More Thoughts On Financial Crisis
To The Editor:
Weeks ago, I wrote a letter on the failure of large banks and how taxpayer money is being used to keep them in business, money that we not only can't afford to give, but also may never get back. Since then, we are learning that if we thought certain banks were "too big to fail," now some may be too expensive for our government to successfully rescue without placing our country further into debt and compromising our children's economic security far in the future.
The letter ran in other local papers, and some reader responses were positive, while others called my concerns "liberal nonsense." Mr. Land, in his letter the following week responded, "socialism is not the answer." My letter was meant to be completely nonpartisan, and I did not offer a socialist solution; rather, I couldn't understand how the banks got too big to fail, and how it was that bailing them out was our only or best option.
Wouldn't it have been a great display of American spirit if the giant banks had too much pride to accept our bailout money, or so much of it? If they gave up their huge bonuses and worked for free to fix the problem they created? The big banks could have at least demanded more conditions on gigantic loans (like when they will start paying them back), or apologized publicly, to the world, for their role in the global economic problems we face. Their lack of remorse and acceptance of taxpayer bailout money without a promise to pay it all back within a certain time frame is un-American. Their incredible power over our economic past, present and future is outrageous.
I am sure most people reading this will agree with me, and Mr. Land, that socialism is not the answer. But do our representatives know how we feel?
Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, voting in elections appears not to be enough civic involvement to maintain a healthy democracy. We are the government. The people in Washington and Harrisburg are supposed to represent us. Unless we tell them what we care about, they might not know, and therefore cannot be held accountable. Similarly, we need to be better informed about our economy, about its requirement for oversight and certain regulation, since there will always be those who are greedy and dishonest. Mr. Land asserted that the greed of big bankers is an oversimplified explanation of our current economic crisis and it probably is. Maybe we have all failed our democracy by not giving oversight to both government and financial institutions. We took it for granted that someone else would.