Why the worst recession since the Great Depression
Facts shared in a speech by US Senator Bernie Sanders, the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history:
The American people are angry because they are living through the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Unemployment is not 8.2%, real unemployment is closer to 15%.
Today the wealthiest 400 individuals in America own more wealth than the bottom half of America —150 million people.
This recession was caused by the greed, the recklessness and illegal behavior of the people on Wall Street.
Wall Street then received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world. Not just the $700 billion that congress approved through the TARP program, but the Federal Reserve provided a jaw-dropping $16 trillion in virtually zero interest loans to every major financial institution in this country, central banks all over the world, large corporations and, in fact, to wealthy individuals.
If the Fed can provide $16 trillion to large financial institutions, why can’t they begin to move to protect homeowners, unemployed workers, and the middle class of this country?
Now, four years after the financial crisis caused by J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and the other huge financial institutions, one might have thought that perhaps they learned something, that maybe the lesson of the great financial crisis was you cannot continue to maintain the largest gambling casino in the history of the world. But apparently they have not learned that lesson. They are back at it again and we have recently seen the $2 billion or $3 billion or $5 billion in gambling losses at J.P. Morgan Chase.
The American people are … angry not just because unemployment is high, they’re angry not just because millions of people have lost their homes and their life savings. They are angry because they understand that the middle class of this country is collapsing, poverty is increasing, while at the same time the people on top are doing phenomenally well. They, the taxpayers of this country, bail out Wall Street, and Wall Street recovers. Wall Street does well, but now we have kids in this country graduating college deeply in debt, can’t find a job. We have older workers losing their jobs and people are saying what is going on in America?
Today the top 1% own 40% of all of the wealth in America. What do we think the bottom 60% of the American people own? …Well, the answer is they own less than 2%.
This country … is losing its democratic values, and, in fact, is moving toward an oligarchic form of government where a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life of this nation.