Some Persons More Equal Than Others

As cities around the country trade notes on how to crack down on peaceful Occupy protesters, a chant goes up: ‘Who do you protect? Who do you serve?’ As the empire strikes back, Chris Hayes offers a plausible answer. It’s the reason for Occupy in the first place.

Citing UCLA corporate law professor (and Republican) Lynn Stout, David Kay Johnston writes [emphasis mine]:

Against $15 trillion of mortgage bonds, Stout said, Wall Street marketed credit default swaps in 2008 with a notional value of $67 trillion. Worldwide, traded swaps at their peak equaled $670 trillion or $100,000 for each person on the planet, vastly more than all the wealth in the world. Those numbers make it a mathematical certainty that the swaps were mostly speculation, not hedging.

There is a reason people have taken to the streets — in London, in Madrid, in Athens, in Dublin, in Reykjavik, in hundreds of cities across the planet. In Europe, see IMF austerity measures that require the public to cover the gambling losses of a financial industry unaccountable for committing massive fraud in derivatives. In the U.S., see the deal to immunize banks from prosecution: With few exceptions, state attorneys general want to hand the banks “get out of jail free” cards and sweep the crimes under the rug. See Kelo v. City of New London or Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In literature, see Orwell: All “persons” are equal but some “persons” are more equal than others.

#Occupy is asking the right question — a dangerous question — not only of police, but of the entire system: ‘Who do you protect? Who do you serve?’


(Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans.)

1 comment on this post.
  1. Twiddle:

    Citizens United ruling by SCOTUS is all the answer we need. Corporations/Banks, etc are people. Lincoln said “…government of the people, by the people, for the people…” Corporations are people. Isn’t our democracy grand? It’s all encompassing.