Elizabeth Warren

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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby crispybits on Wed May 15, 2013 6:10 pm

Hang on, so self-regulation is the solution to the problem caused because government and big banks are in each others' pockets and the line between bankers and regulators has become blurred? Am I misunderstanding something here or is there some delicious irony being served up?
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby ooge on Wed May 15, 2013 6:29 pm

She is a great patriotic American we need more like her in office
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:01 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:I'm not. She holds an imaginary vision of regulators and bankers/analysts/etc. That's not safe.


The imaginary vision that they should do their job? I knew you wouldn't like her.


Right, that's it, Woodruff. That's exactly my position.


Well at least you explained it.

Oh wait, you haven't explained anything except to claim that she holds an imaginary view of regulators, bankers and analysts. Well done, Phatscotty.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:02 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:I'm not. She holds an imaginary vision of regulators and bankers/analysts/etc. That's not safe.


The imaginary vision that they should do their job? I knew you wouldn't like her.

BigBallinStalin wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I wonder about her supporters though given the comments at the end of the article.


And so it begins. That rhetoric will lead to great power for her.


Not a chance. She's going after those who provide the power. In this day and age, that is a highly ineffective strategy for gaining the power.


I'm surprised at BBS's response. She appears to be in favor of eliminating the rent-seeking done by banks and other financial institutions, which I think BBS would be in favor of. I don't believe she holds an imaginary view of regulators and bankers given the complete lack of oversight that the financial industry has.

Two caveats:

(1) I think there should be no or limited oversight of banks and financial institutions (so Ms. Warren and I would part ways on that point).
(2) The only reason there should be any oversight is if banks and financial institutions receive government funds, which they do.

So my preference, which would be at odds with Warren, is to have no government funds for financial institutions and no or limited oversight. If BBS also has that preference (which I believe he does) then I can understand why he does not agree with Warren.


I don't really understand the idea that they should have no or limited oversight. Haven't they proven the need for it? It's not like the free market will take care of it...it's clearly shown that it won't.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:04 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
crispybits wrote:Surely it's incumbent on the government to make laws that we agree with and enforce them (because the former is meaningless without the latter). Those laws could be liberal or strict, but once made they need to be enforced. What exactly the law says is one discussion, finding cost-effective and meaningful ways to ensure those laws are enforced is a separate (but related) discussion.


There's more to order than government-imposed order.


The only order that a truly free market creates is monopolization which, ironically enough, goes against the idea of the free market. Well, that and the abuse of the worker.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:07 pm

crispybits wrote:Hang on, so self-regulation is the solution to the problem caused because government and big banks are in each others' pockets and the line between bankers and regulators has become blurred?


Yes, although "become" is not really the appropriate word. It's been blurred for a long-ass time.

crispybits wrote:Am I misunderstanding something here or is there some delicious irony being served up?


I'm not sure what the irony is. Here's a good story illustrating the bad effects of rent-seeking on a competitive market:

A politician, let's call him Barney, wins an election and eventually becomes the head of the Congressional committee that writes and decides on banking and finance laws. Barney's major supporters and campaign contributors consist of major banks and financial institutions. Barney, due to his political affiliations, write a "tough" law on banks and financial institutions. I put "tough" in quotes because it's not really a tough law because Barney's major supports consist of major banks and financial institutions. In any event, the law passes with overwhelming support and everyone is happy. The law, which is very broad, calls for regulations to be drafted by a new regulatory body (the Banking Commission). The Banking Commission is made up of people selected by Barney and others on Barney's Congressional committee and appointed by the president (a member of Barney's own political party). The people selected to be on the Banking Commission are all ex-employees of major banks and financial institutions. And not just ex-employees, former vice presidents of said major banks and financial institutions. These new Banking Commission guys write regulations that "interpret" the law that Barney assisted in drafting. The new Banking Commission guys also hire various people they know from the major banks and financial institutions to serve as regulators, enforcing both the laws and regulations.

So... what has happened? The major banks and financial institutions are essentially writing the laws and regulations that are ostensibly supposed to hold the major banks and financial institutions in check. They are also essentially charged with enforcing themselves. What they are able to do is skirt the stated purpose of the law and, simultaneously, eliminate competition from banks and financial institutions that are not "major" banks and financial institutions through the use of the law and regulatory bodies of which they hold sway.

