Lee Camp: Enjoy the Trump Show While Wall Street Pillages the Country

By Lee Camp, the host and head writer of the comedy news show “Redacted Tonight” that airs every Friday on RT America and at YouTube.com/RedactedTonight. He’s a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post

Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to Wall Street in twenty years. …This is because since the moment he took the oath of office, no one has so much as uttered a word about Wall Street. And much like Tyler Durden, Wall Street LOVES when no one is talking about it. (Also much like Tyler Durden Wall Street has an army of automatons wreaking mayhem throughout the land while those tasked with policing them are either incompetent, bought off, or both.)

As long as Donald Trump is caressing the White House with the care and loving kindness of a bull in a china shop being chased by a farmer trying to collect its testicles – As long as that’s going on, Wall Street can continue the breathtaking and unfettered pillaging of our country without the slightest bit of oversight. And of course Trump has put Goldman Sachs in charge of the economy, just as President Obama did. [Insert your own fox/ hen house joke here, but I warn you, we’ve heard them all.]

 Many people have their complaints about Occupy – It didn’t have a clear goal, it was populated by rich white kids, it smelled… less than savory. None of those complaints adhered to even a lax definition of “true,” but the truth doesn’t matter when America believes something deep down in its gut where John Cena lives. Say what you will about Occupy, but you can’t deny that while it was going on, the nation’s attention was on Wall Street.

During the 2011/ 2012 Occupy movement, for the first time in years the entire country took a critical eye to the institution that was running our economy (by “running” I mean “dry humping”). The nation FINALLY cared that this institution was steadily extracting all of the wealth and resources and giving it (in an unmarked bag) to a tiny percentage of men and women (mainly men) who smelled impeccable. Even those citizens who were wrongly disgusted by Occupy still felt that Wall Street was exploiting the American people at a jaw-dropping pace. And they got angry. The country got angry. FINALLY – at long last – everyone got ANGRY.

This is when the mainstream media did what they do best – they acted as the white blood cells attacking the infection in the system. (And I’m sure I’m not the first to use that analogy.) In this case the “infection” was activists calling attention to the full-blast destructive tendencies of capitalism. The media piled on the protesters as if those activists were the ones sucking every last penny out of the American people. This, along with a healthy dose of militarized police and FBI infiltration, is how Occupy ended up maligned and imprisoned. The white blood cells then moved on to step three of Operation Protect Wall Street (step one is ignore the protests, step two is attack the protesters). Step three is the same as step one – “ignore,” which is akin to silencing. We saw these identical steps with Standing Rock. Most protest movements don’t get past step one; the mainstream media ignores them to see if they’ll simply go away, and it usually works. In fact until social media came along, it almost always worked. But now the internet has allowed for an alternate path to public awareness (and an alternate path to AMAZING photos of cats partaking in a variety of very un-catlike tasks). And this is why crushing net neutrality is something the FCC and Wall Street are drooling over. …But I digress.

Right now the amounts of money being thrown around on Wall Street are bigger than they’ve ever been. There’s a massive auto loan bubble, and student loan bubble, and various other bubbles, and they’re all itching, aching, juking, and jiving to burst into a thousand pieces that will result in a lot of people going broke and McDonald’s McRib suddenly looking like a delicacy. The five richest men in the world have the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of the world – 3.67 BILLION people, and in the U.S. 99% of the wealth created since the “recovery” from the 2008 collapse has gone to the top 1%. The people that work on Wall Street – at the hedge funds and the big banks – do nothing but push around ones and zeros (and lowly interns). Yet they make more in a day than most people make in a year – and some people make in a lifetime.

 This ravenous extraction of the wealth and resources of America only got worse under Obama and is only getting worse than the previous worse under Trump. For some ODD reason the Goldman Sachs officials that Obama/Trump put in charge of our economy never seem to want to regulate the big banks. …Yet the mainstream media isn’t talking about any of this because it’s not a silly tweet by Donald Trump. They also aren’t covering it because a) they serve massive telecoms that love Wall Street’s criminal schemes, b) it doesn’t fit into the “Democrats good/ GOP bad” (or vice versa) paradigm that every story must wear like an ill-fitting gown, and c) it also doesn’t fit into the “RUSSIA DID IT!” paradigm that every story must wear overtop its ill-fitting gown.

