The United States Constitution was built on fundamental principles. It was drafted to protect the rights of its citizens and imbued three branches of #Government with the responsibility of protecting these rights.
Executive, legislative, and judicial
The executive branch of government includes the President, the Vice President, and the presidential cabinet. These are the senior level decision makers in the country. The legislative branch of government includes Congress and the Senate. These are the lawmakers. Finally, the judicial branch of government includes your courts. This branch of government handles decisions on a local, federal, and national level. For the most part, they deal with criminals and small disputes.
The point of having these three branches of government was to delegate the work of running a country, but mostly it was to put in place a system of checks and balances so that the U.S. could avoid a monarchy like the one that it had escaped in England or the dictatorships that rule other countries.
It's part of the reason why the U.S. government is called the land of the free and the home of the brave. Even within the three levels of government, there is system of checks and balances. The people in each level of government are voted in for a term. The length of that term depends on the office, but usually the term lasts four years or so. This is so that one person cannot have a lifetime appointment (except for the #Supreme Court) and rule with unlimited power. Again, this is to prevent a dictatorship or in the worse case scenario, an oligarchy.
The housing crisis, Occupy Wall Street, and the oligarchy
An oligarchy is when all levels of government work hand in hand to accomplish a goal. Now that may not seem bad, but if all levels of government are working towards corruption, the results can be catastrophic. The courts, judges, executives and legislative bodies are supposed to be neutral and hold the other factions accountable for their actions. When they ignore this precept, things like the housing market crisis happen.
When Wall Street got in hot water in 2007 with the U.S. government for the housing market crisis in which banks issued loans that they knew to be bad in order to cook the books, Wall Street was on a roll. They were swimming in dough, until they got caught, homes of decent people were foreclosed upon, the bubble burst and the stock market took a dramatic decline. The public was irate with the scenario and countless homeowners were left homeless, broke or both, but in the end, the government bailed out the Wall Street bankers responsible for the mess. The homeowners were not so fortunate. They were left on their own.
This is not an oligarchy, but it is an example of government working with corporations against the very people that they were supposed to protect. These Wall Street bankers went through the court system, bested the legislative system, which tried to put some protections in to help future home buyers, and got the executive system to bail them out. They found a way to circumvent the law and profit off of it.
Anger from this turn of events eventually sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement, in which the 99% of average Americans protested the rule of the rich 1% of Americans. For them, they felt it was disenfranchisement and that their rights were subjugated in favor a richer populous. The three branches of government had failed them and their only choice was to protest. The problem is that while the protest was annoying for Wall Street, it really didn't hamper their cause. They got away with everything and the only consequence was that their name was smeared. To be fair, Wall Street is synonymous with corruption so a bad name isn't really something that they aren't used to or care anything about, which is sad for the average American. It does leave a telling question that every American should ask themselves. When all three branches of government fail you, who do you turn to? #Policy