I made the t-shirt "Bring Back the Guillotine"
Let's start with the fact that thirty years of Reaganomics and the similar but watered down Clintonomics have gotten us to this point. They finally did it. They finally hollowed out our economy by convincing themselves that their lies to investors were actually true. Who are "they"? Well Timothy Geithener, Henry Paulson and all of their recent predecessors are among them.
The position of Secretary of the Treasury has been made a mockery of in the past several decades. A revolving door of Wall Streeters appointed to be head wolf in the chicken coup. These guys were in the financial industry helping to cause the crash, and then they were installed at Treasury to fix the problem. Fat chance that will work, since their allegiances are clearly to their fellow corporate cronies, instead of to the majority of the American people who actually do honest work for a living.
And over at the Federal Reserve... Alan Greenspan the most famous Ayn Rand objectivist "free market defender". Alan had a "flaw in his world view". Alas, goodbye and good riddance Ayn Rand and her bogus perfect world in a vacuum ideas. And yet so many copies of Atlas Shrugged are supposedly flying off the shelves right now. Just a bunch of trust funders trying to find a way to believe in the bullshit their rich parents have been telling them all their lives most likely.
So the "market" and the economy have been crashed by all these aristocrats who have been raised by big daddy warbucks types who take them to the office as children and point down at the ants on the ground doing real work and say "One day all this will be yours..."
Bernie Madoff is not just a bad apple... talk about bring back the guillotine! How many more "bad apples" until they admit that the system as currently configured is rotten to the core, and that we need real, meaningful regulation with teeth? Bernie got life but we'll see if he does it, or if he mysteriously dies like Ken Lay. Wonder if old Ken is on some island in the Carribean with Elvis? Just kidding... but I wouldn't doubt for a minute that a rich connected guy like Lay could have faked his death and disappeared. Some financial industry jerk just tried it and got caught recently.
These rich, exploitative pricks crash their own markets via speculation etc. and then they try to blame the homeowners who went bankrupt and had their properties foreclosed when the tricky subprime mortgages got too hard to handle. Were there some people who bought more than they could? You bet! But, the banks that gave those loans are more responsible for not doing good underwriting, and for not caring whether the loans would go bad since they were selling them off to foreign banks and retirement funds via the nifty "securitization" process.
And after they crash the economy they get their inside guy Henry Paulson to use the "Shock Doctrine" that Naomi Kline writes about (aka "Disaster Capitalism") to shove a bailout down our throats saying the world will end if we don't bite on their bail out hook. Then they don't even disburse the money in any reasonably expeditious manner. Then we find out that, oh I guess we're going to need even more money... and that broken record will keep playing until we get up to ten trillion dollars or more of hard working middle class American taxpayers' money being handed to Wall Street without any real strings.
Another thing, some (not all) of the same corporate pricks who were overstating their profits previously by doing the same things the Enron assholes did, are likely now understating their profits now that the game has switched to bailout mode. Oh, we're not making any money now, so bail us out (hand outstretched, false smile in place on face). I hope someone over at the IRS and FTC etc. are looking for this kind of bogus. I'm sure they aren't though.
Further, there is probably plenty of down-sizing happening unnecessarilly right now as well... using the same "we're hurting right now" logic to justify what would be terribly unpopular otherwise. Then the companies will rehire people as temps with no benefits. How convenient.
Even further still, the reason the Republicans had so much trouble with the bail out plans for the automakers was because they are one of the bastions of empowered labor. Too damn many union jobs where normal working stiffs get good pay and benefits. We simply can't have that just like we can't have a communist state in the western hemisphere (Cuba), even though it is no actual threat to US capitalism and in fact if anything is a boon to it.
We'll have to watch and see if under the terms of bailouts for the automakers they try to assasinate the union movement (which ironically for the Democrats in charge right now who are brokering these sweetheart deals for bankers will mean the end of Democratic electibility since the unions are arguably the most powerful and active sector of their base). Unions after all are what bungled up and caused the end of the last Dickensian age.
And how about all those mega-mergers of banks and other corporations who were already "too big to fail" and which will now be even bigger (guaranteeing this will all happen again)? Usually those require approval by the FTC or Congress etc., but now they are just happening left and right willy nilly. How convenient.
We're going back to monopoly days before Teddy Roosevelt started breaking up trusts and monopolies. And that and all the rest of this carnarge is mostly just fine with the upper 1% of the population. Damn it! They want serfs and indentured labor again. Enough of this "upward mobility" business. Its time for a century or longer game of good old Charles Dickens style whip the poor!
And they have the gaul to go on cable news and blame the people who are being thrown out of their homes right now! Many of those folks didn't have a problem paying their mortgage until their job got downsized thanks to the exploitative Wall Street class's crashing of the economy.
Back to the main topic here... as if these economy crashers hadn't made the rest of us imagine nooses around their necks already, but then they have the gaul to pay out bonuses with the bail out money. AIG is giving hundreds of millions of dollars of our tax money to the same pricks who fucked up our economy. Throw the bums out and nationalize damn it!
Even staunch defenders of capitalism like Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman are calling for nationalization, and then later re-privatization rather than counting on these short sighted compassionless greed heads who run big corporations to do the right thing for the country. Even Alan Greenspan (one of those who bears major responsibility for the crisis) is coming around and saying basically the same thing now.
This shirt is a sarcastic joke mostly, but if the US Government cannot protect Americans from Corporate Terrorism and Corporate Plutocracy, then we may yet see the masses in the streets and guillotines erected.
Some how the uber rich always seem to fail to realize they have gone too far and the pitchforks are marching towards them until its too late. Well count this shirt as one of many warnings designed to inform them about the rising discontent in America and around the world.
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Here are some links to protestors perspective at the London G20 meeting that happened in early 2009 as the world economic crisis began to really spin out of control take the red pill