 The dutiful white blood cells know that putting on these gowns will distract us all from the continued pillaging by the ultra wealthy. And those white blood cells may not like mixed metaphors as much as I do (I like them a lot), but they love anything that allows their corporate owners to go about business as usual. Not all who work at the mainstream media are villainous or even morally vacant, but those who aren’t are useful idiots greasing the gears of a neo-liberal/ neo-con extraction of the world.

 Now, if you’re a good citizen, after finishing this column you should forget about the numbers you read within it, you should ignore the endless exploitation it reminded you about, and you should move past the thoughts of impending devastation that inevitably follow such exponential wealth redistribution and gut wrenching inequality. Instead you should find a Trump tweet (preferably something about a celebrity bleeding), and you should get furious about it. Then spend your day stewing over that and only that. Tomorrow find a new tweet: rinse and repeat. …Wall Street thanks you.

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67 comments

  1. Jim A.

    At some level, we need Wall Street, just like we need a liver. But a swollen, bloated and inflamed liver is NOT a sign of health, and is indeed a dangerous. Wall Street has become a huge drag on the economy rather than an aid to it. Our economy is now structured to give Wall Street far more money than it can find actual, productive uses for. Instead of being used to build new plants and research new products, most of that money just goes into “financial products,” that blow asset bubbles or stock repurchases, or leveraged buyouts, Low rates have fueled large levels of inflation in the monetary supply, but because little of that has been seen in wages, it hasn’t had much effect on the prices of consumer products, Instead, it has pushed up asset prices, which in turn concentrates wealth every more. Which the wealthy, and their sycophants confuse with actual “growth” in the economy.

    A small tax on all financial transactions would be a start in slowing down the crazy money-go-round that is strangling our real economy.

    Reply
    1. PKMKII

      More like a tumorous liver, one that’s come to see the other organs as superfluous. Heart, brain, digestive system, they’re nice, but if sacrificing them means more for the liver, well TINA! We don’t help the body perform, we are the body.

      Reply
    2. bdy

      At some point we need Wall Street…
      Anyone care to elaborate? Cause me and mine do just fine down at the credit union. If Santa Monica wants to tunnel under downtown for the new Bio-Luminescent Fungus Park do they really have to borrow the funds from the vampire squids? Isn’t Bank of Santa Monica just as capable of hitting the discount window after the fact to shore up reserves? What am I missing that makes an NYC clearing house for lottery tickets that profit the .1% so vital?

      Reply
      1. Vatch

        The credit union won’t be able to fund the construction of a new school or sewer system. They won’t be able to fund a business that wants to expand. If you want to sell some of your stock to pay for your child’s college education, you don’t call your friends and neighbors and ask them to buy your stock. You sell it through a broker, who is part of the Wall Street network.

        What we don’t need is a lot of fancy options, elaborate asset backed securities like collateralized debt obligations, and credit default swaps. We certainly don’t need high frequency trading. Wall Street is infested with those.

        Reply
        1. alex morfesis

          the american credit union system is not much different than the german financial cooperatives and landesbank system…except the germans get to use it to build a stable economic model, where here in the us, the credit union system is attacked as some form of “fidelismo”…

          http://www.abfjournal.com/articles/brave-new-world-community-banks-credit-unions-enter-syndication-market/

          “in my hand I have a list of”….

          https://www.bvr.de/About_us/Cooperative_Financial_Network

          somehow, the whole euro thingee system only cheerleads for german use of its system and does not seem to encourage (other than perhaps the WIR in switzerland) anyone else being “european” enough to enjoy the “german advantage”…

