“The check arrived out of the blue, issued in his name for $1,200, a mailing from a consumer finance company. Stephen Huggins eyed it carefully. A loan, it said. Smaller type said the interest rate would be 33 percent. Way too high, Huggins thought. He put it aside.

A week later, though, his 2005 Chevy pickup was in the shop, and he didn’t have enough to pay for the repairs. He needed the truck to get to work, to get the kids to school. So Huggins, a 56-year-old heavy equipment operator in Nashville, fished the check out that day in April 2017 and cashed it.

Within a year, the company, Mariner Finance, sued Huggins for $3,221.27. That included the original $1,200, plus an additional $800 a company representative later persuaded him to take, plus hundreds of dollars in processing fees, insurance and other items, plus interest. It didn’t matter that he’d made a few payments already.

As treasury secretary in the Obama administration, Timothy F. Geithner condemned predatory lenders. Now he is president of Warburg Pincus, a New York firm that controls a private equity fund that owns Mariner Finance. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)

Most galling, Huggins couldn’t afford a lawyer but was obliged by the loan contract to pay for the company’s. That had added 20 percent — $536.88 — to the size of his bill.”Peter Whoriskey, The Washington Post

If the above story doesn’t sicken you, perhaps you have forgotten it was Timothy Geitner, appointed U.S. Treasurer by President Obama in 2008, who convinced congress to authorize the government Federal Reserve Bank to create trillions of U.S. fiat dollars to buy up the toxic assets, the fraudulent loans, of corrupt Wall Street Banks.

Within the year the top managers of these banks gave themselves multimillion dollar bonuses from public funds. The greatest white-collar crime in U.S. history was lavishly rewarded while the victims of this crime, the millions of families losing their homes and savings, the millions of families being driven into poverty by the fraud and corruption of the richest of the rich, were left to fend for themselves.

Imagine how different the world would look if the Obama administration and the Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives in 2008 had followed the true mandate given them by the voters and acted in the interests of the American people rather than Wall Street and the rich. Imagine if the insolvent, predatory Wall Street banks had been nationalized and turned into public institutions serving the public good. Imagine how different the world would look if Jamie Dimon (CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase) and Lloyd Blankfien (CEO of Goldman Sachs) and their ilk had been given prison terms instead of multimillion dollar bonuses. Imagine if the Obama administration and the Democrats had reinstated the Glass-Steagall regulations, dismantled by President Bill Clinton, that had prevented the corruption of Wall Street banks for decades.

The list goes on. Imagine if the Democrats in 2008 had fought for a living minimum wage, had fought for true universal health care rather than making backroom deals with the rich CEO’s of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries that resulted in the “Affordable” Healthcare Act. Imagine how different the world would look if the Democrats in 2008 had amended the Constitution to overturn the shameful Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision making corporations “people” who could purchase the U.S. Government for their private use. But Obama and the Democrats had taken massive funds from Wall Street and the rich to win their election. Two thousand and eight was payback time.

The general population may not be able to specifically define the ways in which they have been abandoned by both political parties. They may not understand how the super-rich and the financial industry have taken over their government. They may not immediately recognize how they have been plundered. But intuition eventually arises and the masses realize they have been thrown to the wolves. They realize that for decades they have been lied to by politicians of all stripes. The undirected fury, the hatred, come to a head and are ripe for the picking. An opportunistic sociopath understood this.

In 2016 Donald Trump won the presidency. A sexual, financial predator, a megalomaniac, a genius manipulator of undirected fury and hatred, had the pulse of the people. While the Clinton campaign did everything in its power to undermined Bernie Sanders – the only candidate truly speaking for working Americans – Donald Trump, corruption incarnate, promised as an “outsider” to get rid of the corruption.

So, what does all of this have to do with macroeconomics and fighting back against the rich class war on working Americans? Everything. Today’s gross inequality and rich class war are the direct result of political decisions by both political parties that enabled the financial industry to take over our government and use it for its own enrichment. The people of America expected this from the openly corporate friendly Republicans, but the betrayal of the working class by the Democratic Party utterly blindsided them. They did not understand that with the election of Bill Clinton to the presidency the Democrats had joined the Republicans on Wall Street. The Obama administration was able to continue the deception, but the attempt to coronate Hillary was more than the people could stomach. The undirected fury erupted and we now have Donald Trump.

The very first step in fighting back against the rich class war on America is for progressives to become absolutely clear headed about the establishment Democratic Party at the national level. These elites are not going to do a thing for working Americans unless they are forced to.

But, like it or not, the most plausible avenue for fighting the class war still appears to be through the Democratic Party and, in spite of the party’s resistance, genuinely good, progressive candidates are winning. Yet the real hope for returning the Democratic Party to its working-class roots will be critical, courageous, pragmatic thinking. We must remember. . . Actions speak louder than words, pretty speeches are not enacted policy, and populist rhetoric is a disgusting farce in view of what the last two Democratic administrations actually did. We must think clearly.

Unit XV will discuss: The Second Step in Fighting the Rich Class War – Quit Accepting the Lies