So, I was wondering how long I've been using the word "bankster" to describe the people who plundered our national treasures by crashing the economy. It turns out that on Hannah Blog, I first used the word in 2009, in a post entitled Representative Democracy is Participatory. I think it seemed like a natural, very descriptive variant to apply to bankers, who'd been behaving like gangsters. I didn't look it up before, but now the on-line dictionaries tell us it's a word from the nineteenth century -- i.e. one of those things that remain the same.
I also discovered that an Indian banker/novelist, Ravi Subramanian, is about to publish a fiction, entitled "The Bankster," according to the Wall Street Journal blog. Obviously, there are banksters around the globe, but in Janesville, Wisconsin?
According to a web site dedicated to the breed, the banksters have their hooks into the Republicans' candidate for Vice President. Yes, it is alleged that Ryan, the presumptive Vice, is "well connected."
Paul Ryan: Bankrolled by the Banksters, the Privatizers, and the KochsSo, Ryan is the darling of the middlemen, especially those that capitalize on other people's distress, as this speech on behalf of the TARP in 2008 attests:
Submitted by Mary Bottari on August 14, 2012 - 11:00
In the 14 years that Paul Ryan has been a Congressman from Southeastern Wisconsin, he has never had a challenger of any stature or a race of any significance. Janesville, his hometown and the heart of the district, has no TV stations and only a handful of small, scrappy newspapers. What an opportunity for a man of the people to take the highroad!
Ryan could have run every single one of his seven election cycles just like former U.S. Senator Bill Proxmire (D-WI), who ran statewide but only totaled about $1,000 for his nominating petitions and a handful of other expenses.
Instead, Ryan has decided to make himself beholden to some of the biggest corporate interests in America. FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) poured $2.8 million into his races over the years so he could go mano-a-mano with the likes of John Heckenlively, an unemployed reporter who spent exactly $0 in his 2010 run against Ryan.
"It's a heavy load to bury." Sometimes the subconscious speaks true.
"We're all worried about our jobs."
"As bad as this is, it could get a whole lot worse." And it has, but the banksters have nothing to fear. Little Pauli Ryan is on the job.
That Ryan is in league with the bankers should not come as a surprise. After all, his big brother Tobin, who got his start in finance at Bain & Co. organized Pauli's first political campaign. But, in being reminded that bankster is a combination of bank and gangster, the notion that gangsters have influence in a Wisconsin hamlet is startling. Perhaps that's because Hollywood has schooled us that mobs are an immigrant and coastal phenomenon, with an occasional appearance in Chicago and Las Vegas. Surely there are no gangsters in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Well, the fellows, Troha and Erickson, who pled guilty to bribery, were actually from Kenosha, some seventy miles away. Counting on Pauli for special favors for their trucking enterprise probably looked like a no-brainer, given that the Ryan fortune came from highway construction. Interestingly, none of the politicians letting big chunks of money flow into their campaign coffers were found guilty of accepting bribes -- the usual outcome when legislators don't actually deliver the expected boon, or threat.
See, that's how it works. They take the money and never deliver the votes. If you listen to Ryan's speech on behalf of TARP, it's a well-crafted mixture of promises, dire predictions and threats and it obviously propelled him as one of the rising stars of the House. But, the collapse was not avoided, Main Street was not saved and while Ryan was dallying with Wells Fargo, the bank foreclosed on his neighbors' homes. Citizens in distress have become the politicians' issue of choice.
The Tea Partiers have a point when they say Washington is corrupt. They have just been misled about which part. The Capitol Hill gang have become most adept at blaming someone else. Wonder when the banksters get tired of being jerked around and decide enough is enough.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I've been sending small donations to this year's dragon slayer, Rob Zerban. That began before the Ryan as Vice proposal was announced. Not only was I impressed by Zerban's gutsy move in going up against one of the "leaders" of the House, but by the fact that Zerban makes it easy to send paper checks and send a little business to the coffers of the USPS. I may be wrong, but a regular user of the public postal system is perhaps less likely to privatize.