Unfinished business: A number of you have asked how to contact Emory officials about the change in the name of Crawford W. Long Hospital. Below, is the number for their switchboard and the general mailing address:
General mailing address:
201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, Ga. 30322
Now, on to new concerns:
The media today is full of stories about government expanding its interference with the banking industry. Should government invest more money in the banking industry? If government buys more “poison” assets from local and regional banks in exchange for shares in the companies, is that socialism? Is such an action even permitted by the Constitution?
The tenth amendment clearly prohibits government from taking any action not specifically assigned to it by the Constitution. I can find nothing in the Constitution that allows government to own any part of private corporations. Nor does the Constitution give the federal government any significant role in the pursuit of criminal activity unless such activity crosses state line.
What about the effort to consolidate the banking business into larger and larger banks that operate nationwide. Is that a good idea? If a local bank fails, is it a good idea to turn over that bank’s assets to a large conglomerate, or should the bank simply be allowed to close and pay off the depositors with deposit insurance?
I think that the current approach is exactly backwards from what ought to be done. The larger a bank or any other entity that deals in vast amounts of money grows, the greater the opportunity for greed and corruption to take advantage of it. Rather than developing ever-larger banks, we need to decentralize them. All banks need to be returned to local control so that they answer to the community they serve.
At the same time, all financial institutions should be required to service all loans they issue, not package and sell them to super banks, hedge funds or any other assemblers of wealth. Only when a bank officer knows that he will be responsible for collecting the payments on the loan, will he take care that the loan is issued to eligible borrowers.
Whatever happened to the idea of requiring applicants to prove their ability to repay a loan? When did we quit requiring homeowners to pay a percentage of the purchase price in cash so that they would have a personal investment in the home? When did we change the rule that prohibited banks from making loans outside of the state in which they were based? If these rules were still in effect, we would not be facing the financial crisis that now confronts us.
Just as the drive to concentrate political power in Washington, D.C., gives ever greater opportunities for social and political corruption, the drive to consolidate financial control in a handful of national entities creates opportunities for the greedy to pad their pockets at the expense of the rest of us.
The solution to our current crisis is not more and bigger government or more and greater federal spending. The solution is to break up the power structures in Washington and return political and economic power to the states and to the people where it belongs. When we get Washington out of our business, we the people can take care of ourselves. Until then things can only get worse.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com/