Archives: Occupy protesters should target politicians, not Wall Street

Originally published in October 2011
Simon Nguyen

More than a month into the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protests have failed to produce the desired effect. No new job has been created because of the protests. On the contrary, Business Week recently reported that as many as 10,000 more Wall Street jobs could be lost by the end of next year. Additionally, President Barack Obama’s jobs bill was promptly defeated in Congress.

Since the movement began, there has not been a major uptick in bank lending. All the Occupy movement has done is to give Corporate America a good excuse to maintain the status quo.

Occupy protesters appear to have directed their anger at the wrong places. Corporations and big businesses are the opportunists and not the enablers. Without the assistance of the politicians in Washington, Wall Street would not have become as powerful as it is today. After all, Wall Street was not the one who bailed out big banks with billions of taxpayers’ dollars, relaxed key regulations at the expense of the consumers, and incurred trillions of dollars in debt by spending unrestrainedly. Wall Street may have lobbied for these things, but the politicians and their cohorts in Washington were the ones ultimately responsible for their implementation.

Instead of purposelessly camping outside Wall Street and major financial institutions, Occupy protesters should convert their newfound energy into the greatest get-out-the-vote effort in America’s history. Rather than yelling indiscriminately at deaf ears, Occupy protesters should let their votes do the talking. The United States, after all, is a democracy. Hence, the threat of losing their job is naturally the politicians’ biggest fear. Wall Street may be powerful, but one person’s vote is equally as potent.

According to the Washington Post, only 37 percent of Americans support the Occupy Wall Street movement. While most Americans share the frustration of the protesters, not everyone shares their liberal views. There is a reason why a divided government has been the norm in the United States for several decades now. America is marginally liberal on social issues and conservative on economic matters. 

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