Much of the rhetoric coming from the GOP would have you believe that the poor, or at least those dirty hippies at the Occupy movement, have it in for the rich. They’re all jealous and want to punish the top 1%, or .1%, for succeeding and being “job creators.” To be fair, a small minority of those involved with Occupy have generalized about the wealthy. Mostly though, the movement has done a good job of focusing on bad policy.
Make no mistake there has been plenty of bad policy. Over the past twenty years and more the barriers that shielded us from the chaos of uncontrolled speculation have been torn down. We’ve lowered the top marginal rate and created more loopholes for the top earners. We’ve cut services in what little we’ve had in a welfare state. We have brought our economy to the brink due to the short sighted grabbing of the moneyed elite and the politicians of both parties that they bankroll.
That last sentence contains an important bit of information. The wealthy aren’t inherently bad, but their behavior has been. At least the behavior of enough of them that it has hurt the rest of us, and eventually will hurt them. Wanting to put regulations on the financial industry isn’t about punishing them, it’s about putting checks on their power, because there is one thing you can be certain of: give someone power, they will use it, and often to their own, immediate benefit, consequences be damned.
So yeah, we have to put the breaks on them, or, to use the metaphor I best like to use regarding this issue, we have to tie down the lid on the cookie jar. Because if we don’t, they will just keep reaching in, grabbing all the cookies for themselves until there are none for anyone. Really, it’s for their own good. It’s not their fault. Give any of us that power and we might very well act the same way, it’s human nature. That fact, though, just makes it more imperative to make more rules for them to follow, because they won’t behave civilly or sanely voluntarily.