By David Callahan
The opinions expressed are his own.
If you’re like most people who are uneasy with the outsized power of finance, chances are you can’t boil down your concerns to a pithy sound bite. So why is there such ridicule of the protesters “occupying” Wall Street for lacking a coherent message?
Three years after the 2008 financial crisis, it is still hard to neatly encapsulate the problem with letting bankers and traders dominate American economic life. Once Congress passed the Dodd-Frank reform law last year, most political leaders and commentators moved on to other issues, leaving behind an unfinished debate about Wall Street’s influence.
Now, thanks to protests in New York and a growing list of other cities, this debate is percolating once more. And guess what: the supposedly incoherent protesters actually have a pretty strong critique of what is wrong with America’s financialized economy.
Angus Johnson, one of the most astute bloggers following the protests, wrote recently that if you think that the protesters have “no message, you’re not paying attention.” They clearly believe that there is “something seriously broken” in America’s economy and politics and that “an accelerating concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a small minority” is to blame.