Sadly, this economic pain didn't begin when the financial sector nearly collapsed over a year ago. It has been going on for a decade. As the Washington Post reported in January, "The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times ... It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers ... There has been zero net job creation since December 1999 ... Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 - and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009."We need to fundamentally change the way Wall Street does business so that it invests in the job-creating productive economy instead of engaging in the casino-style risk-taking that led to the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history. Financial institutions that are "too-big-to-fail" need to be broken up so they no longer pose a threat to the entire economy. And we need to establish a national usury law to stop banks from ripping off the middle class by charging outrageous interest rates and exorbitant fees on credit cards.We need to fundamentally rewrite our trade policy in order to rebuild our industrial base. Today, the U.S. employs fewer manufacturing workers than in April 1941, eight months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. This has got to change. No nation can maintain a strong economy if it is dependent upon other countries for the products it consumes.
The Senate's Reconcilable Differences Bernie Sanders In These Times; Mar 2010; 34, 3; Docstoc pg. 13 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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