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Peaceful change is long overdue

November 17, 2011

A letter on this page was critical of the Occupy Wall Street movement (“Occupy Wall Street a cause for concern,” Nov. 8).

Is the person who wrote it OK with the bonuses in the finance industry? For example, the insurance giant AIG gave more than $165 million in bonuses shortly after it received a $170-billion taxpayer bailout.

Is it OK that taxpayers bailed out financial institutions “too big to fail,” but foreclosures are allowed to continue — foreclosures that bring down the property value of a neighborhood if too many are in the same area?

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Is it OK that no one has been prosecuted from the companies that fraudulently sold a huge number of homes to people who couldn’t afford them? They bundled these worthless mortgages with some better investments and sold them to unfortunate buyers who trusted the good ratings the bundles received.

Is it OK that the agencies that gave those toxic investments triple-A ratings are still in business — with the same built-in conflict of interest in the way that they make their money from the companies seeking ratings?

Is it OK that the finance industry spent millions on lobbyists to successfully unravel the financial regulations enacted after the Depression of the 1930s — and still invests millions to prevent effective regulation of this industry?

Does that writer realize that from 1979 to 2007, the after-tax income of the top 1% in the U.S. rose 275% — more than 4 times as much as those in the top 20%, according to a Los Angeles Times article, “The rich are getting richer, U.S. confirms,” on Oct. 27? The 60% in the middle of the income scale rose 40%, and the bottom 20% rose 18%.

During the past 30 years, Congress has aided an enormous redistribution of wealth to the top 1%. It’s long overdue that the bottom 99% work peacefully to change this.

Nancy Burnet Kent

Glendale
 
 

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