Our local paper printed a copy of the Declaration of Independence this morning. It's interesting reading -- 56 citizens of the-then-13 British colonies signed their names to a document declaring that the King was abusing the colonies and violating basic principles of human decency. So they declared the colonies' independence from Great Britain -- quite a gutsy move. 233 years later it looks to me as though the role of King in 1776 is being played by Wall Street.
To be fair, Wall Street is not as bad as the Britain's King was back then. Those 56 patriots complained that he was taxing them without representation, over-ruling the laws they created for themselves, posting standing armies and encouraging Native Americans to stir political instability, cutting off trade, blocking immigration and a whole host of other crimes against their efforts at self-governance.
Even though Wall Street is not as bad, it does behave regally. How so? As I posted, in the last decade it's paid $5 billion to Washington politicians and lobbyists. And so it's been able to tax us without representation -- because it has effectively purchased what is supposed to be our government.