10 Things to Know About Wall Street's Rapacious Attack on America
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Does Wall Street pay or do we? In the end, it comes down to a clear-cut struggle between the few and the many. (There’s that 99 percent again.) Who is going to pay for the jobs we need? Who is going to pay for the debt that was created to bail out Wall Street and prevent another Great Depression? Wall Street wants us to pay in the form of cuts in Social Security and medical coverage, reduced wages and higher taxes (for everyone but them). In fact, they want the kids to pay by working longer before they retire (if they can ever find a job), paying higher medical costs as they grow older, and turning their Social Security accounts into Wall Street playthings no one can rely on. At the same time financial elites are arguing for fewer regulations and lower taxes on themselves and their fellow millionaires and billionaires. Financial interests are hoping we’ll simply forget who caused what and instead focus on debt, more debt and still more debt. They’re hoping we’ll blame government, regulations and taxes, while they laugh all the way to the bank – their banks. Some of us may be old and tired and fatalistic about all this looting, and sour about the chances for change. Thank god the kids still have their wits about them—and a fighting spirit.
Get out there and join them. And if you’re too old to stay overnight (like me), visit often and urge your unions, churches and community groups to join the fray. A progressive populist uprising only works when it’s large, vocal and full of spunk.
Go occupiers, go!
Les Leopold is the executive director of the Labor Institute and Public Health Institute in New York, and author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It (Chelsea Green, 2009).