Compared to the Egyptian revolution’s extraordinary toppling of the dictator Mubarak, the people’s occupation of the country’s public spaces, the workers’ strikes and the array of emotions pouring forth (everything from anger to exhilaration), Britain appears to be in a state of denial, despite the fact that revolutionary impulses may well be the only valid response to the coalition government’s unprecedented assault on almost every aspect of British society — hard-pressed middle class and working class people, students, schoolchildren, the working poor, the unemployed and the disabled; everyone, in fact, except the rich and the super-rich.
Wall Street banks have been saved from bankruptcy by governments that are now going bankrupt themselves; but the banks are not returning the favor. Instead, they are engaged in a class war, insisting that the squeezed middle class be even further squeezed to balance over-stressed government budgets. All the perks are going to Wall Street, while Main Street slips into debt slavery. Wall Street needs to be made to pay its fair share, but how?
The financial reform bill agreed to on June 25 may have carved out some protections for consumers, but for Goldman Sachs and the derivatives lobby, the bill was a clear win, leaving the Wall Street gambling business intact. In a June 25 Newsweek article titled “Financial Reform Makes Biggest Banks Stronger,” Michael Hirsh wrote that the bill “effectively anoints the existing banking elite. The bill makes it likely that they will be the future giants of banking as well.”