Monday, November 23, 2015

Why so much anger against Wall Street?

While listening to recent Democratic party presidential candidate debate I noticed that candidates were really trying hard to distance themselves from Wall Street and project it as some sort of very dangerous or evil entity which needs to be destroyed or at least controlled using lot of extra rules and regulations. I am not expert on finance and trade related laws and regulations but I think I understand the political aspects of targeting Wall street. More socialist leaning candidates were more revengeful towards Wall street organizations, so out of three candidates on dais obviously Mr. Bernie Sanders was the one who was at the forefront to criticize the symbol of financial might of US. I wonder what is the reason for so much anger which almost sounds like hatred towards Wall Street (abbreviated as WS henceforth in post)? Why some of these candidates feel so much obliged to criticize WS to please their supporters? I am sure all of them have some investment or links which are part of WS business and they all earn part of their income from those investments but then why they try to focus only on negative aspects of WS without even acknowledging that there are many good things happened because of presence of free market?

WS is result of free market system, it is supposed to be a place to trade and raise capital for your business. No doubt that so many scams or bad things have happened in past. Many people as well as organizations tried to misuse some loopholes of existing system which resulted in economic crises. Economic disaster of 2008 is still fresh in our memories and whenever share market starts dipping down sharply many of us who don't understand it very well worry if another 2008 is about to happen or what? So there is no doubt that there are some concerns and apprehensions about the manure in which WS operates but isn't this true with any system with so much power associated with it? That power can be financial, political or military, we all look with doubt at all powerful entities. Even democratically elected President is not spared if he doesn't belong to political party which we support, so we all have that bias towards rich and powerful and let's acknowledge it. But this doesn't mean we should paint totally wrong picture of that person by totally neglecting any good things achieved by him or her. I don't think there is any doubt that economic prosperity is one of the major reasons why people get attracted to US and want to emigrate here. Free market system where people feel that they will be successful entirely based on their talent and capabilities attract many talented people from all over the world to this amazing country. I am not saying that there are no problems in this system and discrimination doesn't exist but by and large system works well to do justice to its people. WS is a important part of this system, people built organizations or companies, they try to make them big, wealth is created and then distributed. Many people are direct or indirect beneficiaries of this system. May be it is not distributed as evenly as many of us want but at least it is created and the truth is that currently there is no better alternative which seems to be as reliable as this. Many of the objections raised by these people who seem to be fierce opponents of WS about unequal distribution of wealth and rising economic disparity are true and valid but some of the solutions offered by them are equally horrible and unpractical. It seems they are intended to destroy this working system with some glitches without even having an alternative which can be at least as good as previous system. It is very easy to criticize but then at least provide some viable alternative to present system. There are no examples of successful countries or societies based on any single ideology, let it be capitalism, socialism, communism or any other 'ism'. What works best is always a mixture of good things from each and every ideology based on requirements of that particular society. So why are we so eager to draw so rigid lines and reject something because it belongs to some other 'ism' which we don't support? Why to call socialism evil or capitalism evil when both of them have some good aspects and some not that good? Why not to take best ideas from all ideologies which suit our society and make something which is good for most people of our society?

I always wonder how long this fight between different ideologies will continue? Why can't be there interdisciplinary collaboration between all these ideologies like scientists do between different disciplines of science? Is it so difficult or humiliating to accept that there can be some bad or outdated elements in socialism, communism or capitalism? Is is so difficult to understand that communism in its original form doesn't sound very practical idea in today's aspirational world? None of these ideas are completely right or wrong, only thing is that some parts of them are no more relevant today or some parts are not practically implementable or some parts are not acceptable in democratic society with freedom to choose and express. Is it so difficult to accept it? May be it is for some people but we need to acknowledge these things and move on, if we become adamant on accepting or rejecting it completely then we will never solve this deadlock and keep on arguing endlessly who is right and who is wrong. Please don't hesitate to highlight any drawbacks associated with any system and  capitalism or WS is not an exception to this. Project loopholes in law, highlight its misuse, question monitory policies based on data and logic not based on populism and appeasement. The way it is done now sounds like hatred and anger directed towards rich and powerful, this attitude is only going to create social divide and nothing else. May be it will help to win some elections but definitely it definitely won't help to solve the real problem. So it will be better if we use this anger to offer constructive criticism not to vilify any entity, please give this approach a chance and see if it produces better results or not.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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