This is the number one reason why this country is so fucked-up.
An absolutely fascinating (in a "Oh my god, this train wreck can't get any worse, oh wait, there goes the car full of nitroglycerin right into the oil refinery" kind of way) book that is required reading for anybody who is curious about our current self-destruction is Kevin Phillips's "Wealth and Democracy". While a functioning financial system is much like a functioning circulatory system, this current out-of-control growth is much like a cancer - the cancerous mass consuming resources which weaken the body of the host, eventually killing it if left unchecked.

Translation for those who don't get the above: We need to be replacing the bull on Wall Street with a guillotine.
And people made millions producing nothing more than changes in ownership
Where are my fucking indictments?!? The biggest players in the industry are cheerfully and proudly amoral. They don't know right from wrong and now they don't even have to fear the law.

So when is Obama's Justice Department going after these guys? Bought and paid for just like every other political entity in this country.

Unlike your average street thug, prison works on these guys. The one thing they truly fear is pulling a long sentence in a Federal prison. They may not know right from wrong, but they sure as hell won't touch a deal that they think could lead to hard time. This is what the SEC used to actually do to financial criminals.
Much of the growth in finance can be attributed to globalization. The USA provides financial services to the world. Investors from India, China, and Brazil go to London or New York to participate in the stock and bond markets.
"""doesn’t design, build, or sell a single tangible thing"""

ummm this is also true of Science. Do you guys hate science?

Actually it's much more true of science, since in finance they do actually design and sell financial products that are in no way trivial to design. Can you design a fund that will always be the inverse price of oil? O right, I didn't think so.

Can everyone find something more reasonable to be mad about? Can't knock the way a nigga eatin.
" industry that doesn’t design, build, or sell a single tangible thing."

The financial industry sells services. Like most rich countries, the vast majority of the US labor force (78%) is in the service industry. This fixation with "tangible things" is charming and quaint, but economic nonsense. Most of the world's value is in non-tangible things.
"""Since 1980, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed in finance, broadly defined, has shot up from roughly five million to more than seven and a half million."""

Um... US population rose from 200 million to 300 million in the same time period. So let's count it out:

Increase in US population: 50%
Increase in financial industry employment: 50%

At most, finance should be around 5 percent of GDP. But it's been way way more.

Pushing paper doesn't create anything, other than misery for the Middle Class.
Yes, we would all be much better off working in agriculture and manufacturing. (If you don't get the reason for that sarcasm, you need to not open your yob on this toic until you do.)

Ah, fuck it. You people are so fucking stupid, I refuse to participate further in this one.
Capitalism's end-game? Hard to say, of course, until the game is actually ended. But 1/5+ of your economy being devoted to gambling is a pretty bad sign o' the times.

@9 - Most of real people's value is in tangible items. food, water, shelter. You know. "stuff". Not "services" as in "financial services" (which is what the financial industry sells)... which are what only people with lots of money can utilize. To make more money. Without working.
@13 I disagree. Most "real" people's value is in their labor/earnings potential. Which, for the vast majority of us, is the services we can provide to other people. We then spend the majority of that income on paying others to provide services for us. Our economy has been service-based for a long time (currently 80% of jobs, 80% of GDP). Even the things you claim are "stuff" aren't really very valuable in themselves. Food? We pay almost nothing for our food; we pay a lot to have it transported, stored, prepared, etc. so we can access it conveniently.
@3 Exactly. But if you ever want to buy a house and don't happen to have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around, you will appreciate their ability to produce changes in ownership. You might even pay them a lot of money to make it happen for you. Most of us do, because we find that it is in fact a valuable service.

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