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Forum Post: Greed us and them ,lets take responsibility

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 25, 2011, 3:57 p.m. EST by MitchK (305)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I hear everyone talking about corporate greed,I call it legal right to capitolism,what BUILT and MADE this country what it is,great,hard work and gaining from it(not like the early settlers robbing,extorting and racketeering for it) this is only my opinion and thats not what I am posting about at this point. May I ask where does coporate greed stem from? Can anyone give an answer or are we to afraid of the truth. Corporate greed comes from HUMAN greed,See how simple? We americans are so greedy. We live WAY above our needs.we live in our wants,pride,greed,ego the thought of not having "enough" and we get in over our heads. The corporations ,that are there for monetary gain, appease us by providing for us the things we WANT,that our egos desire.The reality of it is they do nothing wrong by providing to our lustful wants. Now "we'" get in over our heads we feed the corporate machines they get carried away,greedy,and we say "they" are wrong. Are we not responsible for our own actions? I by a house,thikning I can truly afford it,I do not look at the "teaser" rate they offer me for a mortgage,my future debt to income ratio,future VTL ratio,I base it on my desires ,I buy a house I do not NEED but my EGO WANTS. Rate kicks in to normal,my payment just went up I can not pay it,the bank takes it,THEY ARE WRONG not me? I do not get it. Now THEY are irresponsible at one point for worrying about their greed and not thinking of the future outcome this can lead to,but,hey I am equally irresponsible,to society as well by the way not just to self,for worrying about my egotistical pride and greed and not thinking of the future outcome this can lead to.



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[-] 3 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

Yes, I think there is plenty enough blame to go around for our mess. We are all a part of that to some degree. But, that is the key - it is a matter of degree. I believe the highest degree of blame is on Wall Street for their criminal greed. The government was complicit. Enacting policies and legislation that enabled and encouraged the legal part of their greed. Deregulation, bought and paid for by Wall Street.

Beyond Wall Street, other forms of corporate greed is also enabled by our corrupted government. Corporate greed comes from the pursuit of profit at the expense of anything and everything else.

I don't believe that human beings are naturally greedy. I think greed is a personal failure of morality. I think most people strive for prosperity and success, which people have different definitions for that, but it usually involves a healthy balance of money and other factors (family, religion, education, sports, etc).

I think unrestrained capitalism breeds greed. I believe capitalism needs to be restrained by government policies and regulation (Anti Trust laws) in order to restrain corporate greed because it is harmful to the rest of society.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

April will you marry me( well I hope you are a female...lol)??????..wait Im cooking give a minute for me to retort but LOVE almost ALL of what you said...just one point I would like for you to look at with an openmind when I tell you about it. ciao bella?????

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

That is very sweet! Sadly, I'm not available. But you've made me smile and laugh - which is a nice thing in the middle of some of the crazy here. ok, my mind is open. To just about anything except marriage.lol

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

ok ok thats fine...Morality is great word...what people(not you) do not understand is moraly wrong is not legaly wrong...Now will I say as I have been saying we are a part its not all "them" yes I have to but like you said MORE of the blame is on them I doooo agree,some people REFUSE to accept that we are a part of the problem...

Now criminal greed is where I have to say I do not agree,not with ALL of them. I hate to use this analogy but because the prisons are prodimanetly housed with african americans that does not make ALL african americans criminals,all italians in the mafia,all jews cheap,Irish a bunch of lushes( i do not like to sterotype like everyone is doing with the wallstreeters by saying they are criminals SOME might have done illegal acts)...so therefore not ALL bankers/corporate heads/traders,etc are criminaly neglegent.If a law allows someone to do something WHATEVER it maybe its not illegal. Morally wrong YES,illegal ,no. Is our govt "corrupt" "controlled" by coporations and the rich "1%" I cant use those words, those terms are coined because of,what this movement started over, from what is known as :egtrra/jgtrra(those are abbreviations)that is how those terms got started,in use corrupt,bribery,criminality within govt. All the laws that change and the dergs are done by one and one only GOVT. Why they do it hey as long as its not illegal actions than no law broken therefore not criminals. MORAL CRIMES ohhh yeah....screwing US the people to some extent yes. Now PLEASE look up those abbreviations. YOU will understand what it is you will see at the time some good some bad points for the 99% maybe the benfits outweighed for the 1% but again it was not illegal when they followed it after it became law. See that IF totally done away with now it will cause middle class taxes to go up 1000-2000 a year

April I hope you can follow my rambling a little...again I agree with you accept for the criminal part,LEGAL criminal in all of them.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

I totally get what you are saying! I enjoyed researching the effects of the egtrra and jgtrra. This is just another example of how government actions/inactions have unintended consequences. I don't believe there was any harm meant by those pieces of legislation initially. But, because of other circumstances and variables, there were very negative consequences. It is impossible to accurately forecast future events. We can try to surmise certain likely scenarios and take those into account. And put in the best policies or legislation that will take into account the most likely scenarios for the most desirable outcome. But forecasting will always be wrong.

Alot of our problems are the result of some well intended policies gone bad. Nothing illegal. Just poor planning.

Some of our problems are the result of lack of ethics and legal political corruption. Failure of morality.

Some problems are the result of Wall Street committing securities fraud. Highly illegal. Needs to be prosecuted by the Federal government.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Thank you April and good thoughts,much respect to you,your reading and understanding...and this is why we say or use the term " the 1%/the rich/the coporations corrupt the govt" or "the rich are robbing the country" I just do not like the fact that MOST protesters do not know hwy they are saying it,they say it cause they hear others say it not because like you they checked into it and formed their own thoughts and opinions, now do I think ,feel deep in my bones and heart there are DEFFINATELY corrupt businessmen and politicians out there that act criminaly YES. Do I think things in those tax laws need to be changed OH YEAH,,,,do I think the one(s) who created were thinking in a criminally neglegent way...I can not say yes or no with an honest answer. I do know it has to be looked at seriously and be changed and hopefully in a beneficial way for ALL. It is hard though to make everyone happy.One senerio if the law was done away with totally that would be good for the 99 againstthe 1 % but what about the middle class it also protects to an extent,if its gone than middle class year end tax will go up between 1000.00 to 2000.00 dollars. Its hard and way beyond my grasp All I can do is keep pushing to get it changed,fairly. Futhermore if someone does not undertsand the full scope or atleast have the inteligence to chek into it like you and or I than why do they think they can talk for WE THE PEOPLE and be our voice?

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

Hi Mitch. Its funny I haven't seen you today. I've missed you! Your posts always make me smile.

