By Livia Carroll
Protesting on Wall Street is a joke. Wall Street is Corporate America. They exist to make money—as much money as they can squeeze out of the system. We have given them the chance to corrupt the system because we don’t pay attention to who controls things in Washington. We should be marching in Washington D.C., not on Wall Street. Why, you ask?
Because we have turned our government over to corporate America. They have nearly 30,000 lobbyists in Washington, and they pay dearly for access rights. “Special Interests” is the term often discussed when referring to the corporate corruption of Washington. It’s a misnomer-—they are not “special” interests, they are the only interests, and the rest of us simply cannot afford it. Legislators cannot get elected without corporations footing the bill. As the old expression goes, “You get what you pay for,” and it applies here in spades.
If this does not change, you can protest on Wall Street until hell freezes over. The slippery slope recently improved even more in favor of corporate lobbyists when the Supreme Court declared that corporations are people; therefore, corporations have the same freedom of speech rights and access to Congress as individuals. This means that corporate lobbyists can now throw even more money at Congress.
Corporations are people? If that makes any sense to you, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. The torrent of corporate lobbyists that descend on the President and Congress each day guarantees that they takes good care of the top one-percent. The rest of us just keep getting screwed. Business can take care of itself, and no matter what we do, they will always have more influence than people. But, we can do something.
The sense that our country is really off-kilter is what seems to haunt most of us these days. In the foreseeable future, we are stuck with two political parties. One political party traditionally protects corporate America, lately calling themselves the job creators. So where’s the jobs? The other party just sloshes around with their tail between their legs and couldn’t even pass a public option to purchase health-care. We can thank the insurance lobby for that. My guess is that the lobbyists would have allowed anything but a public-option, and that is precisely what happened. They got what they paid for, as always.
We don’t need to protest on Wall Street. We need to change Washington. I’ve lost faith in all of them. Come each election time, they all talk of change and then do nothing. Next time around, I’m trying something different. The status-quo no longer makes sense. Since we’re frightened anyway, why not?
We need new dynamic thinkers, and my way of protesting is to give Ron Paul a try. He makes the most sense to me these days. I think he will actually try to eliminate all but public funding for elections. We are still killing people in endless wars for no reason and spending more than $10 billion a month doing it. Paul promises to bring the troops home and even eliminate many of our military bases around the world (we have more than 800 of them). He makes more sense than any other candidate, even though he occasionally scares the bejeebers out of me. Maybe that is what we need. We’ve been asleep way too long. He will never get away with many of his ideas, but he makes more and more sense to me each time I hear him speak.
Drastic change in our nation’s capitol is needed now, and the remainder of the pack shows me nothing.