George Washington: “If Only They Enforced Bank Regulations Like They Do Park Rules, We Wouldn’t Be In This Mess”

By George Washington, cross-posted from Washington’s Blog

The following tweet captures the fact that the laws are only being enforced in favor of the 1% … and against the 99%:

If only they enforced bank regulations like they do [Zuccotti] park rules, we wouldn’t be in this mess.


According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted.

As Salon notes:

If you’re an ordinary citizen, and you get caught on video dousing people with noxious gas like Bologna did, you get summarily locked up. But when you’re an NYPD commanding officer…like Bologna was at the time of his attack, you get essentially a free pass.

No wonder one of the central demands of Occupy Wall Street is to enforce the laws for the 99%.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. rotter

      I think thats the “secret” motive behind all of these “public private partnership” schemes. IE., private debt becomes public, public wealth becomes private! Its just so symetrical with natural law, its as if God himself started the “school reform” “movement”. Actually, I have always thought that Fascism is the sort-of, essential public-private partnership that all others flow from.

      1. Dan

        It was only too blatant on ABC nightly news, when the market was dropping precipitously, to hear how much the average 401K lost.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        rotter, what keen insight you have! Yes, the “public-private partnership” was created precisely for the reasons you state. So *smooooothe* is fraud from the 1% and their witless accomplices, using the *honeyed words* of Richard III, according to his victim in Shakespeare.

        This scam was designed as just one of the means to “privatize gains and socialize losses” — gains to the 1%, losses to their witless accomplices holding the bag, and completely *socialized* when the taxpayer must foot the bill for the scam. Hell, Bernie Madoff just followed suit.

        1. Maximilien

          Public-private partnerships (what an abominable euphemism) should be outlawed—NOW.

          In 20008, the City of Vancouver entered into a PPP with a developer to build 700 luxury condos to house the 2010 Winter Olympic athletes, the idea being that they would afterwards be sold at handsome prices to offset the cost of the games.

          Of course, and as predicted by many, things didn’t go as planned. Real estate prices plummeted, expected profits turned into massive losses, the developer ran off scot-free, and the city was left with the developer’s unpaid loans and 350 unsaleable condos.

          Vancouver has (hopefully) learned that PPP stands for Pigeon Plucking Party. And also learned which partner is invariably the pigeon.

          350 unsaleable condos.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Maximillien, like the “World’s Fair* in New Orleans in 1984, this was a real estate scam to privatize gains to insiders and socialize losses to the citizenry.

            These public-private partners in crime have been operating their scams on the 995 for a long time. This is typical in a *banana republic*, which we have become under the *iron heel* of the global 1% and their agent-beneficiaries vs. the 99%.

            Right, it’s time to put a stop to it.

  1. ZeroInMyOnes

    That quote says it all…

    Perhaps OWS would benefit from flying a flag…Perhaps the flag of the Sons of Liberty from the 1760s…It consists of NINE vertical red and white stripes…

    Think how that flag would look with the quotation superimposed across the top and bottom in the same font as Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”….

  2. Lew Glendenning

    ‘Money buys power’ is a summary of 90+% of the news, so the rich get the laws, rules and regulations they want, and the enforcement of those that they want.

    That dynamic is so consistent throughout history that one could almost imagine that all of our laws, rules and regulations were intended to benefit the rich, and the rhetoric of the Progressives of the Left and the Right was mere window-dressing to fool us peasants.

    Nobody has solved the problem of gov being corrupted as a result of its own laws, except the US in the days of minimum government. The brilliant innovation of min gov is that the gov isn’t worth the investment needed to corrupt it.

    We should return to gov tech that produces a stable system. We can’t afford the risk to our civilization that large governments represent.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      No. The corruption would then move full-time into State Government. The *movers and shakers* in State Governments are but shills, pimping for the 1% and getting their cut.

      “The Last Hurrah” got it right. TV was the end of *patronage* to the 99% on whose vote the candidates depended. After TV, *patronage* went to the 1%, Q.E.D.

      If TV and other media advertisement of candidates for office and *issues* attached to them were disallowed, “Moneyball” for the 1% would be over. Television has been used as an instrument of Totalitarian Monopoly Finance Capitalism favoring the 1%, and it has eliminated the *power of the People*, by design no doubt.

