Tracing Our (Soon-to-be-DoubleDip) Recession and the Aforementioned Ponzi Scheme that Will Trigger It, to a Memo 40 Years Ago That Thrilled Richard Nixon . .
. . as explained in an upcoming documentary film, "Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?"
The Powell Memorandum helped spur the formation of advocacy research organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute and paved the way for lobbyists to descend on Washington. In 1978, while on the Supreme Court, Lewis F. Powell Jr. successfully argued for the right of corporations to make political contributions.
The movement to deregulate government control of corporations and to disempower organized labor accelerated after the 1980 presidential election. An early public battle in 1981 pitted Ronald Reagan against striking air traffic controllers. The film says that the number of American workers in unions has dwindled to 1 out of 14, from 1 in 3 in the 1950s.
The filmmakers swiftly tick off legislation that they regard as concerted class warfare waged by corporations in collusion with corporate-controlled news media against the middle and working class: Starting in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which encouraged the outsourcing of cheap labor; the 1999 repeal of parts of the Glass-Steagall Act which had separated commercial and investment banking; and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated over-the-counter derivatives, allowed financial institutions to run wild. Both major political parties, they argue, promoted deregulation fever.
In short, the mess we're in now did not begin on Wall Street. Long before the financial collapse, the dismantlement of government regulation was well under way. All the consequences are the result of a brilliantly executed coup. This is the story of the biggest (ongoing) heist in American history.