          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-banking-germany-landesbanken-idUSBRE98G06720130917

          there have been fannie/freddie type of conduits previously for credit unions to recycle capital lending capacities but those were the first to be shut down to eliminate competition with wall street…

          http://www.business.unr.edu/faculty/liuc/files/fin415/WSJ_01292009.pdf

          http://news.cuna.org/articles/print/36683

          credit unions can do all types of big projects…

          directly or via some form of syndication…

          they can also be formed for and by businesses to provide local capital…they do not have to be just “consumer” deposit cycling organizations…there are technically no restrictions on their growth…

          there is the acela vanity press which goes in a circle in respects to what a credit union is and what it does and how large a parcel of the citizenry in fact are members and have funds deposited and cycled through said credit unions…

          Reply
          1. Vatch

            credit unions can do all types of big projects…

            directly or via some form of syndication…

            Wouldn’t that syndication be something resembling Wall Street? (without all of the ridiculous derivatives, high frequency trading, and outlandish bonuses, of course)

            Reply
            1. alex morfesis

              just as truckers and pilots need to pass random drug and alcohol tests, congress kriters and strategic wall street participants should also be required to subject themselves to such monitoring and testing…

              can easily make a strong argument “for” derivatives, cds, cdo, squareds rectangulars and octoganals too…even high frequency churning…

              the technical word is prudence…within reason and for a small percentage beyond the market needs to keep market flows available and ready for moments of capital drying up…

              currency markets at trillions of dollars per day are perhaps just a convenient vehicle to “make bribery great again”…

              would argue there is now and has been for quite some time a very massive substance abuse problem in the capital markets which feed into the myopia of “allowable excesses”…

              more funds are given away to charities in this great american enterprise than is “thrown away/invested” in enterprise start ups…

              300 billion per year to charity vs less than 100 billion per year in start ups…

              the systems are all in place in this vast imperium for the small shmoes to do many things…perhaps not enough transactional attorneys in the right places to make it work and happen in a consistent and sustainable manner, but the tools are all there…however…

              we have our capital allocations all [family blogged] up…

              Reply
            2. JTMcPhee

              Looks to me like most “Wall Street” activity is sui generis, invented by the players — HST, and all the stuff Goldman does, and derivatives and credit swaps and hedging, and of course the fee-generating “Step right up, folks, and fund your 401k to the max!” huckstering.

              And as to “regulating” that — having seen as a Big Firm attorney how the corruption glad-hand works, and looking at where “Wall Street” in syndication with “K” Street has got to, I have to call BS on your notion that “Wall Street” is necessary for any good purpose. And how much Wall Street business is assisting municipalities to issue municipal bonds to fund things like safe water supplies, decent roads, schools, sewage systems and the rest? A tiny fraction. The firm I worked for actually was bond counsel for a lot of muni projects, most of which were also underwritten by other than “Wall Street” looters, and of course also included a lot of “federal funding.”

              I went to the financial adviser at my credit union, only to discover that he was a retread from “Wall Street” who was selling his book of fee-generating crap, like those wonderful annuities, and “mutual funds” made up of collections of other mutual funds, made of still other funds — all froth and fees and commissions. So nowhere is safe from “Wall Street.” Too bad most of us are always exhausted from one outrage after another, or the two or three crap jawbs we have to work to be allowed to eat and pay taxes on every necessity we have to buy.

              And so glad you apparently have “stock” you might want to sell through a “wall Street broker.” Most of us have nothing like that — just bills, bills, bills…

              I’d prefer a postal bank and credit union, run on Islamic banking principles, by far, to what “we” are saddled with. “We,” of course, have no say or choice in how our necessary municipal services get provided and funded (or maybe not- see e.g. Flint, MI).

              Reply
        2. Hiho

          God, and why on the earth would someone agree with wall street funding schools or sewer systems. That is the duty of the government. Not even bondholders or private creditors are really needed once you understand that banks also create money from thin air.

          Reply
          1. Anon

            And the Wall Street route (selling Bonds), instead of using taxation, usually costs the locals a premium of 40% over the actual cost of the project. And the beneficiaries are the 1% who can afford to purchase those Bonds.

