Two important articles this morning that explain, from a much expanded perspective, one element of the official ratification of our government as a White Collar Criminal Oligarchy. That is what this country is today. The common man can and will be prosecuted for such minor things as transporting raw milk, or videotaping a public meeting or planting a garden (I have written specifically about each of these), but if you dream evil dreams and scheme evil schemes in grand enough fashion then set about to execute those evil schemes, you will get away with it.
This is not just chance. It is official government policy and it represents a tectonic shift away from the key foundations upon which our nation was founded. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, but one of the general themes behind American Exceptionalism was fairness, and a business ethic that recognized and respected the larger good. In this dangerous new era we find ourselves mired in, there are no rules and crime–if it’s big enough–is not punished.
If tomorrow, Congress announced that they were suspending the First Amendment or if the Supreme Court announced that they were declining to recognize the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, the American people might turn themselves away from the NFL for just a few minutes and voice a bit of protest…maybe for just a minute.
But this is precisely what is occurring…on a much, much larger scale, and so many other rights are being decimated on a regular basis…From the New York Times:
As the financial storm brewed in the summer of 2008 and institutions feared for their survival, a bit of good news bubbled through large banks and the law firms that defend them.
Federal prosecutors officially adopted new guidelines about charging corporations with crimes “” a softer approach that, longtime white-collar lawyers and former federal prosecutors say, helps explain the dearth of criminal cases despite a raft of inquiries into the financial crisis.
This is ass backwards. First, it is of absolutely no concern to a prosecutor what the impact of his work is on the quality of life of criminals. Would you ever hear a prosecutor say, ” Gee, we better not bust that drug dealer. His mom would be distraught, and think what it would do to his kids”? Prosecutors are in the business of enforcing the law. If there is something wrong with the law, that’s a different question, and remedies should fall to the legislature (but we’ve been plagued with an awfully creative Supreme Court). A ttorneys general do not have social or economic engineering as part of their job description.
Second, American business is hurt by the failure to investigate corrupt and potentially criminal activities. The failure to go after bad actors puts the good guys at a competitive disadvantage. Want to give American corporations a lousy reputation? The best way is to enable crooks. Honest businessmen will be under pressure to match the growth and profits of the miscreants.
Subprime lending is the poster child of why this ” enable bad businessmen” idea is a horrorshow. All the leaders in that business, Countrywide, New Century, Indymac, were criminal enterprises. They engaged in consumer and investor fraud, and not just one scam, but multiple scams. They left smoldering wreckage across the economy, imposting costs on individuals and enterprises that were innocent bystanders.