Since the late 80s I've been a consumer advocate. I was a mortgage and real estate broker in the Bay Area, specializing in working with first-time buyers, primarily young people and immigrants. In 1994 I started my first website, explaining to the public how real estate and mortgages work. It didn't take long until I saw how the most vulnerable got defrauded out of their homes even though they made every single payment. I would have never believed it if I hadn't driven to the San Bernardino courthouse and reviewed the file. I also saw every single original money order receipt.
I ran credit forums with many thousands of members, trying to help people get the credit they deserve. I exposed the extremely vile Capital One credit reporting practices, lowering FICO scores required to purchase homes by sometimes over 50 points.
Capital One didn't report the credit LIMITS for their credit cards despite disputes with the credit bureaus and on March 18, 2003, the day the Iraq war started, I made the 500 mile round trip to Phoenix file my complaint against 20some defendants, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, its VP, the FTC and the FCC.
Needless to say, the government agencies got dismissed right away, I litigated for a few years, got some small settlements and in 2006, dismissed my claims against credit bureau Experian because they filed my entire unredacted credit report, including my social security number (the account number for my student loan). So I "settled" for the removal of my credit report from the public record where anyone could download it for 10 cents/page. That is one fine example of "justice" in America.
The fact that the FCRA stated that the reporting of accounts has to be COMPLETE about 4 times meant nothing to federal judge Neil Wake. He admitted that I documented that the Capital One credit reporting lowered my FICO scores. And the appeals court agreed with the corporations!
I had explained the math to many consumer attorneys. Nobody ever gave me one penny for my work. Countless class actions had been filed and dismissed, BUT eventually all creditors had to report the credit limits. By that time, Capital One had changed into a NATIONAL BANK, so that states no longer had the right to sue it for its predatory and illegal practices.
I learned that for every injustice I fix, a thousand NEW injustices are created.
Those countless injustices leave us suicidal, depressed, angry, maybe even willing to support an asshole like Trump or to shoot a bunch of INNOCENT people (they rarely go after the guilty) -- hoping that "different" will be better for us.
The constant exploitation, the FACT that there is practically NO justice EVER for the 99%, causes many people to not care anymore about others.
We are all impotent. There is NOTHING we can do to better our lives and the lives of our friends and neighbors. We can work harder, we can work more jobs -- until we're so run down we get sick, are so stressed that we lose control, become abusers ourselves.
I does make sense, explains the lack of empathy, compassion and activism of the average American.
I wrote the above last week.
Today is one of those days. I'm exhausted. Like so many people. I feel like I have the flu, my shoulders and arms hurt. Slept 11 hours last night. I've only been up 10 hours and am so tired. Maybe I'm depressed. So much stress. Verizon so screwed me, my new bill is over $200 -- there's NO unlimited data and it includes $70 for 10 gb data for 1.5 days of internet for my Airbnb guests. Frontier so screwed me too and likely defrauded millions. And I can't even sue them because of the mandatory arbitration clause in almost all contracts.
Have only extremely slow internet now until my new $150/month unlimited internet router arrives, hopefully next week.