So, we need to coddle and protect the Goldman Sachs of this world, and pass no laws intended to cramp their style, according to New York City Mayor and Wall Street bazillionaire Michael “Peewee” Bloomberg. Little Mikey’s contention seems to be that the banks are led by supermen who make our lives possible. If this is true, we ought to be grateful.

But it’s not true. Bankers have been around forever, usually doing all the things that banks do very quietly and carefully, which is pretty much what you want from them. Banks, while producing no hard products, were the places where individuals and companies kept their money, the collective power of their many deposits enabling banks to make loans at a modest but steady profit to said individuals and companies for housing, agriculture, industry and commerce.

Bankers were careful, stodgy men who watched over their businesses like  mother hens, making sure that the money people entrusted to them was well protected and solidly invested. It was, after all, not their money, but their customers’. The strict rules and policies of most banks prohibited reckless behavior, and the people attracted to banking were the perfect sort of fussy, uptight squares you would want safeguarding your hard-earned.

Wild men have other functions in society, and banking is definitely not one of them. Think warrior, poet and acrobat here, areas of endeavor at which wild people excel. Every so often throughout history, however, it dawns upon bankers that have their mitts on all the money, and the fusspots turn on us and start playing super-high stakes poker with our dough!

When they win they don’t spread the honey around, but when they lose they never pay the freight themselves, we do. When bankers go wild it is always other people who suffer. Their greed always mangles others.

Twelve years of global poverty and desperation we now call the Great Depression comes to mind, as does our current Recession/Depression, which doesn’t seem so great to those millions among us forced from our homes and jobs while the executives who engineered their misery soar high above the fray in luxurious private jets, lighting Cuban cigars with bonus money taken straight out of the pockets of the dispossessed.

And when Bankers go wild, the heads of other industries follow suit and assume that the laws of the land do not apply to them, either. Guys like the bosses at British Petroleum, the geniuses who brought us the massive crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is ruining the lives of millions and millions of Americans living on the southern coasts of the United States.

Not a single one of those people would be allowed to invent a car first and brakes second, nor would it even occur to them, but that is exactly what BP did in the Gulf of Mexico. They drilled for oil a mile beneath the sea before the technology existed to deal with leaking oil wells a mile beneath the sea.

There are 3,000 other oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and that technology is decades old, long past the time to have invented a decent set of brakes.

While working without a net might be impressive for trapeze artists, the only lives at risk are their own. Apparently the corporate pirates figured their high wire act would be more entertaining if the price of their failure would cost a good portion of their audience all their money and possessions. Some circus!

Not that we were ever invited to be dealt in at the table with our money sitting in the middle of it, or even consulted on the matter. No CEO asked for permission to play Monopoly with our money or our planet. Their thinking was that they were the supermen described by Peewee Bloomberg and so were above any tawdry laws and regulations meant for lesser beings.

Rules for Masters of The Universe? Perish the thought!

Hence all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from corporate boardrooms when the United States government decided to pass new laws governing their actions, just as it has always passed laws binding the actions of the rest of us. You try digging a leaky oil well in your back yard or gambling with your neighbor’s dough and see how far you get before you’re scraping a metal cup on the bars of your cell

So screw the Goldman Sacks of Shit for having to pay only a $550 million fine for cheating their own loyal customers out of many billions of dollars. That’s chump change to these high rollers, and $15.5 billion less than the bonuses they awarded themselves out of other people’s money this year. Their stockholders will also foot the bill for this paltry fine.

And anyone like that dumbass Congressman feeling sorry for BP for having to set aside $20 billion to pay for the damage they created can also go screw themselves too. 20 billion dollars is but a small down payment on the sort of epic ecological disaster they created without a thought to safety.

The American government has as much right to pass laws governing the behavior of corporations as they do individual citizens. The basics apply to everyone; don’t kill anybody, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, and treat others as well as you’d like to be treated. Simple.

There’s no one who is unaware of these universal no-nos, nor is there anyone who has never violated any of them. The whole idea of passing laws is to forbid what almost everybody agrees is bad. The ones who do bad things get punished. Also pretty basic and simple.

The eleven workers who were killed when their unsafe oil rig exploded and triggered this environmental catastrophe are rarely mentioned in the press, and never by the spokespeople for BP. Workers dying horrible deaths are hardly the responsible corporate image BP desperately wants to project now.

These eleven dead men left behind eleven devastated families whose silence will soon be purchased by the company that killed them by arrogant negligence. Justice will not be done and the culprits will not be made to answer for the blood on their hands, the oil on our beaches, or the empty places in the hearts of these men’s children and wives.

Serious crimes have been committed by Big Oil, Big Banking and Big Insurance, devastating our economy and our physical surroundings, yet few arrests have been made, the results of few investigations. People are dead, money was stolen and fraud committed.

Sounds like the textbook definition of a serious crime wave, one where the government response should have been just a little sterner than handing the thugs responsible even more billions of dollars of other people’s money. That’s what started this whole mess in the first place.

In a better world, being rich and powerful wouldn’t automatically qualify anyone for a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. This just might be a good time to start building a better world.

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