavior and call for structural economic reforms, reports Zaid Jilani.
“People have a very simple reason to be angry — because Wall Street’s actions made tens of millions of people dramatically poorer through no fault of their own. In 2010, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank conducted studies of the effects of the global recession — caused largely by Wall Street financial instruments that were poorly regulated by government policies — and found that the recession threw 64 million people [worldwide] into extreme poverty.” Watch this short video below for a great quote from 9-year-old Sam Kessler!
The International Monetary Fund estimates that the global economy contracted by 0.6 per cent in 2009 and the implications of this have been severe for many. Economic growth in developing countries was only 1.7 per cent in 2009 compared with 8.1 per cent in 2007. However, if China and India are excluded, the economies of developing countries actually contracted by 1.8 per cent. The World Bank has estimated that an additional 64 million people will be living in extreme poverty on less than US$1.25 a day by the end of 2010 as a result of the global recession.
The question is, why aren’t even more people in the streets of the financial district in New York City?