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America hates moneymen

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017

People in the financial industry are regularly listed as amongst the most hated in the whole country. Line up every profession you can imagine, and the ones that most people point out and hate are going to include financial dealings.

Sure, there will be others. People hate politicians and journalists (at least the ones they don’t agree with). They might hate actors or others who they feel speak out too much. They probably hate lawyers, because who doesn’t? But putting those positions aside, it will all be financial workers.

Whether it’s people working for the IRS, stock brokers, or tax accountants, people hate moneymen and moneywomen. Why?

The most obvious reason comes from recent history. The crash in 2008 and 2009 which led to the Great Recession soured a lot of America on the financial industry. The fact so few seemed to pay for those bad decisions while so many normal people lost homes, businesses, and savings, only further pushed those careers into negative popularity. Since Wall Street appears to be still only interested in enriching itself to the detriment of Main Street, this trend is only likely to continue.

So strong has this trend become, in fact, it has helped spark the worldwide populist movement in politics. Whether to the right or left, the easiest way to get votes right now is to hate finance.

This is only a primary reason, however, for the hatred of the industry. The other reason is more intimate: people feel anyone in the financial industry is almost by definition greedy.

Whether that greed simply makes them only think of themselves or that greed actually leads them to break the rules and cheat ordinary, decent people (and this is the far more likely assumption), greed is the assumed principle behind it all.

The assumption these days is that anyone working with money, whether in a bank, in stocks, or simply as a financial planner, anyone working with money is trying to cheat you in order to get a bigger cut for themselves.

This cynicism is, unfortunately, backed up somewhat by the number of cases of investment fraud and other crimes at the moment.

That’s not to say everyone in those industries is a cheat, or is even greedy, at least no more so than anyone else. The point is, America has turned that industry into a realm all to itself, and those who enter that realm are seen as different. They are no longer the decent, hardworking, down to earth people,  but there for the money and assumed to be corrupted by it.

Such a feeling is a shame and is likely to have long-term negative consequences for the country. If people don’t trust their financial industry, after all, how will they be able to invest in their futures? How will they get loans for college or businesses? How will they get mortgages or start retirement funds?

America needs finance, but it just really doesn’t want to have to like it.

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