When Occupy Wall Street (OWS) started last month, a wide variety of news outlets complained that the protesters would not accomplish anything because they did not have clear goals. It now appears that the resulting OWS Movement has scored at least one victory: successfully re-framing media coverage onto the jobs crisis and real economy rather than trumped-up fears about the national debt or deficit.
We Americans should be protesting Wall Street. With their huge sums of money they have been able to do pretty much whatever they wanted and give enough in the way of campaign donations to stop congress from meddling. Their action is shameful and beyond greed!
OWS has forced the press to start concentrating on jobs. This is something that the spineless Democrats should have been doing. We have been talking about the national debt for sometime but the real problem is that until we change our tax laws and get people back to work we are not going to pay off the national debt. By cutting spending as the “Teabaggers” want to do, we will increase joblessness. We have had the huge national debt for some time and, yes, it is getting bigger, yes it needs to be addressed, but, in case you haven’t noticed, a lot of the rest of the world is in worse shape. The countries that have money (China, Saudi Arabia, and a few other unsavory nations) seem to have enough confidence in us to continually buy our bonds. They give us “advice” from time to time, but their investment strategy has not changed.
So, what will happen? The entrenched 1% will not give up easily. They will throw money at politicians, increase security protection, put bullet proof glass on their buildings and maybe even in their homes. The CEOs didn’t get where they are by being wishy-washy. They are tough characters!
Big banks are some of the biggest donors to political campaigns in the country, and they certainly get their moneys’ worth. The big prize was the repeal of the Glass-Steigel act in 1999 and signed by President Clinton. Had this act not been repealed it would have made the collapse of 2008 almost impossible.
President Bush was continually warned that trouble was brewing in the financial market but his administration did nothing about it. A new act, reinstating Glass-Steigel was voted for in 2008 and passed. It, in many ways, was watered down from the original Glass-Steigel Act so, once more the banks made out OK.
The banks have been trying for the past two years to get rid of it. All of the Republican candidates are pledging that they will get rid of it right after they deny 50 million Americans health care. Nice guys! Really nice guys.
Where do the banks stack up as far as donating money (e.g., buying politicians)? Goldman Sachs is number 25. They are actually higher than, say, the NRA. The National Rifle Association is a very powerful lobby but really doesn’t have to give much money because they (the NRA) has a loyal following that will vote any way that the NRA leadership wants. In the case of Goldman, well, banks aren’t that well liked, hence, they really have to buy the loyalty of an elected official.
To stay on this a bit longer, Goldman also spends more than the large defense contractors. The reason for this is that even though it might be very inefficient, the defense contractors try to build factories in almost every state. The representatives from those states had better help the defense contractors because that means jobs in their states!
The banks actually give to both parties. The finance industry, as a whole, gave (invested(?)) 69% of their donations to the Republicans, and 31% to the Democrats. It is easy to see why the Republicans are more enthusiastic about supporting the financial institutions. Although, oddly enough, the one person who has received the most from Wall Street is Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat. Between 2007 and the present, he has raked in $3.9 million dollars for his campaigns. The banks are clearly his friends and he is their friend. When money talks, Chuck listens. This year, Mitt Romney is Wall Street’s favorite presidential candidate.
Banks, in general, have spent more money on lobbying than any other business sector between 1998 and 2011. It has paid off very well. They have been able, so far, to maintain most of their business practices since before the crash.
Read this, it is really good:
OWS has a lot to accomplish and long way to go. They have a very tough opponent. I wish them great success.