As we watch the Goldman Sachs con men twist and shout before a suddenly agitated Senate banking committee shocked, shocked! to hear that there's rampant fraud on Wall Street I think it's instructive to revisit a bygone era when similar forces were arrayed against the interests of the general population yet the warnings went unheeded. Courtesy of Jessie's Cafe Americain:
It is one of the serious evils of our present system of banking that it enables one class of society, and that by no means a numerous one, by its control over the currency to act injuriously upon the interests of all the others and to exercise more than its just proportion of influence in political affairs. The agricultural, the mechanical, and the laboring classes have little or no share in the direction of the great moneyed corporations; and from their habits and the nature of their pursuits, they are incapable of forming extensive combinations to act together with united force. Such concert of action may sometimes be produced in a single city or in a small district of country by means of personal communications with each other; but they have no regular or active correspondence with those who are engaged in similar pursuits in distant places. They have but little patronage to give the press and exercise but a small share of influence over it; they have no crowd of dependents about them who hope to grow rich without labor by their countenance and favor and who are, therefore, always ready to exercise their wishes.
-Andrew Jackson farewell address
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