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Wastin' Away Again in Banksterville...

BDBlue's picture

I've seen a number of folks call the tent cities popping up Bushvilles. But I think Banksterville is a better term.

I'm the last person to defend our previous President and he certainly shares a great deal of the blame for the current economic conditions of the country. But I think Bushville is the wrong framing for these tent cities. It paints the problem as simply being one man (or one party), when it's much bigger than that. The problem is systemic. What's more, it makes it sound like we've already solved the problem by getting rid of Bush when, in reality, many of the people who led us into this mess continue to be influencing decisions. What's more, pinning it all on Bush also makes it sound like this is a one-time deal. The result of a particularly bad president. In fact, this is a recurring problem that occurs whenever the wizards of finance get too greedy and out of control.

Banksterville, in contrast, focuses attention on the systemic problems and the need for us to continue to fight to fix them. The problem isn't Bush - or Obama - it's the influence Wall Street wields over our Government. If Wall Street is running the Government, shouldn't they be blamed for its failures instead of their front men? And I do think this framing matters. Because despite the fact that so many of these guys are richer than dog and run the world, they hate it when anyone says mean things about them.

I can't change the policy directly, but I can say mean things about them. And so can you. Banksterville. Those people in tents are living in Banksterville. Consigned there by the banksters and if it's up to the banksters that's where they will remain...wasting away again in Banksterville.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

somehow Georgetowns seems more appropriate, in tribute both to George W and the Versailles Villagers who made them possible.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

IMO and it leaves Wall Street out of it. Although I certainly agree with the anti-W and anti-Versailles mindset.

I still think if the culture shifts enough against Wall Street, we might eventually get some action from Versailles. But shifting that culture is a big task because it has to shift so much that the Versailles Villagers come to see their own survival as dependent on reigning in their rich buddies.

Having said that, I'm certainly not wedded to Banksterville. I'm terrible at this meme stuff.

Submitted by lambert on

Does leave Wall Street out, but skewering Versailles is very hard to resist.

Alternatives?

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

or at least not any more his fault than Paulson's or Bush's or Phil Gramm's. Or, for that matter, Geithner's boss. And as for advisors, I'm beginning to think Larry Summers is the real power in this administration. Newspapers have started to refer to him as Obama's top economic advisor and the new Dep. Sec. nominee, Neal Wolin, is Larry's boy. Obama wanted Larry, but settled for Geithner because of Larry's wimmin problems. And notice the marketing of the recent bailout as the "Geithner Plan" - someone's being lined up to take the fall for the Administration. Which is fine, Geithner can take care of himself, but I think focusing on him is a mistake because it gives an implied pass to everyone else. The current situation isn't the cause of any one person. Lots of people contributed and continue to contribute.

And I agree Georgetowns has a certain ring to it, but the Village will never think it's about them. It will be about Bush. You have to hit them over the head with a sledgehammer the denial runs so deep.

Submitted by lambert on

Tent Villages?

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I love Georgetowns, myself. You get the total irony of it, plus you get to insert the clueless village, and then get to stack Dubya atop it, to boot. I don't think bankstervilles are half-bad, either.

At the end of the day, though, it matters not to me, as I don't think cleverly naming the places is much central to understanding this particular crisis. The use of the term "tent cities" is more than apt, too.

Submitted by jawbone on

live. Jackie lived there after Jack was killed, for one. It has good associations.

When I first saw it used, that's what I thought of, not George Bush, and I've pretty exposed to the news. For others?

I still like Bankstervilles, bcz that's where this global financial meltdown began, with banksters' wild ride on the markets.

Agree with your final paragraph. Whatever makes it to the top should capture that this is a what happened in the Great Depression, as well as make what's happening to far too many people concrete to others.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

That the real Georgetown is a very tony place is exactly what I meant by the name adding irony, like the huge public housing towers called "estates" in England.

Submitted by jawbone on

2nd bcz it has 3 syllables as does Hooverville, and 3rd bcz if people think of banksters they'll think of FDR--and just maybe put more pressure on Obama.

Altho' I kinda doubt he responds to pressure unless it's from the right kind ubers....

I do indeed like Banksterville

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Since Wall Street is on the east coast, most of the tent cities will be west of it. I'm in favor of tying the tent cities around the financial looters' necks as tightly as possible.