Economics and Modern Philosophy

by Team Dinks on May 24, 2010 · 0 comments

people over profit sign

Ah…my day to shine. Good news ahead. The federal government has planned the creation of a consumer financial protection agency. Ralph Nader himself is turning over in his grave with interest. Or wait… Ralph Nader is still alive—I think. Anyway, he’s turning over somewhere—probably in a cozy sofa chair at Starbucks in DuPont Circle.

Here are just a few of my favorite proposed amendments included under this regulatory reform:

  1. Free credit scores: In this proposed amendment, my friends from the three credit reporting agencies would be required to provide not only a free annual credit report, but a free credit score once a year. Now you can shout the number out loud, or hide it under the sofa—at least once a year.
  2. Get this: Ban the use of credit checks for employment: I did not want to bring it up, but hey…there it is. Not to worry, this amendment has exceptions including certain jobs related to national security, working with specified state or local government agencies, or handling customer funds or company financial accounts. Well…it’s a start.
  3. Set Rules for Payday Loans: I saw a commercial the other night for one of these “don’t worry, we’ll let you borrow it until you get your paycheck” bottom feeders. The commercial was blatantly targeted at single mothers. Anyway… this amendment would put these crooks under federal regulation. That aside, this amendment actually imposes more regulations for the consumer than the lender. It limits the consumer to 6 pay day loans a year. Other than the federal regulation clause (that should win over well), the only regulation imposed on the lender is the requirement to offer an extended payment plan. Nothing at all about interest rates.
  4. ATM Fee cap: Can you even imagine this? Capped at 50 cents per transaction! I got $2.50 saying that one doesn’t pass. Banks always win.
  5. Credit Card interest rate caps: As we all know, banks have a way around capped interest rates—impose additional fees. Under this amendment, any additional fees can not exceed the capped interest rate. I have a feeling this one will see some opposition.

Again, these are just some of my favorites.

Excuse the cliché, but we are certainly living in some interesting times. Economy is the new modern philosophy. We have conquered the mysteries of the universe (with the exception of time travel); however, Steven Hawking has just reported that his time machine is up and running—powered entirely by his new iPad. It is evident that we have not yet conquered the mysteries of the economy. Protestors are lining the streets throughout the world with one thing on their mind—their money.

I relate this to the above amendments with this thought: When no one questioned, nor understood the dealings of Wall Street, our economy remained solid for a good period of time. Now Wall Street has let us down and we all demand change and accountability. The philosophical question of the day is: to regulate, or not to regulate?

Personally, I am not one to defend Wall Street, but they did a pretty good job up until now. And sure, there were some shady dealings going on to make it happen, but no one questioned the ethics of Wall Street until their bank accounts went sour; except for Mr. Nader, of course. He’ll ride you to his grave. Keep it up Ralph.

(photo by americans4financialreform)

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