so, occupy wall st began one year ago today.
and the media is filled with 'occupy: what went wrong?' articles. which is kind of a shame, as occupy at it's outset was very well-intentioned and had such great energy.
from my perspective (which is limited, of course) there was one problem with occupy, and that was the tendency on the part of occupy to generalize and demonize everyone in the financial services world.
just as there are good cops and bad cops, good musicians and bad musicians, good janitors and bad janitors, there are also good bankers and bad bankers.
good hedge fund employees and bad hedge fund employees. good corporate lawyers and bad corporate lawyers. you get my point.
and i sometimes felt that occupy had a tendency to judge all people who worked in finance equally.
i'm not going to go to the other extreme and say that all financial services employees are paragons of virtue, but a lot of people who work in finance are smart, conscientious, progressive, and well intentioned, and certainly not deserving of scorn and blame.
i mean, clearly there are a lot of people who work in finance who are mercenary and short sighted and mendacious, and these people have done terrible harm, not just to the united states but to the entire world.
but it's a shame to lump the good in with the bad, to blame all bankers and finance people equally, when the truth is that it was a relatively small percentage of bankers and financiers who caused the majority of the financial problems.
i'm not trying to criticize or malign occupy, as i found the impetus behind occupy to be quite impressive and well intentioned.
and i also really appreciated the efforts that occupy made to be as inclusive as possible.
i just wish, in hindsight, that they had been a bit more strategic and selective in their apportionment of blame, as clearly not all bankers and financial sector
employees are equally deserving of blame and criticism.
oh, and i also think that occupy fell victim to a large degree of in-fighting, which almost always augurs a pretty rapid demise. to quote lincoln: "a house divided against itself cannot stand".