There are times when one just feels compelled to scream and now is one of them.
Americans were shocked and many seriously hurt by the greed, the corruption revealed in the Enron case. Everyone knew that corruption existed at high levels of the corporate world and often spoke out to complain about feeling helpless in the face of corporate power and influence. But, Enron poked us in the eye. It hurt; but, people soon forgot and carried on with their lives.
Then Bernard Madoff, a highly trusted non-executive Chairman of the NASDAC stock market, who made off with millions of dollars of many who gave him virtually all their life savings to manage. Again, people were stunned; but, for most, it was a crime perpetrated by the rich against the rich. It didn't directly affect them and they continued their lives as before.
The misrepresentations of banks and wall street that led to the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930s could not be ignored. The pain extended throughout the USA and in far away lands where even small investors lost everything they had. " Too big to fail " these same financial institutions, without remorse or sympathy for others, sought and received bail-out from government, all the while pressing to continue to receive gluttonous levels of compensation.
In main street America, millions lost their homes and as the economy tanked, lost their jobs. The bankers and Wall Street players restructured and continued their immoral pursuit of personal gain, evidently caring little for the common folk. Statistics show senior executives in those institutions catching up with and some exceeding compensation higher than prior to the economic collapse they caused.
Back in the real world, families continue to struggle. Homes are still lost and, though the job market is showing some signs of recovery, it will still be, very optimistically, two to three years before the situation nears full recovery. Americans are told that the rate of foreclosures has slowed, that the housing market has stabilized and to take heart. Those who, however, do not have a financial interest is telling that positive story paint a different picture. Foreclosures have slowed because banks know that the FDIC which insures their mortgage position does not have the money to compensate them. They are therefore choosing to wait till the FDIC has the funds before resuming foreclosures. When this happens, people will, again, be losing their homes and housing prices will fall. As ever, the common people pay and suffer.
While this rape of the American people continues, the National Leadership takes polarized positions which allow them to crow about their particular political dogma while the country's debt position exceeds all historic levels. The government is broke and borrowing from other countries, mainly China. The US dollar, long the reference currency throughout the world is losing value and respect. Other countries which used to have strong positions in the USA dollar are diversifying their holdings more, further adding downward pressure on the US dollar. Who will, in the long run suffer ? - It is the average American.
Without taking political sides over whether or not government should assure medical care for all or most Americans, The Miami Herald International Edition, May 16, 2011, reported that Americans are foregoing needed medical treatment because, in the current economic circumstance, they can't afford it. At this same time, Health Insurers are raking in a third quarter of " record profits " .
Without leadership willing to seek positions that put the best interests of Americans first, rather than political dogma, and the implementation of measures to ensure the here-to-fore financial industry untouchables don't run away with the economy, committing fraud and wreaking havoc along the way; normal Americans will be screwed again and again.
From where and who will be the savior ? I see none. At ground level, it will continue to be a tough struggle. Americans will continue to be victims of political and corporate failures.
In closing, I note that despite their bringing about the near collapse of the American economy and inflicting immeasurable suffering of citizens, very few of those who brought this about have been called to task.
God Bless America and may the spirit and strength of its people enable it to find its way in the best interests of all its people.
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