Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Who protects us from banking swindlers? Rachel Maddow, Barney Frank, on the Dodd-Frank law that's getting attention in OccupyWallStreet and 'Bank Transfer Day' protests

The OccupyWallStreet movement and its sister movement, Bank Transfer Day, are up in arms about banking bailouts, the general state of banks swindling the mass populace, and so on.  Part of the anger is at the Dodd-Frank bill.  Rachel Maddow had Barney Frank (the Frank in Dodd-Frank) on to discuss protest movements and consumer protection laws.

Maddow started the segment going over the Bank Transfer Day planned protest - and discussing what she calls Banks and other Corporations committing Swindles against all of us.  An example was an American aid worker who was in Haiti on the day of the massive earthquake last winter, who shot a bunch of cell phone video uploading it to the Internet so she could tell her friends and family she's okay, and ended up with a $35,000 charge for going over her data plan allowance.  A recent regulation change is requiring cell phone companies to notify their customers before committing the swindle of charging for going over data plan limits.

Whether that particular instance was a swindle or not is debatable - but it's true that in general the Corporations and Rich People (the 1%) are continually lobbying to tilt the playing field in their favor, to remove regulations in the name of personal freedom and whatnot but for the real purpose of swindling us - their customers.

I would refer back to something like the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration.  Perhaps the food industry feels overly burdened by the regulations, but the food industry also proved a hundred years ago that they're quite willing to sell crap poisoned products they claim are food.  In other words - in the Conservative wing of the world they have an ideology of Enlightened Self Interest, and that by removing laws everyone will magically act out of Enlightened Self Interest and make their behaviors benefit others, because they know in Enlightened Self Interest other peoples behaviors will benefit themselves.  It sounds great in theory until you remember that there are plenty of people who have zero enlightened self interest, and are instead bent on screwing everyone they can so they themselves can get ahead.

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