I think that people that come here have different knowledge and backgrounds. You have good information and knowledge about egtrra/jgtrra so its good that you are here to share that with other people.

But I can't agree to marry you until we clear up our differences about Wall Street! : )

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Well ok I guess it will just have to wait than but isnt it great we can agree to disagree on certain issues...hello btw. And the truth is April I just look this stuff up and "study" it,look into it from all sides as best I could,with the openmind instead of just listening to others and just regurgatate what they say. I am a responsible adult ( sought of) and think when saying something you should try to say it once informed and say it in your own thoughts,with your own mind and ideas, to the best of your ability.

My knowledge and background if you knew would probably scare you. Lets put it this way Most of it came from school of hard knox, so to speak.

And yes it was a pleasure to "see" you tonight,as always

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

I don't think you can scare me. Some people here do. But you, never! There was a guy earlier who threatened my over a private message. That scared me. People who lie scare me too. Once there was a guy who asked me about the size of certain of my body parts! How anyone can even think to comprehend something like that over a computer is a mystery to me! That was just weird.

So you are doing some research about Wall Street??

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

April first time I am seeing this sorry...for those who threaten like that are not be scred of but laughed at belive me I know frist hand from threats,hearing,giving carrying out...lol I am glad I do not scare you it is the furthest thing from my mind to do to you or anyone else in life.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

I'm sorry, MitchK, these people destroyed the economy.

I will not take responsibility for that. I refuse to deal with austerity measures, again, because the financial sector cannot seem to keep themselves in check. They walk and we wind up with, "Clean up on aisle eight." Not anymore.

[-] 1 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 12 years ago

"I'm sorry, MitchK, these people destroyed the economy.

I will not take responsibility for that. I refuse to deal with austerity measures, again, because the financial sector cannot seem to keep themselves in check. They walk and we wind up with, "Clean up on aisle eight." Not anymore."

Well said. The 99% is partly to blame for this mess. But if anyone say's they are equally, or more to blame than the 1% then they are some blind bastards. That's like saying I'm totally responsible for some Jewish con-artist hoodwinking my ass. Or my child is totally responsible for falling prey to pedophile.

"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." Well we've been fooled once before, now it's time to take action before they can do it a second, third, forth, and fifth time--and on and on and on...

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

Well, you know, I don't know any Carrie Bradshaw's. I don't know anyone who buys crap because they can. The people that I work with or for (depending on how you look at it) do not have this kind of luxury. Are there people that get in over their head or spend their time trying to scam the system or are "lazy"? Sure. But, those are pretty small compared to the rest of the people.

But, the reality is that this country has a lot of people that work very hard to do the "right thing". And we are constantly cleaning up the mess created by the legislation written by ALEC. I can honestly say that I am dealing with the throw away people left by the disastrous policies left over from Reagan with less and less money every year.

Not one inch more. No more.

[-] 1 points by justcause (44) 12 years ago

Your economy IS them, without them, you have no economy.

[-] 2 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 12 years ago

promise....?! this is the constant threat that "they" use to hold "us" hostage. "oh what in the world will you do without your McDonald's job or without your credit card?" Please, please let us show you! We're Americans, we will think of something super freaking cool!

and let's not wait for permission people. OWS Christmas Party at Zucotti Park featuring free public screening of Charlie Brown's Christmas and Christmas carols a la bongo drums! : )

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 12 years ago

I'm sorry to have to point this out, but...(not very)

Their economy is US, without US they have no economy.

We are the ones creating demand, the term supply and demand is backwards, without demand there is no need for supply.

We create demand by needing and wanting housing, that includes rentals. We create demand by needing and wanting products, that includes wants as well as needs.

Someone tried to point out to me the other day that supply creates demand, yet the very opposite is shown daily in the numbers of goods that do not 'make it on the market'.

Innovation can be conducive to the creation of demand yet can not create it on it's own.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

They can leave at any time.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Friday I don't know how we as people cannot take responsibility for actions and part in it but yet want them to take responsibility for it...a person or institution should and can not ask someone to take responisibility for an action unless that institution or person take responisibility in their part. I am not saying we shoulder all of it but damn how can we not take responsibility for our part in it. Girl you are driving down the street you slam on your breaks cause you dropped coffe in your lap a car hits you from behind legally yeah your 100% right law says the person who hit you is wrong because he should have been able to control his vehicle,but,really morally are you not wrong in some part,alot of part, girl?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

No. We did this with the S&L scandal and this is repeated. I, as an employed tax payer, AND as a member of this social contract have watched we- the-people go through austerity measures while those that cause the distress do not.

No more. The speculation on food, which is one little short tale of woe in the following link drives up the cost of food. The food riots will come here. Make no mistake. Was this direction worth it? (and I am not trying to be snide here). Was it worth it? http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/RDavies/arian/scandals/classic.html

And this isn't even touching on health care or the faux privatization scams.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Girl,sorry,part of my consipiracy theory brain and paranoia does not allow me to click on links from people I do not know or some I do know. Employed tax payer,and what is that that you do? And bein gyou have no responsibility in this I am sure you have no bills(not electric or gas),most likely that you say damn when you think of what you bought...as for food shortages,listen that is not what this OWS movement is about,we/you/everyone should stick to THE topic. Food shortages ,sure I think food and water will be a BIG problem for this world..guess what, again HUMANS GREED is at fault,not some corporations.Over populate,over indulge,over use,over spend. NONE of these things can be fixed until we look at ourselves,our parts in it thats all I meant when I said Greed US and THEM its not just "there" fault.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

Mitch. I think you need to be aware that it is speculation on food commodities that is driving the food prices and, thus impacting hunger world wide. No,you do not need to know what I do for a living and the last thing that I really want to discuss are bills. But, yes, I have them.

I do not play "deep introspection" in regards to these matters. I am not guilty and I am NOT paying the price for these clowns again.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Girl I am sorry I did not mean to make it sound like I was "counting" you money or anything like that when asking about your bills.All though I appreciate you and you seem like a nice person,someone to debate with and will not start cursing and insulting when they can not form a inteligent though, I do not know how you or anyone can sit there and say they have NO part AT ALL IN THIS MESS, are an innocent outside observer minding their business and just got screwed and victimized. I said that once,I remember when,it was a beautiful day I was in a zoo strolling along minding my business..when all of a sudden I stuck my hand in a lions cage slapped it stole its food and it MAULED me ripped me apart ,all I kept saying why why why why was I VICTIMIZED for no reason at all I had no part in it AT ALL I did nothing wrong.We all played a huge part not ALL our fault, the way we lived in this mess their greed our govts not looking out for us.

