When it comes to our economic misfortunes, most of those who have the know-how have not done a very good job of getting anything done or inciting action. As it happens, that is precisely what gets things done.

They write an opinion piece in the New York Times, MSNBC recites it to their fellow pundits  and they talk about it, become enraged about it—and no one does anything about it. Except for the politicians.

The politicians, a good deal of whom, according to an opinion of David Brooks in Greed and Stupidity, became creepily involved in Wall Street. Sure, we can trust them.

They were the ones who, under influence, made it easier for banks and insurance companies to cheat their way out of losses, in turn cheating the people. The result of these practices is our current recession.

“The result [of Wall Street trickling down to the White House and the Treasury Department] was a string of legislation designed to further enhance the freedom and power of finance,” Brooks wrote. “Regulations separating commercial and investment banking were repealed. There were major increases in the amount of leverage allowed to investment banks.”

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg focused upon Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Ehud Barak and Tony Blair in his book. In every case, Friedman explains, the leaders experienced some sort of crash from which they had to recover, learn and rebound.

So, too, must President Barack Obama, Friedman says. All the smartest people in the room, so to say, agree with his estimation or should.

If they do not necessarily believe in Obama’s methods or ideals, the brightest should understand that disagreements and politics must not stand in the way of progress and innovation.

“Don’t be too literal about campaign promises. There is a lot of scope for governing, if the people think you’re acting in the country’s long-term interests and that you’re working for them,” Greenberg wrote about Clinton’s 1996 reneged campaign promise to cut middle-class taxes.

Surely, with his sweeping long-term infrastructural promises, Obama has learned, at least, Clinton’s lessons. And this is one reason why I hope Obama does not crash and if he does he can rebound. But I do not trust him yet.

My question is, how can we trust these people—no matter how erudite their message or eloquent their speech—with the further restructuring of our economic system?

If you have an issue with answering that question, then perhaps you do not trust our system, and perhaps you should do something about it.
I do not call for riots or revolutions. I merely call for awareness, and a willingness to not trust our institutions any longer—they have lost that trust.

I really think one of the worst things any citizen can do in a time of deep recession is to trust the system it is being pummeled by.

We need to protest. We need to make demands. We can neither wait on our government nor a couple terms of a sitting president. We have to take control and authority over our destinies. We must not become useful idiots.