Boy, do I feel like an idiot. I've been out there on radio and TV in the last few months saying that I thought there was a chance Barack Obama was listening to the popular anger against Wall Street that drove the Occupy movement, that decisions like putting a for-real law enforcement guy like New York AG Eric Schneiderman in charge of a mortgage fraud task force meant he was at least willing to pay lip service to public outrage against the banks.Taibbi does a commendable job explaining the intricate in and outs of this new law, but that's not the focus of this post. No, what concerns me more than this specific bit of legislation is the wanton manner today's politicians go out of their way to contrive names for bills and acts that often are utilized to fool the general public as to what the legislation's real purpose is.
Then the JOBS Act happened.
The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market.
In fact, one could say this law is not just a sweeping piece of deregulation that will have an increase in securities fraud as an accidental, ancillary consequence. No, this law actually appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets.
Ostensibly, the law makes it easier for startup companies (particularly tech companies, whose lobbyists were a driving force behind its passage) to attract capital by, among other things, exempting them from independent accounting requirements for up to five years after they first begin selling shares in the stock market.
The law also rolls back rules designed to prevent bank analysts from talking up a stock just to win business, a practice that was so pervasive in the tech-boom years as to be almost industry standard.
~ from Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse by Matt Taibbi ~
In the present case, with unemployment rates at unacceptable levels and people clamoring for jobs, the president and his allies came up with an acronym that would SEEM to the average Joe and Jane to address this specific problem. However, as Taibbi outlines, the JOBS Act has almost nothing to do with jobs! Instead of being a rescue package for the men and women on Main Street, it is yet another gift to the big shots on Wall Street.
This reminds me of another famous bit of legislation that should be very familiar to most Americans: the USA PATRIOT Act. This acronym stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism.
What's interesting here is that the definition of a patriot is one who loves, supports, and defends one's country. But the PATRIOT Act attempts to attack and eviscerate many of the rights of citizens contained in the US Constitution -- that's not being very supportive of one's country in my book!
It should be obvious WHY politicians go to such pains to conjure up these noble sounding acronyms: it's about willfully trying to mislead the American populace. And here's the thing, it works! Since the mainstream media only looks at legislation in a superficial manner these days or, in the case of Fox News, purposely misreports it, people all around the country become convinced that legislation is about one thing when it's genuinely about something altogether different.