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Letters: Occupying Wall Street

Protesters with Occupy Wall Street cheer and others

Protesters with Occupy Wall Street cheer and others joined forces at Washington Square Park in New York's Greenwich Village. (Oct. 8, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

I've been listening to some of these incoherent interviews of college students protesting corporate greed around the country and decrying the fact that they are burdened with student loans they feel they should not have to pay for.

Tell me . . . you take something (a college education) and now expect someone else to pay for it. Is that not the definition of greed?

Lesson No. 1, children: If our goal is to eradicate greed from the world, we start by looking into our own hearts.

Mike Quadrino, Smithtown

It must have been just too tempting to use the catchy headline, "Wall St. rebels without a cause" [News, Oct. 2], but that headline belonged in the opinion section, not in a supposedly objective news section. In fact, beyond the headline, the article itself was more like a snide opinion piece than a news story.

And since when does one group ("Experts say protesters' message and goal unclear") constitute the fact-bearers? I suppose those who support the protesters apparently can't be called "experts."

The article insinuated from the first paragraph that the protesters are misguided and strangely dressed -- the implication being that it's only a few, what some would call fringe elements involved.

The protesters' messages and goals might not fit neatly into a sound bite or headline, but just because the media continually say their goals aren't clear doesn't make it fact.

Susan DeMasi, Greenlawn

Newsday's corporate take on Occupy Wall Street, "Wall St. rebels without a cause" [News, Oct. 2], shows the problem that is so pervasive in our country. I was there and supported the occupation, and as a senior citizen, I was so proud of our young people getting involved and trying to make a difference.

The message couldn't be clearer. They are proclaiming that they are tired of our legislators being in the pocket of Wall Street, the banks and big corporations. We are the 99 percent of the population that they should be protecting.

The more breaks given to the 1 percent, the more it leads to outsourcing jobs, cutting benefits, starting unnecessary wars and polluting the Earth to benefit their own personal bottom line. Capitalism works when there are controls to protect the worker and the environment.

Judi Gardner, Huntington

I agree wholeheartedly with the people who are demonstrating on Wall Street. When the average pay of a chief executive at an S&P 500 Index company is about 200 times what nurses, teachers and police officers make, that is wrong.

Many people were laid off and losing their houses, while the chief executive is out buying his fourth or fifth mansion. The major banks, who were ready to go bankrupt, but were thrown a lifeline by the Toxic Assets Relief Program, are some of the worst. Instead of using all the money to shore up their bottom line, they used much of it to give bonuses. Even though they severely damaged their own companies and put the entire country in the severest recession since the 1930s, these people had the gall to grab for the money given them.

While it may be un-capitalistic, Congress should pass laws that restrict how much compensation chief executives and other senior executives can give themselves without giving anything to all employees. It should only be a certain percentage more than the others get.

There have been chief executives who were successfully prosecuted for raiding the corporate treasury. The district attorney's office should look into prosecuting more people, because what is really happening is stealing.

Roger Kaufmann, East Northport


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