There is a tendency for American males to think of life as an extension of the Corleone family. They think in terms of the slogans that either Brando or Pacino announced as principles of rational administration.
The Godfather series is closer to the truth of the government-business partnership than college textbooks are. The politicians are on the take. They are compromised. They act as though they are in charge, but they aren't. Brando or Pacino called the shots, not the Senator who got caught in the brothel.
It was not the big banks that rescued the Treasury in 2008. It was the Treasury and the Federal Reserve System – an official agency of the Federal government – that rescued the big banks. Today's million-dollar big bank bonuses are not sent to Congressmen. They are sent to the survivors of the bailout by Congress. The voters saw this coming in October 2008. Congress didn't care.
When the Mob in a gangster movie sends out low-salary goons to collect protection money from store owners, we get the correct picture. Think of Congress as the goons. Senior management is the Mob.
When we watch "The Untouchables," we think of Eliot Ness as the enemy of the Mob. He was, too, if by Mob we mean private interlopers making a killing (in both senses) during Prohibition. Ness arrested Al Capone on income tax charges. That tells us something.
Ever since 1791, when Alexander Hamilton got the Federal government to take over state debts, which his cronies had bought for pennies, and then when he got the Federal government to authorize a monopoly for a privately owned central bank, the Bank of the United States, the real Mob has been plucking the feathers of the public.
The goons are Congress and the enforcers in the executive branch. The victims are taxpayers and investors who think the goons represent them. The Mob is the corporate system that consents to a law against insider trading in order to gain protection from investors: new investors who are ready to buy shares at a good price from existing investors, so they can replace existing senior management.
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