I’m going to go out on a limb today and suggest that we, as defenders of liberty and capitalism, stop defending big banks. Our large banking institutions exist only on the provision and sanction of the Federal Government. We kid ourselves into believing America’s big banks are a part of a free market system. If not for the funds and regulatory backing of the U.S. Government, banking as we know it would simply cease to exist. Big banks did not get big due to anyone’s ingenuity, financial savvy, or even good luck. It was just good ole’ Uncle Sam.
As conservatives our gut reaction is to come to the defense of anyone who criticizes Wall Street or our banks. In fact, many of us were critical of the Occupy Movement for camping-out on the front lawn of Bank of America and for chanting, “The banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” But I think some of us privately chanted the same thing. Ironically we may have more in common than not with how the Occupy Movement views America’s banking system (but based on very different reasons).
I suggest we, as conservatives, begin to draw some lines in the sand as to what capitalism is and what it isn’t. And our banks are not a part of any capitalistic system (as the once were). They are built on the lean-to’s of politicians and bureaucrats. This needs to become an issue we talk about more, write about more, and base our votes on more.
More on my perspective:
Capitalism is an economic system characterized by the private ownership of goods, by investments that are provided by and for private individuals (or private corporations), and by decisions based on competition in a free market.
Does this definition of capitalism describe our banks? Not even close.
Our banks today are characterized by false goods (paper money, overpriced stocks, junk bonds, etc.), by investments that are provided for by taxpayers and the Federal Reverse, and by decisions made by government regulators based on many things besides a free market.
What’s free about that?
Sadly, we’re all beholden to big banks nowadays, particularly if you own a business. This jeopardizes liberty. There’s too much concentrated power by a few big banks, which are in turn are controlled by the actions of a few elected and appointed people. The banks and the government are way too intertwined. Big banks have become the tentacles of the Federal Government. Supply and demand has taken a back seat.
Our political leaders would like us to believe that this is necessary. They’d like us to believe without socialism’s help, capitalism cannot stand on its own two feet, that our banks would collapse and along with them, free enterprise. But the banks were perfectly healthy and independent for generations. What happened they need the Government so badly now?
What happened is that socialists have ganged up with wealthy elites who care more about their own pocketbooks than enduring freedom. Sadly, it’s easy for some people to cohort with lefties when they’re so rich it won’t ever matter if (and when) the financial system collapses. Eventually, of course, the system will collapse. Just as they are in Europe. The only secure bank is a free bank!
America’s banks didn’t build themselves. The Government did it. And maybe it’s time we complain about it as loudly as we do entitlements and ObamaCare.