MainVsWall by thestreet.com
The pillars of Wall Street are shaking as the dormant power of the American people has awakened and erupted in an increasing anger that has given birth to a growing movement of protests across America. This is a movement that began when people who have been subjected to every form of deceit and manipulation finally had enough and took to the streets to occupy Wall Street. And, hopefully, that corrupted financial sector of America may never be the same.
The masters of Wall Street should be trembling at the power of the people evolving in the streets below. This movement is just in its beginning stages and with each passing day it is growing in strength. It's just over a month old and from a few hundred ordinary Americans, it has now exploded into many thousands with the addition of union members; and there is talk that it will soon spread to college campuses.
Sure the power brokers that control Wall Street are going about their business as usual, giving the appearance of thinking that these foolish, misguided demonstrators will soon tire and drift away. But the financial sector, notwithstanding its superior, arrogant persona, is plenty worried and very apprehensive because it senses that this rapidly emerging power of the people may be a force that, once it gets a head of steam, cannot be stopped.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, OWS, is sending a clear message to these financial manipulators that those who live on Main Street America no longer will let themselves be dominated and used as pawns in these crooked schemes. This movement is also sending a signal to the members of the dysfunctional U.S. Congress that it must do something of substance to address the myriad of problems that are facing this nation; from the economic crisis to continued unemployment to a deteriorating infrastructure.
America 's continuing state of crisis begs for solutions. But in order to solve any problem it is necessary identify the root cause(s). And the root cause of America's biggest problems, in my opinion, is Corporate America's massive power and control over the U.S. Congress that has put the interests of the business sector at the highest priority and the needs and interests of the people on the back burner.
The degree of greed and associated corruption involved with the consortium of the business sector far too many members of the Congress is astounding. The people who now rule and control this nation have dollar signs in their eyes and green blood runs through their veins. When they think about money it gives them a high that not even drugs can match. When money, power and influence determine the agenda and direction of this nation, and the people no longer have any say, then this democracy is in grave danger.
In that great movie "Wall Street", Gordon Gekko, the corporate titan, gave a speech to investors and said, "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works." That super-slick master of Wall Street knew exactly what he was talking about, for his observations in 1987 have now become the order of the day as the Gekko's of America today are being allowed to run rampant within the financial sector, with little to no oversight by the Congress.
In addressing the critical problems that this nation faces there must be a clear objective; and that is to target the two underlying causes, Wall Street and the U.S. Congress. Wall Street is already being targeted by the #OWS and now the sights of this movement and the American people must be turned on the Congress. The further objective must be to break up the corrupt, incestuous relationship between these two entities and, thereby, break their vice grip on America.
While that's not an easy task, and it will take a great deal of time and effort, it can be done. It took decades to put America into this precarious position and so it will take time and patience to rectify the situation. Not only must this growing movement be spread across America but every kind of progressive, independent and Democratic organization that believes in this cause must join the effort and work hard to rally the entire country behind it.
The aim should not be to try to bring Wall Street down because that would not only be impossible but it would be entirely wrong; the real aim must be to bring Wall Street under control, to put an end to its abusive practices and have it become an "honest broker."
In addition to what the people on the streets are doing what else can the rest of the American people do? Many of the abusive practices can be stopped by individuals themselves. One of the easiest and most effective ways is for people to move their money out of the known offending banks and transfer it to neighborhood banks or credit unions. If a major bank puts an unfair charge on use of debit cards or some other service, just drop it and go to one that doesn't.
Secondly do the research and homework and boycott those mortgage companies, stock traders, and financial advisers who are known to be less than honest and ethical. There is nothing difficult in doing this because with a little effort people can identify unscrupulous offenders and simply refuse to give them any business. If we don't strongly reject these abuses then we are part of the problem.
The second target and the biggest, most troublesome problem is the U.S. Congress. This is the legislative body that should be overseeing and controlling the financial sector in order to prevent unethical, illegal practices. But when many of these legislators are in collusion with those who they should be regulating then it is a terrible dilemma for America. These legislators must become targets for expulsion from both the House and the Senate. Sure it will take some years but it can and must be done.
What I'm advocating may be repetitious for some who have heard it all before but it's worth repeating in order to keep reinforcing this fact; that only the power of the people, through the election process, can solve this deep-seated problem that exists within our government. We have a little more than a year to clearly identify the primary targets for expulsion. Without a doubt, every single Republican obstructionist, and that's every one of them who is up for election, must be singled out as a target in the 2012 elections. We can't possibly take every one of them down at that time but we have to defeat as many as possible.