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People must participate

Reader Input
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Confirming Norman Pettit’s letter, “Wake up and dare to speak up,” (Reader Input, Nov. 27): Democracy defined is “a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in, and exercised by, the people.” Implied in the word “exercised” is that pesky obligation that all of us have to participate in, actively, if this whole business of “government by the people” is to work. You can’t be a player standing on the sidelines. If, for instance, we are disgusted by Wall Street and our do-nothing Congress, we are obliged to do something about it. For starters, we can contact our lawmakers demanding two things I think are critical: (1), re-enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act and (2), the breakup of financial institutions too big to fail. Glass-Steagall, according to “Investopedia,” was enacted in 1933 in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929, and, a nationwide bank failure. The intent of the act was to separate investment and commercial bank activities — greed, speculation and excessive risk were the “main culprits” then, as they are today. We can do without sub-prime mortgages sliced and diced into junk bonds. And I think we have had enough of “heads they win, tails we lose.” The second issue, the need to break up financial institutions too big to fail should be self-evident. Mr. Pettit is right: “dare to speak up.” BILL HARDER SR., Auburn