Economics/Class Relations

Krystal Kyle & Friends | Patrick Lovell & Eric Vaughan (2008 Financial Crash Experts)

The latest in massive US government spending on imperialist projects: a bill to fund Israel’s Iron Dome passed on Thursday, providing $1 billion in backing to the air defense system. Eight Democrats voted against the bill, with a final vote of 420 to 9 (2 representatives voting present). Among the no votes were Reps. Rashida Tlaib and and Ilhan Omar, both of whom drew attention to Israel’s heightened violence against Palestinians this summer. Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew critique for her present vote — disappointing many who rightfully saw this as an opportunity to challenge US support of Israeli apartheid.

In this week’s episode of Krystal Kyle & Friends, we discuss current events alongside the history of corporate greed condoned by the government. This is told through the lens of the 2008 financial crash, a story brilliantly brought together in the documentary The Con by writer/director Eric Vaughan and producer Patrick Lovell. Vaughan and Lovell join us to explain how the story of government regulation figures into the timeline of the crash: How was the corruption of the financial sector enabled by our political landscape, and how are we still paying the price for this setup?

Of course, one of the ways that the legacy of the crash makes itself most sharply felt is through the devastating housing instability caused by predatory lending. Vaughan and Lovell follow this story, tracing personal narratives from those hit hardest by foreclosure, such as the story of 90-year-old Addie Polk, who committed suicide in the face of an eviction visit. But Lovell and Vaughan also zoom out, contextualizing this devastation with decades of Wall Street corruption and unchecked greed. As such, their documentary leads us to the present moment, as millions more Americans face evictions during COVID-19. Can we think of the present not as an isolated incident, but as part of a long attack by finance on the working class? Vaughan and Lovell have the answers.

 

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