Rewriting the Rules of the Rigged Economy

July 8, 2016

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(This article first appeared in the July-August issue of The American Postal Worker Magazine)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the launch of the campaign to Take on Wall Street.

The average U.S. family paid $2,050 to bail out Wall Street after the economy crashed in 2008 and lost nearly $5,800 in income due to reduced economic growth, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

And despite some important reforms since then, today, in 2016:

  • The big banks are even bigger than they were before the crisis;
  • The top 25 hedge fund managers make more money than all of the nation’s kindergarten teachers combined;
  • The richest 1 percent has captured 90 percent of all income growth since the recovery began, and
  • Although we pay sales taxes on everything we buy – from a gallon of gas to a bag of groceries – Wall Street brokers don’t pay a single penny in transaction taxes on the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of financial products they buy and sell every day.

“Wall Street has rewritten the rules of our economy so the wealthiest 1 percent almost always wins,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We must come together to demand that our leaders take on Wall Street and stand up for the systemic changes that all working families deserve.”

And that’s just what a new campaign – backed by dozens of organizations and unions, including the APWU – plans to do. The campaign to Take On Wall Street is calling for major reforms to stabilize our economy, reverse the financial strip mining that is making the rich richer, and provide affordable financial services for all.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led the launch of the Take on Wall Street campaign. Warren, who has been a champion in the fight for economic reform, also emphasized the need to provide affordable, accessible financial services. She called for postal banking, saying it is “good for families, good for the post office, and good for postal workers.”

The following five changes would make a big difference in the way our financial system works. Take On Wall Street is calling on Congress to:

  • End tax evasion by Wall Street money managers: Close the “carried interest” loophole that lets billionaires pay lower tax rates than nurses or construction workers.
  • Make Wall Street pay their fair share of taxes. Create a Wall Street speculation tax that would discourage risky, short-term bets and generate billions in new revenue to make college affordable, invest in our infrastructure, and create jobs in our cities.
  • End “Too Big to Fail” by breaking up the big banks – making them smaller, simpler, and safer.
  • Stop subsidizing million-dollar CEO bonuses by ending the CEO pay tax loophole.
  • End predatory lending and expand access to fair and affordable services through “a public option” like postal banking.

“We must build a system that works for workers, not just Wall Street banksters,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

You can add your name to a petition in support of the campaign’s demands at


Campaign for Postal Banking

The Campaign for Postal Banking is a coalition of consumer, worker, financial reform, economic justice, community, civic, and faith-based organizations calling for low-cost, consumer-driven financial services via the Postal Service. Products and services could range from check-cashing to bill payment to savings accounts to small loans. Postal banking would benefit consumers who do not have access to traditional banks. The expansion of services will also strengthen our public Postal Service. To learn more, visit

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