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 12 years ago

I agree we are all "complicit" in this and yes human beings are naturally greedy and greed isn't always even a bad thing. And OWS folks shop at the same corporations they are protesting. Some of us own stocks too!

The problem with the corporate system is that it can multiply greed and take it to new levels. Human beings alone would never do some of the things that corporations do. CEO's on their own would never set up a child labor "sweat shop", for example. He/ she would probably not cut down a rainforest tree or pollute a river either. But they aren't thinking about these things when they make their business deals. They are signing contracts and thinking about expenses and profits and bottom lines and stock prices.

That why we need to have laws and regulations and limits and rules and taxes and fees. The corporation by design separates all its functions and compartmentalizes everything. Corporations are not "evil"... they are simply without morality. They have no mechanism or process for contemplating, much less acting for the "public good". It's not that they don't care... as an institution they are-- by design-- incapable of these types of calculations. There is a good documentary on this titled (appropriately) "The Corporation".

p.s. Zoos make me sad for the animals in them. Watching a majestic animal like a lion pacing to-and-fro in a 10x10 meter cage is one of the most unpleasant experiences I've ever had. : (

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

beamer good point and thank you for atleast keeping an openmind to things around you/us. S**T I will never ever say corporations and politics are not morally wrong,some even legally wrong,I do not agree with ALL they do or laws that sometimes are designed to protect them and politics but to have them foot ALL the blame nah that I can not do or see.

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 12 years ago

i definitely blame politicians and hold them morally responsible. no matter what the pressures of lobbyists are, they can still act independently.

i am really just repeating the argument/ analysis made by the movie I mentioned because it helped me understand better how/ why corporations can do some of the "evil" things they end up doing. it's another way to look at it instead of saying it's greedy and therefore evil or saying it's creating wealth and therefore virtuous. it is neither. it is making profits-- for good or evil it doesn't have any mechanism by which it could care if it wanted to. i assume lots of the people working in the corporations Do care, but they are trapped in its processes and mechanisms too.

keep up the good work!

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Same to you thank you and you keep up your points and views as well thats what this is for to learn more and hopefully we can change what we know or feel is not good for us as a whole as long as we keep open minds and look at ALL points,investigate those points and form our own opinions than VOICE them.... and not work if your belive and enjoy...

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

Nope. This attitude is exactly like the kind of crazy that they started pushin' in the media after it was out that going to Iraq was all about oil.

The media was all about: It's your fault because you drive SUV's. Nope. Not playing it. I don't even have an SUV. These bastards screw up and, now, want me to pay for it and accept responsibility. This of course would then make me obligated to clean up their mess. I don't think so.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Girl...please question for you ,you ever hear a criminal in jail say Damn those f*g cops that D.A. its their fault Im in jail...overlooking the fatc they commited a crime..All I am saying is NOT ALL NOT 100% my fault but yes I deffinately contributed to it...I drive the credit card companys to more power because I took thos cards and bought above my means..not using it what I TOOK IT FOR "emergencys"...I seen people take a mortgage for a house with 10 rooms when they only NEEDED 6-7 rooms or take buy ahouse when all they needed was an rentable apt,,on the other spectrum for business I got banks to give thinsg to people THEY DID NOT DESERVE credit or monetary wise,so yes someway or another wheter you choose to accept it YOU DO as well as I have some part in this mess AGAIN NOT ALL

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

I don't have a credit card and I haven't been arrested.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

WOW I can not believe you willnot take some responsibility...see how inlies the rea lproblem with this country and this world NOBODY wants to say they have any part in wrong doing,their ego,rpide and self will just willnot allow it...one more try ready? Girl gets pregnant shes says its his fault he says its her fault,whos fault is it? In your eyes its ONLY ONE of theirs. bank gives me a redit card I applied for,I OVERINDULGE with that card I CAN NOT pay it...bank puts a 30day late on credit report ,I do not payANY of thebill,bank sues me...whos fault? I get a new job I think I can affoed a BIG house I buy this BIG house,bank gives me a mortgage for this big house,NEITHER I OR THEY consider what can happen if I lose my job,I can not pay payments in two years,they forclose my house I am living in street,house valuses drop cause houseing market was overinflated due to THOUSANDS of situations like this,whos fault is it???

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

Do you understand the concept of predatory lending?

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Oh I know it well probably a tad better than you,I did not say I agree with it,but to simplify it that term predatory lending, simply put, feeding into the greed and desires of human nature(consumers/americans) and providing what they(consumers/americans) want not need or can even afford. S**T I think it is MORALLY wrong to lend people money without first looking into POSSIBLE outcomes in the long run,but hey I also think PEOPLE taking these loans or looking for them(without first looking into possible outcomes) are equally as wrong. The bank is just ,GIVING WHAT THE PERSON WANTS.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

America's Illegal Foreclosure Epidemic Monday 15 August 2011 by: Jim Hightower, Other Words | Op-Ed Two-year-olds often go running around the house too wildly and crash into something. They get an "ouchie" and fall down crying, but they learn from it.

That's the virtue of the "ouchie" that Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and other big financiers got last year when they ran into the law after racing wildly through home foreclosure paperwork. They were caught falsifying thousands of documents and taking illegal shortcuts that were causing innocent families to lose their homes. They had to pay fines, make restitution, suspend foreclosures, and pledge to clean up their act. But at least they learned their lesson.

Oh, wait — these aren't two-year-olds. They are wily bankers, and the only lesson they ever seem to learn is that shortcuts can be profitable — as long as you don't get caught. But, once again, they've been caught rushing through foreclosures, using the same old scam called "robo-signing."

To foreclose on someone's home, an authorized bank employee must sign the foreclosure document, swearing that the facts in it are true. But that requires hiring people to review each case. To avoid that cost, they take an illegal shortcut by signing the name of someone who has not read the document and might not even exist.

In one Massachusetts county, for example, the signature of "Linda Green" has recently appeared on some 1,300 foreclosures. Curiously, her signature was written in many different styles, and she had many different titles. Also, there's no Linda Green presently working in the mortgage banking company involved. Meanwhile, state officials say that robo-signing is, once again, "an epidemic" all across the country.

It's a federal crime to do this, yet no bank or banker has even been charged. Until we put a CEO in jail, the banking barons will never learn their lesson.

