Over 100 People Brave Chill and Rain on Ithaca Commons to Demand an Economy That Works for All of Us, Not Just a Bailout for Wall Street

The American working and middle classes deserve a better deal. The Tompkins County Workers Center insists that any response to the financial crisis not merely bail Wall Street out, but also and most importantly assure a “new deal” for Main Street.

Failed policies have created the worst crisis in our economy and financial markets since the Great Depression. A bail-out for Wall Street financiers, whose reckless gambling in search of easy profits have taken us to the brink is not enough. Now is the time to end the failed policies of deregulation, taxation that benefits only the rich, trickle down economics that never trickles down, and unrestrained corporate greed. We insist on new policies and a new politics and a new economy that works for everyone, not just the few

* Where is the bailout for those working families in the United States, one-third of the total, who are paid less than a living wage and consequently toil all day and all week and find at the end of the week that their pay cannot support their families? Isn’t that a crisis?

* Where is the bailout for our environment, on the brink of ecological disaster? Isn’t that a crisis?

* Where is the bailout for the millions of children, including the 10 percent of all high school students who leave without a diploma, who are failed by our under-funded schools? Isn’t that a crisis?

* Where is the bailout for all those youth from lower-income families, working hard to reach for the American dream, who find that America has put a college education out of financial reach? Isn’t that a crisis?

* Where is the bailout for the millions of American workers denied basic rights on the job and even any effective right to form unions? Isn’t that a crisis?

* Where is the bailout for the millions of struggling homeowners and tenants faced with the threat of foreclosure or ever-escalating rents that they cannot afford? Isn’t that a crisis?

* Where is the bailout for the 47 million uninsured Americans without healthcare and the many millions having insurance but facing unaffordable increases in their health care cost? Isn’t that a crisis?

* Where is the bailout for those communities impacted by globalization causing plant closings that throw thousands out of work. Isn’t that a crisis?

The main problem with the deal being offered by Washington and Wall Street is that it only sees the one crisis, that of the Wall Street banks, private equity firms, investment houses and the wealthy that control their shares.

It’s time to stand up for Main Street too and the crises that have been afflicting working and middle class families.

We don’t want only a trickle down bailout for Wall Street. We need a bottom-up “New Deal” that also rescues Main Street. We demand new programs to create jobs that pay a living wage, a secure social security system, national health care, and investments in education and renewable energy.

The American people are willing to share the burden of dealing with the crisis, but only if it also includes policies and programs and funding to rebuild our economy. We need to deal with the root cause of the crisis and not merely the symptoms. And that root cause is an economic system that benefits the few at the expense of the many.