So, instead of having a regulated banking and financial industry that is regulated by non-partisan and uninterested third parties, we have a select few banks and financial institutions that regulate themselves into more prominent positions, thereby eliminating competition. Furthermore, we've grown the size of government to the benefit of said banks and financial institutions, which calls for an increase in both spending and taxes.

So the question is what to do about it? Do we still trust the government? Can we fix the system? If so, at what point? Alternatively, can we let banks and financial institutions self-regulate through the market? Why not? Does the current system work in a satisfactory manner?
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:07 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
crispybits wrote:Without going back and reading the article though, the impression it gave me was EW saying that there are laws, and that the government need to enforce those laws, at least in a single high publicity case, in order to make the compromises and plea bargains and out of court settlements good value for the population.

Self-regulation is a different topic entirely, or at least that's what I took from reading it just after it was posted.


Ignoring whether Warren is pandering (I think she is - but I also think she can both pander and make good points), she is calling attention to a particular problem, but not in the way that she should call attention to the problem.

As BBS suggests, she says "We're not enforcing the laws in a way that makes them effective" but what she should say is "Here's why we're not enforcing the laws and why the laws are written with loopholes."


The loopholes aren't the problem. The lack of effective response to violating the law is the problem.

thegreekdog wrote:To make an analogy, it's as if there are a bunch of employees goofing off instead of working, which no one likes (ostensibly). But the bosses join in and encourage the goofing off and wrote the rules specifically letting people goof off. Elizabeth Warren is making a speech to the company's shareholders saying that they should fire the employees, but not change the rules or fire the bosses.


If the current laws are not being enforced, writing different laws will not result in their being enforced.

thegreekdog wrote:She's not going far enough.


This confuses me, given that you don't believe they should be regulated at all.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:08 pm

Woodruff wrote:I don't really understand the idea that they should have no or limited oversight. Haven't they proven the need for it? It's not like the free market will take care of it...it's clearly shown that it won't.


When has the free market shown it couldn't take care of the problem?
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:09 pm

Woodruff wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
crispybits wrote:Without going back and reading the article though, the impression it gave me was EW saying that there are laws, and that the government need to enforce those laws, at least in a single high publicity case, in order to make the compromises and plea bargains and out of court settlements good value for the population.

Self-regulation is a different topic entirely, or at least that's what I took from reading it just after it was posted.


Ignoring whether Warren is pandering (I think she is - but I also think she can both pander and make good points), she is calling attention to a particular problem, but not in the way that she should call attention to the problem.

As BBS suggests, she says "We're not enforcing the laws in a way that makes them effective" but what she should say is "Here's why we're not enforcing the laws and why the laws are written with loopholes."


The loopholes aren't the problem. The lack of effective response to violating the law is the problem.

thegreekdog wrote:To make an analogy, it's as if there are a bunch of employees goofing off instead of working, which no one likes (ostensibly). But the bosses join in and encourage the goofing off and wrote the rules specifically letting people goof off. Elizabeth Warren is making a speech to the company's shareholders saying that they should fire the employees, but not change the rules or fire the bosses.


If the current laws are not being enforced, writing different laws will not result in their being enforced.

thegreekdog wrote:She's not going far enough.


This confuses me, given that you don't believe they should be regulated at all.


See above (you fast-posted me).
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:09 pm

crispybits wrote:Hang on, so self-regulation is the solution to the problem caused because government and big banks are in each others' pockets and the line between bankers and regulators has become blurred? Am I misunderstanding something here or is there some delicious irony being served up?


Well of course, if they were only allowed to make their own rules, they certainly would just do the right thing and they certainly wouldn't collude. Talk about imaginary things...
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:11 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:I don't really understand the idea that they should have no or limited oversight. Haven't they proven the need for it? It's not like the free market will take care of it...it's clearly shown that it won't.


When has the free market shown it couldn't take care of the problem?


The free market results in monopolization and abuse of the worker. The idea that consumers will have a choice when banks are allowed to set their own rules (resulting in no real choice) is silly.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:12 pm

Woodruff wrote:
crispybits wrote:Hang on, so self-regulation is the solution to the problem caused because government and big banks are in each others' pockets and the line between bankers and regulators has become blurred? Am I misunderstanding something here or is there some delicious irony being served up?


