This is a short rant about the cruel, obviously corporation supporting priorities of the current financial bailout proposal just hammered out with the complete cooperation of the Democratic leadership in the house and senate. Can you believe it? Unfortunately I can.
Yet again the people of the United States are being stampeded into unnecessarily rapid passage of a large re-distribution of the wealth of our nation. This is how the Iraq attack and occupation was authorized and the Patriot act that diminshed human and civil rights was passed and how the plan to attack Iran is being pushed.
Cause fear and panic, and then ride roughshod over the will of the majority of the people. The Bush administration is doing the exact opposite of what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did to turn the economy around in the face of the stock market crash of 1929. Instead of imposing regulations that would stop financial abuse and providing infrastructure, affordable housing and other economic programs that would help the middle class and working poor of our nation, this “bailout” removes huge amounts of money from the public coffers and hands it over to Secretary of the Treasury Paulson, a banker with current financial ties to Goldman Sachs, and President Bush to hand out to private companies who can then continue to gamble with it without real restraint or regulation or even the need to pay it back!
So what should we do instead? We need to slow this process down. Assure the world financial markets that we will act to stabilize the economy, but in the meanwhile hold hearings and craft a bill or several bills based on the idea that people, their homes, jobs, health care, communities, their streets, schools and all of the other things that they need to live decent lives come first. Corporations are not living entities. They can be changed and replaced. Men, women and children cannot be.
So here is an open letter to our Congressional “leaders” and to all of our representatives. Don’t be fooled, don’t be bullied, don’t believe the lies, don’t act out of fear or greed. Say NO to this huge, highly flawed giveaway to Wall Street. Let the corporations buy up failing banks at fair market prices and then regulate their activities stringently while meeting the needs of real, everyday people. Let the people have new bankruptcy judgements that allow them to keep their homes. Let them have healthcare and job training and unemployment benefits and guaranteed retirement benefits.
While 1 percent of the people own 90 percent of the wealth and are being offered free money on a silver platter there can be no peace in our nation or anywhere in the world. We could do a lot worse than to follow the example of how Roosevelt handled a large financial crisis in 1933. It worked and the United States economy and its people survived and thrived.
Perhaps we can’t have another “bank holiday” although it’s an interesting thought to close and individually evaluate the behaviors of each financial institution before deciding which can or can’t continue. But we can certainly have a Congressional legislative pause for reflection. Then we can have a meaningful national discussion about just what our priorities are.
This would also be very meaningful before the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections. We could force some true examination of how our social and economic priorities are going to be determined and acted on. Then maybe we would find out more about the kinds of attitudes each candidate really holds and just how they might affect our lives and the lives of people throughout the world. That would be useful instead of staged uninformative “debates” where candidates try to put each other on the defensive and spout “qualified support” for unknown deals being worked out behind closed doors while blaming others for the results.
Whew, feels a little better. Now to call my Representative and Senators yet again and beg them to vote NO on this so called “compromise” financial bailout. Haven’t even mentioned the ugly, war affirming Defense Authorization Bill just pushed through both houses while we were mesmerized by the Wall Street catastrophe.
If you want to call Congress, here’s a toll free switchboard number: 1-800-473-6711. But act now. Tomorrow could be too late.