            Reply
          2. sgt_doom

            You need to have a serious question with the Clinton/Rodham family about this, since it really exploded under their watch.

            Reagan did establish the Office for Privatization within the OMB, but he didn’t do enough to suit the Heritage Foundation, which evidently loves their Clintons!

            Reply
          3. Vatch

            Hiho: City, county, and state/provincial governments can’t create money, and sometimes there are necessary projects which require a lot more money than can be raise by taxes in just one year. Whether the money comes from bond sales or from bank loans, the governments will use taxes to pay the money back over a period of 20, 30, or 40 years. Since the local savings banks may not have the resources to make a lot of those loans, a bond market is needed.

            Anon: It’s not just the one percenters who benefit from buying bonds. There are also plenty of pension funds and mutual funds, and those benefit more than just the one percenters.

            A vast amount of abusive behavior has occurred in the financial industry, but that doesn’t change the fact that the industry does provide some value.

            Reply
            1. Hiho

              But the federal gov can, so the solution is easy to see, just have the federal government providing zero interest loans to local and provincial entities.

              Why on the earth do.you need a bond market? The answer is simple, to allow some bondholders to have their free lunch.

              You are trying to justify the existence of these bondholders, but your arguments do not hold water. It would be a political choice to finance local spending via bonds instead of resorting to somewhat like federal zero interest loans.

              Reply
      2. No Way Out

        At some point we need Wall Street…
        We need Wall Street to recycle back into the economy the huge sums of money that rise to the top of the human chain like crap rises to the top of a cesspool.

        Either that, or we could reinstate the 90% marginal rate, properly tax capital gains in inheritances, and institute a wealth tax with a hard cap on how much a person could possess. We could also disallow the ownership of corporations by other corporations (since they are after all human beings), and make corporate officers indictable for any felonies their corporations committed which they did not report. And we could stop pretending that an economy needed more than 300 million people to function efficiently, and that human beings can pull themselves up by the bootstraps on $8/hour.

        Reply
        1. sgt_doom

          Recently read Survival of the Richest by Donald Jeffries, and he has a wonderful chapter there on the great American populist, Huey Long.

          Long’s tax reform program in his Share The Wealth project was most intelligent.

          Reply
        2. mike

          I have tried to have that conversation with 1%ers and .01%ers and you get labeled immediately as a communist instantly your argument for a better society is destroyed –

          Reply
    3. John Wright

      While the country does need Wall Street to help allocate resources, a link I’ve posted before to NC has one observer (Paul Woolley) suggesting the US/UK financial industry is 2 to 3 times larger than optimum.

      Essentially, the USA could downsize its financial industry by 50-66% and be better off

      see: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/11/29/what-good-is-wall-street

      See “I asked Woolley how big he thought the financial sector should be. “About a half or a third of its current size,” he replied.””

      But as we watch the Bush-Obama-Trump financial industry friendly administrations operate, the likelihood of “right sizing” the financial industry seems very remote.

      In my view, only another financial massive crisis can precipitate any reform/resizing, it will not arise in the current financial industry fed political process otherwise.

      Reply
      1. justanotherprogressive

        “to help allocate resources”????
        Yea, they are good at that, aren’t they? Oddly enough, that allocation seems to be to only a select few…..is that what allocation means?

        Then bank robbers are also good at allocating resources……

        Reply
        1. John Wright

          It’s a stretch, bu imagine you subtract the portion of Wall Street responsible for the Housing Bubble, Auto Bubble, Student loan bubble, Commercial property bubble, Internet bubble, LBO/Private Equity funding, and stock buyback funding, the remaining subset of Wall Street could be providing some societal value.

          One could argue that crowd funding could lessen the size of even this residue.

          So a portion of Wall Street may be useful for funding infrastructure and research/development in the future.

          But rightsizing never seems to be appropriate for Wall Street.

          Reply
      2. Jim A.

