Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some Great Ideas for Wall Street Reform

In a recent column in Rolling Stone, Matt Taibi offered some concrete proposals for reforming Wall Street that I think are worth merit. Incidentally, it seems to me lately that many Christians have become knee-jerk defenders of anything remotely labeled capitalism. There is no question the Bible supports personal property rights (Acts 5:3-4), and promotes the individual work ethic (Ephesians 4:28). But there is also no question that the Bible condemns stealing (Ephesians 4:28), as well as the abuse of the poor by the wealthy (James 5:1-6), and affirms the role of the civil government in punishing evildoers (Romans 13:3-7). With that in mind, here are my favorite reforms Taibi mentions:

  1. Break up the "too big to fail" companies that are in reality monopolies, and mandate the separation of insurance companies, investment banks and commercial banks.
  2. Institute a one percent tax on all trades of stocks, bonds and derivatives to pay back all bailout money and pay down the deficit.
  3. Prohibit companies that received public money for bailouts to then lobby Congress (until they have paid back their debt).
  4. Eliminate the carried-interest tax break so that hedge fund gamblers pay the tax rate on earnings appropriate to their bracket as opposed to the flat 15% they normally pay.

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