Henry Blodget knows his way around Wall Street; he used to work there. Now he writes at Business Insider, and in an extraordinary post notes the young, the unemployed, the underemployed and even the working man and woman may not be expressing themselves well in the Occupy Wall Street movement, but that in fact, they have very legitimate gripes. He tells the story with graphs, and a shocking story it is. He summarizes:
The problem in a nutshell is this: Inequality in this country has hit a level that has been seen only once in the nation's history, and unemployment has reached a level that has been seen only once since the Great Depression. And, at the same time, corporate profits are at a record high.In other words, in the never-ending tug-of-war between "labor" and "capital," there has rarely—if ever—been a time when "capital" was so clearly winning.
You really should follow through the entire series, but here are a few key ones, like the rising unemployment graph above,
The ever increasing CEO pay, corporate profits, vs static worker pay and declining minimum wage. Meanwhile, taxes on the rich haven't been this low since 1928, the last time there was this kind of inequality. And since corporate profits aren't high enough, they are now campaigning to gut the EPA and get rid of environmental regulations that gee, cost them too much money. No wonder people are on the streets.
Blodget thinks this is graph tells the real story:
in conclusion, we'll end with another look at the "money shot"—the one overarching reason the Wall Street protesters are so upset: Wages as a percent of the economy. Again, it's basically the lowest it has ever been.