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. http://www.truth-out.org/americas-illegal-foreclosure-epidemic/1313417624

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Girl can you ,YOU interpert this and in your own words after thourougly reading it WITH AN OPEN MIND...tell me what it mean,own words from your own mind and heart? I did not say I did not or want to read it I said yo are just repeating others thoughts and opinions....OH yeah and STILL WILL not be a responsible adult and take SOME blame

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Girl I though you can think for yourself,investigate express your vies on the issue and not just cut copy and paste OTHERS ideas, I had more faith in you than that... And I Still do not understand,can not fathom, why you can not be a responsible adult and admit I am part of the problem and "they" are not WHOLLY 100% to blame. The hardest thing to do for a human is to asmit their wrongs I guess you are infalable?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

First, I bring you the links but you refuse to click on them. I understand. So, I provide you with information (bring the links to you) and now you don't want to discard them as well. Oh, I understand perfectly now.

You want to discard anything that does not fit into the "responsibility" meme.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

May 20, 2009 05:00 PM WSJ: Banks Using Life Insurance Policies on Low-Level Employees to Fund Executive Bonuses By Susie Madrak

Such poetic irony, don't you think? The deaths of the little people working for corporate behemoths goes to pay bonuses to their company's top earners. Hey, it may be legal - but it sure lacks class.

Banks are using a little-known tactic to help pay bonuses, deferred pay and pensions they owe executives: They're holding life-insurance policies on hundreds of thousands of their workers, with themselves as the beneficiaries.

Banks took out much of this life insurance during the mortgage bubble, when executives' pay -- and the IOUs for their deferred compensation -- surged, and banking regulators affirmed the use of life insurance as a way to finance executive pay and benefits.

Bank of America Corp. has the most life insurance on employees: $17.3 billion at the end of the first quarter, according to bank filings. Wachovia Corp. has $12 billion, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has $11.1 billion and Wells Fargo & Co. has $5.7 billion. (Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia at the end of last year.)

The insurance policies essentially are informal pension funds for executives: Companies deposit money into the contracts, which are like big, nondeductible IRAs, and allocate the cash among investments that grow tax-free. Over time, employers receive tax-free death benefits when employees, former employees and retirees die.

Though not improper, the practice is similar to what is known as "janitors insurance," an insurance-on-employees technique that has long been controversial. Critics say the banks' insurance contracts are a way for companies to create tax breaks for funding executive pensions. And some families have complained that employers shouldn't profit from the deaths of their loved ones. http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/wsj-banks-using-life-insurance-polici

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

Who Is Stealing Your Retirement and Why? October 4th, 2011 · No Comments · Capitalism, Health Care, Labor, Politics, Populism, Wall Street

It’s about time you faced some increasingly obvious facts. Your own corporation is stealing your retirement income. Corporations are freezing defined benefit plans, shutting down others, converting some to defined contribution plans and drastically capping the amount retirees receive in health care benefits.

It is happening now under the guise of increased costs, but it is, more often than not, a lie. With 79 million Americans, 10,000 every day turning 65, the heart of the Baby Boom generation will feel the impact of this corporate theft very soon and very dramatically.

The very uncomfortable fact is that, at the same time that workers’ retirement pay is being cut, senior executive pay is being increased using these same funds that are being cut from retirees. In one instance, Lucent, the former Western Electric arm of AT&T, reduced retiree benefits by $400 million because, they said, the company was in dire straights. The same year, however, they gave out executive bonuses of $400 million, almost the exact amount of the retirement pay reductions.

For many years pensions were run with various states of efficiency and ethics. But in 1974, the government decided to take action. Pension funds finally came under federal regulation. No more taking employee retirement funds to use for other purposes. Something called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, (ERISA) came into being. ERISA stipulates certain matters concerning employee pensions and how they must be handled. The question is….how is that legislation being manipulated to allow corporations to spend retirement funds for other purposes.

By the early 1990s, ERISA was doing pretty well. Employee retirement funds had surpluses for a variety of reasons of over $250 billion dollars. This was too much of a temptation for a lot of the CEOs to resist. The people on Wall Street began to make suggestions to corporations on ways that these large amounts of money could be turned to their advantage. And that is exactly what has happened.

In the 1990s we saw the gradual breakdown in protection for the retirement funds for retired workers, chipping away at health care benefits and death benefits. After the Lehman bankruptcy and the subsequent crash of the Stock Market from 11,000 down to 6,900, and the loss of trillions, about 40% of the net worth of every single American, plus the loss of 8 million jobs (making the total 14.9 million) we knew that corporations and their financial consultants could no longer be trusted.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 12 years ago

This is a big problem. Many people are facing a bleak retirement. Half of all private sector workers have no pensions or retirement savings plan to supplement Social Security and this is growing. The fact is that many employers who sponsored pension plans that offered lifetime retirement incomes have frozen the contributions to those plans, or are replacing them with 401(k) plans. Only about 20% of all workers now have a defined benefit plan. Most 401K plans will not provide adequate income for a comfortable retirement.

Even today, many workers have spent their entire lives with the same company. While many workers for large organizations, probably the majority, are not skilled or degreed, that is, they do not have a certificate of a degree from a university nor are they a certified electrician or some other skill, they have become quite skilled in the occupation or perhaps several different occupations that they have learned while on the job.

So, many of these workers retired after 30 or 40 years with a retirement income, which is basically deferred income. It is income that they chose to put aside into a retirement fund for their old age. Included with that, approximately 40 years ago, were life insurance and health insurance benefits. And they were important. But in the early 1990s retired workers began to notice something.

The companies began to complain that the retirement benefits were becoming a burden. Some companies maintained that they simply could not continue to provide the same benefits. So, one of the ways companies handle this is to freeze benefits. There are all kinds of benefit freezes. But the basic situation is that the company freezes the benefits at this year’s level. So if you have been with the company for ten years and you work for them for another ten years and the benefits stay frozen, you will get your income, multiplied by a percentage times ten, instead of twenty, to calculate your retirement.

Another method is the switch to a defined contribution plan, a 401K plan, which is a far less desirable form of retirement fund. Usually the first phase is the freeze and then some formula for transfer of the funds into a 401K plan. At that point the employee is responsible for the plan, usually under funded. The simple fact is that as often as not, there is not reason other than creating more profits for the change in the pension benefits.

But the pensions themselves are not the only thing that the corporations are cutting. Health care benefits are a great way for corporations to reduce their liability for former workers. Many big corporations will tell workers what great health care programs they will have when they are working. But what they don’t say is that they have capped the health care benefits for retirees. So when the health care costs for retired beneficiaries gets to a certain point, they pull the plug.

But if the company does not reach any kind of difficulty with funding health care, why cap the benefits? It’s simple. A limit on retiree benefits becomes greater profits because a liability is reduced and it therefore flips and becomes profit on the spread sheet. In addition, every amount not spent on this becomes more income that can be spent on executive bonuses or better stock performance.

