With high unemployment, massive poverty, inequality, and a weak economic recovery, the economy is obviously the number-one issue in public consciousness. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney continue to trade barbs on the presidential campaign trail. Romney accuses Obama of being “anti-business”, while Obama criticizes Romney’s record with Bain Capital, Romney’s private equity firm that was involved in outsourcing American jobs overseas. Amidst this cacophony of superficial babble and quacking from two politicians backed by multinational corporations and Wall Street, one fact is conveniently left out of the discussion — the $1 trillion national security budget.
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Wall Street is a highly influential financial district but its history is rarely talked about. In order to understand the largesse of Wall Street and the system of global capitalism, it is crucial to know Wall Street’s history. Wall Street was founded on slavery and, to this day, it remains a key pillar in upholding racial inequality and economic oppression.
New York City was a Dutch settlement known as New Amsterdam in the Dutch colonial province called New Netherland during much of the 17th century. Through the Dutch West India Company, the Dutch utilized labor of enslaved Africans who were first brought to colony around 1627. The African slaves built the wall that gives Wall Street its name, forming the northern boundary of the colony and warded off resisting natives who wanted their land back. In addition, the slaves cleared the forests, built roads and buildings, and turned up the soil for farming. Slavery was not a phenomenon limited to the southern American colonies. Northern colonies, such as Boston and New York, participated in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Read the rest of this entry »
This video has been sparking a lot of controversy on the Internet and the media — and for good reason. In a shocking display of honesty, independent trader, Alessio Rastani, openly said:
“For most traders, we don’t really care that much how they’re going to fix the economy, how they’re going to fix the whole situation. Our job is to make money from it. And personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession, which is, I go to bed every night, I dream another recession, I dream of another moment like this. Why? Because people don’t seem to remember but the ’30s depression wasn’t just about a market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash. And I think anybody can do that. It isn’t just for some people in the elite. Anybody can actually make money, it’s an opportunity. When the market crashes, when the Euro and the big stock markets crash, if you know what to do, if you have the right plan set up, you can make a lot of money from this.”
The state of the economy remains one of the top issues in the media and in people’s minds. And rightly so. Last week, the Labor Department released a report stating that no new jobs were created in the month of August. Official unemployment remains at 9.1% at the end of August, which is up from 8.8% at the end of July, according to Gallup. This dismal jobs situation put pressure on Obama to create a jobs bill, which he outlined in a speech to a joint-session of Congress yesterday evening (which I’ll come back to later on). Given the coverage and obvious importance of the current economic situation, I decided to show some useful statistics that portray the depth of this crisis and show, in my opinion, that things are actually worse than the media says it is. Read the rest of this entry »