In the past, there has been absolutely nothing coercing "the unprepared and less fortunate" to participate in the markets. There have been plenty of other investment vehicles that they have used, such as T-bills, short-term deposits at their bank, and real estate.
But that calls for an education campaign, not a lament, so that they understand more fully what they are getting into.
Having said that, with the recent rise of widespread market participation through "retirement" vehicles, I think that there is now a reasonable amount of coercion. Sure, one can keep one's IRA in cash certificates, but that's not how retirement accounts are advertised. Also, there is only a limited range of investments available through 401k's (IRA's can be extremely flexible via an LLC structure), but there's still enough rope there for someone to hang himself.
So I do feel you a bit, but not much. There still needs to be individual responsibility for one's financial management. It's not hard stuff to understand. Still, nobody need be in the markets. Everyone has ready access to enough data to enable them to make their own decision on participation.
Look at me--currently I'm out. Am I lobbying for a change in the essential functioning of the markets? Apart from the potential abuses enabled by HFT and maybe black pools, no. I choose whether or not to participate, and consider options, as should everyone.
"Compassion" is a strange word. The definition is fuzzy, at best. Things like sympathy, pity, concern, etc. cover a very wide range of meanings. Sure I feel all those things for SOME people who get burned or don't do well, but certainly not for all, and certainly not to the extent that I would sacrifice the multiple dimensions of human attitude and behavior enabled by the current market environment.
Get a grip Igy, and stop whining. Walk the walk. If you think things are overpriced, sell and buy something else. If you're sitting in cash, then in a sense, you're just like everybody else talking their book--convincing everybody else that prices are too high, in the hopes that they will come down and you can then have "sold high, and bought low". I have no time for that. You can talk until you are blue in the face, and you won't convince people of your view, because you are arriving at your view by selectively excluding market factors that do not suit your narrative.
A narrative with the substance of which I happen to agree, BTW.
Here's to a relaxing 2016, where we can finally sit back, take stock of events, and watch the game unfold.