What does it mean for the employee? Take this one example from IBM, which capped its expenditures on retiree health care in 1993. The caps for retirees were set at $3,500. That was not much in 1993, but by 2001, the caps per employee were hit and the costs began to shift to retirees. As a result, health care costs have skyrocketed for the elder retirees and have remained flat for IBM. Some retired IBM employees, have experienced increases of 30 to 60% increases in costs over the years, reducing retirement income by hundreds of dollars a month.

Cutting health care benefits is a basic tool for the CFOs of major corporations. This is how it’s done. International paper, in the late 1990s, had a health care liability of $400 million. By reducing the amount it paid for health care to retirees by $133 million, it could add $18 million on paper to its profitability the next year. The year after that, it added another $18 million, and the third year, a whopping $65 million in paper profit.

This is why it is being done. Not because costs are going up. But because it allows CEOs the opportunity to add to CEO and senior executive salaries and bonuses. It is not good for the relationship between workers and corporations…which is at an all-time low as it is. But it is even worse for the overall condition of the working family in this country who need every opportunity to create enough wealth to live comfortably throughout retirement. It is one more sign of the never ending greed of America’s corporate billionaires. http://www.populistdaily.com/politics/who-is-stealing-your-retirement-and-why.html

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Still do not understand why you can not be a responsible adult and admit I am part of the problem and "they" are not WHOLLY 100% to blame. The hardest thing to do for a human is to asmit their wrongs I guess you are infalable?


[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 12 years ago

Lets talk oil! We go to war about it for it, people die over it. Why doesn't my government run gas stations? You want to employ some vets? I say I want a non-profit oil company to compete with Koch brothers. The oil companies collude with each other, they made themselves a virtual Monopoly. People need gas to get work and buy food where there is no public transportation. How about the phone company? Do I have a choice of land lines? Can I open a phone company and run landlines all over this county? How about garbage, Can I go into the garbage business and compete with my current provider? Say I'm bleeding to death, do I choose my hospital or go to the nearest and only one in 30 miles? And do I think in a free market I could do any of this when someone with more money could operate in the red and drive me out of business until they owned a total monopoly, in theory they'd jack the price until someone did compete and then they'd drive them out and that constant cycle would provide us with fair prices. Its not fair to the person who can't compete with billionaires that has to fail over and over. Free markets are crap. Monopolies are the enemy of capitalism and if you don't cap and regulate them or provide the citizens with some basic services at cost, you are just getting bought off to allow America to be raped and pillaged one dollar at a time. Now somewhere in here I have to stick in that hate Monsanto for running around buying out seed companies to build a monopoly along with other dirty tactics and payoffs, that crap needs busting up and fixing and we need to have a choice in whether or not we feed our kids frankin foods. The banks committed crimes. If I had enough money I could make theft legal but many would still call it a CRIME! Deregulation my behind. Get the money out of politics and serve the people! Whats wrong with that? In items I can choose, I can choose whether I want to support the buying of cheap foreign goods marked up and BRANDED or I can buy a cheap item directly from overseas and cut out the middle man in the US entirely. We were guilty of shopping at Walmart. We were guilty of buying cheap foreign made products back when we had some choices left. And we can stop that crap.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 12 years ago

There is sufficient greed to go around. MitchK is correct, many new homeowners made bad investment decisions with insufficient capital reserves. The critics f the big banks are correct, many banks made bad investment decisions with insufficient capital reserves, Congress is at fault because it failed to regulate several important steps along the process. For those would would like to read a more comprehensive coverage of the 2008 debacle, please see”Reforming Wall Street”, Greenhaven Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-7377-5235-9.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

zymergy...thank you...we need to first satrt with our own greed and unfrotunately like you said there is alot to go around so we need to pick and choose what /whos greed we go along with...lol

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

Everyone believes that we need the 1% in order to survive, I say let them all leave this country since our dollar is looking like it will be worthless in the future.

In this way it gets rid of the greedy, powerful individuals that control our lives so it can be replaced with responsible, caring individuals that have the creativity to start over with something better.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

hmmmm Barb question ,,,,,you know that these "individuals" will not act in same manner? barb if I offer you 250,000 a year to work maybe the job might have some moral issues though you will not take it? These individuals will not do it? This country was founded on rich not wanting to pay taxes it got stronger by americans wanting for more and hence the inudstrial revolution created by that so called 1%. Again please do not think I say they are ALL 100% right and infalable but you/I/we need to look at the overall picture and what got us to this point as well

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

I realize that my idea is farfetched but the fact remains when our society gets much worst then it is right now and trust me it will, People are going to attack the 1% which will force them to move from this country. The rich right now are worried about rebellion from the increasing poor population even though they created the problem.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

barb a VERY IMPORTANT question I will ask you like I ask everyone else DO YOU or I or US have any part in the creation of this "problem" we are in? This needs to be answered before you or I continue with the alleged why it has ahppened.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

I have worked hard all of my life and have never received government assistance. I did not buy a house that I could not afford. I have paid into Social Security and Medicare my whole working life. The cost of living has prevented me from saving additional money for retirement. Am I still part of the problem?

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Well something you NEED to ask before you can point fingers...you know you better than I do..I did the same as you and yes I am part of the problem. I worked hard and bought somethings out of desire,wants,ego,pride and greed not NEED(sometimes OVERINDULDGED). I built up credit cards though I pay them that I really had no TRUE emergency or reason to(like I "got" the cards for),so yes I am part of the problem....think hard look at you and than ask the question to yourself honestly...always remember when pointing a finger at someone you have three pointing back at you,I know that sounds childish but it is truth.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

Sorry but I don't have any credit card debt either. I refuse to buy a new car so I will buy used. I buy second hand computers even though the original owner bought it from a company not made in America. If that is why I am guilty, so what no one is perfect!

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

WOW ...almost a sign of admission to being PART of the problem...I can garauntee it well truthgfully ALMOST garauntee it you have things NOT NEEDED but bought on pride,ego,greed,something like that you have overinduldged in spending,job,,,,I did not say YOU are to blame but you are PART of the problem as well and you know why as yoou say NO ONE IS PERFECT, and only a perfect being can 100% FULLY BLAME another.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

I do not understand why you are taking this so personally unless you are the 1% in response to an earlier thread.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

DEFFINATELY NOT....and its not personal...i just believe that as a person who is living in what we built we need to take some sense of responibility and if you can not do that than you are therfore not being a responisble adult/person, furthermore if you are not that than you should not be speaking on something that effects 100% not just 99 or 1 %, when we speak about an issue so big we need to be responsible people because it can have a HUGE impact

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

YOU are playing into the hands that want to make you believe that you are responsible for the crisis we are facing today and that is simply not true. We pay taxes with the belief that government and the laws that govern those that participate in being responsible will act in a responsible manner in how they budget that money and it clearly indicates that they have not been responsible with our money.

