Monday, December 26, 2011

revolution now

With the US Federal Reserve continuing to give low-cost loans to the European Central Bank, it's past time to ask why this administration is bailing out banks all over the world while demanding austerity for ordinary American citizens.

The greed and recklessness of the banksters led directly to the housing price bubble of the double-zeros and the economic collapse and unemployment crisis which followed. And yet the government is asking ordinary workers to tighten their belts while saying "we all have to sacrifice." But the banksters get to keep their multi-million dollar salaries via bailouts, so what are they sacrificing?

At Salon, Simon Johnson writes "The rationale behind supporting big banks is that they are needed for the economy to recover. But this position looks increasingly doubtful when the banks are sitting on piles of cash while creditworthy consumers and businesses are reluctant to borrow."

This goes way beyond unfairness, and reveals precisely the acute necessity of a second American revolution. At this point, voting one party out of power and replacing it with the other is inadequate, since neither party is addressing our fundamental economic problem, namely bailouts for them and austerity for us. The protesters at Occupy Albany describe the problem this way:

The interests of those who purchase influence are rewarded at the expense of the People, from whom the government’s just power is derived. We believe that this failure in our system is at the core of many interconnected issues we face as a society, and its resolution is key to a just future. We therefore demand true democracy, decoupled from the corrosive influence of concentrated economic power, and we call all who share in this common goal to stand with us and take action toward this end.

Government of the corrupt, by the well-connected, and for the wealthy must go.

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