Bernie Sanders – America’s socialist presidential candidate – has declared war on Wall Street, vowing in his New England accent that “under my administration, Wall Street CEOs will no longer receive a get out of jail free card. Not only will big banks not be too big to fail, but big time bankers will not be too big to jail.”
So far, so good. Bernie Sanders is right on the money, communal or capitalist, on that point. The government shouldn’t be bailing out banks. It shouldn’t be offering protection to businesses that can’t cut it, whether through incompetence or bad luck.
But Bernie’s declaration needs to be taken a step further if he really wants to make a positive change in America. He needs to understand that government shouldn’t be meddling with commerce at all, which is not the platform he’s running on at all.
Instead, he says he wants to ramp up the meddling, pledging to “break up the country’s biggest financial firms within a year and limit banking fees placed on consumers,” according to Yahoo.
That kind of mentality is not what made America great; it’s what made America sick, with government stepping in and “helping out” with problems it created in the first place by stepping in and “helping out.”
Government is the reason the banks are as powerful as they are. It’s a combination of government ties and government allowances and government interference in the forms of crony capitalism and overreaching laws that allow institutions like JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo to go where no banks have gone – or should go – before.
And it’s definitely the government’s original sin that put those financial institutions in need of those get out of jail free cards in 2008 and 2009. By demanding that banks give out housing loans to people who had no business buying houses, it fostered an absolutely unsustainable housing market that eventually crashed and burned, taking the global economy with it.
The fallout was so catastrophic that, over seven years later, the world still hasn’t really recovered, hence the reason why China’s financial markets crashed the last two days, sending U.S. and European financial markets crashing too.
So by declaring war on Wall Street, Bernie Sanders is like a doctor doling out pain medication but no actual treatment to a cancer victim. Maybe the patient will feel better when he pops those pills, but he’s going to die without a proper prescription or some kind of divine intervention.
Big banks and big businesses and big people who are getting away with bad behavior are the side effect, not the cause of our decline. Big government is what started it all.
The only way to fix the issue long term is with small government, the kind that does let big banks fail and big bankers go to jail… just on their own, not because some presidential candidate declared war on them.