If you listen to the likes of Bernie Sanders and other socialists, you’ve probably heard how Wall Street and the Big Banks have stolen countless millions from the American people. Sanders wants to blame this monumental corruption on capitalism. I say not so fast.
Sanders is right that the Big Banks and Wall Street, and especially the executives that run them, have been the beneficiaries of billions of dollars stolen from the American people. But he is wrong about who stole that money in the first place. And he is also wrong to lay the blame at the feet of capitalism.
It was not capitalism that caused the financial crisis and the Great Recession. It was government intervention. Having caused the real estate bubble in the first place by encouraging banks to underwrite mortgages for families who couldn’t afford houses, the civil government then made good on their larcenous promises by bailing out those irresponsible banks after the real estate bubble burst. With our money. If anyone needs to return money it has stolen, it’s the federal government.
And guess what those irresponsible banks did with our money once the civil government had given it to them? They spent it buying banks that hadn’t received the bailout and paying huge dividends to their “investors.” And now those same banks, the recipients of leftist-endorsed corporate welfare, are more profitable than ever:
These days, the “too big to fail” banks have less competition than ever, they get their raw material — cash from depositors — nearly free and they have never had more ways to make vast amounts of money.
In other words, despite the endless complaining about how difficult Washington has made things for bankers, we have entered a new Golden Age of Wall Street, where competition is minimal, profits will continue to be high (as long as the economy continues its rebound) and regulation, while present as never before, can be “managed” as just another cost of doing business.
So what does Bernie Sanders think the solution for all this is? Force those companies to give “free” money back to poor people. More regulations. More government intervention. More free stuff for the “99%.” Now wait just one hot minute. Isn’t that what Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were designed to do in the first place? Aren’t they the primary reason for the economic meltdown? Man, talk about being doomed to repeat history.
Let me tell you what true capitalism would have created without government intervention. For one, the Federal Reserve wouldn’t be able to tamper with the value of our money or dial in their own preferred balance of international power. Second, the Big Banks (and Wall Street for that matter) would have been allowed to fail. Smaller banks that focused on their customers rather than their bottom line would have survived the financial crisis. All the corrupt Big Money executives who authored and profited from the Recession would be out of jobs at least, if not in prison. Instead, they have basically no competition, and they are firmly in bed with the civil government.
No, Bernie Sanders. Your proposed solutions are actually the problem. They would serve only to make matters worse. Like so many proponents of big government, you forget (or choose to ignore) that the “fixes” you currently propose are necessary only because of the “fixes” you have already implemented. Perhaps you should just quit while you’re behind.