Well of course, if they were only allowed to make their own rules, they certainly would just do the right thing and they certainly wouldn't collude. Talk about imaginary things...


Yeah, that's kind of the point. They already make their own rules. But instead of 100% of them making their own rules, 2% of them do and then crowd out the remaining 98%. And then they also make sure that your tax dollars allow them to benefit themselves (to your detriment). Essentially, you're paying money to the government so that a handful of banks can write self-interested laws. Much better than free market, right?
Last edited by thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:13 pm

Woodruff wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:I don't really understand the idea that they should have no or limited oversight. Haven't they proven the need for it? It's not like the free market will take care of it...it's clearly shown that it won't.


When has the free market shown it couldn't take care of the problem?


The free market results in monopolization and abuse of the worker. The idea that consumers will have a choice when banks are allowed to set their own rules (resulting in no real choice) is silly.


I'm pretty sure Ms. Warren is not talking about monopolization and abuse of the worker.

But I have no problem with anti-trust laws and I have no problem with unions. Not sure what working conditions and monopolies have to do with banking laws, so you'll have to help me here.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:17 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
crispybits wrote:Hang on, so self-regulation is the solution to the problem caused because government and big banks are in each others' pockets and the line between bankers and regulators has become blurred? Am I misunderstanding something here or is there some delicious irony being served up?


Well of course, if they were only allowed to make their own rules, they certainly would just do the right thing and they certainly wouldn't collude. Talk about imaginary things...


Yeah, that's kind of the point. They already make their own rules. But instead of 100% of them making their own rules, 2% of them do and then crowd out the remaining 98%. And then they also make sure that your tax dollars allow them to benefit themselves (to your detriment). Essentially, you're paying money to the government so that a handful of banks can write self-interested laws. Much better than free market, right?


No different than free market. We already have a better choice than the major banks, and that is the smaller banks and credit unions. But how many people avail themselves of those better choices? They don't, and they won't. That's why the free market doesn't work...advertising wins the free market, and advertising isn't honest but too many people treat it like it is.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:18 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:I don't really understand the idea that they should have no or limited oversight. Haven't they proven the need for it? It's not like the free market will take care of it...it's clearly shown that it won't.


When has the free market shown it couldn't take care of the problem?


The free market results in monopolization and abuse of the worker. The idea that consumers will have a choice when banks are allowed to set their own rules (resulting in no real choice) is silly.


I'm pretty sure Ms. Warren is not talking about monopolization and abuse of the worker.


Of course she isn't. It hasn't even come up. I'm simply pointing out why the free market doesn't work. Just like communism, it simply cannot work unfettered because people suck.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:26 pm

Woodruff wrote:No different than free market. We already have a better choice than the major banks, and that is the smaller banks and credit unions. But how many people avail themselves of those better choices? They don't, and they won't. That's why the free market doesn't work...advertising wins the free market, and advertising isn't honest but too many people treat it like it is.


Let's say the free market results in all the current financial institution issues like fraud.

(1) Your tax dollars don't go to the government, which, as I think I've demonstrated, is not helping you.
(2) You get to keep more of your money and you don't have to indirectly use your money to benefit fraudulent financial institutions through laws that the financial institutions have written!

Let's say 2008 crash happens in an unfettered free market.

(1) No bailouts using your tax dollars to those same financial institutions
(2) Instead, the financial institutions crash, are eliminated, and new financial institutions take their place with the idea that they maybe shouldn't do the same shit as the old financial institutions.
(3) Your tax dollars don't go to failed financial institutions with no incentive not to f*ck up again.

So yeah, a free market would be a lot better.

Woodruff wrote:Of course she isn't. It hasn't even come up. I'm simply pointing out why the free market doesn't work. Just like communism, it simply cannot work unfettered because people suck.


