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Righteous Anger

April 4, 2011

This is pretty much how I feel. I really never thought this would happen. I never thought the financial system would simply get away with it. I will never look at things the same way again.

“Years ago I remember a lot of moderate liberals talking about how the Bush era radicalized them. For me, it was the economic collapse of 2008 that did it. The financial industry almost literally came within a hair’s breadth of destroying the world, but even so it took only a few short months for them to close ranks with Republicans and the rich to prevent anything serious being done to rein them in. Profits are back up, new regulations are barely more than window dressing, nothing was done to help underwater homeowners, bonuses are as obscene as ever, unemployment remains sky high, and the public has somehow been convinced that this was all their own fault — or perhaps the fault of big government, or big deficits, or something. But the finance industry has escaped almost entirely unscathed. It’s mind boggling. If this doesn’t change your view of who really runs the world, I don’t know what would.”

This doesn’t even mention the increase in public debt by 40 percentage points of GDP, which is forcing cuts on the back of the poor and the most vulnerable.

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12 Comments
  1. Pinky permalink
    April 4, 2011 9:36 am

    I wouldn’t go quite as far as you do in your anger, but I can understand it. But is there any reason, other than your political leanings, that you put the blame on Republicans? If you’re going to list culprits, there are plenty of Democrats to go on that list, considering that they controlled Congress during the crisis, and controlled Congress and the Presidency during the closing of ranks.

  2. digbydolben permalink
    April 4, 2011 10:32 am

    Until there is an actual collapse of the American economy–which is doubtless coming–nothing will be done; the banksters, hedge fund operators, et. al. know that and they are counting on the media-dazed obliviousness of the Americans to their actual financial situations.

    I think they also know that there is only so much life, however, in the cow they are milking, and plan to abscond in any way they can–to their “off-shore” holdings, no doubt–when the Chinese pull the plug on American debt, or whenever the dollar is declared to be no longer the “reserve currency” for the energy market.

    When the American people are left on their own, however, and no longer have their plutocratic overlords within easy reach, but DO have the awesome firepower of the American military within their command, my bet is on fascism as a last resort. The self-discipline of restoring a republic and a renewal of democratic civic-mindedness there is no longer culturally sustainable.

  3. April 4, 2011 12:28 pm

    I agree with both Pinky and Digby. After the Obama Admin, I now understand that nothing will change. I now view the Dems and Repubs as absolutely the same with degrees of differences. I hate to say it, but I have lost faith in my country and that saddens me deeply.

  4. April 4, 2011 2:19 pm

    Now hold on a second. Conservatives (though not necessarily Republicans) wanted to see the financial industry punished by allowing them to fail. It was the bailout which YOU supported that prevented that punishment and left them “unscathed.” So I don’t understand your “righteous anger.”

    • April 4, 2011 4:59 pm

      Let’s back up a second. The bailout was to prevent a second Great Depression. I’m almost certain that the outcomes would have been catastophic. You think 10 percent unemployment is bad? Try 25 percent. But the quid quo pro was that the financial sector would be tightly regulated so that they would never again be able to hold a gun to the head of the taxpayer. It didn’t work that way. Dodd-Frank is pretty weak, and yet the Republicans are launching a full scale assault on both its measures and its implementation.

      • Thales permalink
        April 4, 2011 9:45 pm

        I was always a little skeptical of the predictions that the bailout prevented a Great Depression (maybe because I’m always skeptical of economic predictions — I just don’t think the experts have any reliable crystal ball). My skepticism grows when it seems that those who benefited from sky-is-falling-prediction and the resulting bailout is the same financial industry that MM is currently finding at fault.

  5. grega permalink
    April 4, 2011 3:49 pm

    Along the same lines I found this story very troubling

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/business/26nocera.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=business%20ultrarunning%20mortgage%20fraud&st=Search

    Money obviously talks

  6. April 4, 2011 4:37 pm

    If a President McCain had bailed out Wall Street instead of a President Obama, there might well have been a revolution. Mr. Obama provided both “left cover” and “race cover” to the elites.

    • grega permalink
      April 4, 2011 8:13 pm

      Wall Street got bailed out by Bush – let’s not forget.
      And yes since everybody and his brother does have Wall Street managed mutual funds
      the matter is not all that simple really – of course the fact that we have such retirement options in the first place is part of the ingenious masterplan. We certainly all pay for the bonuses of our portfolio managers. And yes most of us do so because we would very much like to increase the value of our savings – many actors in this game and yes plenty of friends and neighbors who get not get enough cheap loans. These days social network sites and stocks are all the rave – it does not require much to envision that those things will come down within a decade just like housing before and tech stuff before and manufacturing before and on and on – and yes despite this all it seems we live better and better lives – go figure.

  7. digbydolben permalink
    April 4, 2011 7:42 pm

    I think Western Confucian is essentially right about the banksters’ collusion with the Democrats, and that’s why I think they will mostly support Obama’s re-election (or sit on the sidelines).

    The system IS broken, but the American people have no will to sacrifice in order to fix it. Even Adam Smith believed in regulation of banking and some industries in the 18th century. A perverted system of capitalism grew up in American culture and now it has the society by its throat.

    • Gary Keith Chesterton permalink
      April 6, 2011 9:27 am

      I never though I would ever write these words, but: I agree with digbydolben.

  8. Cindy permalink
    April 5, 2011 1:09 pm

    They want to cut WIC, end early childhood programs, end low income housing programs, tax cuts for corporations who take the jobs overseas, with no investment in American products for the out-sourcing, they want to cut energy grants for low income families, if someone gets injured at work, the taxpayer is now required to fund the injury while the employer can write off punitive damages. Next they will be scrapping public defenders, afterall why should someone have that appointed to them? I mean loophole after loophole, and people are not coming together and demanding more. They sure have us where they want us, because all we can do is fight our ideological side, instead of breaking through all that and standing with eachother, and demanding more from our elected officials. Who wouldnt be for more regulations right now? Who is for all the tax loopholes? Why would anyone like the idea of the poor and vulnerable being asked to bear our countries burdens while the ultra wealthy like Paris Hilton, can’t be asked to have her taxes raised by one nickle?

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