Economics are getting confusing these days. It seems that often it is those who cause a problem are the same ones hired to fix it. Sometimes it seems like things are moving in circles. But these are closed circles, and cleverly contrived. Out of each of these circles money gets passed around, goes back and forth but always seems to slip out the back door before it circles back to the people who worked for it in the first place.

This cycle seems to be wearing itself thin. The six largest banks in the US (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) are now collectively making over $199 million per day in profits. Are these not  some of the same banks that were on the brink of collapse just a short while ago? Well, they seem to be recovering from the “financial crisis” they caused just fine. What about the rest of us?

Just days ago in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg announced his financial plan to deal with the “financial crisis” these same banks caused. His solution, is cut from the bottom – pinch the pennies from those with pennies, rather than demand the millions of dollars owed to the city by those who have millions to spare. Today's economic cycle doesn't seem to be working for all of us.

His decision shows that instead of ending government subsidies to those banks , instead of closing some of the tax loop holes that allow the banks to avoid paying what they owe in taxes, and instead of making cuts in city contracts with the banks as a means of raising revenue; Bloomberg has chosen to support the system of inequality that empowers these giants. The new budget plan throws the bulk of these massive cuts upon those most vulnerable: Senior's Daycare Centers, Childcare, HIV/Aids treatment, healthcare and education. New York City's response to the current financial crisis is the same as much of the world's: cut from the bottom of the pyramid.
Yesterday the bottom of that pyramid rose up. At 4pm yesterday, May 12th, the gray streets of Manhattan's financial district were flooded with color as 10,000-20,000 bus drivers, teachers, homeless, social workers, students and daycare workers flooded the streets in an unpermitted “March on Wall Street”.  The banners demanded “Banks Pay Their Fair Share” and filled the air along the chants of thousands who have seen the city's most vital services put at risk. This march came just days after Mayor Bloomberg announced his budget cuts that included firing 4,100 young teachers, cutting $10 million from adult literacy programs and hundreds of other devastating cuts to the services that help New York City's most needy. The future of a city is in danger when daycare centers are closed, teachers fired, and CEOs have their million dollar bonuses paid with public money.
But injustice eats alone; and there is nothing that can hold back thousands upon thousands of people who feel themselves pushed up against a wall. When your family loses its house, when your grandmother loses the help she needs, when your 4 year old has no where to go when you are at work – when you take from people the things they need, you cannot take that for long. Our solution is in our solidarity. The May 12th Action drew thousands of people from all across society into the streets to protest the very same banks that are funding the climate crisis. Whether they are stealing your child's education to buy a summer home, or polluting your child's air to buy a politician, these banks are devising their own end. With each theft they are uniting us, giving us common enemies in the struggle for a common cause – justice. Suddenly the streets are swelling with color, and the city belongs to us again.

Click here for a full report by the May 12th Coalition on how to eliminate the worst cuts by making big banks pay their fair share.

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