Major Wall Street banks occupy and control Washington. They recycle their officials in and out, make policy, and enforce it with money power supremacy for virtually everything they want.
Political Washington salutes and obeys. Money power in private hands and democracy can't co-exist. It buys what it wants at the expense of government of, by and for the people. It never was and isn't now.
On December 23, 1913, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act, violating the Constitution's Article 1, Section 8, giving Congress sole power to coin (create) money and regulate the value thereof.
Abolishing or nationalizing the Fed and giving people money power back through Congress is step one to regaining rights not possible under banker controlled government.
That's issue one Occupy Wall Street protesters and others spreading across America in dozens of cities must address.
Occupy Together is an "unofficial hub" for burgeoning initiatives heading everywhere "in solidarity with Occupy Wall St."
Word spreads. Hidden anger surfaces. Small numbers grow. So does commitment to stay the course. Activists and ordinary people know something's wrong they want changed. Key is understanding money power in private hands. Change depends on ending a system destroying futures for working Americans.
Major Wall Street firms comprise an illegal private banking cartel monopoly controlling the nation's money, price, supply and availability. For a century, it looted America's economy for its own self-interest.
It's run by unelected, unaccountable crooks in league with corrupt politicians taking bribes in the form of campaign contributions to go along.
Behind closed doors, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and other giants run America, waging financial warfare for profit.
In theory, the Fed was established to stabilize the economy, smooth out the business cycle, manage healthy, sustainable growth, and maintain stable prices.
Instead, it caused multiple recessions, the Great Depression, and today's Greatest Global one. It also caused monetary inflation and America's declining standard of living, notably in recent decades.
In fact, a 1913 dollar today isn't worth a plug nickel, and given reckless Greenspan/Bernanke money creation it's value is eroding entirely. Notably the Fed caused:
• rising consumer debt;
• record budget and trade deficits;
• a soaring national debt equaling GDP and heading higher;
• escalating personal and business bankruptcies, both up around 35% in 2009; near record levels persisted in 2010;
• millions of home foreclosures in America's worst ever housing Depression;
• unemployment at nearly 23%;
• loss of the nation's manufacturing base;
• shocking levels of poverty in the world's richest country;
• an unprecedented wealth gap; and
• a hugely unstable economy lurching from one crisis to another; it lets money power in private hands profit, as they say, all the way to the bank by buying valued assets cheap to consolidate to greater size and get open checkbook trillions for speculation and big bonuses.
Easy money, market manipulation, deregulation, reckless speculation, counterproductive fixes, and unsustainable debt caused today's crisis.
Why else would gold and silver prices soar. Bad policy assures worse trouble ahead. Instead of washing out excesses, they increase over time. Eventually, an unsustainable house of cards collapses, especially when credit contraction persists.
The combination of monopoly money power in private hands combined with financialization at the expense of industrial America produced policies wrecking the country and futures of ordinary workers.
Job creation is moribund. Industrial America keeps imploding. High-paying jobs are exported. Economic prospects are grim. Workers are exploited for greater profits, and no one's sure how to revive stable, sustainable long-term growth.
America's FIRE sector (finance, insurance, and real estate) fueled casino capitalist speculation over capital goods investments in plant, equipment, transportation, and public utilities that earlier fueled business cycle expansions.
Instead of making better things for better living, America's financialized economy proliferates unbridled greed, fueled by limitless amounts of privately created money destroying the country.
Headquartered on Wall Street, America and global economies are strip-mined for profit. Investors and workers are ripped off. Money is manipulated to make more of it at their expense.
In league with political Washington, profits are privatized, losses socialized. Main Street is sacrificed for Wall Street. It's grand theft on an enormous scale, transferring wealth to giant banks, other corporate favorites, and super-rich elites already with too much.
Since the 1970s, wages stagnated and lost purchasing power. Inflation rose. Benefits like retirement savings eroded. Household debt rose to compensate. Two wage-earners now keep up with one years back.
Accumulating enormous excesses, monopoly money power caused 2008's global collapse. Capitalism's dark side and destructive contradictions were exposed, particularly its financialized form.
Money power in private hands is exploitively destructive. Global populations are harmed. As a result, poverty in developed countries soared. In underdeveloped ones it deepened, leaving millions facing destitution and human misery, even death.
Money power buys influence. Wall Street rules America and the world. Deregulated excess produced unprecedented fraud and grand theft, insider trading, misrepresentation, Ponzi schemes, false accounting, market manipulation, toxic financial products, unprecedented profits, and massive public deception.
Deregulation facilitated it. Whatever Wall Street wants it gets. Without money power, Washington can't or won't intercede enough to matter. Trying produces days like 2010's May 6 "flash crash," cratering the Dow 1,000 points, then recovering losses in minutes. Wall Street's power creates or destroys financial assets with keystroke ease.
If Congress had money power and regulatory backbone, too-big-to-fail banks wouldn't exist. Public banks would operate with small private ones. Every state would prosper like North Dakota, the only one with a state-owned bank.
During the height of 2008's financial crisis, North Dakota had its largest ever surplus. Global contagion cratered other states. If they operated like North Dakota, prosperity would replace gloom.
If federal, state or local governments lend their own money, profit isn't at issue so rates can be low and affordable to businesses, farmers, and private individuals. Moreover, for federal, state, and municipality needs, government-issued credit is interest-free.
In addition, public banks don't have to earn profits. They're not beholden to Wall Street or shareholders. Only federal, state or local community creditworthiness matters.
In over 235 years, neither America or any state went bankrupt. Only poorly governed Arkansas defaulted during the Great Depression. Under publicly run banks, sustained prosperity is possible inflation free as long as recycled money goes for productive economic growth.
Whenever it was tried, it worked impressively, including in colonial America for a generation, and today in North Dakota. Why not everywhere across America including Washington.
Sound monetary policy isn't rocket science. It's common sense, serving public interest needs, not shareholders or Wall Street profiteers seeking maximum profits for private gain.
Without knowing the merits of public over privatized banking, Occupy Wall Streeters know a better way is vital.
In days, New York protests went viral, erupting in dozens of cities nationwide. The hacktivist "Anonymous" group urges "(e)veryone, everywhere (to occupy) their towns, their capitals and other public spaces."
It's a collective 99% majority against "corruption, greed and inequality." A minority 1% wants privatized money power for more of it. Everyone else demands change.
Putting their bodies on the line despite police brutality is key. So far spreading activism is impressive. Growing and sustaining its energy is crucial.
Famed Chicago activist Saul Alinsky (1909 - 1972) knew the best way to beat organized money is with organized people, "getting it altogether" for change.
Calling conflict "the essential core of a free and open society," he said "(i)f one were to project the democratic way of life in the form of a musical score, its major theme would be the harmony of dissonance," working for the common good.
It's core issue is returning money power to public hands as a first step to having government of, by and for the people serving everyone.
If that's not worth sustained struggle, what is?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.