Category Archives: Occupy Wall Street

Wall Street; the New Capitol of America

“It’s time we stop subsidizing risky Wall Street practices. We’ve seen how too big to fail is also too big to manage, too big to regulate, and too big to jail.” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) does not hesitate to make his feelings known when it comes to the monster banks on Wall Street. He is one of the loudest and most ardent supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) new legislative proposal to break up these banks that gambled away our economic prosperity and sent ripples into the entire global economy.

Typically, I pay attention to Bernie Sanders for pure entertainment purposes only. He runs as an independent simply because there is not socialist party in America, so it is not often we see eye to eye on anything (in fact, this might be the first time), but I am all in with him on this one. Wall Street now runs America—unelected, private, for profit firms are calling the shots these days, and they do not answer to or care about anyone. Their checkbooks are their idol.

Unfortunately, Sen. Sanders’ proposal most likely headed to the same destination as gun control. There simply is not enough public support to make an honest man out of Congress, so Congress will keep their various financial mistresses until you and I demand the banks be held accountable.

Wait, this soap box rant sounds pretty anti-capitalist to me? Admittedly, it does, but I have not changed philosophies, a regulated capitalism is still the best economic system; I am just not sure we have that anymore. Breaking up the banks might be just what we need to reclaim it.

Wait, getting IN the way of free markets is how you reclaim capitalism? Ironic, I know, but my answer is emphatically YES! The problem is the markets are not really free anymore; we (rather, the government) sold our capitalist soul the day we bailed out Wall Street, then refused to even slap their wrists for what they did. Capitalism requires that you allow businesses to grow and fail based on their own merits, but we did not allow banks to fail, they have become too big for that. If they are too big to participate in our regulated capitalist economy that made us the greatest place to live in the world than they must be broken up to save that same regulated capitalism. Too big to fail is unacceptable; particularly when you and I will be punished for the misdeeds of these banks, which will then be bailed out by our tax dollars. Does that sound like capitalism to you?

So…the bailout was years ago; why are you suddenly so vocal about breaking up the banks? Simple. Because not only has this administration flat out refused to hold the banks accountable for what they have done, but now the administration is on record, through the voice of Attorney General Eric Holder, stating that the banks have become too big to prosecute for their crimes.

In a political system where money has become the determining factor in most elections, the center of the financial world becomes the political Mecca. Between political parties and special interests the Capitol Rotunda is beginning to resemble a puppets stage. If you have always found it a bit fishy that not a single Wall Street executive has had so much as an accusation thrown at them by law enforcement, your answer lies inside the beltway. Political parties are a separate bone to pick altogether, but last I checked there were five, yes, 5 Wall Street lobbyists for every member of Congress.

Wall Street spends about $1billion every election cycle to try to ensure the next Congress will be as banker friendly as possible. Why? So the government will turn a blind eye to their white collar crime. J.P. Morgan himself stated that if Americans knew how the banking system worked they would rise up in revolution. If any Congressman or Congresswoman becomes a threat to Wall Street, Wall Street will spend like crazy to get a new representative in that office. This is why monster banks have recently been funneling the larger part of their campaign contributions toward Republicans. With Occupy Wall Street and too big to fail becoming dinner table conversation topics, Democrats seem to be more of a threat.

Republicans fight the breakup of big banks, claiming that they are defending capitalism; they just fail to explain what part of capitalism there is to defend? If they hate wasteful spending and excess taxes as much as they say they do during election season, is there any better way to attack both then to ensure there will never again be a tax payer funded multi trillion dollar bailout of private financial firms with the sole purpose of making money? Republicans are not alone. President Obama has also been seduced by Wall Street harlotry every bit as much.th

Though he promised he would fight for the middle class he has done no such thing. The youth and minority populations still face staggering unemployment rates, the average income has dropped, and healthcare premiums are growing faster than ever. On the other hand, Wall Street and big banks have hardly seen a more prosperous time. The banks that we bailed out are now bigger–by translation that should probably read riskier–than ever, their profits are at an all-time high, and bonuses been large enough to purchase small sovereign nations. So pleased is Wall Street with the performance of President Obama that at one point 1/3 of his campaign contributions came from the monster banks. How is any of that working for the middle class? President Obama has adulterated his principals, and played in favor of the big banks.

He has also let the banks get away with economic murder. As the head of the executive branch, and thereby the justice department, it is up to him to demand punishments for Wall Street. Instead, he has de facto pardoned them, sending the signal to these spoiled children that their actions are not just acceptable, but encouraged. I mean that literally–President Obama is telling banks to begin engaging in the same high risk lending that led to the meltdown.

