By Karen Petrou
In a blog post this summer, we assessed the history of U.S. public banks over three centuries. We concluded that, “The best way to ensure that financial intermediation advances social welfare is to define a carefully-constrained charter, mandate transparent limits on self-dealing up front, and ensure that the bank is fit for purpose under reasonable rules that ensure long-term profit in concert with effective public service. Public subsidies to support public service make sense, but only when sufficient regulation and private-sector discipline constrain the natural self-serving instincts of all-too-many politicians.” Maybe so, but sizeable minorities of voters this November said that they so distrust private banks that they want a public alternative no matter the controls that might apply. In a blue-wave mood, federal legislators are listening. Continue reading “Public Banking Under a Blue Wave”
By Karen Shaw Petrou and Basil N. Petrou
Can a change in financial policy that speeds cures for blindness also cure the way disability now exacerbates U.S. economic inequality? Legislation introduced just yesterday shows how.
Like most severe disabilities, blindness and significant vision impairment are major causes of un- and under-employment. 72 percent of blind Americans are not employed on a full-time basis, which by definition almost always makes them among the most economically unequal of all Americans regardless of race, age, or region. To be sure, some blind people are gainfully employed – determination over the years and, now, technology and guide dogs drop the barriers to full achievement in almost every line of work and profession. But far too often, the problems in education that disadvantage all too many Americans are still worse for the disabled, as are perceptions about incapacity and even downright discrimination. Continue reading “Seeing One Way Out”