I have never advocated an all-or-nothing position. I certainly support anti-trust laws and unions. Which is why it does matter what Warren is talking about in this context. There is nothing more frustrating than your line of argument Woodruff. You know how Phatscotty calls you a socialist when you make a perfectly reasonable point on something? That's what you're doing here. Essentially you're saying that because I think the free market in the context of the financial industry would do a better job of regulating and would cost less that I'm in favor of a free market in everything and therefore love worker abuse and monopolies. Please stop.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:29 pm

thegreekdog wrote:Let's say 2008 crash happens in an unfettered free market.
(1) No bailouts using your tax dollars to those same financial institutions
(2) Instead, the financial institutions crash, are eliminated, and new financial institutions take their place with the idea that they maybe shouldn't do the same shit as the old financial institutions.
(3) Your tax dollars don't go to failed financial institutions with no incentive not to f*ck up again.


This doesn't make sense because the bailouts could still happen under that scenario. After all, they were "too big to fail".

Never mind that, as I already pointed out, we have options now and nobody uses them.

Woodruff wrote:Of course she isn't. It hasn't even come up. I'm simply pointing out why the free market doesn't work. Just like communism, it simply cannot work unfettered because people suck.


I have never advocated an all-or-nothing position. I certainly support anti-trust laws and unions. Which is why it does matter what Warren is talking about in this context. There is nothing more frustrating than your line of argument Woodruff. You know how Phatscotty calls you a socialist when you make a perfectly reasonable point on something? That's what you're doing here. Essentially you're saying that because I think the free market in the context of the financial industry would do a better job of regulating and would cost less that I'm in favor of a free market in everything and therefore love worker abuse and monopolies. Please stop.[/quote]

Anti-trust laws no longer apply. Hell, just look at the collusion amongst phone companies, as well as colleges and universities. It is in business' interests to support one another at a certain level, and it is being allowed. The idea of not regulating banks at all strikes me as honestly insane.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:31 pm

thegreekdog wrote:I have never advocated an all-or-nothing position.


"No or very little oversight" sure seems like one.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:34 pm

Woodruff wrote:This doesn't make sense because the bailouts could still happen under that scenario. After all, they were "too big to fail".


The bailouts could still happen, but they wouldn't. It's my scenario. There was no bailout of the cheesesteak place down the street from my house, for example.

Woodruff wrote:Never mind that, as I already pointed out, we have options now and nobody uses them.


What options?

Woodruff wrote:Anti-trust laws no longer apply. Hell, just look at the collusion amongst phone companies, as well as colleges and universities. It is in business' interests to support one another at a certain level, and it is being allowed.


They no longer apply? Why not?

Woodruff wrote:The idea of not regulating banks at all strikes me as honestly insane.


Okay, just to make sure I understand:

Current situation - Government collects tax dollars from taxpayers and uses that money to not regulate banks sufficiently because said banks write the laws, support the regulators, and support the politicians. = Not insane.

Potential situation - Government collects no tax dollars and free market "regulates" the banks itself. = Insane

Got it.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:34 pm

Woodruff wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I have never advocated an all-or-nothing position.


"No or very little oversight" sure seems like one.


Wow... out of context much douchebag?
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby crispybits on Wed May 15, 2013 7:41 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
crispybits wrote:Hang on, so self-regulation is the solution to the problem caused because government and big banks are in each others' pockets and the line between bankers and regulators has become blurred? Am I misunderstanding something here or is there some delicious irony being served up?


Well of course, if they were only allowed to make their own rules, they certainly would just do the right thing and they certainly wouldn't collude. Talk about imaginary things...


Yeah, that's kind of the point. They already make their own rules. But instead of 100% of them making their own rules, 2% of them do and then crowd out the remaining 98%. And then they also make sure that your tax dollars allow them to benefit themselves (to your detriment). Essentially, you're paying money to the government so that a handful of banks can write self-interested laws. Much better than free market, right?


Firstly, having quickly proof-read I may be going off into a more generalised tangent here, but that's what this forum is for right?

The solution being that the government steps out and the industry regulates itself seems to be like saying that I should get to decide which laws I will follow as a citizen, and which laws I should be able to choose to ignore simply because I don't like them.

Wouldn't it be better to institute a political system where the profit-seeking sector of society is not allowed to influence the legislative sector of society? Just like we have separation of church and state (I say "we" slightly ironically here coming from the UK) wouldn't a more elegant solution to have separation of markets and state. The political parties could be funded enough from taxes to advertise their policies at election times, and would certainly still gain significant media coverage during those times, and politicians and political parties could be outright banned from accepting external contributions to their funds from any other group.

