Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who am I, anyway, my dear, esteemed legislature?

When I gave up my home in Santa Fe, in the paradise of Northern New Mexico, to become wealthy and renowned in Central Texas, my uncle Jim, who along with my dad, was responsible for luring me into this move, made a statement that estranged us for life. Uncle Jim told me that people would try to take advantage of me. “That’s human nature”, he said. I didn’t believe him. In my world, people weren’t like that. I never did like Uncle Jim much after that, especially since it always seemed that it was Uncle Jim who took advantage of me most of all!

The more I think about it in these more advanced times, the more I think that perhaps I was wrong, and Uncle Jim was right.

The Congress, each and every one of the representatives we elect, must take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic". In my opinion, "domestic" could well mean the Uncle Jims of this country. The hard won regulations that Congress had initiated over a long period of time in response to problems caused by their lack, began to dissolve in the '80s, as the administrative branch of the Federal Government began to increase its support of big business.

Regulations get in the way. Yes, they do! When I say that I'd prefer that the gu'ment stay out of my business, it's a small thing, and is not likely to receive much action. But if I were to say that the gu'ment should protect me from the unscrupulous actions of "salesmen", and large corporations, then it's a small thing, and is not likely to receive much action.

When I was growing up in Texas, branch banks were illegal in the state. I had to move to New Mexico before I ever saw a branch bank. Now, Texas banking laws have been changed, and deregulation has allowed banks to provide services they were not allowed "in the old days", and virtually ALL banks are branch banks.

Our locally owned First National Bank was bought by Mbna, then Nationsbank, and now it's Bank Of America. Apparently, now, banks are too big to be allowed to fail, and the public is having to bail out these mismanaged private sector businesses BIGTIME!

Once, Texas had usury laws. If anyone really reads this stuff, they might remember that within the past year, I wrote in one of my entries that the private sector building industry needed to get rid of the usury laws to get money flowing in from out of state. Yes, I suppose that's true, but now, it appears that money flows OUT of the state at a faster rate than it used to. What's gained?

In addition, the banks have set up headquarters in the state that allows the most usurious lending practices in the country, and does their business under the laws of that state!

I'm old enough to remember a number of automobile manufacturers that once made vehicles in the US, and failed, leaving the Big Three, which, they say cannot be allowed to fail.

I met a banker back in about 1965, at a social function. When I mentioned that I was an architect, he he said he really admired me, a person who combined the talents of an artist and an engineer, but I was doomed. The trend would be toward big, powerful, corporations, which would be handling all business in the future.

I'm sure he was probably right, judging from the way things are done today, but when the Constitution was written, there weren't all that many national or global corporations. I'm inclined to think that the intent of our Constitution was to be for the benefit of citizens, not huge businesses.

I'm a citizen. I think the Congress should return to its intended purpose, to protect ME from enemies, both foreign and domestic.


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