The barker on the midway of the cheap carnival welcomes everyone to play and try to win the prize. Step right up, you too can win! (The prizes aren’t really worth much, but if you don’t have anything else to do it might be fun to play for a while.) Sooner or later, most people realize that, despite the occasional winner, the rubes continue to lose and the house always wins.
That’s Wall Street and the whole system of unchecked capitalism. Despite the occasional winner, the system continues to do what it was designed to do—transfer money from the poor and middle class to the already-wealthy.
And there’s no real effort to be subtle. Take a look at our income tax system, which assesses the highest effective rates on earnings from actual work, lower rates on capital gains that come from other people’s work, and zero tax on most inheritances.
The house always wins—if you play their rigged games.
Occupy Wall Street isn’t asking the carnival hucksters to tweak the rules or change the odds a little—it’s simply saying we don’t want to play your rigged game any more. It’s telling the carnies—the robber barons and the legislators who work for the highest bidder—to pack up and go find something honest to do. Something that creates real value, strengthens our communities and the most vulnerable among us, and restores the ecosystems on which all life depends.