Wall Street - the key puppeteer of America's economy. Its recklessness set off the financial meltdown of 08.
“It wasn’t just one crash; we’ve been crashing ever since. Fundamentally, it’s an attack on the rest of the world, and the bankers are leading the army”, said author and journalist Jerry Mazza.
Traditionally a symbol of financial might, a statue of a bull near Wall Street in New York has for many become associated with a system of economic injustice – the power of the few over the many, where Mains Street America pays while Wall Street remains untouchable.
“So they are making 10,000 dollars less in their bonus than they were last year – big deal! When they are still making 10 or 20 times more than I am – that makes me angry”, said Occupy Wall Street activist Katie Davison.
Katie is not alone. According to a survey published in the Financial Times, two thirds of Americans are unhappy with the current economic model.
“I am a high school student and my option seems to be going into college to go into debt, to not get a job, which does not seem to make sense to me”, said Occupy Wall Street activist Elouise Flesh.
Darren, who has been in the restaurant business his entire life, has spent the last 2 years homeless. With a passion for puzzles and the Yankees, he sleeps in an abandoned jail in New Jersey.
“I’ve had problems with incarceration. I’ve been locked up and everything. Sometimes I don’t get it how they’re able to do some of the things they do down there and they’re not held accountable for it. It doesn’t make sense. Sometimes that can be very frustrating”, said Darren.
A convicted white collar criminal, Sam Antar told RT he had milked what he could out of the U.S. economy.
“I have no problem with people being angry with my criminal acts because I did it. I committed a massive securities fraud during the 1980s. We fleeced investors out of 500 million dollars and we caused 2,500 people to be unemployed. So I am part of the bad part of the system. – Do you feel bad now? – I feel bad that I got caught”, said Antar.
Sam says he'd to it all over again, as politicians today care even less that the system is flawed.
“In the dark of the night, these guys are legislating the country away from the people to the elites, among them, most potently, the bankers", said Jerry Mazza.
While in the bright of day, those beaten down are left to face their demons on their own.
“It’s tough to get started when you don’t have a place to stay. The future doesn’t look so bright. But on the bright side, I can’t go down much further – that’s probably my only saving grace”, sighed homeless Darren Miller.