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Last week we commemorated two very different American historical moments. We remembered the awful Al Qaeda attacks on Sept 11th, 2001. Two days later we were reminded of the huge TARP bailout of Wall Street banks and the financial sector of the American economy.
On 9-11 we remembered the folks who worked in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon who died or were injured, the lives and families hurt for all time.
Many of us gratefully and humbly remembered the First Responders who answered that 911 call in Lower Manhattan — the cops, the EMT’s, the bus drivers who came to evacuate survivors, and especially the firefighters — the men and women who bore the biggest weight of the disaster. Hundreds of firefighters went into those towers and climbed the stairwells, heavy canvas and brass fire hoses draped over their shoulders, to fight the fires and rescue survivors and the injured. They all knew they were likely to die, because they wouldn’t leave until they had located every living person possible.
And, indeed, 343 firefighters died when those towers collapsed on them doing their jobs.
What many don’t realize is that every firefighter, cop, EMT, bus driver, other First Responders were UNION PUBLIC EMPLOYEES amongst those the radical right reviles.
Meanwhile we remember the banks and their CEO’s and executives who gambled with America’s wealth and the world’s wealth, who invented phony investment instruments and destroyed and burned up the pensions of workers and union public employees. And they were rewarded with a massive bailout that we paid for — and bonuses bigger than ever before.
Do you still wonder what’s wrong with the American economy?