Clearly, the excesses and extremes of capitalism have been a point of contention for centuries among the masses. In the history of this nation laws were enacted to prevent the destructive forces of monopoly (through anti-trust and similar measures), pure competition (through price supports, subsidy, unionization and labor laws), and defective products, price gouging and the like (through regulation, taxation, and civil action).
In return, the people got safer products, better jobs, and lower prices while the corporation continued to enjoy relative freedom in the marketplace. I say relative because most of the business was in the US, unimpeded by foreign competition. In an economic market place of global boundaries, the investments of corporations have become riskier as unregulated foreign competition takes advantage of the sea change in relative freedoms when compared to US based businesses.
The protesters on Wall St who wish to protest the corporate "greed" of their generation need to turn to the greed and complicity of their legislators, particularly those on the left who have engendered a system where the corporation, saddled with relatively high regulation compared with Asian companies, has had to struggle to maintain similar profitability under circumstances of greater competition. Such circumstances don't lend themselves to kinder or gentler big business.
As jobs and profitability wane, the protesters complain more that the lifestyle they have, courtesy of the "greedy" corporation, is faltering. They have called for donations for their cause, they call for better wages for workers, they call for cheaper products for consumers, they call for less profiteering from corporations, but really, isn't that what enables them to exist with regard to their protests? If unsupported by high wage-earning donors, deep-pocketed philanthropists, and corporate professionals, who else would have the time, money or energy to protest?
Clearly the pot is calling the kettle black here and they are oblivious to their own largesse as a result of corporate benevolence. I know that is a hard pill to swallow for most people; that somehow corporations have been indirectly kind to us as a whole, but the reality is that they have made our lives better, not worse. Protesters have no idea the degree to which corporations have positively affected their health and well being, lifestyle, and happiness.
The protester's vigilance is admirable, but they need to yield the right-of-way for the sake of true freedom.
Protesters take heed: Greed is a one-way attitude on a two-way street.