Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Can't We be "Too Big to Fail"?

Banks get bailed out, people get kicked out. That's a lesson I learned during the financial crisis of the past year. I have seen families in my town go through the humiliation of having their furniture carried out and piled near the curb in the rain. Some of them were kicked out the day before Thanksgiving last year. The scene has been repeated ad nauseum and continues to this day, while 2 trillion dollars of our tax money is largely unaccounted for. This was money given to the banks by their buddies, in our name, to not only help the biggest (read greediest) of them stay solvent, but also to ostensibly give loans to people who need them. The only chunk of that 2 trillion that has resurfaced has been in the form of big bonuses for Wall Street execs! What a surprise! Did we truly expect anything less, given the track record of these people who, thanks to the revolving door between big business and government, are all intimately interconnected?

Meanwhile, the foreclosures continue with no end in sight. Disappointingly, but not really unexpectedly, the policies of the current administration are all too similar to Bush and Clinton before, which is why it is so laughable and frustrating to hear the wingnuts call President Obama a socialist. Here's the socialism he is presiding over: The ill-advised speculative risks of large financial corporations are socialized, while the ill-advised financial decisions of the underclass are paid in full. And the cost to them includes the emotional trauma of the innocents; children whose lives are disrupted. How do you even put a price on that?

If you are in or near Chicago this weekend, let the bankers know you are paying attention.


Black Diaspora said...

Ernesto, the hubris of that bunch of thieves that we call Wall Street and the financial sector is worn as a badge of honor.

Greed knows no bounds, and yet in recent days the Repubs have called for a cessation of all regulations on the thieves, as if they're not already bilking us of billions, for lack of regulations.

If I ever vote for another Republican, I will commit myself. As for the Dems who want to play in the same mud puddles as the Repubs, I've got the pressure of a fire hydrant to wash them down with.

Yes, we've got to hold them all accountable, and the best way to do that is with the ballot box, and putting pressure on congress to limit the deadly influence of lobbyist on the general welfare, and the people's business.

Ernesto said...

BD...I see President Obama today once again wag his finger at the crooks and say "shame on you" without really doing anything concrete to stop them. I don't see a huge difference yet between him and the Republicans on this issue and it is very disappointing to me, although again, not unexpected. He has all former execs of Goldman Sachs making policy. The crooks are firmly in control of our government and our lives. If ever there was a time for re-regulation and oversight this is it, so why isn't it happening yet?

Black Diaspora said...

@Ernesto: "I don't see a huge difference yet between him and the Republicans on this issue and it is very disappointing to me...."

The lady who cried out, "I want my country back," should have screamed, instead, "I want my government back."

We will never have a government of the people, by the people, for the people until we chase all the lobbyists out of Washington, and their bag of money, and their bag of tricks.

We're kidding ourselves if we think we're in charge. Money is in charge, greed is in charge, and it will stay that way until we all stand up and say enough is enough, and demand change.

We hear the criticism that it's Obama that lacks backbone, but it's us the American people who lack it.

We hear that certain businesses are too big to fail, but we use the excuse that the government is too big to change--that we just have to accept what is done to us.

So who gets the ear of congress? The fringe elements, the fringees as I call them. They're the vocal ones, they're the squeeky wheel that gets the attention, and often they're the ones who are supported by the lobbyists who are running the government.

Our elected officials are caught in a pincer move, by the AstroTurf crowds that take it to the street to influence policy, and lobbyists that make deals with our elected representatives behind closed doors.

If we don't find a way to end this unholy alliance, and this kind of government-corporate collaboration, we will have a democracy in name only, and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.