Of course, for this to happen the politicians would have to vote for it, and that would be like turkeys voting for christmas (or thanksgiving - I dunno if you yanks eat turkey at christmas as universally as we do). It's not going to happen. But while we're talking about ideological systems rather than practical ones then I for one would certainly favour a society where the legislative and judiciary branches of the system are kept completely separate from the commercial, the religious, and all other sectors, and should be concentrating only on making laws that provide the most benefit to the country as a whole.

In effect, and I haven't really thought this out as much as I'd like to have despite it being a seed in my mind for some time, I'd like a 2 part government. The legislative and judiciary, concentrated on ensuring the rules are in place for a just, fair and free society, and the economic, infrastructure and welfare branch concentrated on ensuring that the economy is as efficient as possible and that everyone receives certain basic services like education and healthcare (both up to a certain level), plus the road and rail networks and power and water systems and that sort of stuff is all up to scratch.

That doesn't necessarily mean big government either, you could still have a 2 part small government system, but keep the two parts separate, and keep both separate from any outside influence except the democratic influence of politicians having to do a good job to get themselves re-elected every 4-5 years by the public. There is some crossover between the two parts, but that can be dealt with by installing vetos based on certain principles.

I'll leave it there though my mind is going off into a massive rambling flow about how it can all work, but the point is that unless you can honestly say that you and everyone you know, if given the choice to obey or disobey any law you like, would always choose to follow the course of action that is in the interests of widder society, rather than just yourself, then I honestly don't think self-regulation and free market forces are the solution to every problem.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby thegreekdog on Wed May 15, 2013 7:42 pm

crispybits wrote:Wouldn't it be better to institute a political system where the profit-seeking sector of society is not allowed to influence the legislative sector of society?


Yes. A billion times yes.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:49 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:This doesn't make sense because the bailouts could still happen under that scenario. After all, they were "too big to fail".


The bailouts could still happen, but they wouldn't. It's my scenario.


So you don't want any actual discussion then.

thegreekdog wrote:There was no bailout of the cheesesteak place down the street from my house, for example.


It would be difficult for that to be considered "to big to fail", as well.

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:Never mind that, as I already pointed out, we have options now and nobody uses them.


What options?


I already talked about the fact that people could have been availing themselves of smaller more local banks and credit unions, particularly since the bailouts. Yet they haven't. Why? Because in the "free market", advertising controls everything and advertising does not need to be honest. Therefore, those who can pay for the most and best advertising, regardless of their actual business practices, will garner the business. If we already have perfectly valid options and aren't taking them, why would that change when the banks are no longer regulated?

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:Anti-trust laws no longer apply. Hell, just look at the collusion amongst phone companies, as well as colleges and universities. It is in business' interests to support one another at a certain level, and it is being allowed.


They no longer apply? Why not?


Don't ask me, I'm not the one expected to enforce them.

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:The idea of not regulating banks at all strikes me as honestly insane.


Okay, just to make sure I understand:
Current situation - Government collects tax dollars from taxpayers and uses that money to not regulate banks sufficiently because said banks write the laws, support the regulators, and support the politicians. = Not insane.
Potential situation - Government collects no tax dollars and free market "regulates" the banks itself. = Insane
Got it.


You've done an excellent job of mischaracterizing my position. Well done, Phatscotty.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:50 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I have never advocated an all-or-nothing position.


"No or very little oversight" sure seems like one.


Wow... out of context much douchebag?


You stated explicitly that you believed the banking industry should have no or very little oversight. You stated it explicitly. How is that taking you out of context? Here you go:

thegreekdog wrote:(1) I think there should be no or limited oversight of banks and financial institutions (so Ms. Warren and I would part ways on that point).
Last edited by Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elizabeth Warren

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 7:51 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
crispybits wrote:Wouldn't it be better to institute a political system where the profit-seeking sector of society is not allowed to influence the legislative sector of society?


Yes. A billion times yes.


Explicitly and solely public funding of elections would go a long way toward helping that, I believe.
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