Let Us Speak in Praise of Robber Barons and Righteous Men
The government of this nation in partnership with big business has spent the last 30+ years destroying every safety net, every protective measure, every rule of law (that they could get away with) that protected the citizen from the amorality of the market. Under the guise of deregulation, RE-regulation gave the protection of rights to corporatists and the burden of responsibility to the citizenry. Now we see what these practices have wrought. Today it’s foreclosures, tomorrow it will be bank closings. After that … ?
We are encouraged to take individual responsibility, we are told time and time again, “It’s the markets. They go up, they go down. It’s the nature of things. Just ride it out.” (Markets are human constructs, not produce you can pick from a tree. There is nothing natural about them.) “Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain. Nothing to see here. Move along.”
A person loses her home and it’s her fault; not the mortgage company who loaned her $150,000 on a $75,000 house (knowing her annual income was $25,000 and her credit rating was 3), not the investment speculator who sold over-rated debt to investors, not even the so-called market savvy investors who should have been paying attention and should have known better but just couldn’t turn down a ROI that big. Oh no! It’s the decision of a 12.50 an hour manager at Burger King who wanted a home of her own that has brought about the biggest financial catastrophe since 1929!
What about all those other individuals involved? Where is their responsibility in all this? Where is the public outrage against them? Where are the criminal charges against predatory lenders? Where is the call not for tax relief for the wealthy, but debt relief for the working class? Where are the protests? Where is the legislation? Where are the photo ops of politicians signing laws to protect us, singing the praises of us, looking out for us?
Let us speak in praise of robber barons and righteous men.
Mighty are these supermen and all powerful their will
Bending all reality while filling up their tills
Bloodless now the common man, and shallow husk is he
For toil he must from dawn til dusk for coins he owes to thee.