Culture Project & JANERA.com present: Blueprint for Accountability: Truth and Consequences.
Jesse LaGreca is a blogger and writer for Daily Kos and a prominent Occupy Wall Street activist.
Paul Henry O'Neill served as the 72nd United States Secretary of the Treasury for part of President George W. Bush's first term. He was fired in December 2002 for his public disagreement with the administration and became a harsh critic. Prior to his term as Secretary of the Treasury, O'Neill was chairman and CEO of Pittsburgh-based industrial giant Alcoa and chairman of the RAND Corporation.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind has written some of America's most important works of nonfiction, framing national debates while exploring the complexities of human experience.
Mr. Suskind's latest book, "Confidence Men" (September, 2011), is a multi-layered narrative about the fall of the U.S. economy, the rise of Barack Obama, and the President's harrowing battle to take control of his White House and earn the confidence of the American people.
His previous works include the New York Times bestseller, "The Way of the World"(August, 2008), about the forces fighting the global "hearts and minds" struggle at a time when awesomely destructive weapons are available to the common man; "The One Percent Doctrine" (June, 2006), a signature work on how the U.S. government frantically improvised to fight a new kind of war after 9/11; "The Price of Loyalty, George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill"(Jan 2004), a sweeping tour of the inner workings of the American government in the modern era; and "A Hope in the Unseen, An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League" (Doubleday/Broadway, 1998) a critically-acclaimed bestseller that has redefined national debates on race, class and achievement.
In addition to his books, he often appears on network television and has been a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and Esquire. Mr. Suskind was the Wall Street Journal's senior national affairs reporter from 1993 until his departure in 2000, and won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. He currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Cornelia Kennedy Suskind, and is a distinguished visiting scholar at Dartmouth College.
Prominent Occupy Wall Street activist Jesse LaGreca explains that in a stale economy, working-class Americans are being forced to make big sacrifices while major Wall Street players have still not been held accountable for the economic downturn they helped trigger. This injustice, says LaGreca, is the driving force behind the OWS movement.
Street in New York City where many major U.S. financial institutions are located. The street, in southern Manhattan, is narrow and short and extends only about seven blocks from Broadway to the East River. It was named for an earthen wall built by Dutch settlers in 1653 to repel an expected English invasion. Even before the Civil War it was recognized as the nation's financial capital, and it remains a worldwide symbol of high finance. The Wall Street, or financial, district contains the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The district is also the headquarters for many investment banks, securities dealers, utilities and insurance companies, and brokerage firms.
Transparency is the first step toward accountability, it seems to me, because the accumulation of wealth by creditors at the cost of the dignity of the individual (saddled with more credit than can be managed) can only exceed a certain level in the dark. Just as there are some chemical reactions that can only take place in the absence of light, there are financial and power transactions that can only take place "in the dark." This program contributes to transparency, and thanks for that! But there is also a moral crisis in the U.S.A. that can't be resolved by looking to a leader or legislation, as the discussants call for. Paul O'Neill's comment that Obama would have done better to face the issues head-on without regard for political fallout implies that an honest and straightforward person, determined to be effective and in full possession of the facts, could not be elected president, even if he already had been once. And this suggests that the American public prefers its dreams and illusions to reality. I'm not sure how we address THAT problem, let alone solve it, but it does need to be formulated, it seems to me, because that is the root of the problem at its most fundamental.
What we actually need to do is take the power and the money away fro the banks. One way to do this might be to make it a simple process for individuals to invest in local business and local people. ie the people themselves become the money lenders