        Oh at this point I suspect that it is far larger than 2-3 times optimum size. I’d wager that the reason for that 2-3 estimate isn’t so much that they get the optimum size wrong as that they underestimate the current size of Wall Street.

        Reply
    4. justanotherprogressive

      “At some level, we need Wall Street”?
      The biggest employer in my town is privately owned – it doesn’t need Wall Street (and oddly enough, that company didn’t suffer during the “recession”, go figure….). There are many many small businesses in this country – they don’t need Wall Street……
      I don’t need Wall Street……

      Wall Street has been putting out its propaganda for so long that people are buying into it without thinking. Actually Wall Street needs us to keep buying and going into debt to survive……but they’ve somehow convinced us that they are doing us a favor by keeping us in debt…….

      Reply
      1. Hiho

        Exactly.

        On top of that and contrary on what many people think, wall street does not fund industry. Industry funds wall street.

        Reply
    5. Thor's Hammer

      “At some level we need Wall Street–” like we need a metastatic cancer. A neutron bomb that destroyed its core and sought out all its tentacles would be more appropriate.

      What we need is an actual marketplace that evaluates asset allocation from the standpoint of how well it serves the citizens of the world and how well it supports the biosphere and ecosphere within which they live. Capitalist markets serve or evolve into casinos for the ultra-rich who control them. Central planned economies without the guiding hand of markets become calcified skeletons that are every bit as dysfunctional as capitalist markets.

      in order for a market system to be sustainable it would have to be based upon a generally accepted wisdom about the human role in the ecosphere. And it would have to reflect a systemic decentralization of power that prevents the drive to domination that characterizes all of human social history.

      Are humans smarter than yeast?

      Reply
      1. Thor's Hammer

        When this post was submitted there were only three posts before it. Why is is now 2/3 of the way down the list of 48?

        Reply
        1. Outis Philalithopoulos

          Look at the time stamps. The post order is a tree order (node, then branches), with posts on the same tree level ordered by time stamp. That means that if originally there are two posts, and then twenty people respond later to the first post, the second post will become the twenty-first.

          Reply
    6. Alex Morfesis

      The new york state stock transfer/transaction tax exists & has existed but has been handed back as a 100% tax refund since felix the Cheshire car crushed the municipal govt unions in the late 70’s

      TSB-M-82-(6)M

      Depending on who you ask, the amount not collected each year is ten to twenty billion (yes with a B)

      10 to 20 billion per year rebated to wall street for 25 years…

      well…be reasonable…

      Times square is still a mrss and the abandoned piers on the west side of Manhattan and all those empty factory buildings that faith hope consolo just can’t seem to get any retail enterprises into…

      Half a trillion bux…

      you can’t have nice things…

      Because because…

      just because…

      Reply
  2. RickM

    Why a small tax on financial transactions? How about a flat 1%, instead of the 0.1% I read about in the usual sources? That sounds about right. Besides, I hear flat taxes are the best!

    Reply
    1. Vatch

      I believe the thinking behind a small transaction tax is that it will not impede legitimate securities transactions, such as the purchase of some shares of stock for retirement. If the transaction tax is too large, it affects people on main street. But even a small transaction tax will have an effect on the high frequency trading that hedge funds and giant banks indulge in thousands or even millions of times per day. Ordinary investors have no possibility of beating the algorithmic high frequency traders, so to make things a little more fair, the high frequency traders should pay a tax on every transaction. This tax should not be large enough to harm the ordinary investors.

      Reply
      1. Jim A.

        And if that HFT was just dueling algorithms in a cage match, it would be a zero-sum game. But the reason that it is profitable is that much of it constitutes automated “front running.”

        Reply
      2. Anon

        This tax should not be large enough to harm the ordinary investors.

        Who are these ordinary investors? What percent of transactions do they make? How do their transactions fare when their trades only have to be made within 48 hours of placement. (Arbitrage anyone?!)

        Reply
      3. sgt_doom

        Bulltwacky!

        Gary Gensler’s study, when he headed the CFTC, found that over 90% of so-called hedge trades were pure speculation.

