Here’s a viewpoint from our friends at Forbes suggesting that ignorance and boredom regarding the banking industry has caused a reflexive action on the part of protestors, and that voting is the solution. If that were true, the Bush recession and the Democratically-controlled Congress after would have solved these problems before now.
The reality is that both political parties are to blame for allowing the 2008 crisis to occur in the first place, and many educated fingers were pointing at the Federal Reserve for a very long time prior to that debacle. When the banking industry was questioned by congressional leaders about their lending practices and the resulting collapse, they feigned ignorance of the warning signs, the causes, and their own culpability. This is not acceptable, nor is it an accurate assessment of what occurred.
The blame for the domino-effect of derivatives was placed on Alan Greenspan who championed the proliferation of these instruments, but since editorialists made him the fall-guy, no CEOs or banking executives have shared any of the responsibility. Why should they? The Federal Reserve was eager to supply bailout funds to prevent a global collapse of the banking industry, and of course US taxpayers absorbed the losses in the form of a national debt that has become nearly unmanageable (at least by the current political leadership).
So when Forbes suggests that “voting” in the solution to all ills, that we should all sit down and become banking industry policy wonks so as to become qualified to comment on the massive losses incurred by the banking industry, the argument is ludicrous on its face. First, the legislation that is either pending, under consideration, or in legislative committees is too little or too late. Second, we have arrived at a point in history where people are aware that they have been scammed by the banking industry for far too long, and they see a need for fundamental, institutional reforms that are broad and punitive. They are mad as hell. An advanced degree in economics isn’t required to know these things, or to supply the inertia for the occupation movements across the country.
Third, voter turnout or a change in party affiliations has not, and probably never will, solve any of the fundamental problems of the banking industry. Fourth, they are not seeing anything resembling practical solutions or action on the part of political leadership to address their concerns; not even a legitimate dialog about the problems that have caused this uprising. So far, there has been the traditional criticism from the right accusing demonstrators of being whacko lefties. And on the other side, we have seen transparent attempts to co-opt the movement. Neither political party has addressed the issues that have brought all of these occupation groups out to the street, and together, to form a viable political force that demands change.
Until the political leaders, the banking industry and the corporate hierarchy understands this dynamic, that people are no longer content to make themselves heard at the ballot box due to lack of response, they will bush off the movement as a tempest in a teapot. It is not. What it will become is yet to be determined in traditional terms, a list of specific demands and organizational structure, but the voice is loud, passionate and long overdue in the opinion of this writer, and I hope the majority of those who have participated are content to watch the evolution become revolution in the classic, and inimitable, style of modern democracy in exactly the way it was meant to function. Indeed, the way the Founders intended it to function.