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Wall Street Arrogance

Wall street Arrogance,
Wall street and the media continue to obscure the complaints in the current anti-wall street protests. The grievances are many, as the violations big business has committed against our democracy and it’s people are many. The short term bottom line is not always in the interests of the people of this nation. Though many companies are not at fault, there are enough of the larger corporations that have contributed to these problems in very significant ways.
The list of grievances associated with this movement are as follows. “They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization. They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility. They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.” The source for this is
Though this is not a complete listing it will give you an idea of the grievances, many and of great import. There is no one solution to these problems but there are a number of possible directions our culture could pursue to limit much of this.
Some of the possible solutions are. Enforced regulations with strong punishments, and expanded public sector. Conversion of company structure to add greater labor input such as the Mondragon companies of Spain, which have been very successful and much more equalizing of earnings. A highly profitable whistle blowing law. Public only financing of people running for office, with a cost free allotment of media time for those running for office. Single term service for our country, with a training period for new legislators. Greater reporting on the factuality of what is claimed by those running for office or in office, and those prominent in the media who distort the truth. Voting on weekends not weekdays. Reinstatement of exit polling as a means of checking whether the vote has been compromised, triggering a check with teeth to punish those involved in voter fraud and vote rigging, and means to revote when necessary. Careful examination of electronic voter machines, deciding whether these can in the end be a reliable election fraud resistant means of voting. Elimination of lobbying, allowing only open committee meetings with interested parties including unbiased experts and the general public. End practices where regulators or legislators go to work for the big corporations they benefited while in public service. Developing a more participatory democracy, more checks and balances between representatives and the public and a weaker more pubic dependent government functioning. Legislators should more be enacting the will of the people. A greater ease to eject government officials who violate the publics interests, with time given for them to defend their actions. A reassertion of a substantial government, no strings attached, subsidy for a truly free press, not one owned by mega-corporations with their own agenda, or with limitations placed on it by the government. Disallow large corporate ownership of the news media. Making it illegal for speculators to delve into commodity markets, preventing them from raising the prices of essential goods, generic drugs, and other valued products. Speculation of all kinds should be severely limited, and the mass purchasing of products for the express aim of creating a scarcity that you can profit from should be illegal. Limiting banking to more essential services, they are here to service the general economy not generate exorbitant profits while hurting the general economy. There are too many financial tools which take away money from growing the economy, there is much more money now in these financial tools than the real economy! No packaging of mortgages as commodities, keep the responsibility at the bank of lending, not some scheme that doesn’t have any responsibility for poor lending practices. End the concept of corporations as people, they are not, and too easily use large corporate war chests to corrupt the political system. Proceed with a highly progressive wealth tax. Though most wealthy are not corrupting the system, the vast concentration of wealth allows a few to totally corrupt the system, from funding the tea party, to putting out information flooding the system with distortions and lies from many “wonderful sounding” organizations, to extensive lobbying all funded by billionaires like the Koch brothers. History has again and again shown the corruption ability of excessive amounts of money in the hands of a few. We need to keep our infrastructure up to date, and our population educated, not just the wealthy. Education should be a right, and all those who can make the grade should be supported, especially in areas where the economy is growing and new talent is needed. We need to show our humanity in helping those in great need for health care and in retirement, that they may not die freeze or starve needlessly, while tirelessly weeding out those that would abuse the system. We need a carbon tax, one that starts out small, gets reimbursed at a fixed amount to all the public and gradually encourages all to help limit global warming.
That is a lot, but our system is so out of kilter that we are destroying freedom and democracy in America, and we are in a media and big business led denial of the crisis of global warning which will have even graver consequences. We are in need of taking a close look at our assumptions and where they are leading us. Currently the government is not serving the public but rather big money interests, this is not democracy it is more properly called neo-fascism.
Doug Keith
State College, PA
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