Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Selective Memory

By 2008, America's most powerful corporations had been allowed by the Bush administration to do whatever they wanted without government regulation?

Unfortunately, today an unworthy Republican majority in Congress and President Donald Trump seem to have already forgotten about those people who lost their homes, life savings, and 401(k)s, because of corporate greed and corruption.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts:  The 2008 financial crisis cost our country an estimated $648 billion due to slower economic growth.

Federal government spending to relieve the financial crisis through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) resulted in a net cost to taxpayers of $73 billion according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Furthermore, 5.5 million more American jobs were lost due to slower economic growth during the financial crisis than was predicted by the CBO in September 2008 forecast.

According to the Federal Reserve, we lost $3.4 trillion in real estate wealth from July 2008 to March 2009.  That is roughly $30,300 per household.  The Federal Reserve also reported that there was a lost of $7.4 trillion in stock wealth during that same period. 

Only 3 Republican Senators voted to pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law.  It’s considered to be the most ambitious Wall Street reform ever, and was intended to keep the banks from risking money they didn’t have and creating another worldwide crisis.

Recently, President Trump signed an executive orders to start doing away with Dodd-Frank.  He direct his administration to evaluate regulatory action taken by Democrats, with an eye toward eliminating what his advisers say are burdensome rules on financial services firms and consumers.  He also mandated a delay of an Obama-era rule that required retirement advisers to act in their clients' best interests.

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