With only 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has a whopping 25 percent of the world’s prison population, yet Attorney General Eric Holder has announced he won’t be prosecuting any of the Wall Street bankers responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown.
The global crisis of 2008 cost tens of millions of people their jobs, homes and savings. This crisis was not an accident — it was caused by an industry that had taken the political system hostage. Government regulators did not do their jobs.
In May 1998, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission tried to regulate the industry. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers responded by directing the commission to stop all such efforts. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said oversight was unnecessary.
Congress passed the Commodities Futures Modernization Act in December 2000, banning the regulation of derivatives. The result was the largest financial bubble in history. The Securities and Exchange Commission conducted no major investigations during the bubble. Instead, its staff was systematically gutted.
By 2004, the FBI was reporting an epidemic of mortgage fraud. The White House and the Fed were woefully behind the curve. The bailout legislation in 2008 did nothing to stem the tide of layoffs and foreclosures. The poorest, as always, paid the most.
The men who destroyed their own companies and plunged the world into crisis walked away with their fortunes intact. After the crisis was averted, the industry worked harder than ever to avoid reform. Between 1998 and 2008, it spent over $5 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions, and since then has been spending even more.
Since the 1980s, the U.S. has become a more unequal society, and its economic dominance has declined. Our manufacturing base was destroyed. Available jobs require a college degree, and for many people, college is increasingly out of reach. Tax policy has shifted to favor the wealthiest 1 percent.
Inequality in wealth in the U.S. is now higher than in any other developed country. For the first time in history, average Americans have less education and are less prosperous than their parents.
During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama pointed to Wall Street greed and regulatory failures as examples of the need for change in America. After taking office, he spoke of the need to reform the financial industry, yet today we still have a Wall Street government.
Not a single senior U.S. executive has been criminally prosecuted and, no thanks to Attorney General Eric Holder, they never will be.
James S. Collver
Summa’s alliance raises concerns
As I began reading the news that Summa was looking to have Catholic Health Partners as an affiliate, a red flag popped up for me. Even as an agreement was signed in June by both parties, I was still uneasy.
As a Protestant, I should not have to abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church or comply with any decisions of Bishop Lennon.
If my choice of health care will be limited for myself and my family, I will be using another hospital.
Summa should think carefully and consider patients’ rights. It has always treated my family and thousands of other patients with consideration and with available health-care choices.
Bonnie M. Crum
Questions for a councilman
I see Akron City Council member Bruce Kilby has been putting up signs everywhere. I just received a flyer from him once again bashing the mayor and everyone who works for or with him.
What exactly has Kilby done, besides vote against everything? Where are these downtown projects that lose millions? Has he gone downtown during the Italian-American festival or the Rib Burn-Off?
There were thousands of people enjoying themselves and then sitting back and listening to bands at Lock 3. The number of people enjoying the Santa Parade and ice skating rink is over the top.
Has Kilby had any part in this? What about Goodyear keeping its headquarters in Akron? I can’t think of a thing that he has done for the Goodyear Heights portion of the ward.
What about the strip club he was fighting to get rid of? It is still going strong. Most flyers I receive list all of the accomplishments that the candidate has made. Kilby’s just pokes fun at the mayor and what he has or has not done.
Kilby should keep riding around on his scooter, placing signs everywhere. People will remember seeing his name, but wonder what it was that he has done.
Unfortunate closure of autism foundation
I read with great interest the Aug. 13 article by Rick Armon, “Autism Family Foundation closes,” and a previous, well-written article by Bob Dyer with regards to the management of a very essential organization (“Clash at autism center leads to finger-pointing,” May 6).
The Autism Family Foundation was a result of the diligent efforts of the original board and many volunteers. The board was functioning with positive fiscal responsibility and caring treatment for families dealing with autism. Upon their forced resignation, approximately half a million dollars had been raised and remained in the treasury.
Unfortunately, it seems as if major egos became involved and mismanaged the foundation to the point of abrupt, basically unannounced, closure. Robert Keegan was able to enjoy his publicity for only a short period of time, and his legacy will be the failure to promote and nurture a vital organization.
It does not appear that any significant effort was made to save the foundation by an individual with vast corporate experience.
Responsibility for what has occurred becomes an important point if we remember the saying: “The Buck Stops Here.”
William E. Moats, M.D.
New Jersey erodes parental rights
I am responding to the Aug. 20 article “New Jersey leaders ban gay conversion therapy.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law banning conversion therapy because, according to Troy Stevenson of the gay advocacy group Garden State Equality, we need to “protect young people from being abused by those they should trust most, their parents and their doctors.”
We need to protect children from their parents and doctors? Is anyone paying attention here? Since when does a stranger whose self-serving motive to advocate for his own sexual proclivities know what is best for our children — children who are strangers to him?
In California, there is a law that allows transgender boys and girls to switch bathrooms, showers and sports teams with those of the opposite sex on a whim, without parental consent.
When is the nation going to stop listening to this propaganda and stand up for the right of parents to raise children according to their own beliefs? This government encroachment on parental authority takes us one step closer to tyranny.
What are the nefarious aims of the leaders of this movement that has overtaken America, and where are the “few good men” who will stand against this evil?
Jean M. Spearing
Tallmadge traffic merry-go-round
As a Tallmadge resident and frequent traveler of the circle, I offer a solution to this mess:
1) Narrow the width of the roadway to slightly wider than a normal lane. Now, many drivers try to make it two lanes. They signal and make turns from the inside. You cannot see a turn signal on a car on your left even if it is three-quarters of the way past you.
2) Control the entry to the circle with red-green signals in front of each point of entry.
3) Control the signal color with sensors at each entry, with a short on-and-off timer, say 10 seconds. Green lights should come on one by one in a clockwise direction.
4) Use imbedded sensors to bypass any entry with no cars waiting.
5) If a car waits to enter from every entry point, the wait would be slightly more than one minute. All vehicles would have the same priority, with no entry lane held up more than any other.
Same rights, different name
On same-sex marriage, if a new classification was used, it would solve many problems. Why not call it a partnership, giving the “unity” the same legal privileges as a marriage?
The federal judge in Cincinnati who recognized a dying man’s gay marriage would be relieved.