Although the stock market is on track for the best September in 61 years, Cramer noted there have been 16 straight weeks of equity outflows, meaning people are heading for the sidelines even when you'd think they'd be doing the opposite.
But can you blame investors for their mass exodus?
The baby boomers, for example, were hammered by the dot-com bomb and the financial crisis of 2007-2008, as well as the “flash crash” on May 6. Alan Farley, a prominent technical analyst, has said the boomers "are done with the market for good. They have entered a risk-aversion period, protecting capital so their old ages don't turn out to be disasters. They're not chumps. They aren't coming back."
Cramer was also bothered by an article in The Wall Street Journal that also said, no matter what happens, investors are not coming back. Instead, individuals are moving to exchange-traded funds.
In Oliver Stone's Wall Street: The Money Never Sleeps, several Gordon Gekko-types are set on destroying the American financial system to make real fortunes. It depicts Wall Street as "disgusting," Cramer said, and "to a large extent, as accurate as fiction can be."
The film and the Journal article cut to a secular decline, Cramer said, where a generation is leave the stock market and not coming back. For his part, Cramer looked at it in two ways:
First, we could be in a 1970s kind of market, where fewer people want in. The second is that Cramer's a genuine believer that there's now more money in owning high-quality, dividend-producing stock than in many years. He thinks bonds are a "terrible" place to be. ETFs, for that matter, are "ridiculous" because you have to own the "bad with the good," Cramer said. Investors would be better served picking stocks for themselves.
While Cramer thinks the public is wrong to flee the market, he understands it. It's easy to distrust the markets when we still have no answers as to what caused the “flash crash,” Cramer said. And then there’s the action on Monday in Progress Energy , a favorite of Cramer's, which quickly traded from $44 to $4.
"I can't blame anyone for leaving," Cramer said. "The beatings have been vicious, and I don't see them ending any time soon, even as I think that we can work together to avoid them and still make darned good money."
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