Bill Black: Hijacking protests for political gain
Third-party movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are about corporatism. Their main appeal has to do with defending democratic values that are violated by bailouts for special interests. I see both movements concentrated on the nexus of government and corporate interests with the Tea Party focused on government’s complicity and the Occupy Wall Street movement focused on corporations.
These movements lose broad-based appeal in getting co-opted by political parties. The Tea Party is now fully ensconced in the Republican Party, making it unlikely to have appeal beyond that party. Is the same likely to happen to Occupy Wall Street? Dylan Ratigan and guests Bill Black and David DeGraw give their take.
The special interest most people are concerned about are the banks. In the banking sector, fraud was a major contributor to the crisis. In fact, as Bill Black notes, the FBI warned in 2004 of an epidemic of fraud which would collapse the financial system. Because the White House has not prosecuted these frauds, bankers in general are now denounced as ‘banksters’ as if all bankers are complicit in this fraud. Black says the biggest victims of these frauds and the lack of prosecution other than homeowners are all of the honest people in financial services. I agree. I would add a third group, taxpayers.
Regarding Wall Street, I have said "Forget about Goldman" because I think you have to look at government’s role first since government sets the agenda and creates the rules of the game. What you want is government setting adequate ground rules, letting ‘the players’ play freely but enforcing the rules. Not enforcing the rules leads to crisis.
You definitely don’t don’t want government out of the way, because that just means the biggest and most unscrupulous win. Telling government to “get out of the way and let business do it’s work” tilts the playing field and is the message that corporatists want to hear. It is corporatism masquerading as liberty.