      The 1% have ruled through such chicanery forever, so long as the *sheeple* remain meek, the People remain asleep, hypnotized, bludgeoned, or drugged. The use of force, drugs, enslavement, and lies by the 1% ensures their victory over a *compliant* people, a people exhausted by work and crime in order to *rise to the top* in a ruthless, criminal, lawless Global System.

      Must the guillotine be the only solution to the *problem*?

      1. citizendave

        If TV and other media advertisement of candidates for office and *issues* attached to them were disallowed, “Moneyball” for the 1% would be over. – LeonovaBalletRusse

        I agree. Citizens United v. FEC is such a big problem because so many people watch TV (uncritically).

        We own a TV, but my wife and I almost never use it. We read and write, and use the Internet, so we are relatively immune to the monied efforts to control the public narrative via TV.

        Perhaps some mainstream TV program will capture the public’s imagination by portraying the reality of the 1% v. the 99% the way OWS sees it. Maybe it would be allowed if an edgy network executive thinks they could make money from it.

        Or maybe the candidate with the best humor and the best music will carry the day. Even I would tune in if the political advertising were truly entertaining. People would voluntarily download it and play it over and over.

  3. Middle Seaman

    All these smart statements amount to about zilch. It’s not that we don’t know what the problems are and need to crystallize it, what we need is enough voters that can vote for the right politicians. We have neither.

    1. rotter

      we cant vote for the right politicians until we have a political system that isnt privately owned by finance capitalists(both foreign and domestic). The Occupy movements are your only option WRT Democracy these days. If you value Democracy, the last thing you want to do is vote in a US election. Get out in the street if you can. If you cant, support those who can.

      1. Anonymous Jones

        I don’t know why everyone is making this more difficult than it has to be. Study the temperance advocates. Study how they made alcohol a wedge issue in every election.

        The goal should be a constitutional amendment that limits campaign financing and removes personhood for corporations. You organize, you make it a wedge issue, and you don’t stop (ever, at any time) until you have achieved this goal.

        It’s too bad that the goal of alcohol prohibition was so incredibly misguided. It’s made us forget how great the techniques were. I guess you could focus on the 21st amendment that repealed it. There was good organization there, too, but it was much easier for them, because prohibition was proven so irredeemably idiotic that the cause was basically a slam dunk.


          check out Dylan Ratigan’s blog. GET MONEY OUT (of politics). He and many others are way ahead of you on the constitutional amendment needed.

    2. EH

      Thing is, we currently have people in office with the power to do the right thing if they have the political will.

      1. psychohistorian

        I agree.

        The folks in office need to be shown the will of the people very plainly and the time is coming closer when that just might happen.

      2. Montanamaven

        No, Leonova is right. The people in congress, supreme court, executive branch, are traitors and criminals.

  4. LeonovaBalletRusse

    No matter what the 1% and its shills (SCOTUS) say, money is NOT speech (speech is *the spoken word*; the written word is covered by *freedom of the press*, and the *press* is NOT commercial advertisement on TV or other media); and corporations are NOT people. Can a corporation *be hanged by the neck until dead* for treason?

    Corruption of words in order to SUBVERT the Constitution of the U.S.A. is TREASON, because to subvert the Constitution of the U.S.A. is an act of treason.

    Members of the Court who voted for this are traitors to the People of the United States of America, a sovereign nation of the People. The despotic Global Corporate State we have now has been created by traitors in Office, agents of *a foreign power* (a power foreign to the interests of the People of the U.S.A. whose *nationhood* was ever meant to be safeguarded by the unperverted Law of the Constitution). The remedy for treason, per the Constitution of the U.S.A. is “to be hanged by the neck until dead.”

    This is why the Occupy Movement is NOT “like the Arab Spring, but like the first American Revolution, which inspired the People of France to follow suit: against the oppressive TYRANNY of the 1%.

    We the People would OCCUPY the Offices of our Government, in order to eliminate the tyranny of the 1%, and to establish, again, our Government *of, by, and for the People* as we move, again, toward *a more perfect union*. The Union is of *We the People*, in cooperative rebellion against our current governors: *Establishment Organized Crime* bosses and their agents within U.S. Government.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “One for the Road” by Harold Pinter: Attic Rep 2008–a very powerful performance.

