Very few people realized it at the time, but the Clinton engineered destruction of the Glass-Steagull Act (GS) was the Pearl Harbor of the American Dream. The Act, put in place after the previous Great Depression, prevented banks from gambling with our money. It worked for decades, preventing another stock market collapse. It is true that when President Clinton approved revoking the Act that it lead to unprecedented growth in the stock market with a many people seeing 10%-12% gains in their retirement stocks and a few people seeing 10,000% gains in their wealth. The gains for most Americans were short-lived as bankers manipulated stocks to increase their wealth. It also directly contributed to the worst stock market collapse since the Depression and caused the current “Great Recession”. Since the Act was dissolved, regulation of Wall St. was been virtually destroyed. The result has been that wealth has consolidated into very few hands, and most of us have seen our own finances shrink and the prospects from upward mobility greatly reduced. These are facts. Wealth is more unequal than at any time in our history, and the ability of Americans to improve their condition economically is virtually non-existent (except for the occasional lottery winner).
The reason why I am thinking about this issue today is that Congress is in the process of passing a budget that essentially is an unconditional surrender to the forces of greed and corruption. Class warfare is over and the super-rich have won. Too bad for you and your children, unless we do something radical and immediate.
The current budget reduces funding for bank regulators at a time when many informed observers say that the current markets are even more corrupt than the one which led to the real-estate bubble burst. Congress passed a few laws to regulate Wall St. after they nearly caused the collapse of the economy, then reduced and restricted the regulators. It is a shell game orchestrated by Wall St.
The budget reduces the already shredded social safety net, even as more and more people are slipping into poverty. The budget eviscerates funding for scientific and medical research, laying the groundwork for our demise as an economic super-power and further reducing prospects for our children.
As far as I can tell, the Senators and Congressmen from Michigan have joined the winning team against us. Senator Levin likes the budget and is about to retire to what is likely to be a very lucrative retirement, and Sen. Stabenow is likely to continue her support for a budget that codifies the destruction of the American Dream. Only Senator Warren, like a prophetess in the desert, is telling the truth about what is happening.
Where are the people we have elected to Congress to represent us in Michigan.