Every single adult in the United States who was unemployed or on public assistance could have been given a job -- so that they could lead happy, fulfilling and prosperous lives -- with plenty of money to spare. How so? A vast public works program could easily have been created to stimulate the economy. This money would then have become an investment in the country and its people, instead of a one-time gift to banks, foreign governments and big corporations.
What Jobs Could We Have Created?
We could have restored our crumbling roads, sewers, gas mains and bridges, the most decrepit in the industrialized world.
We could have transformed poverty-stricken inner cities by means of massive construction and refurbishing projects, and dramatically improved public transportation -- making it much easier for people to get to work and back, thereby greatly expanding the number of job opportunities available to them.
We could have completely modernized public schools, halved the size of classes, improved the pay and quality of teachers, and provided enough computers for every kid in the country.
We could have trained and hired enough teachers to educate vastly more of our children in the skills and software needed to be competitive in today's rapidly evolving economy.
We could have boldly invested in clean energy technologies to heal the environment -- as China is now doing, with half a trillion dollars in spending every year.
We could have built high-speed bullet trains to make it easier (and faster) when traveling through and between congested urban areas.
But instead of any of this happening, the "one percent" got to upgrade their already lavish lifestyles -- while much of the middle class was forced to sink ever deeper into the Next Great Depression, as economist Paul Krugman recently called it.
Congressman Bernie Sanders Helps Strip Away The Lies
In early November, Congressman Bernie Sanders revealed that in addition to handing out $16 trillion (not counting the ten trillion in "currency swaps" that Congressman Grayson pointed out), the Federal Reserve also owns the financial agencies they are supposed to be regulating.
A GAO audit referenced by Sanders revealed that many of the people who serve as directors of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks come from the exact same financial institutions that the Fed is in charge of regulating! Further, the GAO found that at least 18 current and former Fed board members were affiliated with banks and companies that received emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis. In other words, the people "regulating" the banks were the exact same people who were being "regulated." For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed's board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed.
Getting this type of disclosure was not easy because Wall Street and the Federal Reserve fought it every step of the way. But, as difficult as it was to lift the veil of secrecy at the Fed, it will be even harder to reform the Fed so that it serves the needs of all Americans, and not just Wall Street. Yet that is exactly what we must do.
Mainstream Media Lies Re: The Real Size Of The Bailouts