Friday, June 22, 2012

How a bunch of rich guys stole your money

Some rob you with a six gun, some with a fountain pen.
Great post today from The Burning Platform about how the financial industry stole a whole lot of money from the 99 percent.

It quantifies the catastrophe that's befallen the middle class:

  • Median net worth fell 39 percent from 2007-2011.
  • The real decline in median household income is in excess of 20% since 2001.
  • Families are making 6.3% less today than they were a decade ago.

Trade deals and the Federal Reserve get most of the blame for this sad state of affairs:
The reality is the oligarchy has used foreign wage differentials and the perceived benefits of globalization to ship manufacturing and now service jobs to Asia while using their captured mainstream media to convince the average American that this has been beneficial to their lives. Using one of their 15 credit cards to buy cheap foreign goods made by people who took their jobs was never so easy.  I wonder if the benefits of being able to buy cheap Chinese electronics, toxic dog food, and slave labor produced igadgets outweighed the $2.3 trillion increase in consumer debt, 27% decline in real wages, 7 million manufacturing jobs lost since the mid-1970s, 46 million people on food stamps, $15 trillion increase in the National Debt since 1978, and a gutted decaying industrial base.
The mainstream media shares the blame too.
We certainly couldn’t expect business journalists at Bloomberg, CNBC, NYT, or CNN to actually analyze the data, produce an intelligent dialogue of the causes, and reach a conclusion that the affluent and influential on Wall Street and in Washington DC caused the average family in this country to endure tremendous hardship while the oligarchy plundered and pillaged the countryside, stuffing their pockets with ill-gotten gains.
As Charles Ferguson, who directed Inside Job (a must-see), concludes:
Over the last thirty years, the United States has been taken over by an amoral financial oligarchy, and the American dream of opportunity, education, and upward mobility is now largely confined to the top few percent of the population. Federal policy is increasingly dictated by the wealthy, by the financial sector, and by powerful (though sometimes badly mismanaged) industries such as telecommunications, health care, automobiles, and energy. These policies are implemented and praised by these groups’ willing servants, namely the increasingly bought-and-paid-for leadership of America’s political parties, academia, and lobbying industry.
Read the whole rant here.