Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"It's the Inequility Stupid!"

"Some people question the validity of the "rebelious" artists who made big money - they are accused by revolutionary purists of being a part of the system, and for being rich. I do not share that feeling - I think that it's OK to make big money - it's OK to become rich if it's based on creating a real value - art, inventions, services of products. What is not OK is a legalized systemic swindle - and that is what we are against..." - Roger Waters

I lifted the title for today's post from a Mother Jones article It's the Inequality Stupid! it has several graphic representations of just how large and pervasive is the wealth gap in the United States. You think you know because you feel it every day but when you see the numbers graphically you have to wonder why anyone in the 99% isn't with us on this.

Here's another interesting piece, this one from the Washington Post, they call it The Big Lie. The big lie is that our current financial mess was caused by Washington and not by Wall Street. Now the reasonable assessment is that there is plenty of blame to go around. But the perverse explanation goes like this - Congress made the banks lend to borrowers who could not afford to own those houses. What a lot of people seem willing to overlook is that it was not the home loans that brought on the financial crisis. No, it was the packaging of those loans into fifty and one hundred million dollar portfolios and selling them to pension funds and other financial institutions with false ratings. Then creating a secondary market buying and selling derivatives on those suspect loans. 

Now when exactly did Congress passed legislation demanding that Wall Street banks create such risky investment products? What Congress did or rather didn't do was regulate. I know that is a dirty word for conservatives but you can't have it both ways. If government is the problem and they didn't do their job, then the problem was not enough regulation and enforcement. If Wall Street was the problem then who was supposed to stop them - the government? If so, how without regulation? 

The Tea Party wants to blame it all on big government and Occupy Wall Street - well the name does say it all. But do we really want to have another good versus evil standoff here? Isn't the country already locked into inaction by the republican/democrat divide. Please take note that both Washington and Wall Street are promoting the divisions between conservatives and progressives, they want us divided because united we scare the hell out of them.

So hug a liberal, kiss a conservative or at least talk to each other. Keep your eyes on the real target - "It's the Inequality Stupid!"

1 comment:

Michele said...

It was in the late 90s, early 2000s. No-doc loans were pushed. Put up 20%, show three months of bank statements and got a loan without proving you could really afford it. I was in construction and a real estate broker... I watched the whole thing unfold. In 2007, the gov said... people can't afford these loans, we need to end the programs. So, the banks stopped making the loans. Those who had a 5 year-arm, couldn't get approved to refinance.
This was when Barney Frank was on Fed housing board.
I wrote about this in 2007 and the post went mysteriously missing. I think I wrote about it again but I know I wrote about it last april after black friday.