By Robert Williams (Wall Street Daily | Original Link)
Warning: What you’re about to read is likely to shock you, and represents only a brief glimpse behind the government’s increasingly thick veil of secrecy.
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
Although Wall Street Daily is doing everything in its power to keep its readers informed, the government continues to behave like a secret society in and of itself.
Let’s face it, capitalism isn’t always fair!
The American Dream is now beyond the reach of most people.
The middle class continues to shrink, as 5% of the public owns 90% of the money.
And while I’m absolutely in favor of “free markets,” they only seem to be benefitting two infinitely small regions of the country – Capitol Hill and Wall Street.
The borders of Washington D.C. encompass only 63.8 square miles.
The borough of Manhattan in New York City only covers 33.8 square miles.
Together, they encompass a miniscule 0.0026% of the United States.
Yet the tandem enjoys every bit of power. (And every conceivable advantage, I might add.)
It’s a harsh reality not likely to change anytime soon.
Did you know that President Obama’s largest campaign donor when he got elected in 2008 was Goldman Sachs? And that, collectively, Wall Street contributed $9.9 million to his campaign? (Data from Obama’s most recent campaign is not available yet.)
If you already knew that, I applaud you.
But there’s still plenty you don’t know.
Look, I’m not naïve. I realize that big government, big secrecy and big corruption always walk hand-in-hand through one presidential administration after the other.
But over the last few years, the relationship between Wall Street and Capitol Hill has gotten, well… far too cozy, which leads me to the troubling news I must report today.
You see, the government is withholding information from the public.
And that’s scary.
If the American people can’t find out exactly what their elected officials are up to, then their elected officials are likely up to no good, right?
Yet it’s virtually impossible to find the truth in Washington these days.
Roughly 854,000 people presently hold top-secret security clearances.
More ominous still, 33 building complexes have been constructed in (and around) the Capital Beltway over the last 11 years for top-secret use.
Secrecy is spreading like an infection on democracy, and it has the power to impact your wallet if you’re not careful.
According to the U.S. Information Security Oversight Office, the number of new secrets rose 75% from 1996 to 2009.
Over the same period, the number of documents referring to those secrets skyrocketed by a factor of nearly 10 — from 5.6 million to 54.7.
The United States presently has over 2.3 million national secrets, designated as such by the government over the last 10 years. (For more details, please click on the infographic to your right.)
I’m sure you have a pretty tough mindset.
As long as you feel like policymakers have your best interests in mind, you’ll accept a finicky economy.
In fact, I suspect that you’re even “okay” with a decline in your standard of living, as long as you believe the country is getting back on track, right?
Heck, you might even accept that income inequality exists, as long as you feel like you’re still getting a fair share of the pie.
When you add the perception that the economic game is rigged…
That those with great wealth and power will always block your way, no matter how hard you try to get ahead…
Worse yet, that your elected (mis)representatives are keeping secrets from you…
THEN you’re likely to get angry. Very angry.
I believe that the government’s increasingly thick veil of secrecy is a major problem – one worth investigating further.
My colleagues here at Wall Street Daily agree with me.
But I want to hear YOUR opinion regarding this important matter.
Your answer will influence how closely we track the situation.