Posted 8 years ago on Dec. 17, 2011, 4:20 a.m. EST by 1DimensionalMan
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
This is the hardest box to "think outside of."
It simply is not enough to protest against the wayward powers that be, the so-called "1 Percent." One must come up with solutions. And there's the catch.
It seems our very ability to devise solutions to the systemic problems we've created is limited by two fundamental barriers.
First, how we conceive of progress, enlightenment, or freedom is shaped by a peculiarly undeniable aspect of human nature: self-interest.
Second, our contemporary fundamental ways of thinking that would deliver the goods, not just to me but to you, too, have been limited in their genesis; we seem bounded at the outset by systematic methods. Financial systems; government systems; educational systems; all are good and offer some degree of productivity and freedom.
But each comes with the seeds of its limitations built in. Beginning there, with the propensity to solve complex issues with a systems approach, would appear in itself to lead to its own undoing. This is the box we must somehow break out of.
Can we do better? For my part, I will be leading a class in Los Angeles in 2012 to explore (if and) how we can find a new path. I will report my findings here by March.
Having said that, let me add that, from within the box, I too am outraged at how lame-brained Congress and the SEC have been in making predatory lending legal, and then looking the other way while the banking system gorged itself, nearly collapsing.
Unchecked and unregulated, banks can only want one thing: more. And now they have it.
One clear solution: break up the banks in order to 1) reduce their size, and 2) separate commercial from investment banking. It worked with the SEC Acts of 1933 and 1934. It will work again.
But among elected leaders, who has the vision, the stamina, the political courage to do what is good (as proven by history) for the country?