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Forum Post: Malefactors of Great Wealth

Posted 3 years ago on Dec. 19, 2011, 6:37 p.m. EST by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL
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“It may well be that the determination of the government (in which, gentlemen, it will not waver) to punish certain malefactors of great wealth, has been responsible for something of the trouble; at least to the extent of having caused these men to combine to bring about as much financial stress as possible, in order to discredit the policy of the government and thereby secure a reversal of that policy, so that they may enjoy unmolested the fruits of their own evil-doing. . . . I regard this contest as one to determine who shall rule this free country—the people through their governmental agents, or a few ruthless and domineering men whose wealth makes them peculiarly formidable because they hide behind the breastworks of corporate organization.”

—Theodore Roosevelt, Address at the Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Provincetown, Mass., August 20, 1907

Also:

"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace--business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering."

“They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob."

“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me -- and I welcome their hatred."

—Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 2nd inaugural, Jan 20, 1937

5 Comments

5 Comments


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[-] 2 points by LSN45 (535) 3 years ago

Well said!

Here's my 2 cents:

There are a lot of improvements that need to be made. The list reforms Americans want to see is long and varied depending on who you talk to. That said, I believe there is one reform that would provide the American people the best chances of seeing other meaningful reforms actually happen - that is REAL, loop-hope free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM! I have seen others on this site calling this the "fulcrum" or pivotal issue. Right now the current legalized bribery, pay-to-play system of campaign donations and paid lobbyists has disenfranchised the American voter. Until this is fixed, any other reform the politicians may try to placate us with (be it a change to healthcare, clamping down predatory school loans, new financial regulations, etc.) will be about as effective as a farmer putting a new roof on his CHICKEN COOP, but still letting the FOX guard it.

We need to go back to the original political currency. Instead of the current system of who can collect the most money from corporations and special interests it should be who has the BEST IDEAS to EFFECTIVELY RUN THE COUNTRY (we don't need "Wealth Redistribution," what we need is "Political Influence Redistribution")!

For the sake of our children and future generations of Americans, we need to take back our democracy from the rich and powerful who are using their vast sums of money to "speak" as if they represent millions of Americans. This "Corporate Personhood" that has crept into our laws is allowing them to manipulating our policies in their favor at the expense of the average American (the recent "Citizens United" Supreme Court ruling is a miscarriage of justice and must be reversed. The $50 or $100 a normal American may give to a political campaign becomes meaningless when corporations or other special interests are handing our millions to buy political access to the decision making process.

For decades now the corporations and special interests have had our "representatives" bought and paid for (both on the right and the left). Concentrating our efforts on getting the money out of our politics is the best way we can create an environment in which further reforms can be realized. Until we end the current system of legalized bribery (campaign donations) and paid lobbying our politicians will continue to be the LAP DOGS of the corporations and special interests. What we need first and foremost is real, loop-hole free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!!!! If the corruption is not dealt with first, the chance of any other meaningful reforms becoming a reality is almost zero - the special interests will just use their money to buy votes and put forward bills that create loop-holes or otherwise twist the law in their favor. If we want our children to live in a country where there vote matters, we need to get the money out of our politics, otherwise they will increasingly become the 21st century version of the "landless peasant." Spread the word - End the LEGALIZED BRIBERY!!! CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM needs to be THE main goal of the protests!!!

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 3 years ago

What is this infantile, "don't-you-dare-touch-my-toys" fear of wealth redistribution? The idea is NOT EXACTLY NEW, it is in fact thousands of years old... Jesus - and all the other Great Jewish Prophets before him - constantly upbraided the rich who were too selfish and addicted to "the bucks" to share with the poor.

And now even former Canadian Prime Minister and billionaire businessman Paul Martin has actually come out IN FAVOR OF REDISTRIBUTION. It is a matter of COMMON DECENCY: "An unexpected voice is joining the chorus of support for the Occupy movement — former prime minister Paul Martin.

Martin says protesters have sparked a global debate that may help save the free market system.

“This idea that [the Occupy protestors] don’t have clear goals, I don’t think anybody buys it,” Martin told The Huffington Post, even as city governments across Canada step up their efforts to end the occupation.

“These young people have touched a chord that is being discussed in every family across North America and in Europe, as well. I think it’s a very important thing they’ve done.”

Since Occupy Wall Street launched in New York two months ago, spreading like wildfire across the Western world, many public figures have come out in support of the protests against the growing gap between rich and poor. Most, however, have been celebrities, such as Gordon Lightfoot joining his daughter at Occupy Toronto and Anne Hathaway marching in yesterday’s Day of Action in New York.

Martin — who enacted controversial social service cuts during his time as Liberal finance minister from 1994 to 2002 — says he’s gone down to Occupy Montreal and spoken to the protestors personally.

“The fact is that the free market system works, but unless governments and people are constantly on the watch out for rampant inequality, unless they understand the need for redistribution programs, unless they understand the need to invest in education and better health care and a better environment,” Martin said, “then effectively the free market system will fall on its own accord.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/11/18/paul-martin-occupy-wall-street_n_1101886.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

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[-] 1 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 2 years ago

They, actually - the first quote from Teddy, the second from his cousin, Franklin. And I think your sentiment applies just as well to both.