Robbing Main Street To Prop Up Wall Street

There is no need to sequester funds urgently needed by Main Street to pay for Wall Street’s malfeasance. Californians can have their cake and eat it too – with a state-owned bank.

Governor Jerry Brown is aggressively pushing a California state constitutional amendment requiring budget surpluses to be used to pay down municipal debt and create an emergency “rainy day” fund, in anticipation of the next economic crisis.

On the face of it, it is a sensible idea. As long as Wall Street controls America’s finances and our economy, another catastrophic bust is a good bet.

But a rainy day fund takes money off the table, setting aside funds we need now to reverse the damage done by Wall Street’s last collapse. The brutal cuts of 2008 and 2009 shrank the middle class and gave California the highest poverty rate in the country.

The costs of Wall Street gambling are being thrust on its primary victims. We are given the choice of restoring much-needed services or maintaining austerity conditions in order to pay Wall Street the next time it brings down the economy.

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Plant Brigade To Bring Wall Street Down To Earth

“What would Wall Street look like as a garden?” reads the flyer from the Plant Brigade. “Bring a plant to cleanse the New York Stock Exchange for a historical photo. This is a participatory action. The more participants the bigger the garden.”

This kick off to the Global Climate Convergence will reclaim Earth Day. The mass rally and march will be the largest NYC action in the Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet, and Peace over profit. The Convergence is a world-wide network linking events and actions from Earth Day, April 22, to May Day, May 1, uniting labor, environmental, and community groups in solidarity.

The “System Change Not Climate Change; the Ecosocialist Coalition” FaceBook page describes how we are connecting the dots: “The capitalist system is in fundamental conflict with the climate system.

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Big Banks, Their Washington Lackeys & The Next Financial Crisis

“The banks have gotten absolutely everything they wanted, post-crash,” my lobbyist friend explained. The 2010 SAFE bill, through which Senators Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufman attempted to break up the too-big-to-fails? Crushed like a bug in the Senate, 60–31. The Volcker Rule restricting banks from trading on their own account? Riddled with more loopholes than a yard of chicken wire. The Lincoln Amendment barring institutions from gambling with taxpayer-insured money? On its way out the door. “There really are no outstanding issues left for them to fight over,” my friend said, “so now even the semblance of defiance from any quarter is taken as a personal affront, and they move to crush it.” In a vague sort of way, most people are aware that Wall Street crashed the economy and rode out of town scot-free, collecting unimaginably huge bonuses along the way. But vagueness breeds passivity. Fortunately, we now have Bob Ivry’s Seven Sins of Wall Street (Public Affairs) as an indispensable guide for tracking down live villains and unburied bodies.

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Let’s Make Capitalism a Dirty Word

In return for all their hard work, Americans who aren’t executives or shareholders are paid just enough to meet basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter. Under the capitalist system, the majority of life for today’s average American before retirement is spent pursuing profits that will never be shared with them. And because capitalists like Pete Peterson and the Koch Brothers are so determined to weaken Social Security in the pursuit of ever-increasing profits, even retirement is unstable.

As a system predicated on the need to grow endlessly and never stagnate, capitalism is doomed to fail. I’ve written previously about how capitalism is currently in its endgame, similar to the endgame of Monopoly, where one player has accumulated nearly all of the property and money, and all the other players are afraid to make any moves at all, lest they land on the wrong square and are destroyed by debt.

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Video: Landlords on Wall Street – The New Housing Scheme

Is the housing crisis over? If not, what is going on in the housing market? In this exclusive report, Laura Gottesdiener the author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home, pulls back the curtain on a massive land grab that has once again turned our homes into dangerous financial products and reports on the growing movement of tenants and housing advocates are fighting back driven by a conviction that housing is not a market commodity, but a human right.

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VIDEO: Class, Race, and War – Resistance Report One-Hour Pilot

Host Dennis Trainor, Jr. navigates a lively panel discussion with Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today), and Joel Northam (Resistance Report contributor).

Special guests also include Mychal Denzel Smith (The Nation), Kateryna Ruban (expert in Ukraine and Russian history), and Cheri Honkala (Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign).

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Time for a Renters’ Revolt!

Since the housing crisis began in 2008, approximately 4.6 million homes were lost to foreclosure, according to CoreLogic. The vast majority of those homeowners became renters. Even as housing recovered, credit tightened, pushing even more potential buyers out of homeownership and into rentals, both apartments and single-family rental homes. There are now 43 million renter households, or 35 percent of all U.S. households, the highest rate in over a decade for all age groups, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies; 4 million more renters today than there were in 2007. For those aged 25 to 54, rental rates are the highest since the center began record keeping in the early 1970s.

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Bad Deals With Wall Street Are Costing NYC $1 Billion Annually

Wall Street has put the squeeze on the city to the tune of $1 billion, a report due out Tuesday claims. As much as $723 million worth of unnecessary fees and bad deals, coupled with $300 million in bank subsidies should be rejiggered, says a study from a new left-leaning coalition called New Day, New York Coalition. “New York City could be saving $1 billion annually just by changing the way it does business with Wall Street,” one of the report’s authors, Connie Razza, director of strategic research initiatives at the Center for Popular Democracy, told the Daily News.

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