It's Too Big to Punish...

banking imagesThe House GOP leadership “met with more than 100 lobbyists at the Capitol Visitors Center” on Tuesday to form a plan about how to kill financial reform legislation. One lobbyist who attended the meeting told the press that “the message was…the Democratic majority are ruining America, ruining capitalism.”  Let me get this straight: The Republicans are meeting with the lobbyists to make sure that the CEOs and investor class can skim more off of the top of our economy and send more of our jobs overseas, and while doing this they say that the Democrats are ruining America?  This is just as weird as the John Boner's orange spray-on skin coloring.

Too big to fail? How about too big to punish? Over the last several years, some of the nation's biggest financial firms have been accused of cheating or misleading clients and ripping off tens of thousands of consumers, essentially stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from working people's pensions and retirement funds. Despite that, these financial behemoths repeatedly received special exemptions from the Securities and Exchange Commission that have saved them from a the regulatory death penalty of being put out of business - which would have opened opportunities for new and hopefully ethical companies.  We don't need no stinkin' bank robbers in this country; they already run the banks!


Ray Mathis (not verified) 10 years 11 weeks ago

The whole system is beginning to seem more and more like a huge, pervasive scheme to concentrate wealth. Be it speculation driving the price of oil and gasoline up, insurance companies raising premiums while convincing consumers to raise deductibles and pay more out of pocket (eventually, premiums become pure profit) or the stock market. How many little folks have invested in the stock market only to lose everything they put in, while some wealthy folks may millions, or even billions. They get us to do it because of what I'd call the lottery syndrome - working folks looking to strike it rich in the market - that's the carrot they dangle. Then I truly believe some folks with huge assets can literally influence the price of stock by buying and selling, regardless of what a company is or isn't doing. They get a stock's price to rise by buying when it's low, get us little folks to jump in hoping catch a rising star, only to sell off and take their profits at some point, driving the stock down again. Little folks panic and try to cut their losses and sell off the stock at a lower price perhaps than they bought it, and the cycle starts all over again. And people on Wall Street get bonuses that are more than some make in a lifetime on Main Street. Even the housing market is like that. Right now, people with a lot of money could be gobbling up properties for pennies on the dollar, only to flip them later for huge profits.

Richard Stark (not verified) 10 years 11 weeks ago

What the teabaggers understand is that there's an overweening need for REVOLUTION. What they don't understand is that the US flag stands for, and has always stood for, pillage and plunder, slavery and theft of lands. It should be burned, not toted around.
We don't need narrow nationalism, but INTERNATIONALISM, the understanding that our task is to wrest the already and evermore socialized productive forces from private hands by means of proletarian-socialist REVOLUTION. Please visit and carefully evaluate REVCOM.US.

jeanne(like out of the lamp) (not verified) 10 years 10 weeks ago

Hi Tom,

I listen to you in the car. The other day I heard the word 'revolution' come out of your mouth. You admitted that this is something you have avoided saying for a very long time. But there you said it. Revolution is not something anyone takes lightly. It has always represented a complete upheaval of our lives and we are so prone to accepting the worst conditions before we commit to the change that is necessary.

I always learn something every time I listen to your show. No matter if it just for 5 minutes or 3 hours. This is why you are my favorite show. I learned about the different schools of thought, people are born bad, and people are born good, Locke was the good reference. I did not get the other. I am of the belief all people are born good. I guess I came to this conclusion by being a mom and looking into my babies eyes. Every baby is born with love in their heart and full of goodness. Any evil or harm has to be taught or learned. But I digress.

Back to the scary revolution. Because of where we came from and references in the Declaration of Independence to revolution, "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." we have avoided the idea of another revolution with all our might.

I have struggled with this concept of revolution also and have come to the following conclusion. I love this country, this democracy. But we are not a democracy anymore. We have been taken over by corporatacracy. This is what I want to change. This is what I want to overthrow. The corporatacracy.

Our democracy and the Constitution that has empowered the people to protect, defend and promote it is the tool we have been provided to revolt against invaders and intruders.

Our Congress, even our President is being held hostage by the Corporations that provide the ways and means by which our Officials campaign and get elected. The corporations have infiltrated, infringed and trespassed on every segment and element of our form of government. So to me the call for revolution is a call to free our Congress and our President from the kidnappers that are holding them hostage.

Congress even the President is powerless against the Corporatacracy. For any member of Congress to propose a finance reform bill is certain sudden death to that members political career. Corporate will kill them by simply refusing to contribute to their reelection. It's that simple and everyone knows it.

Corporate does not have that kind of power over the people. So, the way I see it is that the people are the only ones who have the power to overthrow the corporatacracy and in so doing still keep our democracy and Constitution in tact.

You made reference to Roosevelt and what he thought of the corporate imperialists. It was a problem then and because we did not do what was necessary then to end it once and for all we are having to deal with it now in it's most advance stage. I would dare to suggest that it is nearly at the point where revolution under a democracy is going to be almost impossible.

The only way, as I see it, to dissolve the power that corporate has over our elected officials is to take the power of the vote that the corporatacracy needs from Congress to empower legislation that further promotes, protects and defends corporations by forbidding any member of Congress from voting on any bill that even suggests a conflict of interest. That means if any member of Congress has accepted any considerations from any corporation that would benefit in any way from a bill they are about to vote on they can't vote on it.

This has to be a people thing. I am not sure of the logistics. I am not even sure what you would call it because I don't think anything like this has ever been suggested or tried before. Wanting to break away from England and trying something new like writing the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution did not seem to stop, thank god, our founders from doing what they needed to do to set us free.

I think they gave us everything we need in our Constitution now to carry on a revolution against the corporatacracy and return our government to the democracy we all signed onto. Status quo is not what got us a democracy. Status quo is not what will get it back either.

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From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
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