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.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Aristocratic Corporations


In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote: "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country."
                                                         
In 2009, most of the TARP losses were expected to come from the bailout of insurance conglomerate AIG, American International Group Inc.  Therefore, congressional Democrats proposed a bill to get Troubled Asset Relief Program funds back from bailed out banks, automakers and other financial firms.

The bill passed the House by a huge margin, 328 to 93.  Of the 93 Congressmen, who voted against it, 87 were Republicans, including the top Republican in the House, Minority Leader John Boehner, and the number three Republican in the House, Mike Pence.  They voted to allow the AIG bankers keep their bonus money.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan released an alternative Republican House Budget Committee’s plan to privatize Social Security as an alternative to Obama’s budget.  If Republicans had gotten their way Americans would have been able to invest a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into speculative funds consisting of equities and bonds.  Thereby, gambling their life savings on Wall Street.

On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  It was written to prevent another financial crisis from occurring.  Our financial system lacked oversight, resulting in an exploitative system that enabled banks to take risk without considering the consequences.  Hidden fees and misguiding borrowers had become a standard practice.

The law prevented taxpayers from bailing out financial institutions, and all banks were required to have a shutdown process in place if their company became insolvent.  The Consumer Protection Bureau required lenders to provide plain English documents for consumers and fees were limited.

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