If the nation's news media wanted to tell you what's happening to the U.S., they could sum it up in a single paragraph: individuals and small businesses in the U.S. are losing ground to major corporations and their owners and agents by the deliberate failure of the federal and state agencies (such as the DOJ, FTC, SEC, IRS, EEOC, FCC, Federal Reserve (a bank-owned institution), FDIC, State Attorneys General, and other federal, state and local agencies) to enforce laws protecting individuals and small businesses, and that this has developed during since the Administration of President Nixon through the purchasing of candidates by major corporations and their owners and agents through campaign contributions needed for the candidates to be able to retain their political offices.
Here is some of my proof. Many of the largest corporations are not paying federal income taxes even though they are making billions of dollars. The largest corporations are able to get even larger, in spite of the problem (clearly known since the public financing of Chrysler in 1979 (30 years ago) with a federal guaranty of a $1.5 billion loan to Chrysler. According to a Pace University Lubin School of Business study (last updated in 2005) "more than 24,000 [mergers and acquisitions] took place during the last 20 years". The U.S. Department of Justice has not stopped more than a figurative (or perhaps literal) handful, permitting Google, for example, to make more than 65 acquisitions during the past several years, including the DoubleClick acquisition, and now considering whether to permit Google (with 70% of the search advertising market) to make an acquisition of Yahoo's search advertising business (20% of the search advertising market) through a contract for Yahoo to use Google's search advertising to display in response to for Yahoo searches. The Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980's and 1990's involving failure of 747 S&L's at a taxpayer cost of $175 billion or more was not a warning to our elected officials; instead, it was a plan whereby by permitting and encouraging growth of the largest corporations in the U.S. we could allow them to take (through monopolization and other exclusionary tactics) more than they deserved to make, and after their excesses caused destruction of their market (such as the market for real estate loans) the government would provide the financing needed to save their businesses (i.e., the nations banks and S&L's and related financial institutions) while allowing the homeowners to lose their homes. An even more destructive force is waiting in the wings, which is DERIVATIVES, in which the same group of major financial institutions that have destroyed the home mortgage market have also been destroying the financial market through the creation and sale of securities known as "derivatives", to the extent of untold $ trillions, with one estimate being $300 trillion.
The derivatives market, one of the fastest-growing areas of finance, is estimated at $300 trillion. A subset of that — credit default swaps, which are derivatives based on companies’ creditworthiness—last year reached $26 trillion, twice the size of the U.S. economy.
Source: The $300 Trillion Time Bomb.
The mortgage meltown market can cost the U.S. more than $400 billion, but this is only 1/10th of 1% of the losses that can be expected from meltown of the more than $300 trillion market for derivatives. The problem with derivatives, similar to that of pooled subprime mortgage loans, is that they are being kept on the books and sold and resold to investors at values that cannot be proven with accounting techniques. In other words, the financial institutions (meaning all of them, I guess) that own any derivatives or are holding them as collateral for loans do not know what the real value is for the derivatives and what our world's financial institutions now claim is $300 trillion or more (or 1,000 times more than the lost value of their real estate mortgage investments) may be worth only $100 trillion or $50 trillion or $500 billion (i.e., 1/2 a trillion).
But our governmental agencies, instead of enforcing laws requiring fair disclosure and proper accounting techniques for securities, have allowed this to take place, and continue to take place. We no longer have any effective enforcement of law in what is called a "free market". We see that a "free market" steal the public's money through free-market transactions, and then steals it again through obtaining taxpayer money to prop up the institutions that have become so large (also by government inaction) that they cannot be allowed to fail, and to prevent this the taxpayer has to provide more weeks of work per year to provide prop-up financing to the rich, while losing his own home through foreclosure to the financial institutions receiving his taxpaid money.
My solution for this ever-increasing government inaction and failure to enforce the rights of individuals and small businesses (who are put out of business as the large companies keep merging) is to have each town, village, city and county in the U.S. appoint a "town attorney general" who will enforce federal and state laws designed to protect individuals and small businesses, the same laws that the federal, state and local agencies are failing to enforce.
Individuals are now given permission through various statutes and rulings to enforce many of these laws themselves, such as by commencing their own lawsuit against the world's largest corporations for monopolization, for example. In a "free market" this is permitted. A person with no money is permitted to bring a lawsuit (which ordinarily should cost about $100,000,000 or so to maintain properly) against a company with a $ trillion in assets. If a small business does do that, which happens maybe 5 times out of 24,000 instances of illegal merger, for example, the small business with no assets might receive a settlement offer of $25,000 and decide to settle the case instead of losing the case because of the lack of money with which to pursue the case. Accordingly, there is no benefit to the public. The monopolist continues along its merry, monopolizing way. No, what we need instead is public financing of law enforcement, and since the present federal and state governments are not doing much in that area (because of the need of the elected federal and state officials for continued campaign financing by the rich), the job of law enforcement obviously has to be rerouted to the local level of government - at the level of the town, village, hamlet, municipality, city and county. This can be done by having a single lawyer (in most places) appointed to do this job, with a title of "Town Attorney General", so that we know that this is the governmental official in charge of enforcing federal and state laws on behalf of that I call the [or my] "Protected Group": individuals, citizens, residents, homeowners, small businesses, self-employeds, unemployed, underemployeds, retirees, employees and others unable to protect themselves and who need government protection from the large corporations that have taken over control of the federal and state governments and agencies.
You can read more about my concept for the town attorney general at Town Attorney General Website.
A practical benefit to be derived by the town when it appoints and uses a town attorney general is that the TAG can be expected to take in enough money each year through lawsuits against wrongdoers to be able to provide healthcare financing for all residents of the town, as well as to be able to reduce real estate taxes and rent, provide free broadband service for everyone in town, and possibly to provide a reduction in dental expenses and drug expenses. The allocation of the moneys would be done by others than the TAG. The moneys would be allocated by the town's political leadership, whether or not the TAG becomes an elective office for the town.
If you want to find out more about the TAG concept, please give me a call, at 212-307-4444. The TAG fills a substantial need for enforcement of the rights of individuals, as distinguished from their duties.