Occupy Wall Street

Posted: October 5, 2011 in Current Events, Media Gleanings
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One of the most underrated stories in the current news is the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in New York.  Thousands of people have been camping out near Wall Street, protesting the financial corruption that continues to jeopardize the economy.  It’s about time.  The abuse within the financial institutions has long struck people as incredible, but has particularly come into the limelight in the past few years as we discovered the total incompetence behind banking and investment actions leading to the crisis of 2008.

This is the moment that the magazine Adbusters has been working towards for the last few decades.  This magazine has steadfastly pointed to the problems of the consumer greed society and the insane culture that goes with it.  Capitalism gone wild, without regulation and without any respect for the clients and public it is supposed to work with.  In the video, one Wall Street exec is asked whether he feels that he has an obligation to server the best interest of his clients, and he is speechless.  Hedge funds that allow corporations to bet on the failure of their clients is an insane conflict of interests.  It reminds me of when Wal-Mart took out insurance policies on their employees so they could cash in on them should an employee get sick and die (with Wal-Mart collecting the benefits, not the employee).

Greenspan is quoted in the vieo, saying that he was mistaken in having confidence in the banking and financial system behaving in a way that would be in their own best interests.  That was the rationale for the removal of regulation in the U.S. financial system.  That, also, is why Canada has fared so well in this crisis.  Our banks and financial institutions are subject to regulation.  -The same kinds of regulations that the Tea Party are now arguing should be loosened even more.  The same kind of regulations that our own Conservative government is eying with an aim to loosen them.

We have a problem learning from history.  The regulations that were dismantled were the ones put into place after the Great Depression in order to make sure that banks and investment institutions wouldn’t be able to make the same mistakes again.  They were removed by Regan, and we saw the same mistakes rush in again, fueled by pure greed.  Now, just years after the recent crisis, the lesson is still not learned and power brokers from Wall Street are still wanting to do the same kinds of things, harming the economy and fleecing the public.

That’s why they are occupying Wall Street.

 

And just over a year ago, George Carlin said it quite well.  Vulgarity alert, people, …but it’s George Carlin, so what do you expect!

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