In their voices: What Wall Street greed means to Americans

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Recently, we asked Public Citizen supporters to tell the federal government what Wall Street greed meant to them. They did. More than 8,000 people sent in stories of lost jobs, lost health insurance and lost dignity.

Here is what some of them had to say:

“I have watched my friends who have masters degrees apply for food stamps.”

“We nearly lost our business in 2008. Next came my Dad who lost a third of his retirement.”

“Because of Wall Street, my son graduated a good school into a bankrupt economy. He is teaching T-ball and waiting tables for a living — jobs for a teenager, not a college graduate.”

“After a lifetime of never even being late on a payment for anything, much less missing one, we had to declare bankruptcy. Our son-in-law lost his job, and our grandson can’t find his first job after completing a community college certificate program.”

“I have been out of work since late September of 2008. … I have an advanced degree.”

“I lost my job. I was unable to find another job. I had to apply for unemployment. … I had worked all of my life and felt worthless now. I lost my health insurance not just for myself but for my children. After my unemployment benefits ran out, I had to go on welfare. In the meantime, I was diagnosed with a terminal disease.”

Public Citizen joined them in telling seven federal agencies to use a firm hand when creating rules to rein in out-of-control executive compensation at big Wall Street firms.

Let’s hope the government listens.