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Chains We Can Believe In

I'm Thundercloud and I approved this message.

America is in a financial crisis worse than any we've faced since the 1920s. Congress is about to approve a $700 billion dollar package that would bailout corporations and CEOs that have ripped off the American taxpayer for decades. Congress has already allocated $300 billion to bail out Fannie, Freddie and others.

While executives of these corporations and the Wall Street elite have been flying around the world in their cozy Gulfstream jets, sipping MaiTais, philandering, partying hearty and living the highlife on YOUR money, ordinary Americans have been losing their homes, losing their savings, losing their jobs, losing their retirement plans - and even worse,  losing their pride.

There was a time in history when the rest of the free world looked to America for leadership; now the rest of the world looks to us for comedy. We're nothing if not a joke to the rest of the world. It hurts me as an American to see this happening to our great country.

All of this would be ironically funny if it weren't so serious. It would be funny, if we weren't pumping ten billion dollars a month into a war that probably should have never been fought; if we weren't about to bail out the elite, money barons whose greed and avarice has led America to the brink of financial collapse with an unprecedented "Welfare for the Rich" plan.

Yes, this would all be hysterical if it weren't so serious; if so many weren't about to lose their jobs, their homes, their life savings, or their retirement income. What a mess our country's leaders have led us into. (Maybe we deserve the leaders we get considering that we seem to elect them based on TV news' sound bites and campaign ads filled with lies, half-truths, and out-of-context misleading quotes; ads created by advertising geniuses, sleazy liars, miscreants, and professional manipulators.

While the players on Wall Street are about to forgiven for their excesses and greed, those of us on Main Street will keep on suffering. In the end, who is going to benefit from this? You'd certainly not think the greedy ones whose indiscretions and greed got us into this mess. But that's exactly what's going to happen. They are about to be rewarded by the biggest bailout in American history. Why? So they can keep on keeping on playing with other people's money in the world's largest casino we call "Wall Street".

Wall Street: Making billionaires out of gamblers who create nothing, contribute nothing, and produce nothing.

I was always reminded by my father that life is not fair. This is just another example of that platitude. While mothers struggle to buy clothes and food for their children; while fathers struggle to pay the bills and keep their jobs; while ordinary Americans get up every morning and keep America going by producing something or providing a needed service, the Wall Street fat cats play with OPM (Other People's Money) and gamble with our future. In the last few years they've been playing roulette with our economy and our lives. "How rich can we get" was was their mantra. The lives they were ruining never crossed their greedy, little minds.

You'd think we'd have learned by now that wealth doesn't come from above, it comes from below. It comes from us, the ordinary people who work for a living, pay taxes, and help create the products and provide the services that we all need and that we all buy. Without the middle-class there would be no wealthy-class. Wealth is built, for the most part, on the backs of middle-class working families. These Wall Street tycoons are bound by the same standards that we are - they play the game without the constrictions of the middle-class values of hard work and fair pay, or any dedication to the basic moral values which made America great.

What the congress should have done is let those whose financial excesses and greed suffer the full consequences of their actions. If they face financial ruin then that's what they deserve.

The trickle-down economics we've all heard so much about over the years, doesn't work. It never did work. Nothing ever trickled-down to the folks on Main Street except in the form of low-paying, menial  jobs - people with a lot money taking advantage of those with very little.

It's time for some trickle-up economics. Instead of bailing out the rich, let's bail out the hard-working, middle-class who have struggled to keep this country going in spite of the primrose path our leaders have taken us down. Instead of giving $700 billion to the people who got us into this mess in the first place, give it to the Americans who need it. Give it to the guy who works every day to support his family. Give it to the single mom struggling to raise her two children. Give it to the folks who are about to loose their homes. Give it to the innocent ones who believe that America is great not because of Wall Street but because of Main Street. In your heart, you know I'm right.

Conservatives call this "wealth redistribution" and "socialism". So what? I'd rather give it to those who need it than to bail out those who brought America to the brink of financial collapse purely by way of their own excesses, lack of morals, and pure, unbridled greed. Why reward those who raped America?

If we're going to spend $700 billion divide it up among 180 million Americans who pay taxes and deserve. Help the working folks for they are very backbone of America and they are the foundation of wealth. You could put the money back into the hands of the real people who live on Main Street and then watch it trickle up to companies who produce the products we buy and the services we need. This would create jobs, and bring back the sense of fairness and equanimity we haven't seen in America for a long time.

If you want to grow our suffering economy don't let put money back in the hands of those who ruined the economy, put it in the hands of those who built this economy and who also keep the economy going.

It's funny that many don't have health insurance in this country because our leaders say it's too expensive. Is that right? That $700 billion their about to pour into to Wall Street would pay for health insurance for every American for years to come. It's only too expensive if it doesn't benefit the wealthy. The wealthy have health insurance, what do they care? But let the wealthy experience a little discomfort and they come running to the government for a handout.

Maybe we shouldn't give the $700 billion to anyone. Maybe we should invest it into rebuilding America. Maybe we should invest it in alternative energy and get us off of foreign oil. Maybe we should be rebuilding our decaying roads and bridges. Maybe we should invest in a workable and modern mass-transportation system. Maybe we should put in into a viable national health insurance program so that no American need go without the medical care they need.

I don't know what we should do with that $700 billion. But we shouldn't pour it into a welfare plan for the wealthy - so they can party on. I hope we don't bailout greed, avarice and immorality. They got themselves into this mess, let them find their own way out, just like you and I would have to do if our excesses got the better of us. If we bail them out, they're only going to do it again - and our grandchildren or their children will be dealing with this mess again.

The people who played games with other people's money are now going to be rewarded for losing it. I hope this is not going to become the new "American Way".

Americans are better than this. Yes, we do have to solve this crises but let's not do it by rewarding those whose greed and excesses and immorality got us into this mess. They don't reflect the values or work ethics of those of us on Main Street.

If we bail out this kind of greed and avarice with a welfare plan for the rich, you and I will left to pay their bills . And the greedy Wall Street moguls and their camarillas, who never gave a damn about us, will walk away unscathed. 

We are living in a time when the guilty are rewarded and the innocent are punished. There is something very wrong about that.

Case study: Carly Fiorina or "How things got this way"

February 10, 2005: 9:15 AM EST

"NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina, one of the most powerful women in corporate America, is leaving the troubled computer maker after being forced out by the company's board.

Shares of HP (Research) jumped 6.9 percent in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday on the news. But at one point, the stock was up as much as 10.5 percent.

"The stock is up a bit on the fact that nobody liked Carly's leadership all that much," said Robert Cihra, an analyst with Fulcrum Global Partners. "The Street had lost all faith in her and the market's hope is that anyone will be better."

Fiorina, the only female CEO at a company in the Dow Jones industrial average, had been with HP since 1999. But the company's controversial deal to buy Compaq in the spring of 2002 -- after a bruising proxy fight led by one of the Hewlett family heirs -- has not produced the shareholder returns or profits she had promised.

"While I regret the board and I have differences about how to execute HP's strategy, I respect their decision," Fiorina said in a statement released by the company.

On a conference call with reporters, executives said Fiorina was not terminated for cause and that she would receive severance pay -- and a company spokesman said she'll get a payout of approximately $21 million, including stock options (see correction)...."

When Carly Fiorina walked away with $21 million for failure to do her job; approximately 20,000 workers who were doing their jobs, lost them. And everyone in Washington is scratching their heads trying to figure out how we got into this mess? Carly Fiorina is just one of dozens of CEOs who couldn't run a company and were rewarded handsomely for their failure. Carly Fiorina is now a paid economic advisor for John McCain presidential campaign.

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