To add to the insult they are making the tax payors pay for their irresponsible behavior. So if Americans already get this and view it as if they are going to be responsible for the debt, then they might as well as to that figure of the deficit since it does not matter what we do.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

well who did you vote for last election(s)? Did you vote across the board in every election,add our GREED,PRIDE our desires to please our eyes our flesh the perversion of it, back into the equation,still think you have NO PART AT ALL in this? OR I OR ANY OTHER AMERICAN, and PLEASE remember NEVER once did I say WE are 100% at fault and NEVER ONCE did I say THEY ARE NOT AT FAULT AT ALL...PROBABLY and I say probably the only ones in this country who can say they have no part in it is the Amish people,,,and than depending how you look at it they do too, heck if they only contributed more to productivity and society....lol


[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Mitch - you dont understand what happened. THE US corporations committed many acts of theft over ten years. Not "abstract" theft, ACTUAL theft, with real cases, real people. The greedy people stole too much. Some of them will go to prison now. just keep watching the streams... because the revolution won't be televised.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

corporatION not tionS as in plural...yes I will agree there can and are people running some corporations that do break laws,,,YES but to say all of them well,can not agree to that and that is what most of these "voicers" say,now I also have to say the same reason the people running the corporations do illegal things is due to their OWN greed the same way WE feed these corporations with OUR greed. We do have a huge part in the problems of todays economy thats all I wish people would take some repsinsibility for some of it.

[-] 2 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

The corporations do it because there is fraud and corruption and the good men in the group are not strong enough to stop it. People try to steal all the time . The fault in this case is not with the thieves, its with the people who are in charge of not letting this happen - attorneys, judges, politicians....

[-] 1 points by divineright (664) 12 years ago

If we purchases goods or services from a major corporation, we are responsible and accountable. If our government uses our tax money to bail out banks or uses our money in other unscrupulous means, we must hold them accountable. We need to work just as hard to fix this in managing our day to day lives as we do to change things from the top down. This problem is multi-faceted and a lone strategy will not result in victory.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

divine thank you for saying the truth..some people insist that WE have no part in the problem. I have never once said the corporations are NOT at fault,that politicians are NOT at fault THEY SURE ARE but not 100% all THEIR FAULT and SOME epople REFUSE TO ADMIT TO IT.

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 12 years ago

skimming the thread and following the argument...

I see how frustrated you are that people don't want to accept responsibility. This is the part of Conservatism that I do relate to and have much sympathy for. It just always seems like the Conservative viewpoint wants to ignore the power of environment on human behavior. We are weak, poorly evolved primates and we all fuck up all the time. The question is, how do we create the best conditions for the least fucking up. We have to give people choices.

My biggest "ENEMY" in this corporate world that I protest against so much is the automobile. I hate cars and car-culture. I think they are ruining the planet and also ruining our cities and even ruining our ability to share space and just to relate to each other. When you are on a crowded train or bus... well, it's easy to feel solidarity because literally everyone is in the same "boat". In your car you feel hostility (road rage) because everyone is literally IN YOUR WAY!

But as much as I hate cars... I'm guilty. I own one and drive one. I try not to (because i hate it and i love riding my bike) and I try to carpool to work. But I still own and drive a car. So I'm guilty, but then I don't have much of a choice. There's no train to work. The buses are ridiculously slow. There's not even a bike path! and i would be happy to ride the 20 miles each way if there was a simple path).

We need choices. Given them, we'll still make mistakes. But without them we are doomed.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Beamer, THANK YOU for atleast keeping an openmind and knowing we have some, even if small ( I say huge part ) part of this problem ( how much we have a part in it we can agree to disagree on...lol)

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

beamer let me show you something..ready my greed for nice things actually overly nice things thats not needed,drove me to give people in the field of work at the time (for 15 years) things they did not need but wanted and maybe could not even afford,but S**T I HAD to get paid HAD TO GET MINE just like my customer,so I get him approved by the bank for READY for this this 40K dollar car or truck,the bank does it to feed their bottom line,teh analyst did beacsue of her/his performance reports and money,not to concerned with the bottom line if he can not pay and others can not it will start destroying the economy, I get paid ,consumer gets car,anylyst gets good reports for producion feeding her bonus,banks bottom line goes up everyones happy UNTIL THE CRASH WHEN THEY/WE/US can not pay for our greed....lol..same goes for mortgages big issue with this down trodden economy...and YES I KNOW about them FIRST hand.

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 12 years ago

see... this is why it bothers me so much that OWS has failed to embrace you. obviously you have a lot of dog in this fight! and a lot to contribute.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

I am nothing but a lowly cog in this great machine of america and I am happy with that....lol...I enjoy a good debate if it is with good,open minded people and I can only hope that good comes out of it..my service to my country to "my people." and again thank you

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 12 years ago

back at you my fellow Patriot.

[-] 1 points by divineright (664) 12 years ago

You bet MitchK. We have to be realistic about the problem and realize it's going to take a lot of effort on our part. We won't be able to push some laws through to keep money out of politics then go back to sleep. This will take constant awareness. I'm not saying everyone can eliminate big corporations from their lives all at once (that may not even be necessary). Be an informed shopper and realize your purchase power is support for the organization you are doing business with.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Divine...spoken like a true ,wait what are those words ,do not hear these word that often, oh wait ...a true responsible adult...lol

[-] 1 points by divineright (664) 12 years ago

I have my moments. Lol.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 12 years ago

I agree with you, Mitch: none of this could have evolved, we could not have been so easily manipulated, if we ourselves were not greedy (in some cases), willing to take advantage of the various tax breaks that were there (not greedy), but unwilling to hear the clarion call that it was all due to collapse. The signs were all there, but we allowed ourselves to become complacent. Form became as acceptable as substance, until at last there was no substance. That does not alter the fact that there is inequality of wealth, not because of astute investing, but because of a stacked deck. We were sleepwalking, perhaps even knowing it would ultimately collapse, but ignoring our knowledge. But now we are awake. Where we go from here is quite exciting.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Phanya,again I write to you not for saying Mitch you are right not for agreeing with me.but.for keeping an open mind and saying that YES WE are atleadst PART(I still say half) repsonsible for these/this economic and other problems,us not willng to look at possible outcomes just looking at what we want and see infront of us,us sometimes KNOWING what those outcomes can be but letting our WANST come first. All we first need to do is look at OUR part in things

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 12 years ago

Too much credit without the awareness of its consequences created a big part of the bubble -- unwarranted loans for home purchases, unwarranted credit cards issued by banks and recklessly used by individuals, easy bankruptcy outs when the credit got out of hand. We all participated in it, some became slaves to it, and now we have to go back to basic, practical spending habits, buying what we need and needing less. For those who did not participate directly in it and were fiscally responsible, they participated indirectly by coasting along, doing nothing in spite of warning bells. And finally, imperfect, unaware human beings create imperfect, unaware societies and governments.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Oh how true it is,thank you Phanya

[-] 1 points by stevemiller (1062) 12 years ago

Its bribes. Is America a country of nitwits?

