If you’re a simple minded person who believes that either one of those statements (taken alone) are correct, then there really is no hope for you. Turn back to Fox or to MSNBC or whatever else you want…because there is no hope for you.
And if you think this country is in such dire straights because teachers make too much money or cops make too much money or welfare families have destroyed this country or subprime borrowers have destroyed this country without first understanding that behind each of those causes are institutions, both government and private, that engaged in fraud and manipulation and wrongdoing that transcends any of the sins of the nominal player.
And we can no longer rely on those tired old lines of demarcation between Democrat and Republican to point the fingers of blame…..they’re both guilty.
But beyond the parties, and of far greater consequence, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, THE DOCILE, DOPEY, UNEDUCATED, UNINFORMED, LAZY, COWARDLY Americans, who sit fat dumb and happy in front of televisions and computer screens sat aside and did NOTHING.
OUR KIDS WILL HATE US….AND THEY SHOULD….WE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN
From Naked Capitalism:
There’s a slate of important books coming out by reformers this year on what it was like to fight, and lose, for better policy during the financial reform fight. Neil Barofsky talked about facing the administration and Wall Street in Bailout, Sheila Bair has written about her experience at the FDIC, and now former Senate chief of staff for reform Senate Ted Kaufman, Jeff Connaughton, has provided his own memoir. Connaughton is not a rube, and doesn’t pretend to be shocked by DC corruption. His whole career is an anomaly, an idealist turned corporate super-lobbyist in the 1990s turned unlikely reformer in 2009. As such, he is uniquely positioned to describe how our political leaders, and which political leaders, think and act.
One anecdote in his new book The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins really gets at when the failsafe mechanisms for our financial system were in the midst of collapsing. The crisis of 2008 was when the dam broke, but the actual structural weaknesses appeared long before, in the 1970s, and accelerated in the 1990s. Connaughton was a player in both the period of accelerating weakness, in the 1990s, and in the collapse itself.
Throughout the book, Connaughton shows how the system was corrupted by ensuring that only voices within the establishment were heard. For instance, in 1995, Connaughton was a lawyer in the White House, and he and his colleagues had persuaded Bill Clinton to stand up to Wall Street by vetoing the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This bill would make it harder to prosecute securities fraud when CEOs made positive statements about their own company while selling company stock. It would undercut SEC Chair Arthur Levitt, who was furious at the way Congress leveraged its appropriations power to challenge his agency’s ability to protect the capital markets. More importantly, it was Bill Clinton’s most significant and last attempt to stand up to the power of big finance. Senator Chris Dodd and then White House deputy Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles were carrying water for Wall Street in an attempt to loosen the ability to commit securities fraud, but Connaughton had managed to work the White House levers to go around them and get to Clinton himself. After the meeting where Clinton was persuaded to oppose the bill, Clinton saw Connaughton standing alone in the White House hallway. The President went up him, and revealed his unease at what he was about to do.