« Previous Story | Front Page | Next Story »


Wall Street Woes (Part 2)

By Ken Poland
Analysis | October 9, 2011

COLBY, Kan. - It takes radical demonstrations in the street, sometimes, to focus public attention on police brutality. It took radical demonstrations in the streets to bring the civil rights issues into public scrutiny in the late fifties and sixties of the 20th century. Those demonstrators didn't have the power to enact legislation or laws, but they had the power to wake up a nation to the inequities of our social structures.

Taken from an editorial published in the New York Times, Oct 8.

It is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation. That's the job of the nation's leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself. It is also the first line of defense against a return to the Wall Street ways that plunged the nation into an economic crisis from which it has yet to emerge.

We, the voting public sat on our hands and kept quiet when our legislators agreed to bail out the big banks, investment firms, and failing auto manufacturers. It appears to me that the bail out benefited poor management and allowed bonuses to be honored, even though management and investment strategists were the initial cause of their financial straits. Blaming government programs for their failures is a cop out. The CEOs and high powered salesmen were not suffering, yet. Stockholders were definitely at risk with their investments, but as yet were not in fear of losing their homes or medical care. They were all still able to meet their basic needs of shelter, food, and health costs.
Had those bail out measures been directed toward the debtors instead of the lien holders, the banks would have survived.

If those bail outs had been offered to the unemployed or underemployed, those people would have been able to pay their mortgages and bought goods and services that would have revitalized manufacturing and retail service organizations. If government funds had been directed toward educational programs instead of decreasing educational funding and social welfare programs, the economy would have been strengthened for the lower income segment of society.

The lower 50% of our population in the economic measures are the first ones to suffer and the last ones to recover from any economic downturn. The upper 10% of our population in the economic measures are still increasing their net worth and actually taking advantage of fire sales and the opportunity to buy out failing businesses. (I cannot statistically verify my percentages and there are certainly exceptions to my analysis.)


3 Comments

Ken,

You couldn't be more correct. I have spent some time thinking about it and I can't think of a Republican proposal that directly benefits the majority of people. The Bush tax cuts did. Whether you like them or not, they did give everyone more money, but that's the last one I can think of. Everything they want to do is for the benefit of the wealthy and Big Business. We should focus on programs that help the most people.


Ken--Thanks for your articles on the protests. I haven't stood on the street with a sign for a couple of years now, for several reasons. The main reason is that I'm past the point where I can do so without pain, even though I did speak at a pro-choice rally a few weeks ago.

I've also decided to go in another direction, spending my time writing rather than protesting. I'm behind those people in the streets, though, and I hope the message gets unmuddled enought that polticians will get a clue. From everything I hear on the news, though, the Republicans are so beholden to their keepers that they will never be able to break free and do what's best for the country.


Ken, I like your idea of them giving money directly to the people instead of the rich bankers. I dont know why they shouldnt since its our tax money.

Sadly i dont see the protests doing any good since both parties are run by the wealthy. Still, the right candidates could emerge from this.


Post your own comment here


Do you want to read more? You've only just scratched the surface at the Kansas Free Press. We have so much more to read! Nearly all of the pieces published here are timeless and relevant, regardless of when the articles were first published. To discover more, please take a look at our Table of Contents or go back to our Front Page.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:



About This Page

This page contains just one story published on October 9, 2011. The one written previous to this is titled "Wall Street Woes" and the story published right after this one is "U.S. Not Moving Towards Socialism"

Our most current stories are always updated on our Front Page.

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to poke around in our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

Recently Featured Stories

My Response As a Kansan to Jessica Valenti

Jessica Valenti has come on board The Nation magazine to fill in for Katha Pollitt as the feminist columnist while Pollitt is on leave to write a book. I've found reading Valenti's columns thought-provoking and insightful. She often takes …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Roots of the n-word

While N-word dialogue has slackened following Saline County Commissioner Gile's use of it recently, the word still has great power. So, let's look inward at the N-word. To reach a much deeper path to understanding, simply go to Ad …
Corporate Tax Reform

Basehor, Kans.--For an interesting twist on the corporate tax debate, look at Alan Sloan's opinion in the April 29 issue of Fortune Magazine. In all of the froth about corporate taxation, neither proponents of tax reduction, nor corporate critics, …

News and Opinion





Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of KansasFreePress.com. If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press, KansasFreePress.com, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.