A Small Tip of an Iceberg
By John Johnson
I keep two of my bank accounts with Bank of America for sentimental reasons. One is my first saving account, opened in 1958, and another is a checking account with my mother’s name on it.
Lately I’ve checked my accounts on line and recently noticed a monthly five to ten dollar deduction.
I called them and was told that my account balances were too low. I kept calling and finally wrote to the bank’s CEO. After much negotiation they agreed to refund these fees.
The biggest bank in the world is making billions each year with a shit load of fees. Most prominent are fees tacked onto mortgages. There is a campaign to force the bank to refund and stop those fees.
These are tips of the gigantic iceberg that all banks and other institutions have been chipping away at for many years. For the past decade they have been loading home mortgages with so many fees that the amounts owed greatly exceed the value of the homes. After foreclosure the houses stand vacant for years. There were so many mortgages that Wall Street bought them up cheap, bundled them up and sold bits and pieces to other banks and institutions. They became impossible to sell, which resulted in the worldwide economic collapse over the past five years.
And the so-called answer to this collapse was “austerity,” which meant that social services, wages, jobs etc. were cut, resulting in large-scale unemployed, the slashing of social services and more poverty.
Iceland told the Banks to fuck off and invested the money in their own economy. So far it’s working. Despitepressure, Greece, and a few other countries are also rejecting these so call austerity measures, deciding, instead to funnel more funds into their own economies, hiring more people instead of firing them, to get their economies back. Hopefully, Spain Italy and others will follow suit.
I prefer a much more radical socialist approach, but with almost half our voting populations willing to vote for a guy and party that wants to cut taxes for the very rich while increasing taxes on the middle, working and poor classes, we have a lot more organizing to do.
The current corporate structure is the most corrupt force since the meteor destroyed the dinosaurs, that this planet has ever known. From climate change and global warming, to the pollution of the oceans. From production and use of oil and coal, to deforestation and the use of pesticides. From the rampant over harvesting of oceans, where whales, sharks and other fish are at all time lows. To the corporate genetic altering of seeds and patenting them, which have driven small and family farms out of existence.
As we go to press there is the Facebook debacle. Facebook played a big role in starting Arab Spring, then went public with its stocks. Some buyers hoped to share in part of the social media, but the big Wall Street boys employed trickery to make loads of money on the losses of smaller buyers.
As we pointed out in a past issue, the group ALEC, is accumulating massive amounts of funds from corporations and distributing those funds to mostly right-wing, tea-party type Republicans. So far this has been successful, especially in Wisconsin and in the South. Many new Southern politicians sound like they exchanged their racism for attacks on women’s rights and gays.
I saw a documentary on Free Speech TV the other day, “Nesboha: The Price of Freedom” made in 2008 about the final trail of Edgar Ray Kellon, one of the leaders of the group that murdered, Andrew Goodman,
Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, the 3 civil rights workers who were kidnapped, murdered and buried by a group of over 30. After at least one trial couldn’t convict anyone, they brought Kellon to trial and he was finally convicted of manslaughter. He as crippled and over 70 and was given 30 years. The only person to be held accountable. They interviewed many of the white racist from that time, and they are just as racist as they were back then. At the end of the film they listed the murders and disappeared civil rights workers in Mississippi during the early Sixties. There were over 100 names.