Through it all--Iceland's soot, spilled oil on the Bayou, Greece's junk bond rating, and Goldman's Sachs' sad tale--comes a story from Alexander Zaitchic at Alternet. He writes:
A real street drama sponsored by the AFL-CIO (more than 5000 participants) demonstrated in New York City's financial district. It was largely inspired by the Pete Peterson Commission--often cited as being unfriendly to "little people." Teachins, benign signs, direct action protests in the lobbies of Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase were some of the acts.
Richard Trumpka challenged banks: 1)stop fighting reform and call off the lobbyists: 2) stop speculating and start lending; and 3) take responsibility for the mess you made.
There were laid off city workers, teachers with bigger class sizes, students who lost transit credit, and transit workers where service is being cut. Through it all, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with his billions, surely got the message.
As a twenty-something I fell in love with New Yorkers because they were forthright. How I would have loved to have been standing by the Bowling Green Bull, promoted as a logo for Merrill Lynch.
In other areas of the nation with other workers, and non-workers alike, it is remarkable it has taken so long.
Now, hear this!
Dollar digits flying around the world do not make anything. People do. They may get stuck on an assembly line making widgets. But it's for sure widget making will stop if no one buys them. Others run Excel or whatever it takes to create the report so the tax man gets his cut. The wheels of commerce turn when they are not ground flat.
So, let's hear it for labor. And if perchance some feel they do not "produce" because they are investors, take that to the bank.
Hurray for the old New York spirit!