The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently returned to 10,000—and Wall Street celebrated. At the same time, the nation’s unemployment rate climbed to almost 10 percent. (In my hometown of Detroit, it was more like 30 percent). The juxtaposition of those two figures—10,000 and 10 percent—was a moment of clear moral contradiction, and real moral clarity. The radical disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street was abundantly clear. A bad morality play was unfolding here, and when extravagant bonuses were announced for the top executives of the banks that Main Street taxpayers had so recently bailed out, an outraged nation was ready to change the script.
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