No Connection to Reality
So, this morning I was blog-surfing and came across Jim Hightower's takedown of the poor widdle mistreated banksters, which links to this NYT piece on how tough these Wall Street moguls have it now that they're facing life limited to 125% of the annual income of the President of the United States, and ... damn. I mean, seriously. $125 an hour for a tutor so a child doesn't flunk out of a $32K-yearly private school? In a nation where the average income of a public school teacher is, what, $45K, and in a city where many public schools don't even have their own libraries? The difference between the expectations the banksters and their support services (an accountant, e.g., with "high-end clients") have developed and the reality of families living at or below the US median income just shatters credulity.
That's not counting the budget for party clothes -- and note, these are not Hollywood types we're talking about. I do hope they spend as much on the charities who throw the balls as they do on looking good at the events! -- or the $425 every other week for groceries which doesn't include the cost of eating out. The mind reels.
These are the people whose mistakes even President Obama acknowledges have caused us all to suffer. These are the Ken Lays and Jeff Skillings, five years further on. Damn straight I want to see some accountability!! Meanwhile, take your money out of their banks -- out of their investment programs, out of their 401K accounts, out of their reach. Put it into credit unions -- choose the 401K dedicated CD if it's offered. No, you won't double your money in a year; but the best way to double your money has always been to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket. You don't have to spend your whole life minding nothing but your investment dollars; you just have to make sure they're not left on a counter for some bankster to steal.
We're the customers -- not just the customers who've gotten the shaft from mortgage fraud and real-estate development schemes gone awry, but the customers whose kids get the shaft because the banksters prefer vouchers to paying taxes to support public schools; the customers whose jobs get the shaft because the banksters VOTE their stock options, and they vote for outsourcing and they vote for layoffs and they vote for mergers and they vote for the same short list of board candidates -- and we're not just the banksters' customers, we're the Congress's customers, and the Senate's customers, and President Obama's customers.
It's time the customers got some service.
The credit crunch hasn't really hit the Wall Street moguls where they live. It needs to. If you're living on a budget that has to be pinched to buy new clothes at Target or Sears, how are you supposed to feel anything but disbelief when confronted with the need for a closet full of $1K (plus) suits? Seriously.
I realize that sounds like vindictiveness or jealousy or anger, but it isn't. The laws of physics don't make exceptions for financial acuity (whether actual or perceived). Nor should we. Mortgage fraud is still fraud, predatory lending is still illegal, discrimination is still wrong. The pretty promises of Tuesday night:
must not be left to atrophy. "Yes, we can!" requires not that we leave it to somebody else, but that we pitch in and do our part as well; without all of us, 'we' is too weak to work. So, yeah -- we have an obligation to get the best value for our money.
My job -- our job -- is to solve the problem. Our job is to govern with a sense of responsibility. I will not send -- I will not spend a single penny for the purpose of rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do whatever it takes to help the small business that can't pay its workers, or the family that has saved and still can't get a mortgage. (Applause.)
That's what this is about. It's not about helping banks -- it's about helping people. (Applause.) It's not about helping banks; it's about helping people. Because when credit is available again, that young family can finally buy a new home. And then some company will hire workers to build it. And then those workers will have money to spend. And if they can get a loan, too, maybe they'll finally buy that car, or open their own business. Investors will return to the market, and American families will see their retirement secured once more. Slowly, but surely, confidence will return, and our economy will recover. (Applause.)
We are the customers, and we have to take our custom where we receive the best service.