Protests are part of a democracy, and for that reason, such events like Occupy Wall Street are to be expected to a degree. But what exactly are they protesting? Is corporate greed the issue? If it is, they might be more specific. Are they asking that corporations be taxed more? It appears that most of the protesters are angry at Wall Street for the economic conditions of the country, and jobs are at the center of this. Why were they not protesting when the economy was strong? There was more greed when the economy was stronger.
Wall Street, and the complex prism of rates, commodities, and markets is above most of our pay grades. We only know what the news teaches us, for the most part, and that comes in clips and sound bites. If the protesters are saying that Wall Street firms screwed up in an economy where the government was asleep at the wheel, they have an argument.
But what should Wall Street investors do now, quit their jobs? The only way to create more jobs is for the financial sector to get back on its feet. Whether we like Wall Street or not, it needs to survive.
If the protesters are so angry about corporate greed, why are they stopping in at ATM machines and Starbucks every 20 minutes while they camp out among the working folk? If I were angry at corporate greed, I would get my money away from the big banks right away.
Ah, but they are not angry with the part of corporate America that houses their money, they only dislike the corporate America that houses your money.
Why are they protesting three years after the financial collapse? Today, there is a president who, one would guess, is more in line with the beliefs of most protesters. There is more oversight today than three years ago.
I worked on Wall Street three years ago, and there was some demonstrating after the crash, but to bring an Occupy Wall Street movement now is irrational. And for the regular folks, who only want to get to work – many who are not Wall Street bankers – they are now terribly inconvenienced because of this operation.
Mormonism and the Evangelicals
Ah, it was only a matter of time until the anti-Mitt Romney forces started using his religion to scare people off. Right now, it is coming from the evangelical right, but it will soon be joined by the radical left.
Robert Jeffries, of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, has implied that many Christians see Mormonism as less a Christian faith than a cult. Jeffries is right that many Christian groups are unfamiliar with Mormonism – or they simply do not like it. But he was not citing data, he was looking to gain support for that theory.
Romney is going to be the Republican nominee, and now his religion, like Kennedy’s Catholicism and Obama’s relationship with his pastor, is going to be made an issue. (Both Kennedy and Obama went on to become president, so those might be good historical precedents for Romney.)
Three years ago, while opening a comedy show at Carnegie Hall, former comedian Janeane Garofalo went on a rant about Romney’s Mormon faith. There are things about the Mormon faith that are not easy to understand, but most religions ask us to rely on dogma over the easily explicable.
Garofalo and company are going to come at Romney the way the late Senator Ted Kennedy tried to in 1994, when he called Mormonism the “white male religion.” Ouch. He later apologized for that, and Romney forgave him. But former comedians (and that is what we call people who are no longer funny – former comedians) are not going to care how offensive this gets.
Romney is in for an interesting ride, and even if he loses to Obama in the general election, he is the best hope to put an intelligent person at the top of the ticket for the Republican Party in 2012.
I may have accidentally referred to former Congressman Charles Djou as being from Alaska in a previous column. I originally wrote that he was from Hawaii (which is true), but in my final editing, I omitted the word Hawaii – which made it appear that he was representing Alaska. Apologies.