Why don't we turn the banks into regulated public utilities?
"I'll be paying with cash, thanks"* has a fine round-up of posts on how the banksters plan to charge you to leave your money with them, so even if you don't touch your money it just kind of.... melts.
And some of the posters point out, with some justice, that some low balance accounts -- like several tens of millions of unterbussen -- just aren't profitable for the banks. Which is classic, of course: If you're rich, you can leave the money you don't need in your account, and there's enough so you don't get charged for it. But if you're poor, you don't have any money you don't need, and that's not enough, and you do get charged (cf. Mark 4:25).
Now, in some ways, I think it's all good. So what if the banksters drive people into the underground economy, or new forms of banking, like halawas, emerge? Or new forms of currency?
Then again, as a matter of public policy, it really does seem insane to tell ten or twenty or a hundred million people "We don't want your money. Why don't you go put it under the mattress?"
And since the financiers, by inserting themselves into the middle of every transaction, have made themselves as indispensable to the average citizen as the light company, the gas company, or the water company, why don't we just turn them into tightly regulated, and very boring, public utilities?
And If the rich want to gamble, let 'em piss away their own money playing the ponies, and not ours.
NOTE * As long as cash is still legal, of course. I mean, why shouldn't there be a mandate to use plastic so the banks get their cut, just like there's a mandate to buy health insurance so the insurance companies get their cut?