Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Reverse New Deal: Democrats voting for Wall Street

(In the audio above, we hear FDR's opinion about the manipulation of government and the economy by the super-wealthy. When FDR and his fellow New Deal policymakers talked tough about the greedy rich, they meant it. They created the SEC to curb Wall Street fraud, raised taxes on the super-wealthy, and created numerous programs to help the less fortunate.)

In 2014, it was reported that "Nearly 8 in 10 Americans (78 percent) feel the big banks are to blame for the financial crisis of 2008, and more than five years later, 66 percent are still angry at the big banks..." ("Study: Americans still angry with big banks," Reuters, February 24, 2014).

Over a year later, it was reported that "In a rare show of unity, Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, agree that money has too much influence on elections, the wealthy have more influence on elections, and candidates who win office promote policies that help their donors" ("Americans' views on money in politics," New York Times, June 2, 2015).

In other words, Americans are pissed off at Wall Street and the super-wealthy!

And they're going to express this anger by voting for a presidential candidate who is.... (drum roll)... backed by Wall Street and the super-wealthy! Yeah, that'll show 'em!

Wait... huh?

Yesterday it was reported that "Nearly three months after Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy, she remains the favored choice of most Democratic voters..." And we know that Clinton has been consistently backed by the likes of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, etc., all of whom have plead guilty to numerous crimes and/or have paid billions in fines & settlements for allegations of civil or criminal wrongdoing. And if you have any doubt how Clinton would run the country--for Wall Street or for the people--remember that she voted for a law to make it harder for struggling Americans to file for bankruptcy, so that their debt would be inescapable and they'd never be able to rebuild their lives. And though she says she regrets that vote, I would suggest that there is something fundamentally wrong with someone would vote that way to begin with.

More recently, Clinton waffled and wavered on expressing her views on the TPP (the secretive trade agreement that Obama, Republicans, and corporate-bought Democrats have colluded on to send more jobs overseas and suppress American wages). As author John Atcheson recently wrote, Clinton frequently "speaks in vague generalities and stunningly calculated language that is designed to say nothing," in an effort to "to con progressive voters into supporting her without alienating her corporate funders." (Also consider the CNN article, "45 times Secretary Clinton pushed the trade bill she now opposes")     

So what about Bernie Sanders, Clinton's top challenger right now? He isn't backed by Wall Street, and his whole platform is about taking on the big banks and the super-wealthy - the very same groups that Americans say they're angry with. Democratic voters should like him, right? Nope, they still prefer Big Bank Clinton. Further, one-third of Democrat voters are "not sure what to make of [Sanders]," and one fifth would "be 'dissatisfied' or 'upset' to have Sanders as their nominee."

Not sure what to make of Sanders? Are they scratching their heads and saying, "He's not bought by Wall Street? He wants an economy not rigged in favor of millionaires & billionaires? He and I are in agreement on many important issues? Gosh, I just don't know what to make of that! That might actually upset me!"

(In the two-minute video above, Bernie Sanders shows how the U.S. economy has been rigged in favor of the wealthy. You'll never see Hillary Clinton make a presentation like this because, quite frankly, she doesn't care enough about the topic to put that much effort into it.)

The truth is, as long as we keep voting for corporate-bought Democrats (or right-wing lunatics) we'll keep experiencing grotesque levels of income & wealth inequality, environmental pollution, stagnant wages, a bloated & abusive criminal justice system, perpetual war in the mid-east, and more taxes, tolls, fees, and fines (to subsidize tax breaks for the wealthy). All of these things benefit the billionaire class, which is why they're adding billions to their wealth every year as the rest of us are left with dead-end jobs (if any jobs at all) and crushing debt.

Welcome to the Reverse New Deal: Democrats voting for Wall Street.

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