The Common Good

Speak Up for Economic Sanity

This year Congress finally passed reform that can get some of Wall Street's most damaging and harebrained schemes under control -- but only if the ground-level regulations written to implement the law aren't filled with loopholes at the behest of financial lobbyists. That's where you, I, and a few mouse clicks come in.

As I wrote in Stopping the Next Food Crisis in the November issue of Sojourners, I'm particularly concerned about one financial area -- food and energy commodities futures -- that contributed to both the 2008 financial crash and the 2008 food crisis and riots. Sound too policy-wonk-ish for you to pay attention to? That's just what Wall Street and its swarm of lobbyists want you to think, but in fact there are a number of advocacy websites that can hook everyday people up with manageable, democracy-enabling analyses of key issues -- and, just as importantly, easy ways to email the specific rule-writing agencies that are taking comments from the public.

Who is this public being listened to? It should and must mean you and me. We must speak up, or the public servants who are writing the rules will hear only from the crowd of lobbyists hired by the financial industry (yup, the same one that drove our economy off a cliff while its executives made a bundle doing it).

I'll be writing more about this in the next few weeks, but as a down-payment, let me recommend the Stop Gambling On Hunger page, which is currently offering a way to send an email (pre-wonkified for your advocacy convenience) to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, for a public comment period open until November 30. Surf on over and check it out -- and, either there or at the site of your choice, stay tuned for ways to click for economic sanity.

Elizabeth Palmberg is an associate editor of Sojourners.

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