Bank CEO blasts peers for not seeing inequality (per The Charlotte Observer)

With more interest and advocacy for the disenfranchised in our midst, an article by Austin Weinstein of The Charlotte Observer caught my this week called “Bank CEO blasts peers for not seeing inequality. A link to the article is below.

I have written often about the “haves and have-nots” in America. The disparity has been worsening for years and it now matters more to whom and where you were born than merit. Sadly, the declining middle class and growing poverty problem has been addressed by more trickle down economics and attacks on benefits to help people in need.

Per The Charlotte Observer:

“Kelly King, the CEO of Truist — America’s sixth largest bank — issued an exhortation to the economic elite of North Carolina and the country: We are blind to the difficult lives of many in the U.S. and must work to resolve the country’s educational and economic divides, or risk the consequences.

‘We see what happens when we have this giant divide between the haves and the have-nots,’ King said to bankers and executives gathered in Durham for an annual economic forecast hosted by the North Carolina Chamber and North Carolina Bankers Association. ‘If we have this scenario where people lose hope, they have no sense of opportunity, they’re dysfunctional. They get mad, they get on drugs, they get guns, they start shooting.’…

While there are many origins to America’s widespread educational and economic inequality, King pointed to the perceived failures of American public school system as one of the paramount reasons for the divides in the country. If people can’t read or do simple math, he said, they are effectively left out of much of the U.S. economy.

‘We are cheating our kids and our grandkids of a future,’ King said. ‘They will not have the same kind of life we have had,” he warned, if the current course of the country isn’t changed.'”

We must invest in our children and our communities. Asset Based Community Development means repurposing depleted assets or restoring them to original form. A neighborhood school is more than a place of seven hour education. It offers a community meeting place for after-school programs, neighborhood meetings, civic meetings, exercise classes, etc. Inviting schools, rewarded teachers, safety mind-sets, etc. will reinforce better education for our kids.

King’s admonition speaks to the crisis it is. The US disparity has widened at the same time our educational ranks in science and math have fallen. If we don’t invest in our kids, we really don’t have the standing to speak of American exceptionalism. It is hard to be a shining light on a hill if we fall from the top.

Read more here:


7 thoughts on “Bank CEO blasts peers for not seeing inequality (per The Charlotte Observer)

  1. Note to Readers: Truist is the new name of the bank created by the merger of BB&T and SunTrust. I have written before about what seems to be a more egalitarian leadership model at BB&T than what I have seen at some other banks. I emphasize this as King’s admonishment should be viewed through that context.

  2. Hello Keith. I agree that education has declined in the US. I did not have an opportunity to get a good solid education, even at times being forbidden from having even school books at home. However I find I have a basic knowledge greater than some kids today. Especially in civics and History. I blame a lot of this lack of education and teaching on religion. Yes there is no doubt that money plays a huge role in educating students, but the fundamentals of our understanding of reality have been under a direct sustained attack by well funded religious groups, with the aim of not teaching biology, not teaching cosmology, not teaching history accurately, not teaching basically anything that disagrees with their religious doctrines. I remember when a young man who often stayed at our home who was in a religious school at age 16 came in and proudly told us how this country was founded by god on the Christian bible and people were violating the constitution and the holy nation our founding fathers tried to create. It took us several days to show him the reality of it, how he was being taught incorrectly. He kept saying “But teacher so so said this … ” and we would have to look it up and prove to him it was wrong. Even with that, even with him knowing the truth, he had to lie on his tests to get a passing grade in school. It left a mark on him. Think of the many home schooled kids, church schooled kids, who never had anyone work with them to teach them the truth and expose the lies they are being taught. That is why we are seeing religious dogma take over the secular nation. It is a scary thing but the religious groups are making an relentless attack on public schools. To the point if they can not get their dogma in the public schools they will destroy them and force a need for taxpayer supported Christian religious schools. However none of those fake other religious, they do not get tax payer funded schools. Hugs

    • Scottie, I appreciate your thoughts. I think much of the home and parochial schooling is due more to racial fear than religion. When kids are not exposed to diversity, they are not accustomed to diverse thinking.

      Schools have to attract, reward and give freedom to good teachers. That is when learning occurs. I can remember every good and bad teacher. Kids need to learn how to think. As a math oriented person, I also think we need to to teach without calculators. We have to know what the computers and calcuators are doing.


  3. Good post, Keith! It is encouraging to see a CEO of a large bank speaking out, understanding the income disparity and the consequences of ignoring 99% of the people in the nation. Our current state of education is beyond troublesome … it is leading us to a road we will soon regret, where only the children of the elite can qualify for jobs in many fields, including government.

    • Jill, I agree, it is good to see a CEO who gets it. Too many don’t see the danger that is ahead. The data reveals America was most economically vibrant with a flourishing middle class. Keith

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