The financial crisis is but an inconvenient symptom of a disease that is eating away the whole body of "We the People". We have already lost real democracy but have yet to realize what that means. Despite the various "reforms" that were intended to prevent Wall Street abuses, they have been emasculated by the very people who put them in place as their proper order– money over people– is restored to the system. Our progressive politicians can install all the reforms they like, but any real barriers placed between the 1% and their money will be destroyed by a thousand cuts. It is the whole capitalist system that has become corrupted by the ascent of corporate power and it cannot be fixed with the simple and nearly futile antibiotic of reform. Such reforms are but minor irritations to the relentless thievery of Wall Street gangs.
I wonder if the super-rich have become today what previous generations called criminals. (If all criminal gangs have not yet moved into banking they are idiots). They seem to be able to subvert all means of keeping them from making an increasing share of profits while contributing less and less to community. Though they have distanced themselves from the most brutal practices– like open murder– such brutality is now simply outsourced in much the same way as environmental spoilage. Outsourcing has developed its own immunities, complete with the PR frosting of perfect deniability.
The more power the financial criminals seize, the more we will hear reasonable Orwellian excuses to grant them yet more: like "more jobs", "cheaper", "more choices", words they know will soften us. We should steel ourselves to any PR that does not directly give more power to the people. Even elections are a sham created to mollify our desire for democracy. (Still- always vote, and vote for the lessor evil!) When one has all the money in the world there is hardly a soul that cannot be bribed. The only way people will be protected in that situation but by living values higher than love of money. I have faith that in the end the compassionate human spirit will eventually prevail. But I have no idea how. The forces seem so enormous and have such endless power at their disposal in the face of which mere human resistance seems futile. Violent revolt would do it, but I hope it doesn't come to that. We need a way to organize and to resist the mind-numbing techniques used to quiet us. Keep the faith. Real democracy would be wonderful. We have yet to see it but it is never too late to struggle for it!