If anybody understands how corrupt Wall Street and our politicians are, it would be Matt Taibbi. When you have time, a colorful, emotional and informative read through his work is worth every minute it takes. One of my favorites is the piece in which Taibbi describes Goldman as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” and calls it “the planet-eating Death Star of political influence”. He’s also a master at the pen-portrait:
Rubin was the prototypical Goldman banker. He was probably born in a $4,000 suit, he had a face that seemed permanently frozen just short of an apology for being so much smarter than you, and he exuded a Spock-like, emotion-neutral exterior; the only human feeling you could imagine him experiencing was a nighmare about being forced to fly coach.
So when Taibbi speaks to Occupy Wall Street (donate here), I think we need to help him spread the word. Below the fold Taibbi advises them to hit bankers where it hurts, I think it is worth some noise and attention.
Tabbi's own words....
I've been down to "Occupy Wall Street" twice now, and I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.
Why? Because after a decade of unparalleled thievery and corruption, with tens of millions entering the ranks of the hungry thanks to artificially inflated commodity prices, and millions more displaced from their homes by corruption in the mortgage markets, the headline from the first week of protests against the financial-services sector was an old cop macing a quartet of college girls.
No matter what, I'll be supporting Occupy Wall Street. And I think the movement's basic strategy – to build numbers and stay in the fight, rather than tying itself to any particular set of principles – makes a lot of sense early on. But the time is rapidly approaching when the movement is going to have to offer concrete solutions to the problems posed by Wall Street. To do that, it will need a short but powerful list of demands.
We would all agree with him that there are thousands of demands that could be made, but Taibbi suggests they focus on these five:
1. Break up the monopolies. .
2. Pay for your own bailouts.
3. No public money for private lobbying.
4. An immediate repeal of the carried-interest tax break.
5. Change the way bankers get paid.
He obviously explains them in greater detail, so be sure to go back to his article and read the details.
In closing he quotes Matt Damon from Rounders to underscore why it is important to "hit em where it hurts".
"The key to No Limit poker is to put a man to a decision for all his chips." The only reason the Lloyd Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world survive is that they're never forced, by the media or anyone else, to put all their cards on the table. If Occupy Wall Street can do that – if it can speak to the millions of people the banks have driven into foreclosure and joblessness – it has a chance to build a massive grassroots movement. All it has to do is light a match in the right place, and the overwhelming public support for real reform – not later, but right now – will be there in an instant.
One last thing. I found this picture of
Occupy Wall Street what democracy look's like in Tel Aviv . (See update below.) I don't know if Eddie Consciousness Levin is the photographer, but I thought it was a great shot and a complement to this post.
Update: In a comment below from ask, I was asked to: "please double check the picture, though. Not #OWS - I suspect it is from the recent demonstrations in Israel - the buildings don't match and there is a definite paucity of palm trees in lower Manhattan..."
Since I am not familiar with NY, I didn't know; but the palm trees could have been a clue or decorations brought in by the city for the summer. Either way, I think it is still a great picture of "what democracy looks like"; and if you don't mind, I'll leave it up with these clarifications.
Update #2 Thank you very much DoGooderLawyer for clarifying this. The picture is great, and many people were very interested in identifying the location.
the picture is def Tel Aviv (1+ / 0-)
from two or three weekends ago. I should know, i posted it on my facebook account when it came out, you should change the diary to reflect that certainty. it was at least 500K in a country of several million. other than that, great diary
It is not upon you to finish the Work, but neither shall you, O child of freedom, refrain from it.
by DoGooderLawyer on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 01:25:12 PM EDT
Thanks for the rec. list.