OWS' commitment to nothing

If OWS announced its "movement/protest" was anarchy, nobody would have pitched a tent and sat in the park for months. They kept announcing there was no strategy and no leaders. That was a lie. I went to the park 7 times to speak with these people and try to find a leader.

One fraud who seemed to be a key player gave me his email address after we spoke. I bumped into him twice more. I was right that he was a key player named John Friesen who was a very deceptive liar. Each of the 7 trips to the park, I left vowing never to return after meeting anarchists. I suspected they were a fringe group in OWS. Stephen Colbert did a show with a couple who were 2 flakes but never would declare they were anarchists.

Beside being sneaky these people are committed to luring in unsuspecting fools who can be manipulated with a crazy goal that people are going to change into a utopian society. For all I know at this point the entire OWS might be anarchists. Most of the OWS people will protest anything to be with any group of assholes. They know that anarchy has no appeal for 99.99% of America, that is why they won't declare they are committed anarchists. That is why the media can't learn the true intentions of OWS. Average middle of the road people can't believe that anybody in their right mind would really want to be anarchists.

Take a guy like Michael Moore who goes to the park and mingles with these people, he's definitely not an anarchist and doesn't realize that they are sneaky and intend to use Moore's fame for their publicity. While they don't intend to do any harm, they are just a group of screwballs who have capitalized on the turmoil all over the world. At some point OWS will collapse from their commitment to nothing.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

I agree. OWS ptb is taking advantage of people. This is a protest run by anarchists. Thats why it won't go anywhere. Hopefully something better and more legitimate will come out of it though.

But I'm curious. How did you know you were talking to anarchists? Do they where a special button or something?? What do they talk about? I'm guessing Direct Democracy and their self sustaining societies. It doesn't surprise me but how was that John guy deceptive and sneaky?

I think most people involved are regular protesters, not anarchists. But alot of the regular protesters do not understand the intent of the anarchists and are being used without knowing it. Some more vulnerable people may be swayed by the anarchists.

For people that are interested I try to help them by telling them about https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

[-] 1 points by stevemiller (1062) 12 years ago

They are covert. They didn't wear buttons. I spoke to as many people in the park as I could on 7 trips. I finally found out. I kept doubting they were real anarchists but finally they convinced me.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

I've had hordes of them gang up on me here! With all of their direct democracy nonsense. It scared me for a while. I'm not scared of them anymore, now I'm just sick and tired of it.

I'm convinced this movement will never reach the next level (yes, the "conversation" in DC has changed somewhat, but talk is cheap). Unless we lose the anarchy, lose the direct democracy nonsense which is so ineffective and absurd that nothing meaningful ever gets accomplished. Get new leadership, an effective organization structure and protest in DC. To end government corruption of course.


[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Hello stranger how goes your day

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

Hi loverboy! You know how it is - different day, same anarchy.

I actually have been working out a new strategy. It's called "My little dream to end the anarchy here once and for all, and get rid of those Serbian revolution fighters too hopefully" .

If you want to take a look. Some people that don't know me well enough, didn't quite catch the sarcasm in my demands. Maybe I just didn't lay it on thick enough. I was trying to sound "official"! It's a tough balance. Anyway, it's really half sarcasm, half serious. I want a vote.


[-] 1 points by stevemiller (1062) 12 years ago

You cheating on me, honey?

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

lol, yeah- you caught me. I blame it on the anarchy here. Forgive me? : )

Have you been back to Zoo-cotti lately? aka - The largest anarchist (and there Serbian revolution fighter friends too) convention in the world?

Must see - very funny. http://occupywallst.org/forum/direct-democracy-is-what-we-need/

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Forum Post: The #1 reason for the protest/movement:egtrra/jgtrra

This content is user submitted and not an official statement

There is 1 and only 1 basic point this protest or movement was started over. The issue is in the title of my post. Now the 2nd point brought out is really just a runoff from this basic 1 issue above. Those are the only 2 issues this whole movement was going after ORIGINALLY.Now everything is popping up,stuff that has nothing to do with what the creaters started this for,such as Student loans (stop whinning pay your bills),No jobs ( I know there are hundreds if people want to work for what is offered them not what their ego,pride and greed feel they deserve and or want NOT NEED),as three people down in Zucotti park told me the unemployment should be extended( they had the nerve to say the 99% means that govt only gave 99 weeks of federal ext on unemployment,no lie this is what I was told by protesters). Back to why I am posting. As I said above is the #1 reason this was started. Being you are a protester or a "mover" of the movement than you should be able to explain this issue,in laymen terms for the 99% to understand,infact even for the 1% to understand,you are the VOICES of the movement.Break it down,the pros/cons,the fair way to change it to benefit EVERYONE not just the 99% or the 1% but the 100% as a whole and remember not just have to change it fairly have it make sense for the people to understand and moneterialy for the country as a whole you also have to make it withstand a substantial period of time so as in 5 years we do not say oooops that was a mistake,blame,,,hmmmm whoever we feel just NOT US. So how many of you are going to explain/breakdown/change/rectify it, the #1 issue,my title above?

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 12 years ago

I read and hear a lot about greed, corporate greed, personal greed, and I understand that greed is the best word to describe the feeling that what we witness brings us. We see corporations influencing governing legislation by the simple expedient of supporting and indebting those who would 'lead' us.

Years ago I watched a body of water burning literally burning, flames boiling the surface, the pollution was so bad, that body of water was literally 'dead'. Nothing could live in it, the water was unusable. I also watched a time when that body of water was being cleaned, it took millions of dollars and years of work to bring it back to life. It took longer to clean than it did to trash. It cost more to clean than the profits of the companies that trashed it earned in that time period.

More recently I watched banks loosing funds by the trillions, funds which weren't theirs to loose, funds which then were replaced by the tax payer, an odd form of double down and the 'house' (us) lost.

