There's nothing wrong with making money. I believe in capitalism, because we don't have a viable alternative, and because markets usually balance out opposing forces. One of the underlying assumptions of capitalism is that every member of society gets compensated in some fair way based on the value of their contribution to that society, as judged by the market.
What's the value of making money off of money? What's the value of protecting investments - of creating a hedge against the uncertainties of the future? Of speculating on which way markets will turn tomorrow or next year or next decade? Yes, we all benefit from the free flow of capital. Yes, there is value in creating security. Yes, we all have to think about and plan for the future. But imbalances in the distribution of wealth in our world today have led us to an unbalanced view of what activities have real value.
How does the value of a risk manager stack up against the value of a pre-school teacher? Is the profit margin of the commodities speculator balanced fairly against the salary of the sanitation engineer? Is a good poem worth as much a a share of AAPL? A hundred shares?
All of us, inflamed by our constant media diet rich in consumption, are driven by desire. We want the stuff that's flaunted in our faces daily, and our wanting makes us misplace value. Money takes on value on its own, without any connection to real activity that benefits society.
We're out of whack, and we know it. The barons of Wall Street know it somewhere deep down, that their positions are morally indefensible, and that their hearts are bankrupt.
OWS is just trying to put the brakes on -- to get more of us thinking about the inequities that currently fuel the markets. It's working.