        From 1914 to 1966, there was a transaction tax, begun with the Revenue Act of 1914, ended during the Johnson Administration.

        Reply
        1. Vatch

          Right. So a small transaction tax will either inhibit the speculation, or raise money for the government. Either way it’s a good thing.

          Reply
          1. José

            There’s this interesting proposal on transaction taxes to stabilize the financial system – by Professor Marc Chesney from the University of Zürich (I translated from the original German):

            “Micro taxes on electronic payments – This would also be a technically simple solution to stabilize the system. In Switzerland, there are about one hundred thousand billions of Swiss francs in electronic payments per year. That is, one plus 14 zeros. This is about 160 times the Swiss GDP. Taking 0.2 percent of this, one would have had in tax receipts two hundred billion francs a year, more than all present-day taxes in Switzerland, that do not exceed 170 billion Swiss francs per year.

            That is, theoretically one could, in place of all other taxes, of almost all other taxes, just pay this micro tax every time that you get a bill electronically paid. Like, every time you go to the restaurant, to the hairdresser. Every time you go to the ATM, for example, to get 100 francs, you could pay 20 Rappen (cents) in taxes. It would be a simple measure and we would have much less of a headache with the annual tax declaration. In fact, we could also, in theory, use this micro tax for – quite simply – abolishing the annual tax declaration. So, it would be a simple, and cheap, measure. And yet we do not talk about this possibility.”

            Reply
      4. animalogic

        Two possibilities: Either a larger ,1% transaction tax which cuts in abovee the average main street transaction. Or, a rising tax, starting at 0.01 on smaller transactions, raising to a 1% tax on large ones. The rising one has the virtue of not being directly aimed (sin ! Horror, class WAR !) at poor hedge funds, banks etc

        Reply
  3. Carolinian

    The media don’t like Trump and they didn’t much like Occupy either. So one should be clear about who is doing the distracting. While Trump certainly is a boorish person who rubs women in particular the wrong way, it’s likely that’s not what is motivating the rabid opposition. Commonsensical pronouncements about getting along with Russia or rolling back globalism strike at the heart of a plutocracy that seems to have the country in a death grip. Trump may not have been a very sincere or motivated reformer but clearly Sanders would have met with the same circus of distraction (the stories about his wife a shot across the bow).

    It’s really the power of the media that is Fight Club, the thing nobody is allowed to talk about. Camp himself has come under attack from the NYT. Doubtless Trump understands this which is why he still clings, however ineptly, to Twitter. One can only wonder how long before the web itself comes under assault.

    Reply
    1. neo-realist

      The mud heaping on Sanders wife, I suspect, is about destroying his credibility for 2020. With all their influential capability, TPTB still believe themselves very threatened by Sanders.

      Reply
      1. perpetualWAR

        It’s actually enfuriating me the FBI has enough time to investigate Jane, but couldn’t find the time to investigate the bank crimes causing 18.2 million unlawful foreclosures.

        Audit the REMIC mortgage loan lists for multiply-pledged notes! Then, go after the uncollected billions in tax implications and give the houses back!

        Reply
    2. Thor's Hammer

      We irrelevant posters in the blogsphere seem to have trouble learning from even the most recent past.

      Consider the fate of Muammar Gadiffi. Ruler of the wealthiest an most socially progressive country in Africa. Liked to wear weird clothes and hang out in a tent in the desert with his harem. Made the mistake of meddling in regional power politics, and the fatal mistake of trying to organized a gold-based currency for trade in oil. His fate was to have his country torn apart with the active support of the CIA, NSA and other US spook agencies. And to die with a bayonet up his ass while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watched on a live spy satellite camera and chortled madly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR45C6Vw8uM

      If that is the response of the Deep State to a perceived threat from a small African country, imagine the measures it would take toward an out-or-control US president who threatens to make peace with the best and most profitable enemy they have ever been able to create.

