From Paul Krugman:
When the Occupy Wall Street protests began three weeks ago, most news organizations were derisive if they deigned to mention the events at all. For example, nine days into the protests, National Public Radio had provided no coverage whatsoever.
It is, therefore, a testament to the passion of those involved that the protests not only continued but grew, eventually becoming too big to ignore. With unions and a growing number of Democrats now expressing at least qualified support for the protesters, Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.
What can we say about the protests? First things first: The protesters’ indictment of Wall Street as a destructive force, economically and politically, is completely right.
A weary cynicism, a belief that justice will never get served, has taken over much of our political debate — and, yes, I myself have sometimes succumbed. In the process, it has been easy to forget just how outrageous the story of our economic woes really is. So, in case you’ve forgotten, it was a play in three acts.
Oh, I truly love this quick and dirty explanation of why we are so distressed. More from Krugman:
In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst — but bankers were bailed out by taxpayers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers’ sins. And, in the third act, bankers showed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support — and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts — behind politicians who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.
Look I really believe that the deck is stacked against the American worker. As a regular Joe or Jane, we can’t call up our congressman and get a law changed that puts large sums of money in our pocket. We watch free trade agreement after free trade agreement be signed by those in power and then we watch our jobs and factories go overseas. It seems that every time someone talks about opening up capitalism and freeing business from the bonds of regulation, we get the shaft and those in power get to buy a new house in the South of France.
I continue to support Occupy Wall Street because it is a movement about us. It is a movement that is simply asking whether we can get a fair shake in the work place. WE are simply asking that Congress listen to us instead of only listening to the Wall Street fat cats.