Letters to the Editor for the weekly print issue of July 2, 2012: When power is concentrated – as in big banks like Jamie Dimon's JPMorgan Chase – expect some tyranny. Marijuana is an insidious drug, more harmful than many have been led to believe.
Certainly, a business or industry must be profitable to stay in business. The question becomes: How much profit is reasonable, and how is that profit distributed? That opens the subject of economics, capitalism, and the broader purpose of government.
It is my observation that we have many business complexes – financial, health, publishing, legal – which have very little visibility. The situation is very similar to the "money trust" the Pujo Committee (congressional subcommittee) found in 1912-13 during its investigation of powerful Wall Street bankers. Not much had changed by the big crash of 1929, which precipitated the Great Depression.
When power is concentrated, whether in an individual, group, or industry, you can expect some type of tyranny. As Justice Louis Brandeis pointed out: "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."