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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:30 AM ET, 10/07/2011

Friday rant: This is only a test

I have trouble even predicting the past. So don’t ask me whether the Wall St. demonstrations will take hold, spread, or make a difference. But if you have been reading my blog posts for the last year and a half, you will know that I think there are unaddressed issues here. I began my posts by saying there had been no proper legal accountability for the outlandish financial behaviors that contributed so decisively to our current economic collapse. I believe I used the word jail. I think I wrote it JAIL.

I’ve also been writing a lot about how the percentage of wealth owned by the top one percent has simply mushroomed over recent decades. That wasn’t secret knowledge, but until recently, way under-reported. Everyone pretended nothing was happening, or if it was, nothing significant. My opinion: that kind of wealth disparity, questions of “fairness” aside, is a social toxin and a toxin to democracy. Now it appears that it is economic poison as well. The smugly new hyper-rich justified it by bouncing their fingertips together and telling us they were creating jobs for the rest of us worthless underlings. Well, look around you and check out the accuracy of that.

So I don’t know if the demonstrations will have an impact on the crazy skewed society that everybody has been insanely cheering on for as long as most people can remember, but I hope they help. And the rich should hope so too. They’ve maneuvered themselves into a gilded, gated dead-end and are trapped there by a contagion of absolutely insatiable greed. But if something can’t go on forever, it won’t, and history has lots of examples of this pattern ending very badly. That’s not a theory. It’s one part of the past that I can predict. The United States is an experiment. We can fix it now nicely or wait some more. Next opportunity might not be so nice.

By  |  07:30 AM ET, 10/07/2011

 
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