Monday, September 22, 2008

What did Wall St. demand from Main St. in Bankruptcy & Welfare Reform bills?

In both cases, Wall St. demanded more stringent controls on help given to the working and middle class.

They made it harder for the middle class to get relief through bankruptcy for credit card and medical debt in the bankruptcy bill.

They demanded a time limit on welfare benefits and that mothers must go to work to a certain number of hours to get their benefits even though there was no provision for childcare and the mom would usually make LESS than the cost of childcare. No matter. McDonald's and other corporations wanted more bodies and they didn't want to have to bid for them with higher wages.

Based on their own logic, there is nothing wrong with us demanding some changes in behavior in return for our financial help.

If we really wanted to follow the corporatists own logic, we would foreclose and take ownership of any financial institution we bail out.

At the very least, we should set these demands outlined by former labor secretary Robert Reich, Sen. Bernie Sanders, or columnist Robert Scheer who said we should ban foreclosures for at least a year to force banks to renegotiate with homeowners, which would keep houses from sitting empty and causing a glut on the market that drives down prices.

This is a turning point in our political history.

Either our elected officials stand by their Wall Street, country club friends, or they stand with the people they were elected to serve.

They cannot do both.

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