posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 03:04 PM
It’s been three months since BP’s Deep Water Horizon disaster. It’s abundantly clear that this tragedy was caused by a combination of
recklessness, greed, lack of oversight by the US government and disregard for the safety and well being of the people. Although we tend to hold BP
singularly responsible for this event, it is most likely the combined fault of BP, Transocean, Haliburton and who knows who else is involved.
Although BP has certainly lied, obscured facts, dodged responsibility where possible and worked to buy-off the media, scientists and undoubtedly
officials to mitigate their damages, they are being forced to pay dearly for this mistake. Before I go too far it should be pointed out that BP is a
BP’s malfeasance has hurt a lot of people. Companies are being bankrupted, jobs are being lost, home values are plummeting, and tourism has all but
disappeared --- not to even mention the damage to the environment. Many of the people of the Gulf have permanently lost their livelihoods. The
businesses that they frequented are being forced to close. Economic devastation has been visited upon the good people of the Gulf.
BP is being forced to compensate people for their losses. You can be certain that there will be a cascade of lawsuits against BP as this saga plays
out. And this is only right. BP’s actions injured a lot of people and they rightfully should be held accountable.
Not that long ago a collection of other companies operating in a different industry destroyed the U.S. economy. At first, some tried to make the
disingenuous argument that the problem was caused by a bunch of people buying houses they should have known they could not afford. But now, three
years later, the truth is out. The housing collapse and subsequent economic meltdown was caused by a collection of companies that engaged in
recklessness, greed, disregard for the people and a lack of oversight by the SEC et al (who were most likely distracted surfing porn all day).
Instead of BP, Transocean and Halliburton, the culprits back in 2007-2009 were the likes of AIG, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Bros. et al.
As a result of their actions, millions lost their livelihoods, their businesses, their homes, their savings and the equity they had built-up over
decades. But there is a huge difference. No one held these companies accountable for their actions. No one made these companies set aside $20B to
be paid TO the victims. Instead, those very victims helped pay for a massive bailout TO the very people that victimized them. The people that had
visited economic devastation upon the people of this country had their losses covered by their victims. At the very height of the collapse they used
that money to pay themselves and their colleagues billions in bonuses. Some of the perpetrators got checks for as much as $10M.
Millions of people have been damaged by their actions. Damaged in ways that equal or eclipse what was done to the good people of the Gulf by BP et
al. Where is our justice? Where is our compensation? Before the collapse I had a successful 8 year old business that provided a very good income.
I had significant equity in a home for 10yrs that I easily supported. I had health insurance. I had money in the bank. I had a sterling credit
The economic collapse eviscerated my business as my clients closed, went bankrupt and scaled back in response to the loss of customer business. Since
September of last year I have made less than $500. I have been forced to sell just about everything I have of any saleable value. I haven’t had
health insurance in over a year. We are fighting foreclosure on our home. My equity is gone. My bank accounts are empty. My credit rating would
cause loan sharks to shy away. I have spent every day, seven days a week, for almost 2yrs trying to find a job. I have significant experience and
professional credentials and have applied to hundreds of positions with only a handful of interviews. Every one of my professional colleagues, some
I’ve known for 25yrs, have lost their jobs since 2007. A few more than once. As the Administration tells us we’ll be seeing 9% unemployment into
2012 I am becoming increasingly convinced that I will never be able to work again.
My situation was not caused by my actions or inactions any more than the residents of the Gulf can be blamed for their situation. I did great work.
My clients loved me. I did not live beyond my means. I did not make risky investments. I did not spend recklessly or waste money. Nearly everyone
I know is in a situation similar to ours to a greater or lesser extent.
So why are we being ignored? Why is our government failing to treat us with the same concern they are treating the people of the Gulf? It’s great
that the unemployment net has been extended. But people like me can’t get unemployment. Remember us? We’re the small businesses that allegedly
fuel the U.S. economy. Google it. It’s everywhere.
So I guess the bottom line is this: there are tens-of-millions of us out there. People who have been financially damaged by the reckless acts of a
bunch of unethical, greedy companies for whom it appears our government was unable or unwilling to execute the oversight for which they were legally
responsible. That we have been damaged is beyond doubt. Where is the accountability? Why have we not initiated the biggest class-action lawsuit in
history? They are too-big-to-fail but the rest of us are just collateral damage? Says whom? Where is our day in court? Who will have the stones to
file this action against the people that damaged us? Revolution? Screw that. Give us a team of lawyers and lets dance. Why do ‘they’ get to
decide who gets compensated, who gets bailed-out and who gets screwed?