To the Editor:
If we destroy a firm of the stature of Goldman Sachs, which employs 35,000 people, what will we have gained? Sure, it’s good to dissent, to differ in opinion. But to bring them down would be morally wrong. How many of the 35,000 are your neighbors? Do you paint all of them with the same brush, the same as a racist would? When you attempt to destroy Goldman Sachs, will you stop there or will you close down another firm of almost equal size and put 50,000 out on the street? Or Chase, which employs 168,800? Chase loaned 250,000 small businesses $10 billion. Citibank, a giant in the banking and investment world, employs 260,000 people and helped Ford Motor Company go public, which kept thousands of Americans employed.
If 10 percent of a company did an alleged wrong, do you punish the other 90 percent? The other ninety, in all probability, own a home that has a mortgage, and some I am sure have car payments to meet. These, you would rather see on the street. How about the cleaning woman who needs this job more than you, who can find the time to protest? Unemployed people need employed people to sustain them for in a democracy a government can only borrow money that working taxpayers pay into unemployment, Social Security, and federal taxes. The more unemployment, the more taxes working people have to pay.
Marcus Goldman, an immigrant from Germany, was as close to poverty as some protesters think they are. He started out as a peddler with a horse-drawn cart and then became a shop keeper in Philadelphia in 1869. There was no safety net to fall back on as the protesters have. It was guts and hard work of more than 60 hours a week that put him in the position he achieved. He took partners in so others could become successful. Ironically, he helped new businesses get started by becoming a broker in IOUs with his capital on the line.
Firms like Goldman Sachs are as necessary today as they were then. Each protestor can do what Marcus did and hang out a shingle like he did and become just as successful. When property owners of brownstones in Brooklyn felt like they were being ripped off by their insurance carriers, they didn’t camp out on Pine Street where most insurance companies were. They used their God-given ability and formed one of the more successful insurance companies in America and were in competition with those they felt had ripped them off. Can you start your own credit card company, bank, etc.? Of course you can. The hours of protesting in a democratic country with the agenda you have are counter-productive. Gather together all the brains who put together this demonstration and with the monies people are giving you, form a bank like Marcus Goldman did. Your capitalization will be 1,000 percent more than his was and your time will be better spent.
THOMAS J. BRAGEN