Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Big Disconnect

From Hollywood’s Brilliant Coda to America’s Dark Year by Frank Rich:

Those at the top are separated from the consequences of their actions. They are exemplified by Robert Rubin, formerly of Citigroup and a mentor to both Obama’s Treasury secretary and chief economic adviser. He looked the other way when his bank made ruinous high-risk bets, and then cashed out and split, leaving taxpayers to pay for the wreckage while he escaped any accountability. Such economic wise men peer down at the country from a hermetically sealed bubble of privilege and self-interest, much as Ryan does from the plane flying him to his next mass firing. And they tend to think, as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs notoriously put it, that they are doing “God’s work” to sustain our free-market system.
From Comment Number 10 by Dim:
First of all, let me say thank you for such an insightful description of our current state of affairs, Mr. Rich, for pointing out so beautifully the disconnect between Wall Street and the rest of the country. President Obama also mentioned this in his weekly address today, but what bothers me is that, unlike you, he could actually do something about it! He keeps saying the right things but why doesn't he lead more forcefully? Why doesn't he keep up the pressure on Wall Street and on the Congress? Why doesn't he keep politicians of both parties accountable when they look after the interests of Wall Street and not the people? I know he has a lot on his plate, but I hope he is listening to people like you and taking these warnings a little bit more seriously. And I think that journalists like yourself should keep pressure on the President, keep him accountable for his actions instead of giving him a pass for simply saying the right things.
Meanwhile, most of the pundits effectively divide us so that the super rich and powerful can conquer us. As Bill Moyers frequently says, it’s not a question of left and right, it’s a question of top and bottom. (“…populism isn't really- and people's power, isn't really a left or right issue, is it? It's more us versus them, bottom versus top?”)

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