The "Occupy" protests taking place all over the world has gained some popularity with people from all financial backgrounds and started a dialog that will hopefully lead to a better understanding of wealth distribution1. Everyone from the very rich to the very poor are weighing in on the topic and pushing for their voices to be heard. One recent participant, however, has thrown their hat into the ring: the Catholic Church.
A Vatican think-tank has paused their search for a justifiable reason to explain centuries of sexual, spiritual, and moral abuses to issue a statement regarding the global financial markets. They say that a "beefed-up United Nations could police the financial markets and inject a dose of ethics to replace rampant profiteering and reduce inequality." This is quite interesting for two reasons:
- the Catholic Church has more money than most countries on the planet and has had centuries to wipe out basic problems like illiteracy, but has not
- the United Nations, though well intentioned, has less power internationally than Ronald McDonald
Neither the Vatican nor the UN should play any role in resolving this matter as neither are qualified to do so. The Church is saying a global bank needs to be created2 to take control of world financial markets and to reign in on the apparent greed that has run through the system over the last few decades. The problem with this, though, is that the people who are actually in a position to make something like this happen either helped make the existing problems, benefited from the existing problems, or worked to circumvent the rules already in place to prevent rampant greed from destroying economies. The creation of yet another layer of complexity would only introduce more ambiguity into an already ambiguous industry few people sit down to really understand.
When I look at the Occupy movement and what these people are trying to accomplish, I see there is a lot of misdirected anger and resentment. This misdirection has carried forward and is blinding the wealthiest organization on the planet. We shouldn't be angry at the bankers and stock brokers who were very, very, very effective at their jobs. We should be angry at the governments who did a piss-poor job of managing these markets and permitted things to get out of hand.
There shouldn't be an "Occupy" movement in New York ... it should be in D.C.. There shouldn't be one in Vancouver ... it should be in Ottawa. The same thing can be said in countries all over the world. The people who became really wealthy did so because they were really good at their jobs, and we were really bad at ours. We voted in the politicians who allowed the system to be taken advantage of for so long despite the decades of warnings. We are ultimately responsible for what has transpired because we didn't pay attention to what our "leaders" were doing. Now we're paying the price. The most logical step, then, would be to take the argument to the nation's leaders in a logical and responsible manner, discuss the issues, work to find solutions, and implement those solutions.
We must cooperate. We must find the cracks in the system. We must put in place the systems that will prevent this from happening again in the future, while also providing security to people who may not have the same advantages as the 1% everyone seems to hate.
Essentially, we have to think and act like adults if there is to be any hope for change.