Another Welfare Handout for Wall Street Tycoons
We've had almost a week of these hysterical cries of “Wolf!” and “Emergency!” After awhile those initial panic reactions of “Oh My God! What will we do?!?!?” start giving way to more rational analysis.
After all, if you're trapped inside a burning building, your first priority is to get out alive. It’s only afterward that you start thinking “OK, who started the fire? Who was in charge? How did this happen?”
As of this writing, another “tentative” bailout agreement has been reached but not yet finalized by Congress. But whatever package we ultimately get — We The People need to make some serious changes.
Ever since the early ‘80s we've been letting the largest corporations do exactly what they want, when they want. And when they lose money, the taxpayers happily bail them out, so these companies can go and do the same thing again and again.
Sure, let’s allow these corporations to “police themselves” and trust that they’ll do what's right. As conservatives would say, “they want rights but no responsibilities.” How’s this been working out for us?
There's a theory that if Franklin Roosevelt (or somebody with similar views) hadn’t gotten elected president in 1932, there would have been a violent populist revolution in this country. And I think that’s the stage we’re in right now. People are pissed!
The streets of New York have been full of furious protesters. (Links here and here.) This anger isn't going away.
This column has some good ideas (plus it’s a good rant). The author, Adam Benforado, refers to the environmental cleanup law known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. You probably know it as the Superfund.
Under this law, cleanup of toxic waste had to be paid for by the corporations that had dumped it in the first place. It didn’t matter that these companies didn’t “intend” to poison anybody when they dumped their toxic chemicals. And it didn’t matter whether these companies violated any current laws at the time they did their dumping.
What mattered was: their willful actions caused billions of dollars worth of pollution and health hazards. And a lot of these companies had the means to pay for cleaning up their own shit.
Same goes for the Wall Street robber barons. As the title of the column says: “Take the banker’s Porsche.” Let’s see some heads roll.
Kenneth Lay faked his own death so he could weasel out of paying the price for his multi-billion dollar robbery. Let’s see how many Wall Street CEOs will have a fake heart attack, followed by a closed-casket “funeral” with no reporters allowed.
cross-posted at Bring It On!