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Interesting

Much to the chagrin of the pundits, politicians, and media, the Occupy Wall Street movement accurately reflects the feelings of the people of the US.

CNN carries the news of a study about to be published: 40-year low in America’s view of Wall Street

The public has been down on big Wall Street banks and financial institutions for some time now. The General Social Survey, administered by the National Opinion Research Council, has asked Americans about their confidence in banks and financial institutions since 1973. Between March of 2006 and March of 2010, the percent of Americans with a great deal of confidence in banks and financial institutions plummeted 19 percentage points, from 30 percent to an all-time low of 11 percent. According to a similar trend from Harris Interactive, the percent of Americans with a great deal of confidence in the people running Wall Street had already reached an all-time low of just 4 percent by February of 2009. These figures are not just a reflection of Americans’ dissatisfaction with the size of their bank accounts — they also reflect the increasing belief that Wall Street is playing a game that only the bankers can win.

The majority of Americans have figured out for themselves that the game is rigged, in spite of all of the propaganda being pushed by the corporate media and front groups.

This corresponds to my own experience with people who have lived their entire lives in places like the Soviet Union, where propaganda is almost all they receive from cradle to grave. People make up their own minds and become sophisticated in filtering real information from what they are told. People tend to test claims against their own experiences, i.e. reality, and reject what doesn’t fit within that reality.

6 comments

1 Steve Bates { 10.08.11 at 5:31 pm }

National Opinion Research Council phoned my home number over 100 times (I am not exaggerating) attempting to solicit my participation in a survey sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control. At least that’s what they said on the two occasions I inadvertently answered the phone. I’ll give them persistence, but I certainly didn’t give them information.

Out of laziness as much as anything, I still have some money at a major Wall Street firm, and some at a big-name bank. The annoyance factor is growing, though, and I may decide to move those funds (if Geithner hasn’t instituted regs that make it illegal or absurdly expensive for me to do so).

2 Bryan { 10.08.11 at 8:29 pm }

As the landline is part of DSL I get a lot of polling, so I’m the representative of the poor, white, college educated, formally middle-class, progressive voters. I’m not kind.

My brothers are probably still enslaved by Wall Street, but my Mother and I have been cash for a long time, and disbursed among small credit unions and local banks.

3 Steve Bates { 10.08.11 at 11:05 pm }

Even my funds at that Wall Street firm are mostly “cash,” by which I mean they’re in an ancillary account in which I deposited retirement funds a number of times but chose not to invest them. Those don’t earn any return, but they don’t lose anything, either.

At my current rate of expenses, my funds would last 8 years, which may well be longer than I live. But those expenses are almost certain to increase through Zero’s actions (and inactions), so I am going to try applying for SocSec and teacher retirement, and quite possibly for disability. Getting out of a chair and tottering away on my cane for a dozen steps is difficult and painful; I damned surely deserve SS disability. For the moralists among us, I didn’t even do anything to make it my fault that I’m crippled. True Christians, of course, may disagree…

4 Bryan { 10.08.11 at 11:30 pm }

Cash in the credit union is better than a future promise that you can’t trust them to keep. The credit union doesn’t pay a lot of interest, but anything is better than nothing. The thing about the credit unions is that they have minimal fees because the depositors are the ‘stockholders’ and get to vote on the board of directors.

Of course, no one is borrowing right now, so there isn’t a lot of income to generate interest. One of the accounts my Mother has started out without fees of any kind because she has a direct deposit, but they have started charging for little things, so eventually everything will go to the credit union.

It doesn’t cost anything but time to apply for regular Social Security, but disability requires medical records and letters. Good luck.

5 Steve Bates { 10.09.11 at 8:02 pm }

My PCP tells me that it sometimes takes several reapplications, but people with my condition, which is both permanent and genuinely debilitating, almost always eventually receive disability. We shall see.

6 Bryan { 10.09.11 at 10:21 pm }

The system is designed to discourage people, and the VA system works the same way. Keep very careful records and make copies of everything. Be sure to note the dates when you send or receive anything, and generally create a paper trail. It’s a bureaucracy and paper means everything. Remember that the people who will be in contact with are not the people making the stupid decisions – they are just as frustrated as you are.

You can apply for Social Security on-line, but have all of your paperwork at the desk when you do it. I couldn’t complete the on-line version because of a change that involves people who served in the military prior to 1967, but the rest was very straight forward.