Whom should we trust?

By Richard Schmitt

A Boston business owner has entered the primaries to fill the seat of the late Senator Kennedy. He believes himself particularly well-qualified because he is a successful business man.

Where has he been during the last year?

We are in the middle of the worst recession in eighty years; unemployment is inching up to 10%. Millions of families have lost their homes. Homelessness is up; more and more families must depend on food banks to feed their children. Governments at all levels are short of money because of falling tax revenues. Schools, fire and police departments all need to tighten their belt. The education of our children suffers and so does the security of all citizens.

We owe this catastrophe to business. The biggest banks, blinded by greed and misled by dubious morals and sheer incompetence made riskier and riskier investments until they faced bankruptcy. The tax payer–you and I–already buffeted by the economic crisis had to cough up a trillion dollars to keep the world financial system from collapsing.

The banks responded by giving lavish bonuses to the top bankers who had caused this crisis. Until business makes a real effort to clean house, until it stops treating us as gullible fools who are just waiting to be fleeced, we are not going to take a business career as a sign of trustworthiness.
Being a successful business man does to make someone a worthy successor to Senator Ted Kennedy.

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