After telling those protesting on Wall Street and around the country yesterday that “if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself,” presidential candidate Herman Cain had more choice words last night during a campaign stop in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to the Associated Press, Cain lambasted the protesters as un-American:
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says the Occupy Wall Street protesters are un-American and against capitalism. Speaking to The Associated Press during a book signing event Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., Cain said the protesters shouldn’t rally against Wall Street bankers or brokers because “they’re the ones who create the jobs.”
For one thing, it’s not anti-capitalist to protest an industry that was saved by trillions of taxpayer dollars and returned the favor by fighting against common-sense regulations. Plus, contrary to Cain’s assertion, Wall Street bankers are in the business of making money, not creating jobs. Many private equity firms make billions by buying out companies, laying off employees, and re-selling the company once it begins generating more profit. Other hedge funds and investment banks simply speculate on a number of different aspects of the economy, such as the price of oil.
Some ultra-profitable Wall Street firms have even turned toward cannibalizing their own, laying off brokers and other employees to pad quarterly profits. And considering the fact that risky Wall Street bets plunged the financial system and caused an unemployment crisis, Cain might be a tad out of touch when he suggests that Americans should be thanking Wall Street.
At the end of the day, protesting a corrupt, multi-national corporation is just as American as tossing tea in the harbor.