Friday, November 18, 2011

Corrupt Crony Capitalism and Congress

UPDATE VI: Read an interesting op-ed by Palin at the Wall Street Journal, How Congress Occupied Wall Street.

I posted the following comment:

The Tea Party protests government and the Occupy movement protest corporations. But they have a common 'enemy,' corrupt crony capitalism. It pervades government and businesses everywhere. I could give numerous examples in my home town. And I'm sure others could also.

I've been a critic of Palin in the past. She's become a rabid partisan with a group I call the Republi-CONs. She can also be thin-skinned and vindictive, not good qualities for a public figure. But at times as Governor of Alaska, she was a reformer. (See The Atlantic, The Tragedy of Sarah Palin )

The reformer Palin would see an opportunity to unite Tea Party and Occupy protestors to end the problem of corrupt crony capitalism. Lord knows that Obama and Gingrich and most of our other political 'leaders' will never do so.

UPDATE V: "Insider trading is illegal — except for members of Congress. A Wall Street executive who buys or sells stock based on insider information would face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and quite possibly a federal prosecutor. But senators and congressmen are free to legally trade stock based on nonpublic information they have obtained through their official positions as elected officials — and they do so on a regular basis." Read the Washington Post, Crony capitalism exposed.

UPDATE IV: "Disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff is out of jail. He was released in June. He now works as an accountant at a kosher pizza parlor. And he needs a literary agent. 'I was actually thinking of writing a book,' he told '60 Minutes.' 'The Idiot’s Guide to Buying a Congressman.'" Read the Washington Post, Jack Abramoff’s guide to buying congressmen.

Or watch the '60 Minutes' episode:

A sad commentary on our current political system.

UPDATE III: "[W]hen good chunks of the 1 percent come by their riches via clubby, rigged systems of CEO pay, or by peddling subprime securities that implode and wreck the economy, or by taking taxpayer bailouts and turning them into obscene bonuses, people know something is deeply, systemically corrupt. . .

Purge the crony capitalists!"

Read the Washington Post, Justice, inequality and the 99 percent.

UPDATE II: The title of the article says it all. Read the Washington Post, Wall Street is still playing us for suckers.

Isn't that what I've been saying for years, even as early as October 2008.

UPDATE: Want to know why the public has so little faith in Congress.

"Citigroup had to pay a $285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities — that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust.

It doesn’t get any more immoral than this. . .

Our financial industry has grown so large and rich it has corrupted our real institutions through political donations. . .

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street. . .

Capitalism and free markets are the best engines for generating growth and relieving poverty — provided they are balanced with meaningful transparency, regulation and oversight. We lost that balance in the last decade. If we don’t get it back — and there is now a tidal wave of money resisting that — we will have another crisis."

Read The New York Times, Did You Hear the One About the Bankers?

Palin was right about the "collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys."

Just listen to a former lobbyist, who argued at his sentencing that Congress operates "in a corrupt Washington environment controlled by people with money." Read CBS New, Ring sentenced to 20 months in lobbying scandal.

No wonder Congressional approval ratings are in single digits.