Hey, Wall Street, Main Street Gets It. Do You?
You know, the more I read the New York Times the more I realize those Manhattan financial district reporters may be awfully smart but still don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. They keep telling the rest of us what we “need to understand.” Apparently we “need to understand” that if taxpayers don’t hand over more money to Wall Street investment financiers than has been spent on more than five years of war in Iraq, then “Main Street” in middle America will pay the price.
Let me tell you something. I live in Middle America. This is Main Street. Actually, its name is High Street, but it is the Main Street of Columbus, Ohio, the street on which most of the small commercial businesses can be found. This is a block of High Street in the Clintonville neighborhood, where university professors live, where the nice schools are. Two years ago this block was filled with active businesses and offices. As you can see, it’s empty now.
The people at the New York Times and the people they write for on Wall Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan are incredulous that people in flyover country, people in the towns and cities of Middle America don’t, as they say, “get it.” But we get it. We already got it. We got it earlier this summer when unemployment spiked to new highs. We got it a year ago when storefronts on our Main Streets started to close. We got it two years ago when houses up and down the streets we live on stopped selling and foreclosures began to creep up. We got it over the course of the last decade as CEOs got paid millions of dollars to wreck entire corporations while our pay actually went down.
We’ve been getting it for some time now, but while all this has been happening politicians like John McCain and lobbyists like Phil Gramm and nattily attired columnists like David Brooks have been telling us that the fundamentals of the economy are sound, that it’s all in our head, that we’re just a “nation of whiners” for noticing what’s been going on around us.
It’s the people on Wall Street and the people who write the news for them and the people who write the laws for them who haven’t been getting it. They still don’t get it. They don’t get why Americans have a problem with giving Wall Street financiers who’ve already screwed up some more money to screw up all over again. Well, get this, Wall Street. Get this, New York Times. Get this: we know America has economic trouble. We’ve been living it, and we’ve been watching you rich pricks stand still while things get worse. Now that you and your cufflinked friends are in trouble, NOW all of a sudden you’re in a rush? So big a rush that debate and deliberation have gone out the window and you have to pass your precious $700 Billion bailout NOW, before anyone has second thoughts?
Well, hang on there, Manhattan. Cowtown America knows the smell of bullshit, and this is it. We think you “need to understand” that the answer to screwed up finances isn’t more screwed up finances. We think if you’re going to fix the economy, the last thing you want is a hasty plan drawn up by screwed-up financiers from Goldman Sachs and shoved down Congress’ throat with a time limit for deliberation. You take your time. You get it right. You make sure that Main Street America is going to get all that money back.
Then, when you’re done, how about you pick your heads up out of your navels and take a look down Main Street USA and notice what’s been going on since long before the first bank crashed. Where there used to be industry, where there used to be sales, now there’s just some faded plastic plants and piled up trash. This is what’s happening now. Do you get it?