So, I was talking about the whole Wall Street protest thing with the Other Half, and she made a very good point. I don't remember her phrasing, so I won't even try to quote her (except that the final line here is hers), but here's the gist of it, with my verbose expansion.
True political protests have potential to make a change. Why? Because they're about political change. Public policy. Law. War or the cessation thereof. Politicians want your vote when it's reelection time. So, if you make enough noise, and convince them that enough voters are behind your cause, they take note and make changes so that they can keep their jobs.
The problem with the Wall Street protests is twofold. For one, it's just that: protestS. Plural. There's no cohesive, specific unifying message. Just "We don't like that you make too much money". The other problem is that these executives don't have to answer to the protestors for anything. The protestors are already ensuring the executives' continued employment, because they keep buying the products and services. If they want to make a difference, they need to suck it up and organize boycotts. If that means not using ATMs so that banks lose revenues from the fees, so be it. If that means cancelling cell service or internet service, not buying computers, etc., so be it. That's how you get to a CEO: affect the bottom line. Make a difference in the P&L report.
Vote with your wallet.