Sometimes I wonder if Matt Taibbi is the only political pundit not just with any brains, but with any common sense.
First, go read his blog post “OWS’s Beef: Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating“. Go ahead. It’s short and should be required reading. I’ll wait for you here…
OK, you’re back.
How blind do you have to be to not realize that the game has been severely tilted in the direction of our new monied aristocracy, the banks? Is it the insane bonuses paid to bankers while everyone else suffers in the bad economy? Is it “too big to fail” and huge bailouts done with little or no oversight? Or is it politicians (in both parties) falling over themselves to genuflect to the banks?
And these banks are so incompetent that even with all the free money they are being given by the government, the bailouts, and other benefits and bonuses, they still can’t manage to keep our economy on an even keel, or even their own banks from failing (or needing huge bailouts to remain afloat). So we are rewarding incompetence!
The problem isn’t capitalism, the problem is that we don’t have enough capitalism. We have (national) socialism for the banks. This isn’t class warfare or envy directed at people who made money, this is justice: the desire to punish people who stole money — billions of dollars — from you and me. If this is warfare against a class, it is against the class of crooks and swindlers, living high off their ill-gotten gains.
As Taibbi says “People aren’t jealous and they don’t want privileges. They just want a level playing field, and they want Wall Street to give up its cheat codes.” America became a great country because it was the land of opportunity, where anyone with a little talent and a willingness to take risks and work hard could make it. People immigrated here (often at great effort and risk) in order to leave their decadent and corrupt homelands, where they did not have that opportunity. And now it is our country that has become corrupt.
Once people realize that success is no longer determined by good ideas and hard work, then all hell will (and should) break out. OWS is just the beginning.
UPDATE: Another must-read article about this.