Is this what I had in mind?

When I took this assignment I was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Man I thought, “I am going to do it right this time around.”  I figured I was going to re-enter the marketplace and “do well, while doing good.”  After all, isn’t that what capitalism is supposed to do?  Wasn’t the problem with America, and thus the world, the fact that too often the players subscribed to the idea that profits were the only real pursuit?  Well if nothing else this term has served to continue my world tour around the reality: “It is actually the “people” that are lost.”  The market knows quite well what it is doing and why it is doing it.  I see now that beyond a shadow of a doubt – the game is rigged (everywhere you look).  We continue to treat the “abnormalities” as if they are aberrations, when in truth they’re the norm with too much frequency to believe that there isn’t a concentrated effort to provide an uninhibited path to wealth for some, and an endlessly laborious, inadequate outcome for others.  Early in the internship I learned that I had no balance to work with in the relationship between the bank and homeowner.  The homeowner had assumed financial responsibility for any shortfall in the event the lender repossessed and resold the property.  While the bank had agreed to certain parameters also, they were apparently above the law, while the consumer was below the concerns of everyone (including many of their brainwashed fellow citizens).  The banks could only be penalized in the court of public opinion; on the other hand the the consumers, both the “responsible” and the “deadbeats” would serve time for these crimes.  The likelihood of the public raising their ire to the point where it was damaging to the status quo was raised by the national “Occupy” movement, but once the steam ran out it was back to business as usual.  The bank’s response to being exposed as fraudulent practitioners through the “Robosigning” scandal wasn’t enough to make them bring there ball back and play fair.  Never fearing Congress stepping in and prosecuting, the banks halted the outflow of foreclosed properties into the marketplace, further injuring an already crippled marketplace, and held the states ransom to neogtiate settlements of the criminal charges that Robosigning warrants (at least at the state level, no need to worry about a Federal prosecution since the AIG thing would die with the banks).  I realize I am pissing on the dreams many Americans have to announce that there is no democracy at work here but,  “There Is No Democracy At Work Here!”  THE GAME IS RIGGED PEOPLE.

For me, it isn’t the end of the world.  I have been an African-American for most of my life (and simply a “nigger” for portions) so I am accustomed to rhetoric vs. reality.  But the depth and breath that this reality runs is even shocking to me.  Fairplay Realty-Elite is a great company, and I may be able to make a boatload of money working here.  But I would be well-advised to dismiss any notions of social responsibility from my role as an Affiliated Broker because I doubt management would be willing to tolerate my foolish idealism for too much longer.


About asuomason

Graduate Student, Conflict and Dispute Resolution - University of Oregon
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