      Thank you, SR6719, for this timely reference. Everyone should see this. How well Pinter understood.

      xref: Guido Giacomo Preparata: “CONJURING HITLER” and “THE IDEOLOGY OF TYRANNY”; visit: This is *How It Works*.

      And we foolishly believed we were exempt. As the *Security Police* vs. Occupy Protestors shows, now “the are coming for us.” It is indeed incumbent upon US, “at the heart of Empire”, in *the heart of darkness*, to rise up as One 99% collective against the Global Reich of the 1%, and bring victory out of imposed impotence to the 99% of the world, becoming ourselves the “leaders of the free world.” We will have, as a People, “grown up at last.”

  5. just me

    Another #ows tweet:


    Great thought from reader on UC Davis incident: If students were camping out for football tickets they could camp for eternity. #ows

    12 hours ago
    Retweeted 100+ times

    1. Paul Tioxon

      People are getting ready to camp out for Black Friday doorbusters, limited to 5 per store. The lines are 3 wide and 500 deep. Step right up, going out of business, going out of business. New iPhone4, due at midnight, form single file line, step right up. Pink Floyd the Wall tickets on sale at 10AM, step right up, stay in line with lime green wristband, 4 tickets per customer, cash only.

      1. Observer

        Good point – Black Friday campers won’t get pepper-sprayed because they are there to participate in capitalism.

  6. Andreas Moser

    Free speech doesn’t mean you can do it in a private park.
    Or what would you do if I came to your living room, refused to leave and claimed “free speech” just because I talk a bit while I am occupying your couch?

    1. Observer

      Of course it does. Free speech means freedom of expression, and if doing it in a park is your method of expression, then so be it.

    2. just me

      Zuccotti Park/Liberty Square is private property legally required to stay open to the public 24 hours a day. It’s also taxpayer-subsidized private property, pretty nice for the owners.

      The Brooklyn Bridge is public property.

      The UC students are on public property — a state university campus.

      They’re occupying their — our — own space.

    3. wunsacon

      Andreas, before you made your comment, were you or were you not aware of what “just me” mentioned at 748pm?

  7. plasmaborne

    Andreas Moser, first once you open your private space to the public you open your space up to the people’s Constitutional rights. A privately owned restaurant that deals with the public can’t open up it’s doors to only certain people. If the public is invited everyone is allowed in. If a park is private but part of the deal to construct the park was to allow for public use then it’s open to the public.

    You can’t demand the protestors leave at a certain time as the US Constitution states that no law shall be passed abridging our right to peacefully assemble for a redress of grievances of the Government.

  8. BAukerman

    If money is free speech and I’m poor, doesn’t that imply the economy is infringing on my right to free speech? Can I sue capitalism?

    1. just me

      If corporations got personhood under the 14th Amendment back in the 1880s, then shouldn’t corporations get arrested under the 14th Amendment for owning and selling other people/=corporations? Corporate personhood is total nonsense that a kid can see through. The empire has no clothes. Too bad kids can’t be appointed to the Supreme Court.

  9. Really inside job

    Good interview…

    Then finally we are joined in the studio by Barry Eisler who served for three years as a CIA covert operative and is now a best-selling author. His latest book is “The Detachment” in which the antagonists are a powerful cabal called the oligarchy. We discuss the real oligarchy, the one that represents the one percent, from the perspective of one who served the oligarchy, working inside the enforcement arm of the American Empire.


    According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people.

    More Supreme Imbecility. If corporations are “like” people, why don’t they vote like citizens … ? Because the right to vote, like that of free speech, is innate to physical persons and not ephemeral corporate entities. Meaning that constitutional rights belong to people not companies.

    Thank God the nitwits didn’t decide that corporations Could Vote in proportion to the amount of money they spent on campaign financing. After all, that’s a lot more Bang for Your Buck.

    When will the Conservative Idiocy ever end? It is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, one thing is for certain: If the next Prez is a Replicant, then it will not end!.

Comments are closed.