A few months ago some fed-up Americans decided to let Wall Street know that they were a bunch of greedy, conscienceless pigs, and so they marched down that short, narrow — and crooked — street. It made the papers, and the next day there were a few more of them … and then more still … and then other cities caught the fever, and where it will stop no one can say. And I personally could not be more pleased.
Think it over. When was the last time you saw a spontaneous mass movement in America? We have seen plenty of the cooked-up kind, as where two super-greedy billionaire brothers give in to their appetite and hire experts to start a mass movement to cut their taxes — or a TV network beats the drums 24 hours a day for a “spontaneous” mass meeting.
This is the real thing. It’s the real people, the 99 percent of us, whose incomes are faltering or falling — or gone! — while the richest 1 percent among us are bending the laws and brining our legislators to make them richer still. Can that be called anything less than rapacious greed? It is, in truth, class warfare, an unrelenting effort to take away what even the poorest among us have.
Does anyone leaving a job need a $126 million (Gene Isenberg at Nabors Industries) parting gift? And he is by no means the only one — Eric Schmidt at Google got $100 million, and at IBM, Sam Palmisano stuffed his pockets with an unbelievable$170 million to ease the pain of leaving his job.
That isn’t just disgusting, it’s gross whole-hog piggery. It is one of the many battles the 1 per cent’s class war against the rest of us wins day after day.
If there is one thing we’ve learned in the past few years, it is that the very rich don’t care what happens to the rest of us. When Wall Street’s uncontrollable avarice came within a hair’s breadth of destroying the economy in one villainous spree in 2008 — selling people securities that they knew to be worthless and mortgage loans that they could never in this world pay back, and then evicting them for those unpaid loans — our government gave them nearly a trillion dollars — that’s $1,000,000,000,000 — of your, the taxpayers’, money to save them from bankruptcy, ostensibly in order to help the home owners. But the financial institutions didn’t help the home owners. They took the money and kept it for themselves.
What else have they thought up to do? Well, for a long time, American businesses have been pretending to move to another country in order to avoid paying what they owe America in income tax. Now they’ve gone farther. They’ve kept the vast profits of their deceitful offshore actions offshore. They have all the profits of their activities in overseas banks, where the U.S. can’t tax them for what they owe. (That’s another trillion or so.)