Some Bankers Should Be In Jail, but Instead We’ll Settle For Dark Humor
|photo by Trish Steel|
(There’s a pretty good George Carlin video at the bottom of this post — if nothing else, scroll down there and get an earful.)
Perhaps the title is a common sentiment and uttered far too often without any real hard intention of actually following through to get some of these criminal financial minds behind bars. But have we forgotten what’s been happening in this country for the past five years?
Chris Hayes, love him or think he looks goofy, presents one of many fundamental reasons this country should be boiling in rage and banding together as citizens to somehow oust the banking, financial cartel that has destroyed our society and livelihoods and any hopes for the future.
Not only did people unable to continue paying their mortgages after the financial collapse lose their homes, some families who had never missed a payment were targeted, in error, and subsequently lost their homes. Can you imagine their rage and feelings of helplessness when the sheriff knocked on their door and ordered them out?
As Hayes points out, why do we even say “lost their homes” when it should be, really, “had their homes stolen from them”.
Here’s the video:
We’ve had our pensions gambled away. Our homes stolen so rapidly the banks had to hire people to sit all day long and sign the foreclosure documents. Our jobs shipped overseas. Our borders left open by capitalist interests who revel in the flood of millions of disposable, underpaid workers. Our prisons privatized and turned into manufacturing hubs where prisoners are paid so many cents an hour to make goods that Americans once made to make a living to support their families.
Our wages stagnant and far behind the spiking costs of living. Our unions busted beyond repair. Our working men and women worth very little. The Chinese workers making Apple products worth even less, but still enough for the company to install suicide nets outside the windows of the factory after many jumped to their deaths.
It’s becoming quite clear that the lines between our government and our corporations and Wall Street are no longer discernible. Our president just signed an act that protects Monsanto from any civil litigation, even though there is no certain evidence that their genetically-modified food creation is safe, both short- and long-term.
We’ve been hijacked by powerful financial interests. Our soldiers sent to fraudulently invade countries again and again, but no money left over to assist them when they come back fucked up from their time in combat. Our drone war unleashed in at least 5 countries (that we know about) and killing innocent people along with those suspected of being dangerous to America’s idea of itself.
We’ve got tens of millions of folks out of work, some for four or more years. They’ve fallen off the unemployment map and not accounted in the White House’s fabled 7.6 percent joblessness rate. It’s closer to 15 percent when all factors are accounted for.
And yet, after all this, what is in the news? What are the issues on everybody’s Facebook feeds? Let gay couples get married. Background checks for guns. Michelle Obama teared up about gun control. Obama flew to Newtown Connecticut.
Those things are important, but not nearly as much as a nation with a long-term double digit unemployment rate, and mired in five or more dumb conflicts overseas, and a populace so forgetful and ignorant it doesn’t understand the debt of Wall Street and the world’s mega financial institutions have been heaped onto our debt that must be paid down by those of us with the least.
We paid out Jamie Dimon for making a $6 billion mistake. He even admitted it was a bad investment; a horrendous mistake. Yet, the father who lost his job, had to refinance his mortgage, and then the bank, behind his back, started the foreclosure process, and soon the family was out of their home. There’s no mercy for that. No slack for the mistake of budgeting yourself a little too tightly and not foreseeing the loss of your job, and the lack of that paycheck in the future.
Unfortunately, it’s all bad news. And it’s been that way for quite some time, only accelerated in the past few years. George Carlin somehow makes it funny in a way that very few people can. What other solace do we have? How can we protest a corrupt, heartless system that is integrated into every possible working sector of this country without toppling the entire structure and destroying ourselves in the process?
Occupy Wall Street was about as close as anybody’s come, and while they are still doing good protecting some of the families being hunted by the banks through fraudulent foreclosure practices, they were largely disbanded, beaten, and crushed by a so-called liberal president, by a right-wing political juggernaut, and, of course, any major financial or business institution that has more invested in enslaving people than working with them.
Take it away, George: