Parasites of Wall Street

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It’s a hundred years since Wall Street has been at war,
Busy giving to the rich and taking from the poor.
But foreign profit’s getting thin, and so today
They’ve turned around, targeting the USA.

Parasites of Wall Street have stolen the ball.
With Citizens United, they’re gonna get it all.
Everybody has a superpac,
someone they want to own,
To shake the nation down.

CHORUS:
The war is coming home,
the war is coming home.
Parasites of Wall Street, waving the flag,
The war is coming home.

They really don’t want government to shrink;
That’s only what they want us all to think:
We can’t continue spending on real people anymore,
It’s got to go to Wall Street, where the big freeloaders are.

Anytime they want a bailout, or to keep their taxes down,
Start a war, so they can sell more weapons all around,
Investing in Congress is second to none,
Returning a hundred to one.

CHORUS
So when they tell us they’re busy making jobs,
Most of us know, what they really do is rob.
They’ll take your home away before your very eyes.
What belongs to you and me, they’re gonna privatize,

Take away your pension and your Medicare,
Good luck with education, buyer beware,
And if you’ve got a problem, be careful what you say,
‘Cause the Homeland’s building prisons now to put us all away

CHORUS

Word and music ©Doug Hendren 2012

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What’s it about?  For over a century, American military and business interests have collaborated closely in dominating markets and overthrowing regimes around the world (beginning with the monarchy of Hawaii in 1893, to save sugar growers the cost of US import tariff. See Steve Kinzer’s: Overthrow: America’s century of regime change from Hawaii to Iraq).   This theme is also covered in Noam Chomsky’s slim treatise, “What Uncle Sam Really Wants”,  and in John Perkins’ personal narrative, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”.

Against this background, several major changes have occurred in the US and world economies since the 1970s, transferring enormous wealth and political power into the hands of a very few individuals, while undermining the health and stability of the American people, economy and the very foundations of American democracy.  In search of higher profits, companies have outsourced millions of US jobs, shrinking and crippling the great American middle class.  No longer centered on the tangible “Main Street” economy,  we have become primarily driven by  speculative financial activity in Wall Street. This substitution of gambling for tangible economic activity has made our economy fragile, unpredictable and dangerous.

Greater corporate profits with less responsibility have been protected by international trade agreements such as NAFTA (1994), WTO (1995) and the current, highly secret Trans-Pacific Partnership.  These are all heavily controlled by Wall Street interests, and advanced by Wall Street’s control over the United States Congress.  The crowning blow to date has been the Supreme Court’s infamous “Citizens United” decision, which allows unlimited, unidentified spending by corporations to influence American elections.

Who are the real “freeloaders” in the United States? People who have paid into Medicare and Social Security their entire working lives?   How about people receiving food stamps, a program costing over $75 billion in 2011?  These figures are trivial when compared with a $7.7 Trillion bailout to the banks since the 2008 financial meltdown, in addition to a Three Trillion Dollar War in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has accomplished very little by way of national security, and has brought economic benefit only to the oil interests which have ended up with new assets in Iraq.  How about the tax havens of the rich?  How about big corporations avoiding taxes?  These are all ways that the rich and powerful in the United States are actually “freeloading” off of the labor and productivity of the rest of us.

The War is Coming Home:  In recent years, the great Wall Street wealth transferring machine has focused on the American middle class, successfully robbing most of our wealth, stored as equity in our homes. For a colorful narrative of these events, see Matt Taibbi’s “Griftopia”. Due to their influence in our government, not a single banker has gone to jail for these crimes. Rather than be bankrupted, as a real free market would require (Iceland let their banks collapse, and is now on the mend), we instead bailed the banks out, and our people will now be subject to some of the same “austerity” measures causing civil unrest in Greece and Spain. What’s the worst that could happen?  Read Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine”, or see the recent film.  Remember, it’s not really about ideology.  It’s about the money.  

Don’t be fooled.  The real parasites on our economy are connected to Wall Street.  They “invest” heavily in Congress,  and it means big returns for big companies.  They have a good deal, and they plan to keep it that way, by taking control of our government out of the hands of voting citizens.  Unless we do something about it.  Find out about the movement to overturn Citizens United.

Comments

  1. Bonnie D MacEvoy says:

    Yah!

  2. Doug — you’re really getting a biting message to great rhythm.

  3. Yaaaaa! folk music redux. very well done with humor and wit.

  4. rick yoder says:

    In your commentary, I like the way you have hyperlinks to evidence supporting your arguments.

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