Trigger Warning: If you are participating in the gamers’ “WallStreetBets” movement, read this article with caution.
Over the past few days, tens of thousands of gamers and internet users have been swept up in the momentum of rushing to invest in companies like AMC, Gamestop, Nokia, and Blackberry, in order to “stick it to Wall Street.”
Before we go further, here is one of the best explanations I’ve seen describing the phenomena we are witnessing.
— 𝕁𝕒𝕣𝕖𝕕 | ᴛʜᴇʀᴇᴀʟɢᴏʙꜱʜɪɢʜᴛ (@jaredhoy) January 28, 2021
Reddit users in the “r/WallStreetBets” group found a way to use a discount trading app called Robinhood to combat a hedge fund called Melvin Capital for taking a large short position in GameStop.
The gamers then carried out a massive, cleverly-coordinated buying spree of the company’s stocks, which forced the share price to skyrocket to more than 1500% of its original price.
They repeated this strategy of buying up cheap stocks in these companies to inflate their value with the other nostalgic companies, which caused the value of other companies like Apple to significantly drop.
As a result of gamers’ mob-like investment in the small companies, the DOW Jones saw its steepest drop in the past three months of 635 points, whereas the S&P 500 erased its gains for the entire year, The Hill reported.
Gamers, social media influencers, conservatives, and socialists alike quickly celebrated the jab to the Wall Street elites who have spent years making millions by controlling the markets.
Those who are participating in or are supportive of this movement see it as an opportunity to use the free market to hit the billionaire and millionaire elites who control the stock exchange.
However, when you mess with the wealthiest people in the country, blowback is to be expected. And as conservatives understand, censorship is never too far away.
Shortly after gamers began causing the markets to sink, Reddit and Discord, the platforms gamers were using to strategize with each other and mobilize investors, shut down the “r/WallStreetBets” groups and threads.
Not long after that, trading platforms such as Robinhood and TD Ameritrade began restricting purchases of Gamestop, AMC, and other stock, but told clients they could still close out their positions.
The level of censorship inflicted on average internet users for legally purchasing mass quantities of certain stocks is despicable. It’s terrifying that not only can freedom of speech but also financial freedom can be taken away at a moment’s notice,
However, I want to use this opportunity to warn conservatives who condone the game these gamers are playing.
Since this movement began, politicians who believe in wealth redistribution and anti-capitalism policies, like AOC and Elizabeth Warren, have stated their blatant support for the gamers’ attack on Wall Street.
In the past 24 hours, “#EatTheRich” became the number one most trending phrase on Twitter.
While many of us are upset at the wealthy elitists in this country for taking advantage of this country for decades, we must be wary of being duped into sudden supporting a “#EatTheRich” or Tax the Rich mentality.
If conservatives support free markets, they don’t support socialist ideals, regardless of the motive behind them.
Furthermore, there are many ethical questions to be considered in a coordinated financial attack against a certain group just because of their financial status.
Is it morally right to commit a coordinated attack against a group just because they are wealthy?
In my opinion, attacking someone because they’re rich is just as bad as attacking someone because they’re poor.
While there’s an argument to be made that wealthy people have unethically been taking advantage of average Americans for decades, is the right solution to crash the market based on a blanket assumption that all wealthy people are the same?
It’s also a massive assumption to cause damage to the stock market as if it’s only rich people who use it. Plenty of middle-class earners and even older people use the market as a way to invest in their retirement savings.
It’s not fair for them to lose money on their investments because some people thought they were only hurting the wealthy.
These are questions we should consider before blindly supporting a movement based on our own anger at certain elitists in this country.
As to where this will eventually go…it’s too soon to tell.