The US economy is slowly showing signs that we are beginning to emerge from the crippling recession that destroyed jobs, drove thousands of homes into foreclosure and pretty much annihilated countless of peoples’ savings around the country.
While the normal economic cycle carries some of the blame, the fact remains that Wall Street’s recklessness had much to do with it – and their behavior was directly connected with the wave of deregulation that took place during both the Clinton and Bush administrations.
The sad fact is that as much as business leaders think that they can self-regulate, the truth is that allowing them to police themselves is like leaving a bunch of kids unsupervised at a candy store. Many of the rules set in place after the catastrophic 1929 (created specifically to avoid that from ever happening again) were put in the trash can to benefit the fat cats at companies like Goldman Sachs and Merryl Lynch. The result? They abused the power that was given to them, and now we are still trying to dig ourselves out of this remarkable mess.
Just this week, the House approved a bill that would put some of those regulations back in place and also create a bunch of new ones that would at least prevent another meltdown like the one we saw two years ago. The measure is now in the Senate, and one can be assured of one thing: the right-wing will do anything to stop the bill because they don’t believe business should be regulated at all.
But can you really trust big money? I don’t think so.
The funny thing is that when it comes to business that the GOP supports, the government has to stay the heck away. However, they support strict FCC regulations over the media. For instance, do you remember the ridiculous backlash on the Janet Jackson ‘nipplegate’ fiasco? That is because they think the media outside Fox News is formed buy a bunch of liberals who will do anything to destroy what they see as the American Way of life (which is complete hogwash, if you ask me). That is why networks are fined whenever some rock star drops the f-word on live TV or some ‘concerned parent’ calls in to complain.
We all need – for our own sake and for the sake of the generations that are going to come after us – to support Wall Street reform. We cannot allow them to act as they please any longer.