The Occupy Wall Street protests feel to me like the pogroms of the Middle Ages. Some bad thing happens (drought, plague, subprime mortgage meltdown), and without any understanding of why it happened at all, people find some convenient group (Jews, Wall St bankers) to blame for it and call for them to be prosecuted and thrown in jail, or worse. Right now, I’m willing to accept that it’s a coincidence that many bankers also happen to be Jews. But really, it’s the same kind of ignorant foolishness, driven at least a little by envy. I hear people saying that the country is suffering (true), and that many bankers are doing great (perhaps? A lot of their stock prices are way down), and therefore it must be their fault somehow. If so, make the case. How is this their fault? It’s about as rational as saying, my crops failed and my neighbor’s didn’t, and therefore he must be in league with Satan and cast a spell on my field.
I’m not saying that all bankers are innocent. Some of them probably should go to jail. Angelo Mozilo, for example. But the idea that this is somehow the fault of “bankers” is pointless. If people have specific cases to make against specific bankers or corporations, make them, rather than this sort of blanket condemnation of a whole industry. But of course if you make specific cases against specific bankers, like Mozilo, then that leads back to the real problem, which is the Democratic party. And nobody wants that, of course.