Rising bank related crime is a concern nationwide. In the past fifteen years cities across the nation have seen spikes in junk mortgages, insider trading, and over-speculation, which many law enforcement officials attribute to decreased federal spending on banking prevention and more juveniles becoming involved in the investment banking industry.
In response to the public outcry for help, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposed a bill that would provide funding for after-school programs that would discourage children from joining investment banking firms.
“Obviously, there are a lot of ways to respond to these concerns,” Sanders said in a speech Monday, “but what I have always believed is that we take a giant step forward when we provide children with constructive activities so that they are not just hanging out on Wall Street corner offices selling bad loans or looking for investment opportunities. Whether it is an after-school mentoring program, athletics, music, camping, factory jobs, or just a place for them to hang out together – our young people do much better when they are able to channel their energies into constructive and positive activities instead of joining these vicious gangs of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. That is exactly what these grants are about.”
Citizens like Diane Park, who lost her home in a hazing ritual where a bank’s board members drove around a neighborhood without their lights on and then foreclosed on the first house that flashed their lights at them, are applauding this call to action. “It’s easy to look at the bankers and blame them for the terrible things they’ve done,” Park says, “but we have to look inwards and see how we as a society have failed them.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has criticized the bill saying that it focuses too hard on stopping kids from becoming supernicepredators and not hard enough on discouraging them from being black.