I think that most people choose the word greed because they don't understand the word addiction. They think they know, they've watched the anti drug programs on TV, they remember seeing the 'dirty junkie' lying in the gutter.

Yet addiction to the accumulation of wealth is applicable. It isn't the wealth that is sought, it's the 'high'. The accumulation is a side benefit, it allows for more 'highs'. It's a gambling addiction as well as an accumulation addiction.

Explaining this addiction isn't easy even when it's understood...there is the search, seeking investments that will yield high returns, there is the purchase, anticipation of events, then there is the rush when those investments yield many times the original amount invested, then there is the crash when the euphoria wears off.

Corporations are vehicles for human addiction, aka greed. Corporations make the search easier, no searching alleyways for the 'dealer' he's right in the phone book. Corporations also protect the addict (greedy), because his 'toys' remain his 'toys' no matter how the search, use and crash turn out.

We don't allow active addicts to make choices that affect others, we don't allow active addicts to make choices that affect us. Yet through the corporation, there are active addicts (greedy) exerting strong influence over everything that affects us.

It isn't corporations that are the issue, it isn't even capitalism that is, it's the addicted (greedy) that are the issue. The addicted (greedy) who use everything they can, everything that their accumulation of wealth is able to do, in making it easier to 'chase the dragon'.

These addicted (greedy) people, corporations, don't need our disdain, they need our help.

And that is how we work to help the 100%. We stop enabling, we remove their 'fix', we help them learn to deal with life on life's terms. To be accountable not only to others, but to themselves.

[-] 0 points by roloff (244) 12 years ago

I thought I destroyed the economy myslef through my "corporate greed" I wanted to make "profits" I worked at a "bank" I voted "republican" I like "George Bush." I love "corporations" I could use any one of these words or all of them in some sort of fashion and somebody at OWS will think I have a point.

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 12 years ago

I definitely think you have a point. I just don't know what it is!

I think you are just arguing against demonizing and blaming everything wholesale on others. if that is the case, I couldn't agree more.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

True. Again only .05% of those protestting wich is only .05% of the 99% they represent know what they are protesting for. Puppets just listening to others,to words,not actually looking at investigating and studying what they are protesting if they even know what it is.

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 12 years ago

I AGREE that we as a society need a revolution in our VALUES, which are obsessively materialistic. As I've been repeating "ad nauseam" on this forum, in spite of the lies spewed day in and day out by ADVERTISING, THINGS do not make PEOPLE happy.

But I vehemently DISAGREE with your inference that we are therefore all EQUALLY TO BLAME. There are criminals on Wall Street, supported by criminals on Capitol Hill, who share a much greater part of the blame than the rest of us.

And don't forget AMERICAN TELEVISION - that "mass experiment in collective cretinization"! - which PUSHES unbridled materialism day in and day out. and has greatly contributed to the distortion of the values of the common man.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 12 years ago

I don't believe we are all equally responsible, but we all shared in creating a culture that promoted materialism from every angle, promoted separateness rather than unity by virtually worshiping competition, and above all promoting the idea that we could do nothing about it. What the folks on Wall Street did was disastrous, but not illegal. Immoral, yes; illegal, no. There is no one to prosecute. The corporations did what they were supposed to do: they made money. Government did what we permitted it to do: they stacked the deck in favor of business. It is time for us to use the real power we have: vote into the Congress candidates who believe in the majority of what you believe in. Make all the money to be spent on advertising a gigantic waste because we on these forums have encouraged everyone to think and ignore the lies. These are steps we can take to begin the process of shifting the focus of government back to the people.

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

Well first thing is again people on wall street are not criminals for following what the laws allow,we are to blame for feeding their greed with as you agree our greed. Capitol hill well see those people are voted in by none other than ....US and those are the biggest t blame for allowing their pride egotism and will get in the way of the collective good of our country

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 12 years ago

"People on wall street are not criminals", writes MitchK.

Apparently MitchK has NOT seen the movie "Inside Job"!!!!!

[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

again MORALLY AND LEGALLY are two different things...just cause some movie maker decides to edit shoot film and write as he sees it does not mean it is real and can be used in a court of law( tio I am sorry to be the one to give you this news,but, movies are fake no matter how real they look)...tio...lets see if you can answer this who on wall street is to blame than...and I do not mean names,I mean intistutions,corporations,positions/titles(presidents,vp's,managers,mailroom guys,etc...) ? Who do you say we point the perverbial finger at? Please all keep in mind ,this may sound foolish but reality when pointing a finger at someone/something we have three pointing back at us

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 12 years ago

You are completely misinformed and not worth my time. "Inside Job", by the way, is a DOCUMENTARY.


[-] 1 points by MitchK (305) 12 years ago

lol...I made a documentary it actually SHOWS how Obama caused and was part of 911 so I guess it MUST be true(sarcasm just incase you do not know what reality is) See one example to show you about how FACTUAL that doceumentary was one claim was big banks want to fail so they can be bailed out....Well than I NEVER HEARD of ANY buisness WANTING to fail ...they are concerned ONLY WITH PROFITS,,,and if thats not true than how can,like protesters say,can they be GREEDY? I seen another good documentary it shows how cuba has better medical care than america yet I do not see people RUNNING out of america to go live there yet I see them coming here for a better life. A MOVIE is your basis for an argument a MOVIE wow do you still believe in santa clause, too?well I know hes not real cause the easter bunny told me so

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

Lets try not to drag Santa and Easter Bunny into this. I'm positive they are innocent!

But Wall Street is not. Wall Street did commit crimes. Most of it has to do with securities fraud, but there could be more. It has to do with the way they manufactured CDO's which were made up of alot of bad loans, that they knew, or should have known (due diligence) were bad. However, they sold them as something they were not. Like selling a car. You can't try to sell a Ford as a BMW by putting a BMW label on it.

Two very good books about this is - Too Big to Fail and All the Devils are Here. I was appalled and horrified when I read these books and came to understand what the banks had done. Yes, some of their greed was legal. But much was criminal as well.

There are many many lawsuits at the state level and by private investor funds against the Wall Street banks. Most of these are being settled by the banks for pennies on the dollar of the actual losses incurred, as a cost of doing business. Google Goldman Sachs lawsuits.

The other horror is that our Federal Government has not seen fit to prosecute Wall Street. Even after an investigation by the House Permanent Subcomittee on Investigations led by Sen Carl Levin completed their investigation of the financial crisis. Thousands of pages of documentation from that investigation was sent to the DOJ, almost 2 years ago. I think you can still find this information on Sen Levin's website. Still, the DOJ has not brought any charges. And I don't believe it is because Wall Street is innocent.