      Reply
      1. Disturbed Voter

        Correct … not only is politics war by other means, but finance is war by other means. The banking business is part of the WMD of the Anglo-American Empire. This is what happens when you unleash a predatory species of unparalleled capability on the planet.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          It’ not really a laughing matter … especially where the Russians & Chinese are … uh … ‘concerned’ !

          At the ever-increasing rate of establishment insanity, I see a nuclear war in our future, perhaps not too far out, either.

          Reply
      2. Lord Koos

        Iraq was a similar deal. Any country that attempts to operate outside of the western banking system must be destroyed.

        Reply
        1. Hiho

          Outside the dollar. Sadam hussein intended to trade the oil.in euros… and some european countries even went along with the invasion, showing which kind of obedient dogs they (we) are.

          Europe would have benefited the most from iraq switching to petroeuros.

          But well, given the aznars, blairs, macrons, merkels and other rubish ruling the eurozone it is no wonder that we have not any dignity, common sense and strategic vision.

          Reply
    3. bmiller

      I am not a warmonger, but the pro-Russia slant to some of the comments here is strange. Russia is not a friendly socialist paradise we should get along with. it’s actually the kind of State Trump would love to create if he was as smart as Putin.

      (I am not saying we should be edging towards war with Putin, but come on folks…why the Russia love)?

      Reply
  4. RenoDino

    I’ll say again, Trump was elected to break things and he is doing his job perfectly. He is breaking the MSM and all three branches of government. He is destroying the global order and undermining the “democratic” process. Such is the hatred for these institutions, he is only marginally less popular than when he was elected. People may find fault with the way he breaks things, but he is not going for style points. Rather he is the perfect person for the job. He is totally dismissive of his critics, not open to suggestion and completely and utterly unpredictable. He is one of the few people who manages to live life on their own terms. This is an extreme rarity and its importance cannot be stressed enough. It drives his critics completely mad because they reflect on everything they say and do and try to gauge the response to every action.

    The last forty years have wrought a society with a glass jaw that Trump intends to break. His antics expose the vulnerabilities inherent in the West’s corrupt and hypocritical institutions who are desperately trying to cling to a unreal state of affairs that have become a bigger joke than Trump.

    The fact that Wall Street has come through this completely unscathed and aligned with Trump puts them at odds with the establishment. This may not work in their favor in the long run.

    Reply
    1. Left in Wisconsin

      The fact that Wall Street has come through this completely unscathed and aligned with Trump puts them at odds with the establishment.

      This is not sarcasm?

      Reply
    2. bmiller

      Destruction does not always result in good things. You seem to have an almost fanatical glee at the coming apocalypse. If “breaking things” means nuclear war and destruction of the state, why is that a good thing? You see some kind of glorious (right wing, it seems) revolution. I see Mad Max

      Reply
  5. edr

    The country didn’t need “Occupy Wallstreet” to focus on Wall Street Corruption.

    The loss of people’s homes already had the entire country aware and fuming about Wall Street corruption, writing and calling Congress. Occupy’s purpose was to convince Legislators, not the public, of the country’s existing concerns and get them to break up the Wall Street MegaBanks. And what happened with the whole country fuming???? Nothing!!! 8 years of nothing.

    Wall street Derivatives bets are about 2-3x the total of World’s cumulative assets!! That’s been staring the Fed and Congress in the face since 2008, and they can’t figure out there is anything to fix. Worse than the housing crises, which they ALSO REFUSED to see or prevent. 40years of losses in real wages, also purposefully ignored by Congress and the white house.

    (And, deciphering the facts behind Media reporting is a full time job.)

    Therefore, Trump …. why get all in a froth to resolve nothing? Enjoy the show, because nothing else was on offer.

    Reply
  6. Bill H.

    Wall Street does not create the money that sloshes into it. That money pours into Wall Street from Pharma with its 50%+ profit margins, from “sharing economy” capitalists with 80% profit margins, from health care corporations with 50% profit margins, from IPO’s that net the “creators” obscene amounts of money for trivial adventures and from the Federal Reserve for “quantitative easing.”

