Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Millions More Given to Criminal Bankers

This came to my attention so I am sharing it with you. I believe it is written in a tone of righteous indignation which I feel for this subject is entirely appropriate.

On November 19th, at the bottom of an article about the economy, Yahoo News Reported ( ) that,

"Elsewhere, the governors of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey asked the federal government for a $48 million emergency grant to help thousands of financial industry workers who are losing their jobs.

The governors say preliminary estimates show that 82,000 financial services jobs in the New York City metro area will be lost by the end of next year because of the global economic downturn.

The governors say the emergency grant would allow the states to give each laid-off worker $12,500 to help them find jobs and relocate, and provide them with other services."

I guess the billions already given out wasn't enough? Now $48 million more?

I recognize that financial workers are by and large technically "proletarians", and it may be against the broad solidarity of working people in an abstract sense to say this, but I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who lost their job in the New York financial sector.

The first reason is that these people are generally well paid to begin with and are going to be hurting a lot less than a lot of people who are getting no special handout from the government.

The second reason is that in a more or less direct way, these people played a role in facilitating the crisis. Every day they obediently followed orders, pushed papers, said "yes, please, and thank you" to executives who ought now to be in prison, and for years they drew their daily bread off the wildest, unregulated, and even criminal speculation.

The failed experiment in Free-Market Capitalism, which they most intimately and directly facilitated the downfall of, has at this point so screwed up the entire global economy that Wall Street financiers have manged to speculate themselves out of their own jobs. They are now to be rewarded with $12,500 of taxpayer money, why?

All I got was a check for $600, back in June... and that was mostly spent before it got here. I guess the food I'd like to buy to eat, and the apartment I live in, and the places I'd like to relocate to are all just supposed to be of "lower" quality because I work in a different industry than finance?

And what about those "other services"? Wasn't it the influential, capitalistic, Wall Street types who during my entire life have been convincing world governments to privatize every social service they can, and who lecture from every pulpit that "government handouts" for various "social services" just lead to waste and abuse and are really better off done away with? Oh, well, I guess that was just a lot of made up crap then, wasn't it?

$12,500 is well over half to 75% of what a lot of folks make in an entire year. Folks like those who were laid off at Bennigians' when they had to shut down every restaurant nationally, or baristas at the 600 Starbucks that closed. Yet should I or anyone else propose in a legislative body that service workers be given at taxpayer expense over half of their annual wages to "ease their transition" into joblessness they'd probably call in strong men in white uniforms to put me away for lunancy.

This might sound like an angry rant, and if you think so, you are right. It is. At this point in time I wholeheartedly endorse the angry ranting of anyone who must choose between which bill they can't afford to pay, and who is scratching their heads every time they fill up the tank, trying to figure out exactly for *what pressing reason* was gasoline $2 a gallon more just three months ago.

The worst part about it all is that I generally like Yahoo news. But it's an article like this which confirms that even they may exhibit that troubling characteristic of the American corporate press whereby the most revealing and important facts can be quickest obtained by starting at the end and reading articles backwards.

Lets hear it for ending the war, and using that money to give *everyone* a $12,500 stimulus check!


EDIT, Nov 20, 2008:

Damn, Yahoo edited the actual statistic I used out of that link. It was an associated press article though, and is also viewable elsewhere:

crazy, huh?

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