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What Do You Think?

October 05, 2008

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week there were three poll questions. The first question was: What do you think is the main cause of the current economic crisis?

"The main cause is the federal government failure to require and enforce common-sense financial regulations for the home lending industry. We are tilting at windmills.}

"When you have a huge, complicated mess, there is very rarely just one root cause or one root cure. Greed fuels enterprise. If there is money involved, there's a bunch of people who want the most of it. Regulation is a nice little word, but when it's misapplied and becomes a rubber-stamp type process instead of really looking at an individual situation, it doesn't really do itself justice. But if there was the correct type of regulation, there wouldn't be unchecked spending. In private enterprise, the legislature should have very little to do with it - that's why we have administrative agencies in government and if they were paying attention to what the banks were doing, this could have been taken care of much earlier."

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"The cause is actually very simple. The entire financial system is based on a 'Big Lie.' There is no such thing as paper money. ALL paper money whether it be cash, stocks or contracts are nothing but promissory notes. Otherwise known as IOUs. Our legal tender is nothing but a form of printed usury. Entire industries and businesses are based on this form of usury. ALL insurance companies, banks and other financial companies and, of course, Wall Street. You simply cannot have a society that has entire sectors that enrich themselves by producing nothing, ruling over those that actually produce wealth for the nation. 'The Case For Gold as Money' is as strong as it's ever been."

"I think to say paper money is a promissory note and a 'big lie' in the same breath is a bit contradictory. The implication of a promissory note is that two parties agree to its terms and the risk involved when entering into the promissory or credit agreement. That the lender believes the borrower will repay, and that the borrower believes the lender really has the commodity he or she wants to borrow is what gives the note any value or meaning, right?"

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around (the banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. - Thomas Jefferson."

"Most of America is to blame. People should not have been taking mortgages that they were not going to be able to pay and people were speculating and buying more then one house in the hopes of selling for big profit. Builders were building like crazy and so once the prices stopped going up, the market crumbled and you ended up with more houses then people who were looking to buy a house. Funny how no one is blaming the people of this country, who mismanage their finances and live beyond their means. Pretty pathetic overall the way the citizens of this country live beyond their means and cannot save anything."

"I hope the next time someone proposes 'deregulating' something, people stop them. We deregulated the airline industry and fares are higher than ever. The phone companies were deregulated and now we have essentially one company - with lousy service - to choose from. Electric companies were deregulated to provide competition and lower rates - guess what - no competition and now we are to experience 100 percent increases in our electric bills. Banks were deregulated and told to sell, sell, sell mortgages and loans - many to people who obviously were not qualified. I don't think deregulation is a good thing."

The second question was: What concerns you the most about the ongoing financial crisis?

"This is a financial crisis and the easiest cure is to print more money, which will lead to more inflation. So if you are on a modest fixed income, your standard of living will decline. This is not a material crisis, i.e., a shortage of oil, and it is not a political crisis, i.e., a war. Financial crises are easier to solve by governments who have really fast printing presses. What concerns me most is whether or not we have learned anything from this financial crisis and whether or not the government will use this crisis to further infringe on our constitutional rights."

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