The American Founders were clear that they viewed inequality in wealth, power, and prestige as not merely inevitable, but desirable and, for some, even divinely ordained.
While the Founders accepted outcome inequality, they emphasized -- over and over -- that its legitimacy hinged on subjecting everyone to the law’s mandates on an equal basis. Jefferson wrote that the essence of America would be that “the poorest laborer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest millionaire, and generally on a more favored one whenever their rights seem to jar.” Benjamin Franklin warned that creating a privileged legal class would produce “total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections” between rulers and those they ruled. Tom Paine repeatedly railed against “counterfeit nobles,” those whose superior status was grounded not in merit but in unearned legal privilege.
Today, it is glaringly obvious to a wide range of Americans that the wealth of the top 1% is the byproduct not of risk-taking entrepreneurship, but of corrupted control of our legal and political systems.Greenwald is incredibly brave as he knows that there is no one that the government would like to silence more than himself. Read Glenn Greenwald in his own words:
- Tomgram: Glenn Greenwald, How the Rich Subverted the Legal System
- Book release: With Liberty and Justice for Some
One of the articles that Greenwald recommends we all read is "The Quiet Coup" by Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF.
And if you haven't read, "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" by Matt Taibbi, read it. The subtitle says it all:
Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.Down on 'Occupy Wall Street' the protesters show their understanding of this issue with the chant:
Banks got bailed out! We got sold out!