Are Bankers Evil?

Of course not.  I guess I should say that they’re no more or less good or evil than the rest of us.  The same could be said about stock brokers, hedge fund managers and CEO’s.  They’re just people.  Yet, in the current political and economic climate, they are taking a rhetorical pounding from the left.  The right does the same thing targeting unions, lawyers, academics and the like.

Here’s the thing.  If you choose your villain of choice, be it Rush Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, George Soros, Michael Moore, and put them in a situation where they are personally faced with a moral choice, chances are, we’d all do the same thing.  We wouldn’t let a child starve or die because of the inability to pay a medical bill.  The people cheering the death penalty or the prospect of letting an uninsured person die at the recent GOP debates would not behave that way when confronted with such questions on a personal level. 

I don’t believe that most people would turn away from human need when confronted with it on a personal level, but those same people, which is to say us, , are doing just that on a societal level.   How do those two statements tie together?  Well, I think that we as individuals live in a landscape full of structures of injustice that make ordinary people do and say things that they never would in person.

I’d write more, but I’m really tired. But the next time you are faced with a political choice regarding human need, ask yourself this.  If you were faced, on an intimate level, with a starving child, would you vote against aiding that child simply because the proposed solution does not align with your political beliefs?  I doubt it.


About Andrew

I'm a Christian, American, liberal, geeky, thoughtful, Northwest-transplanted Angeleno husband, father, and pundit who writes about anything he can think of.
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4 Responses to Are Bankers Evil?

  1. Liz V. says:

    Unfortunately, a system has taken root that makes it more probable that even normal everyday people will make decisions that harm others. Are bankers evil? Going by averages, probably a few are, a few are saintlike and the rest are in between. (Not taking into account the influence of generations of corruption and power) But many corporations, including Banks, have taken dehumanizing people to a new level. And the people who work for them have to go along with it or lose their jobs. Someone has to pay for all the money that has been stolen from the American people. Why not make it the people responsible?

  2. Andrew says:

    Hi Liz,
    I fully agree with what you’re saying about the system forcing people into decisions that they would not make if they had a choice, and about making the banks step up and take responsibility for the damage they have caused. I was too tired to fully flesh out my main point, which goes along with what you’re saying, but in crafting a response to your comment, it just came to me. Stay tuned for the next post.

    And thanks for making me work my brain! 🙂

  3. John Keller says:

    Are Banks Evil? Well bankers and corporations are made up of people so I would say that banks have the same percentage of evil as society has of evil, Any organization will be a reflection of the society it is currently functioning under.

    Andrew you also state that if I was faced with someone who had need on a personal level would I vote to help him and the answer is probably. That does not mean I would not help that person myself with my money and not that I would not try and convince others to help but in the end it must be there choice. I feel it is wrong to force someone else to do or take there money for what I feel is right regardless of what they feel or ability to pay. It is a very slippery slope that people walk down when they start voting to do what they think is write on behalf of other people with other peoples money. One day someone else Idea of the write thing that you disagree with will come and take your money. Beware the sword you give to someone else they may just be a monster and cut you down.

    When government takes the responsibility for accomplishing a task regardless of how well they execute it people feel like they can stop helping because now it is someone eases responsibility. As for corporations the way it is supposed to work is that if a corporation makes bad decisions or loses costumers they are supposed to go bankrupt but what we have done with the banks is through government reward stupidity. First through fanny mae and freddy mac buying bad lone’s then when the systems explodes we give them more money so they can go right on doing dumb decisions that hurt people.

    I have been going all over the place so one more random foot note wont hurt to much. Regardless of how much good any one program is or isn’t doing the government simply does not have the money to do it. The bill for what we are doing is coming due and if we don’t find a way to live within our means soon (obviously not overnight) the whole thing might burn down around us. There are some necessary evils that must be funded but beyond that we should be very careful how we spend our money, some sacred cows will have to be cut . It is sort of like giving your friend rent money when you cant pay it your self and are about to be homeless.

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