By Matthew Glans, midwest Director of the Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate at The Heartland Institute - 10/19/10 11:05 PM EDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I) “Too Big To Exist Act” shows the senator from Vermont has lost his marbles. (“Sanders re-introduces bill breaking up big firms” Oct 12). The bill, which would require Treasury to break up any financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies whose failure would require a bailout, if taken literally, would require all banks and insurers to go out of business.
The products banks and insurers sell, indeed, are products that by definition require bailouts from the government from time to time. A certificate of deposit that with a no-bailout is simply a zero coupon bond, for example. Almost all financial services companies, likewise, have market shares large enough that their failure would destabilize some sector of the economy somewhere.
Administration needs to limit large trucks’ speed
From Harris Cohen
The latest proposal from the Obama administration advocating for a sharp increase in vehicle fuel efficiency is lacking overall as it does not address the more critical issue of vehicle safety. Every year, 34,000 deaths and nearly 3 million injuries are caused from motor vehicle crashes. Of these crashes, about 15 percent involve large trucks. Currently pending with the DOT is a proposed regulation sponsored by Road Safe America, the American Trucking Association, and others that would limit large trucks to a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour through the use of an already installed, but not activated, speed governor on all trucks manufactured since 1992. This regulation has been enacted in many countries and would save a significant amount of fuel, but more importantly, save lives. It’s time the administration embraced sensible legislation that saves lives while also improving fuel efficiency.
Silver Spring, Md.
Chile’s trapped miners offer lesson in solidarity
From Harris Cohen
The trapped miners recently rescued in Chile offer a lesson for all of us regarding the immense importance of solidarity and the pursuit of the common good. As I write this letter, eight of the 33 miners have been rescued. All were rightly full of gratitude for their good fortune, but they were also distressed, all expressing concern that some 25 of their brothers remain trapped. Initially, all insisted on being at the end of the rescue line.
Is there a lesson for all of us who are getting ready to go to the polls on Nov. 2? I think so. I would say the lesson is the need for solidarity and concern for the common good. The rescued miners were not forgetful of those left behind, because they were in solidarity with those still trapped. Many of us in America are no longer trapped in poverty; we have made it, so to speak. But how many of us have concern about those left behind, those still trapped at the socioeconomic bottom?
The actions of the miners before rescue — sharing food, and counseling and caring for each other — reminds us of our obligations to be involved in the political process so solidarity and the common good can be advanced. We, the voters, have responsibilities for the direction of public life; and we can begin to meet those responsibilities by voting for candidates who are cognizant of the need for solidarity and committed to promoting the common good.
Today there is, I fear, a fairly different common attitude or understanding in America of our responsibility as citizens concerning our approach to life and politics. Solidarity and the common good does not permit us to reject “claims of community” and pursue a “single-minded devotion to self-interest.” Candidates who encourage this understanding of freedom clearly fail the test of advancing the common good.
Who are the candidates who comprehend the “claims of community”? Who are those who believe the “single-minded devotion to self-interest” is no way to renew the nation and reinforce the foundational principles of freedom enshrined in the documents crafted by our Founding Fathers?
We need to know the answers to these questions, in order to make good decisions at the polls on Nov. 2.
We need bold solutions to tackle global warming
From Dominique Johnson
Here we go again. The big polluters and their lobbyists are back at it with even more destructive antics, this time advocating for free rein to recklessly dump global warming pollution in the air.
And the worst part of it all? The special interests keep increasing their efforts to buy out our members of Congress. The latest attempts by some members of Congress to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency’s from regulating stationary sources’ emissions for two years is plain unacceptable. We need strong and bold solutions to tackle rising global temperatures and we need them now.
It’s time to hold corporate polluters accountable for their actions.
While they aren’t paying their fair share, everyday Americans are suffering the consequences of Big Oil’s irresponsibility.