Recently, we all saw a group of internet users on the platform Reddit take advantage of Wall Street’s wealthy elite, and the massive amount of attention it got. Understandably, not everyone reading this understands what really happened, so let’s go through it in simple terms.
Basically, these wealthy people saw that GameStop was not doing well, and they started betting that it would fail. Reddit then went in large numbers to invest in GameStop, thus making money for themselves, and costing these wealthy people very large sums of money. In exchange, this sudden interest in GameStop caused its stock price to skyrocket, and these wealthy people were losing money fast
In response, the trading app that these Redditers used, Robin Hood, heavily restricted trading in GameStop, and other places such as AMC which Reddit also bombarded with investments. Now the reason that this restriction is unacceptable is because Reddit did nothing wrong, they simply beat the wealthy investors at their own game. Doesn’t it speak volumes that the instant someone stands up to the Wall Street elite, they are shunned?
An example of this shunning came from billionaire investor Leon Cooperman on CNBC. He said that this moment of revolt against the Wall Street elite will “end in tears.” Another would be from Scott Galloway on MSNBC, who suggested that these Redditers would be better off spending their time “working out,” and forming “romantic relationships,” suggesting some sort of untrue stereotype that these GameStop and AMC investors don’t have social lives.
Leon Cooperman in particular has said things that extend far beyond just the fiasco with Robin Hood, at one point calling the idea of the rich paying their fair share in taxes, a “bullsh*t concept” and that “it is just a way of attacking wealthy people.”
This elitist sentiment is also in Washington DC, on both sides of the aisle, and it manifests itself in our laws, in no small part because of corruption.
On average, the senators who didn’t support the 2017 Medicare for All bill received almost twice as much money as those who did support it from the health insurance industry from 2010 to 2016.
A Forbes Report found that from 2009 to 2018, the Pharmaceutical Industry donated a collective total of 1.6 million dollars to 27 out of the 28 members of the senate Financial Committee.
Here’s another startling fact. With the sole exception of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, those with the highest contributions from military defense contractors, and were in congress at the time of the Iraq War vote, voted for it.
This issue of money in politics didn’t just come out of nowhere. A concept called the Military Industrial Complex was warned of way back in 1961 by then President Dwight Eisenhower. He saw it as a threat to democracy, and sadly, it is getting worse as we speak. The term “Military Industrial Complex” refers to the relationship between three parties. The Congress, the Department of Defense, and private military contractors, specifically those who build military weapons. These contractors make more money when the country is at war. So, they make large campaign contributions to members of congress. In turn, these members of Congress vote to keep us in wars, and to increase military spending.
Do you see a trend? Corruption is such a common part of our government, it is responsible for our soldiers dying in the Middle East to this day. It is responsible for Congress becoming wealthy, and becoming so out of touch that they find it difficult to even pass a simple $2000 stimulus check.
What can you do about this long lasting threat to our country? Well, you could support candidates who call out this corruption for what it is, and vow to never take part in it. The most notable being of course Senator Bernie Sanders, but also other progressives. Senator Ed Markey, Representatives Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib to name a few. There are also several organisations you could support in order to fight corruption. The best one in my opinion though, is Justice Democrats, founded by Kyle Kulinski and Cenk Uygur, their mission is to transform the Democratic Party, and to save America from the cancer that is political elitism and corruption. A better future can be made if we fight to solve the problems we face today.
Ryan Burke is a freshman at Sweet Home High School, and a former Co-Editor of the Panther Press Viewpoints Section. He enjoys swimming and playing piano, and plans on providing input to political issues, both nationally and locally. He considers himself an advocate for Social Democracy.