It’s great to hear from you again! I had feared that after my most recent (5th) attempt to unsubscribe from your list, you might not have wanted to continue our discussion. So I was pleasantly surprised to see your email yesterday morning.
So let’s get to it. You say:
“The greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street drove this country into the worst recession since the Great Depression.”
We’ve talked about this.
You can’t just look at the superficial manifestations of a problem and claim to understand how to solve that problem. Yet that is what you’re doing here again.
Bernie’s entire position is founded on a belief in class warfare, but without recognizing who the plundering class is. His view pits “the rich” against the rest of us - which I’m sure makes the real oligarchs very happy as it keeps the attention off of them. He correctly says that the middle class is disappearing, but he doesn’t understand why that is. He believes that the financial crisis was caused by “the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street” - but doesn’t stop to ask how it is that the bankers, et al. got away with this behavior.
If he did bother to ask, he would learn the following:
1. That the government’s inflation of the money supply was at the root of the financial crisis, as it has been at the root of every financial crisis since (and including) the Great Depression;
2. That one of the reasons banks and other financial institutions can get away with reckless behavior is something called the FDIC - Federally guaranteed deposit insurance. Prior to the founding of the Federal Reserve and the introduction of FDIC, banks collapsed all the time, and the world didn’t fall apart. That is as it should be - if someone is doing a crappy job of running a bank, they should go out of business and let someone else do it. And no, it doesn’t “bring down the entire economy” to have banks go out of business - other banks or other companies will buy up their assets and take over their business. It’s what happened before the federal govt. got involved and it’s what would happen if it got uninvolved - as it should.
3. That another of the reasons for the banks’ reckless behavior is something called “moral hazard.” It’s what you get when you create a situation where people are not held accountable for their actions. It’s what you get, for instance, when the government has a history of bailing out failing financial institutions, which ours does, and which Bernie, to his credit, opposed the last time around.
4. He would also learn about a thing called the “Community Reinvestment Act”, under which banks and other lending institutions faced severe penalties if they failed to meet racial lending quotas - even when it meant pushing loans on those who really could not afford them.
The financial crisis that we are continuing to live through is not the result of “rich greedy people”, but the direct result of government interference in the economy. Bernie doesn’t see this, and every one of his “solutions” - including his call in your latest email to break up the banks - just involves more government interference in the economy. Three guesses as to how that’s going to turn out.
I think you guys need to have a little talk with Bernie.
Until next time, I remain
Bretigne Shaffer (please unsubscribe me.)