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Return to old-fashioned entrepreneurship

Armstrong Williams | 6/7/2012, 2:40 p.m.
At Thanksgiving, embracing the winds of change and increasing our faith

Because the language of this act has remained largely unchanged, banks continue to dominate, if not monopolize, the market nearly 150 years later. It is because of this act that the federal government spent $200 billion bailing out Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and other nationwide banks in 2008.

Given their prevailing 20th-century mentality and saddled with new and burdensome regulations, banks have little incentive to develop affordable credit options to serve the needs of millions of American consumers. I'm not talking about the Warren Buffetts of the world; I'm talking about people who wake up every day worried about the future, which unfortunately accounts for most of us. A report released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development found that 127.5 million people are liquid-asset poor, meaning that a sudden loss in household income would leave them below the poverty line in just three months.

Real progress lies in old-fashioned entrepreneurship; this is the same kind of innovation that took us from a rotary-dial landline to a cell phone and from analog television to digital cable. Emerging technology in the non-bank financial space is a natural progression from a bank-centered economic system. Yet, qualified trendsetters are stymied by a regulatory environment resistant to business models other than traditional banks. Marketplace innovations are unduly restricted by an antiquated financial system that has failed to keep up with the changing demands of consumers. The government needs to realize that like AT&T, national bank giants eventually need to be broken up and weaned off heavy government subsidies. That way, other competitors in the marketplace can spur innovation in consumer finance without having to worry about too much government regulation.

Armstrong Williams content can be found on RightSideWire.com. He is also the author of the new book "Reawakening Virtues." Come join the discussion live 4-5 p.m., 6-8 p.m. ET at www.livestream.com/armstrongwilliams or tune into S.C. WGCV 4-5 p.m., Sirius/XM Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. ET, 6-7 p.m. D.C. a.m. 730 WTNT, 7-8 p.m. WGNU a.m. 920 St. Louis. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.