The Wall Street lobbying machine is oiling up the gears once again to revoke a new rule that was ordered by President Obama and issued by the Department of Labor- one that once again seeks to protect the American people from the ravenous hunger of Wall Street and the immoral exploitation that characterizes the business culture of America’s financial behemoths. A fiduciary rule was announced to force Wall Street retirement investor “advisers” to act in the best interest of the customer- instead of their profits.
The Department of Labor announced quite reasonably that they were implementing the rule because “a system where firms can benefit from backdoor payments and hidden fees often buried in fine print if they talk responsible Americans into buying bad retirement investments—with high costs and low returns—instead of recommending quality investments isn’t fair.”
Of course, the concept of actually providing “advice” and not focusing on extorting every last cent out of their client is an offensive idea to Wall Street, since they managed to squeeze some seventeen billion dollars out of retirees every year. So the Chamber of Commerce, which despite its’ official-sounding title is not a government agency, moaned and cried that the new rules “impose significant new compliance costs and legal liabilities on advisers.”
Republicans in Congress are jumping to defend their backers on Wall Street; Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) is leading the charge to get the rule revoked. Eight years after the devastation of the Great Recession, the GOP is working steadily to unravel all the regulations and protections that were imposed after the disaster to prevent it from happening again, and to protect the American people from the pernicious grasp of American hypercapitalism. If the GOP manages to retake the White House next November, you can guarantee that they will do to the American economy what they’ve done to the economies of Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Kansas.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.