by The Leftist Review.com
" I don't want to be rich," Marsha said, "I just want to be able pay my bills." As the camera reverses, her lone voice becomes a crowd shot, becoming a picture of America itself. Marsha's a single woman in her fifties and the bank where she'd worked was small and her job was assisting mortgagors in keeping their homes. "I can't do this again!" she cried, after she'd lost her job at A.I.G. in the collapse of 08. "I was lucky to find this job," she explained. This small bank where she was employed was itself on the brink in 08. Through hard work and diligence, the bank was pulled back from the brink and as her reward, she was being laid off.
The executives and shareholders will turn a nice profit on someone else's hard work. Some workers are being laid off while others retained, but among the workers being retained, is the nagging fear of retained for how long? Retained, until the big bank has wholly digested the small? Retained, until the customers get adjusted to the new corporate logo on the door? Then what? What do you do when there is nothing you can do? How do you deal with the stress of simple survival, when it's not race or age or sex which hampers you but a total lack of jobs which pay a living wage?
Marsha's bank was bought out by a larger bank because small banks can't make any money in banking anymore. It is a historical replay of Steinbeck's Great Depression journals, where the large fruit growers bought the cannery. Once they owned the cannery, they set the price of peaches. Once they owned the cannery, it was a simple matter to push the small growers off the land. With prices fixed so low, there was little money to pay wages. Too big to fail really means too small to survive.