By Bill Van Auken
15 November 2008
US President George W. Bush came to Wall Street Thursday to deliver a speech extolling the virtues of the “free enterprise” system even as multiple economic indicators made it clear that the so-called “magic of the market” is spelling misery for millions more working people in the US and around the globe.
Bush delivered his paean to American capitalism at Federal Hall, just a stone’s throw from the New York Stock Exchange. The historic building was the site of the inauguration of George Washington and the first sessions of the US Congress. The august setting stood in stark contrast to the character of the select audience, which, in the gap between its ideological proclivities and socioeconomic reality, resembled a meeting of the flat earth society.
A total of 175 people turned out for the session, organized by the Manhattan Institute, a right-wing think tank that specializes in demonizing the poor while promoting tax cuts, financial deregulation, the dismantling of social programs and the decimation of public education.
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