Whiting: How to unite the Wall Street 99ers - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Whiting: How to unite the Wall Street 99ers

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Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 3:52 pm

Some comment on the utter futility, lawlessness and lunacy of those occupying a park near Wall Street and the nearly countless others across the nation and around the world who claim to be the forgotten “99 percent,” left behind by 1 percent whom they view as having corralled the majority of wealth and privilege.  Laissez-faire capitalism, the unbridled exercise of control over assets, is viewed by many as the single most important characteristic of Western Civilization. And those who are seen to apparently question this notion are demonized as socialists or communists, and certainly as misguided fools. But are they?

Many complain of how Wall Street banks appeared to have precipitated our current economic crisis after carelessly if not criminally foisting on a greedy crowd of would be investors assets of grossly understated risk and hence of less than dubious value. How was that so significantly different from Black Tuesday, the original Wall Street scandal which precipitated the Great Depression? And where we were all sold a bill of goods packaged in an argument that interstate and international banking, unfettered by local regulation, was needed to keep American banks competitive with foreign banking giants, don’t we have regrets now that we bought into that argument? Now it’s those overseas banks and the countries who are having to bail them out who are complain the loudest about the US banking industry.

Perhaps the 99% are too disorganized to see the light. Sure, they may be too naïve and too diffuse to find any unifying theme. But politicians are not. There may be more money backing Wall Street than Main Street. But surely some political figures will emerge after realizing that with 60% of the nation sympathetic to the “99 percent,” they can get themselves elected on themes like returning banking to state regulation. After all it was Federal Regulation that sent Arizonan Charles Keating to the Keating Five in Washington, D.C., crying for help to save him from defeat and jail. And John McCain was dragged into that fracas.

So how about it, Tea Partiers? Why not jump on the theme of smaller federal government and increased local regulation of capital markets and banking? Perhaps you’ll win over some of the “99 percent?” Oh, I know why not. The Koch Brothers will not stand for any such action! So your hands are tied!

• Dale Whiting is a Chandler resident.

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