Alexander Reed Kelly • www.truthdig.com • August 25, 2013
Every week the Truthdig editorial staff selects a Truthdigger of the Week, a group or person worthy of recognition for speaking truth to power, breaking the story or blowing the whistle. It is not a lifetime achievement award. Rather, we’re looking for newsmakers whose actions in a given week are worth celebrating.
What could happen if we took authority over banking away from Wall Street and gave it to the public? We’re told this is a bad idea—finance is too complex for common people. No doubt this is true. But as events of the last decade have shown, banking in its current form is too complicated even for Harvard-educated “financial wizards” to understand.
…The crash of 2008 demonstrated the dangers of letting the financial industry govern itself. Then the laughably inadequate regulatory response from Congress and the subsequent recovery-for-the-rich-only proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the banking class owns all three branches of the U.S. government. That means that wherever it threatens the interests of the rich, political democracy exists in name only. As Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges has repeatedly said, somewhere along the line our government underwent a “corporate coup d’état in slow motion.” Through the genius wiles of private finance, the American government became a beneficence and protection racket for the rich.
…Many Americans grasp this instinctively, but only a small number have the training and time necessary to put together what’s happened in a way that makes even a part of the whole devious system apparent. Among them is Ellen Brown, a former civil litigation attorney who has spent much of the past decade outlining, in terms ordinary Americans can understand, the financial scheme the superrich use to plunder everyone else. Her articles appear on her website, The Web of Debt Blog, and are republished on independent websites like Truthdig and mainstream operations like The Huffington Post.
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