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Forum Post: No More Bailouts for Billionaires!

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 26, 2011, 2:26 p.m. EST by GilVillagranMSW (0) from San Jose, CA
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No More Bailouts for Billionaires! By Gil Villagrán, MSW gvillagran@casa.sjsu.edu

After a trillion tax dollar bailout for Wall Street, our economy is still in the toilet, plugged up with toxic paper worth a fraction of what workers saved from earnings for a home, a child’s college education, or a comfortable retirement.  The joke about how everyone’s 401(k) retirement fund is now a 201(k) is no joke as most investments have lost half their value since 2008.  The home purchase will have to wait, the college student must settle for trade school and a lifetime of low wages, and the retirement plan becomes a “work til you’re dead and hope it happens before uninsured long-term care is required.”
But not to worry: Treasury Secretary Geithner is planning a second trillion dollar giveaway, but this time with a string attached:  request the largesse be lent out rather than buying other banks or paying off old debt to foreign banks.  Yes, that is what Wall Street did with our first trillion, they went on bank shopping sprees, paid billions in bonus gifts to themselves, and reduced their own debt. 
The public outrage over the bonus payments was met with consternation by President Obama, Geithner, and Congress.  However, as the president’s economists stated, “The bonuses are binding contracts, we are a nation of laws, so we cannot tell Wall Street what to do (with our money).”  Yet days later, everyone in the Washington DC Beltway stated with equal consternation, “Those autoworker union contracts must to be set aside if the industry is to be granted any multibillion dollar loan.”    
Are these two statements spoken by the same individuals contradictory?  Or is there a logic that escapes us outside the beltway?  George Orwell stated it richly simple in his Animal Farm satire, “All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others!”  Similarly, all contracts must be honored in a nation of laws, but some contracts can be shredded when they apply to wage workers rather than billionaires.  Wall Street and the Washington Beltway are connected in an insidious manner, where they see eye-to-eye, feel each other’s pain, think with the same mind:  “Above all, we must protect our financial system!”
But what is this “great system” that must be protected, sustained, if it has broken down so often and has thrown 10 to 20 million out of work, millions of homes into foreclosure, fails to provide health insurance for 45 million?  The system is called Free Market Capitalism, which means: barely regulated robber baron capitalism.  The wealthy ruling class designed the economic system to benefit their ownership class, and now that the system has failed even them, they have determined how to fix the meltdown—with multi-billion dollar bailouts and handouts
It is high time that American workers woke up to the reality many already suspect: Our so-called Democracy is in reality an Oligarchy—defined as government by the few—where an elite class of families (about 400) with immense wealth are interconnected to control every aspect of the society.  The children of the powerful are prepared, conditioned and mentored to inherit all the important levers of the nation to continue their “rightful elite rule.”  This explains why George Bush, Jr. became president.
But this time, the oligarchs at the casino called Wall Street drove the financial system into meltdown, and the Congress and President, in panic, bail out billionaires to whom they are beholden for their election. The claim that the financial system is so complicated that only Wall Street CEOs can fix the system is but an ever more sophisticated meta-manipulation by the oligarchs.  
How can we set our financial system in order without putting another trillion into the banks?  Put that trillion into wages by employing everyone, including the 10 -20 million who have now been without jobs for more than one year.  Workers pay taxes and consume goods, taxed once again—this is economic stimulus!  There is so much valuable work that must be done to rebuild America:  our cities are all in decay, we need flood control, road repair, high speed rail, schools for the 21st century, health care for everyone.  No American family should be homeless, so home foreclosures must be transformed into housing opportunities for working families.   
At the end of World War II President Roosevelt realized that a devastated Europe would once again be fertile ground for fascism, so he initiated the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, and it worked.  Today our own nation needs an American Marshall Plan.  There is so much work to be done that every man and woman who can work, who wants to work, who needs a job can join in the most worthy goal of our generation:  to rebuild America!

We must all shout: Occupy all of America! NO BAILOUTS for BILLIONAIRES! Bail out the American worker with a job, a home, health care and education!



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