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Letter: A public service


Thursday, July 12, 2018

I have been reading the essay series “We hold these truths to be self-evident …,” sponsored by the Franklin County League of Women Voters, with interest and enjoyment. The four that have appeared so far all touch on essential issues for our time (the founding documents that define the relationship between our government and the people governed, by Alyssa Arnell; the necessity of a free press for a free democratic society, by B.J. Roche; the importance of legal protections against job discrimination, by Roxann Wedegartner; and by Ken Bertch, on the origins and effects of security law. In reading this last one, several things struck me as particularly important.

First, the initial impetus for regulation of the securities and investment sector of our economy came from a Republican bank commissioner more than 100 years ago. Second, it arose from his apparent concern for the well-being of the people of his state. Third, in his presidential campaign and later in his statements to the nation, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt presented sophisticated economic views in complex (and grammatically correct) sentences, expressing a personal understanding of the workings of national and international markets, his belief in the value of truth-telling, and also — perhaps most important — his view that it is the responsibility of those who govern to care about the welfare of the citizenry.

Thank you and to the league for undertaking the publication of this series. It is a fine public service.