    Wall Street is not the problem, it is a symptom of the problem, it feeds on the problem, and it is a distraction from the problem. The problem is corporatism and its control of governance. That is why “Occupy” was such a farce.

    Reply
    1. Lord Koos

      I disagree, Wall Street is an actor that is complicit with big capital and it is definitely a problem. I don’t see how you can separate corporatism from Wall St. since they enable each other.

      I wouldn’t call an authentic grass-roots protest against inequality a farce.

      Reply
    2. jsn

      Occupy was a “farce” because bank security colluded with corporate press and the enforcement arms of the surveillance state to present you that image. Hook, line and sinker appears to be your take.

      Reply
  7. Marbles

    More sky is blue commentary, with no discussion of what to do next.

    Re occupy Wall Street?

    Stop paying all of your loans and watch the banks implode?

    Pin one’s hopes on some snowball’s chance to elect officials in every office that would use the force of the state to clawback ill gotten gains?

    Pray for a computer hacker to create some debt jubilee and reset the clock?

    Reply
      1. Marbles

        After the revolution is a topic that needs to be discussed more, not to bring Slavoj Zizek into the discussion.

        Reply
  8. agkaiser

    Everybody knows the rich and their banks and corporations pay lower percentages of taxes than the rest of us. Everybody knows many of them pay no taxes at all.

    Many of us and our governments borrow money from the rich. We borrow to live a decent life. The governments borrow and do the things like build and repair roads, defense and other things we need in common. Some say we don’t have to borrow. Is that really true?

    Q: Why do the rich have excess money that they can loan to us and our government?

    A: The rich don’t pay taxes.

    If the governments taxed the excess instead of borrowing it, maybe we could pay lower taxes and have more of our earnings so we wouldn’t have to borrow so much either. What do you think?

    Reply
  9. Norb

    Governments colluding with wealthy elites in order to rule the world is what human society is all about at the present time. It has been the driving force for millennia. Wealthy elites and Government are interchangeable terms- thus the problem for poor people.

    Getting people into debt is the whole point. If not willingly, by force if necessary. Debt keeps the mopes working. Debt works better than abject slavery because the oppressive nature of the practice is more easily rationalized by the perpetrators. Christianity once objected to usury for good reason.

    This dual arrangement, private elite money and Government need works so well for both parties because all the upside goes to the wealthy. The wealthy are shielded form the horrors of dishing out violence to achieve ones goals- that task is relegated to the Government, while the Government is free from accountability- they can always get more “money” from the elite because they control all the wealth.

    That is the extreme tragedy of Privatization. The real wealth of the nation and potential of its people are squandered in a financial shell game.

    There is a bigger picture that is obfuscated by necessity. Limits to private ownership are essential to a fair and just society. Some form of common good must be defined.

    As for taxes. Taxes are the main tool for social engineering. You either have the opportunity to create a middle class or cement an oligarchy in power. Take your pick on which to support.

    Russia! Russia! Down with Socialism and Communism!

    Repeat above phrase until your are unconscious.

    Reply
    1. Crazy Horse

      If we adopt the perspective of all the other millions of species that have evolved to find a home on this planet, homo sapiens can only be seen as a toxic weed that if left unchecked will destroy their home. Perhaps the bacteria will succeed where saber toothed tigers and grizzly bears failed and save the planet from humans. There certainly is little evidence that the Sapiens will evolve into an intelligent species that can live in harmony with all the other inhabitants.

      Reply
  10. RBHoughton

    Incompetent or bought off? Lee Camp can’t be right. Who is going to bribe an incompetent? He can be relied upon to screw up without encouragement. The requirement for incompetents in Washington is low – Ethics Committee and what else?

    Glad to see the media fingered as facilitators and receivers of corrupt payments. Those lying trades – media, PR and advertising – should be restricted to untouchables, their homes and offices housed separately from the rest of humanity in life and death.

    We are going to recover our society. As it says in the song “He’s got high hopes.”

    Reply

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