Image Credits: Politico

During the 2016 election, a lot of things have been said about Wall Street. What is it about that famous street in New York City that has earned it such vitriol? Why is the Democratic Party determined to take it down, demolish the street completely? Why is the Democratic Party, at the same time, willing to accept large donations from these supposedly corrupt Wall Street organizations? That is because the Democratic Party wants you to see only part of the truth behind Wall Street,  CEOs at the top who do make enormous amounts of money, money they work hard to earn. The truth about Wall Street is much more humble, and completely wrecks everything the Left wants you to believe.

The Left and outspoken Wall Street critics such as Bernie Sanders want you to believe that every single person working on Wall Street is bringing home a million dollars a week. They want you to believe that every Wall Street employer is a billionaire with a cold heart and every one of his employees is a Jordan Belfort, hoarding money he doesn’t need and will only misuse.  The Left purports these “facts” as they call them because they know that voter ignorance is extremely real and most people won’t do the investigation into the truth. The Left wants to vilify these people, people who work on and in the area of Wall Street, in order to vilify success and glorify reliance on the government to give us what we need rather than our own merit and hard work, as if so often actually seen on Wall Street, where you have to have some degree of talent and dedication to succeed.

How much do you think the average investment banker makes? What about a hedge fund manager? A venture capitalist? The Left would have you believing that every single investment banker makes over a million dollars a year, or is raking in some incredible paycheck that makes them an alien compared to the normal American. Luckily for us, a group called Wall Street Oasis, an online community of finance professionals, released a compensation report, detailing the salaries and payments paid to various finance works, both on and off Wall Street in the year 2013.

There is no question that finance is a lucrative career path, which is why so many Ivy League graduates head to McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, etc. The pay, while good, is not as high as the Left wants you to believe, and is especially less impressive when you consider that these Wall Street jobs require you to pay New York prices for real estate, food, and other services.

A first year associate at an investment bank, as gauged by WSO, averages around $120,000, skewed a bit higher thanks to NYC banks paying better. While this is still a very good salary, it doesn’t exactly make someone a billionaire, does it? Once you take out taxes, rent, groceries, it doesn’t leave much to spend on Jordan Belfort-style shenanigans.

A first year associate at a hedge fund fares even worse, raking in around $71,000 a year, pocket change compared to what the Left wants you to think all finance employees are taking home each year.

Even in venture capital and private equity firms, the Left’s number are extremely far off. The WSO 2013 report found that vice presidents at these types of firms were only taking home $150k a year.  

While I don’t think you’ll find a Wall Street worker complaining about their wages in comparison to what teachers and other educators make, for example, they will complain about the vitriol released against them. The vast majority of Wall Street workers are ordinary people who chose finance as a career path. They are no different then people who choose to be lawyers or doctors because they know that those can be lucrative careers. They do not deserve to be vilified for seeking to be gainfully employed, and they certainly do not deserved to be outright lied about and made to seem something they are not. Not every person who works in finance is a millionaire, or will ever be one. Not every person who works on Wall Street is a corrupt, cold-hearted individual who only cares about money. Not every person on Wall Street benefits from big bank bailouts. The majority of Wall Street workers are no different than you or I except for their career choice, and it is time the Left stopped their outright lies about Wall Street, and they certainly need to stop the vilification if they are going to keep taking money from big banks and investment firms.

To learn more about the true Wall Street and different studies on the compensation of Wall Street employees, check out these articles by Business Insider and CNBC.