Stock Market Disconnect

To people experiencing unemployment/underemployment, student-loan debt, food insecurity, lack of access to health care, housing insecurity, and other harsh economic realities of today’s world, the seemingly irrepressible buoyancy of Wall Street might feel head-spinning or even possibly outright insulting. (I know I have often found it offensive on many levels, including environmental: Humanity is making a killing by plundering the earth and indigenous communities.)

Many times in past years, seeing yet another report of Wall Street bouncing back higher than ever while everyday life for most people seems, well, not prosperous, I have been baffled.

But more recently, I am no longer baffled, because I finally understand that the forces putting money in the pockets of corporations and shareholders are different from, and in many cases actually at odds with, the forces that would put money into the pockets of everyday people and their local communities.

Recently I came across an excellent article elucidating these forces. Alas, I failed to bookmark the article or even remember which publication I saw it in. I’m going to keep combing my e-scrap files and my brain until I dig it up for you, because with the Covid-induced unemployment and small-business failings (as the stock market meanwhile has bounced back with is its characteristic relentlessness), it’s really important right now more than ever.

In the meantime, I will share a thought I’ve had for awhile. Many people (possibly the bulk of North Americans) are fighting against themselves by being heavily invested in Wall Street while at the same time trying to earn a decent livelihood and make their neighborhoods/local communities more prosperous and livable for all. Am I saying don’t invest in stocks? Not necessarily. But I’m saying we have to seriously look into this connection. Or should I say look into this disconnection: Wall Street booming while Main Street is languishing. I’ve taken up this topic in my book and elsewhere on this blog. For one, here is my post about the folly of seeing Wall Street as synonymous with the economy; hope you find it helpful in getting a wider vantage point and exploring your options.

Oh, hey! This is not the article I was thinking of, but I just now found a goodie. “Why Main Street Is Suffering While Wall Street Is Soaring” (Martha C. White and Stephanie Ruhle; Very illuminating and succinct explanation.