How is it that high government officials can serve prison time over the Watergate scandal, but not a single high Wall Street executive has served time–much less, been charged with a crime– for what they have done? But we have seen exactly the opposite; instead, a government official who should be prosecuting the banks for their crimes leave to be hired to defend them from their crimes. This is not a free market; Wall Street is running an autocratic market. It is time to reclaim our own economy. We need to break up the biggest banks.

Dismantling to the point of nonexistence is not what needs to be done. Banks are needed, and often serve a useful purpose. What needs to be done is to divide these banks into several independent branches small enough to be accountable for their own actions. A tax payer funded bailout is the only reason many of these banks still operate today, this is more than enough justification to introduce a tax payer protective breakup. These monster banks grew because we supported them in their malpractice; this means in every sense of the word that we are their creditors. Now it is time to settle the books.

Thankfully the founding fathers had the foresight to create three branches of government. If the President will not execute his office we can only hope Congress will execute theirs. Sen. Sanders’ bill may not have everything right, but it is better than nothing. We cannot have banks betting on house money; we must keep our capitalist society breathing. Too big to fail is not acceptable. These monster banks must be cut down to size.

–Matt Young

8 April 2013

The Deterioration of Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street has officially degenerated. What began as a well-organized and admirable protest against the injustices of the Wall Street executives–only exacerbated by the fact that none of them have been charged, or even indicted for their clear crimes–as well as the fact that the lobbyists with the most money have congressmen and women in their pocket, has now devolved into the latest hipster trend. It is no longer a progressive movement, but a stalemate. Drug use has run rampant in Zuccotti Park and in other gatherings worldwide. Occupy Wall Street recently organized worldwide protests against wealth, some of which turned violent. The protests have no official cause, causing any displeasure to be a reason to join, and come do drugs with the rest of the motley crew. Where I was once a very vocal supporter of the protest, I now cannot endorse a movement which has become an excuse for college kids to party and be a useless pain in the American rear end; not the kind that causes change, but the kind you hide, and deny, and eventually remove. The parks are being destroyed; the very environment so many of them claim to canonize is being neglected and depleted. If they do not like the fact that that tax payers had to bail out banks, consider this: tax payers will also have to pay to restore the scenic beauty, landscaping, and botanic value of the parks they are ransacking in the name of equality. These kids are not protesting for something better, they are protesting for lack of something better to do. Read the rest of this entry

Is Occupy Wall Street the Liberal Tea Party?

Occupy Wall Street is now in its third week of protesting, crowding lower Manhattan with hundreds, sometimes even thousands of protesters who despise the wall street financial system. As the protest only gains momentum we finally are beginning to see some media coverage of the protest; it is hard to ignore 700 people being arrested on a march for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge. It is difficult to recall that many people being arrested on a march since the civil rights movement. The most cynical view of the media blackout (however not necessarily incorrect) is that the big money and banks on Wall Street have a card or two in  the hand the media plays, and are using their clout and leverage to keep any legitimacy from being credited to the protest. Much to their dismay, sister protests of Occupy Wall Street are popping up in cities all over the United States, the movement grows every day. The liberal left is reveling in the protest of the corporations the conservative right love, hoping that this movement becomes as powerful as the civil rights protests were in their generation. Videos of peaceful bystanders being maced and forcefully taken into custody are easy to find, only adding fuel to the fir of the protest. It is hard for the media to ignore any protest which has this much momentum, especially when there are now elected officials endorsing and supporting the protest. Some political commentators and analysts are already trying to label the Occupy Wall Street protests as the left wing version of the tea party because of the grassroots nature of the protest. While the protest certainly compares to the tea party movements in spontaneity and organization, it does not necessarily seem to be the left side of anything.

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Occupying Wall Street

Protesters Take Over New York City’s Financial District

In the midst of a week focused largely on the world of politics there is one story the media has largely not recognized. Contained in the news this week were an array of stories about bridge closures, Republican Presidential debates, the American Jobs Act, and the new Continuing Resolution which narrowly passed the House, and now is cooking up steam in the Senate. While jobs and economy are the dominant issues for both the government, and the Presidential Candidates, it has largely gone unnoticed that common American citizens have taken matters into their own hands. Appalled by the economy and unemployment, protesters in the masses have come together and camped out on Wall Street, at the heart of New York City’s financial district. This is not merely a baker’s dozen sign holders with bull horns, chanting their radical anti-rich and anti-government mantra; far from it. Reports show the numbers of protesters in the thousands. The pack, which calls themselves Occupy Wall Street, is not made up of homeless and underprivileged, as some may expect; rather, young, educated, and intelligent students, and young adults. Many are middle to upper middle class citizens, evidenced by the fact that in the crowd can be seen brand new laptops, tablets, and expensive phones. Why would so many busy young citizens take to the streets to occupy the financial center of the planet? The answer is a simple one: Wall Street needs to be punished. Read the rest of this entry

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