Dear Wall Street,
I don't know how to say this, so I'll just say it. We need to break up. I know that for nearly a century now people have been saying that we make a good couple, that what's good for you is good for me, but we both know that's not true anymore and hasn't been for quite some time. In fact, we've been deceiving ourselves about a lot of things in our relationship.
You don't treat me with respect anymore. Lately it seems as if you are just using me to get whatever you can from me. There was a time when we were more like real partners. I remember when you use to offer stock purchase options and defined benefit retirements but then you decided I was living too comfortably and that you wanted more profit, that I was just not worth what you were paying.
I thought we had a strong union but I see now that you were bent on destroying that too. I never thought that you would look in foreign countries for a new partner, someone younger, someone to do my job for less—a lot less. Of course this wasn't easy for you what with tariffs, labor laws, contracts, and so on. I know it took years of planning, hiring lobbyists to get congress to change certain laws—to make what may have been illegal legal, to pack the congress and the courts with your minions, and if that wasn't enough your PR campaign was flawless—Globalization—as if it were a law of nature like gravity—genius! If I didn't know better, I'd say you had a hand in the break up of the Soviet Union too. Your timing has been impeccable, or are you just an opportunist? That brings me to my next point, the collapse of 2007-2008.
It was very fortuitous that you had so many of your team members playing deep undercover in the U.S. Treasury Department before and during the collapse. How brilliant is that to have the fox guarding the hen house? Again the logic, “We must have someone from the industry in order to act as a watchdog on the industry”. Really? Doesn't appear to have worked out that way. Millions lost their jobs, homes, and retirements (or saw them reduced to rubble) while you got the sweetheart deal of mankind's recorded history—a thirteen trillion dollar bailout with no mechanism for paying it back and all laws waived which might be used to prosecute those responsible for this debacle—genius! Did I already say that? The welfare state has nothing on you. You get money from all sides.
This new fascism is lean and smart. Why build concentration camps? Steal money from certain groups of people? Plan their mass extermination? It is much cheaper to let the poor die penniless and homeless on the side of the road and without any healthcare at all. Hell, in some red states they're even trying to undo laws that say the poor have to be treated in emergency rooms—talk about death panels, in this system everyone qualifies unless you have enough money. In this system you don't take money from a specific group of people, you take it from everybody, make everybody pay for every thing you can think of; privatize every aspect of government services: education—pay for it, military—pay for mercenaries, clean water—pay a private company for it. Of course you always get the government to build out the expensive system first before privatizing it—think internet, think university systems, think prison systems. I think even the mafia could learn a thing or two from you.
Thanks to you, most of the good jobs do not exist in this country anymore and if they do, in your perpetual march toward more profitability, you are working hard at destroying those too. The few jobs or professions that do pay well require education—a lot of it and once again thanks to you (by way of making us all less wealthy and supporting fewer taxes), our public education system is constantly under funded and under attack, but that's okay because I can take out enough student loans to pay for an education (and keep me in debt forever) so I can get a higher paying job with no defined retirement benefit (and if you have your way, no health insurance).
I wish things were like they use to be. You know. Like when those on Wall Street faced with ruin jumped out of their skyscrapers. Funny, in this latest debacle I have not read of one single Wall Street banker jumping to his death from being distraught over joining the ranks of the poor and destitute.
Yes, I wish we were a happy couple. I don't know if we can ever be that again, but I do know that we need to break up. It's not me; it's you.