posted 2011-11-30 14:31:38

Take Aim at Washington, Not Wall Street

Are the Wall Street protests misguided?

SEAN MESSINA

Staff Writer

Today, we often hear that Wall Street’s greed has caused our current crisis, that money is the root of all evil. But money is only a way of storing value. It’s used to ease and encourage material exchanges that would otherwise be difficult. A traditional barter-and-trade system would require one to carry around every possible object one’s potential trading partner might want so as to have an appropriate payment. No tool of exchange can exist without materials to exchange and no materials can exist without people who are capable of harvesting, consolidating, transporting, or creating them. But today we see people marching on Wall Street, screaming their heads off that it is the businesses, the groups of people who

create and distribute all the values which money is made to represent, that are depriving people of the money that they say they deserve.

Money can only exist in a society that respects its value. The idea of money can only exist in a society that, on some level, respects an individual’s right to

his or her property. But we see people today with signs up and down Wall Street claiming that it is corruption amongst “Big Business” that is keeping people in a desolate state, that businesses are somehow stealing their money. However, theft should be addressed in Washington, not on Wall Street.

Today, we hear the clamor of “the 99%” as they march onto Wall Street and protest the right to do what they please with the products of their labor. But as they push their message through YouTube,

arrange their meetings on mass-produced cell-phones and feed themselves with the harvests of farmers and ranchers across the nation, they should remember that these are all businesses they need to survive. It is these same people who they are blaming for their financial woes—the businesses who generate the wealth that they are asking for. Surely there’s a problem, and someone is at fault.

The fault lies with those who undermine money’s value and free trade by force. It lies with those who have turned the dollar into a fiat currency, with those who demand that we document every cent we make so that they can take a chunk of it in taxes, without our explicit consent, backed by the force of the IRS and the FBI. The fault lies in the laws, politicians and policies of Washington.

You want to end the financial chaos for real? Tell Washington to stop using your money to pay for endless welfare programs that benefit only the best-connected interest groups. Tell Washington to end the laws that strangle businesses and prevent them from creating real wealth, like those that stopped Ford and GM from updating their factories for fear of “eliminating jobs.” In the end, GM got rewarded with your tax dollars for their inability to produce better cars than those from foreign companies—a failure fostered by anti-competitive regulations.

If members of “the 99%” really want to defend themselves, they should start by defending themselves as individuals, and by defending their rights to the means of their own survival. Our nation was founded not on altruism, but in protest against the unlimited power of a government unchecked.