The hope springs from this fact from a recent email from A New Way Forward...
1. 94% of Americans don't agree with the bailout plans. More than 50% of people support temporary nationalization (1).
A major concern is based on two other facts from the same A New Way Forward email...
2. So far, the bailouts have cost each U.S. household $18,584. If you factor in the money we have thrown at banks in the form of guarantees, that figure jumps to $79,646 (2).
3. Companies that received TARP bailout funds spent over $114 million lobbying in 2008 (3).
Based on the actions of Congress concerning the banks, one must conclude the $114 million was money very well spent...or invested. Note, our federal elected officials have yet to:
- Audit bailout funds that went to banks (where have our tax dollars actually gone?)
demand that misused bailout funds be returned
- Investigate and prosecute those in the financial sector responsible for the global financial crisis
- Demand that insolvent banks be taken over (as federal statute requires under the Prompt Corrective Action Law)
- Oppose any additional funding in the fiscal year 2010 budget for bank bailouts.
Our challenge is immense. Due to the lack of financial literacy in our schools, media, and rest of society, most of the public (myself included) are trying to catch up and understand the ABCs of money and finance. Banksters already know this stuff...and their lobbying and campaign contributions are powerful reinforcements to elected officials dependent on huge sums of money to remain in office.
On the other hand, none of us need to become financial wiz kids to understand that this issue is more than just about dollars (be they millions, billions, or trillions).
It’s also, if not primarily, about self-governance...
- The ability to limit or prohibit banks from creating arcane financial “products” that don’t add anything to the real economy or to the lives of people and communities
- The power to hold those who have acted unaccountable to the public responsible for their actions
- The authority of the public to be the primary agent for issuing money rather than private banks.
These are critical if we have any hope of being in charge of our money and finances...which are the basis of most everything else.
Public Education Opportunities
Several efforts are underway to encourage public education on the bank bailout and related issues of justice and self-governance. They are listed here to inspire you to consider taking part in or replicating them where you are:
Bail-out working people — Not the Banks”
May 9, San Francisco
A New Way Forward Financial Crisis Forums -- June 10
If you want to hold a forum, show a video, invite speakers, etc. on the financial crisis in your city, sign up here:
1. Forbes article on 6% in support of current bailout plans.
2. Where's My Money?
3. TARP Funds from Open Secrets.
Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign
American Monetary Act
Transparency in the Creation of Wealth Act of 2008
Introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, October 3, 2008
Geithner, Member and Overseer of Finance Club
BofA, Citi May Need More Capital