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I am not a particularly good student of history but I do remember that we spent considerable time studying the violent and bloody history of Europe. As I recall the obscene wealth and land holdings of the few were built on the virtual slave labour of the many. The many were called serfs. They worked the land of the wealthy and were permitted to eat some (not much) of the food they produced. They had virtually no rights and their lives were completely governed by the whims and passions of the oddly named “nobility”.

While our lives today are nothing like those of the serfs of the past an uncomfortable and uneasy parallel has emerged in the last few months. I must be slow to react because after listening to the reports of the global meltdown for about five months I am finally furious. I still cannot get my head around the fact that millions of people on “Main Street” as the pundits call it, have been laid low by a handful of elite on “Wall Street”. The fact that millions of people around the world are out of work, that the manufacturing sectors of most countries are collapsing, that blocks and blocks of houses sit empty in US cities because of the unconscionable greed of a few high flying scoundrels is simply unacceptable to me.

In fact, I think Canada and the US should source materials from within their own countries for infrastructure projects. Let’s try it and see if the sky falls. How are we going to rebuild our manufacturing sector? When does the citizen matter? When do the people that pay taxes matter? Why can’t we buy Canadian? Why does everything in our stores have to come from some other country? What would happen if each country in the world decided to start at home to rebuild? I would love to find out. I have the chilling suspicion that if the “experts’ and the bucket shop jockeys have their way it will remain business as usual and the only winners will be the ones who control the money. Business as usual – or – the 2009 version, no business as usual.

Its time for a quiet revolution folks. I don’t know quite what it should look like but it starts in neighbourhoods. It starts with people buying locally and giving locally. Vote in the MUNICIPAL election. It is the most important election we have. It is where we live. It affects our quality of life. While it certainly does not look like it right now, Main Street is where the real power lies. It is time to figure out how and why the millions surrendered to the few and TAKE IT BACK. Not with blood, not with violence but with intelligence, communication and community.

Resources:
When Wall Street is Starving Main Street – from the Oxdown Gazette
Admiration Turns to Anger as Wall St. Bosses Feather Nests – from The Washington Post

3 Responses to “Time for a quiet revolution? Wall Street, Main Street, and the economic meltdown”

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