Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Folks, please note that this is not satire. This is a real answer to what I believe is an America needs, and it's damned simple to explain. I propose capital punishment for the most heinous white collar crimes.
Now, I'd probably be more supportive of my own proposal if I thought capital punishment were ever really a good idea, or if it really did act as a deterrent to people contemplating committing crime, or if I could be assured that, y'know, it was being implemented fairly, and that no innocent people were in danger of murder by chimpanzee governors and their troglodytic counsel.
If all this were possible to ignore, or if you believe that executing criminals does truly scare people from committing crimes, or if you simply don't care one way or the other and want revenge, then what could be bad or harmful about executing executives who steal fortunes, manipulate markets, bilk stockholders, shuffle debts and profits, illegally ship jobs overseas, accept bribes, and the like?
I'm not talking about Martha Stewart-sized crimes of tens of thousands of dollars. That's petty theft, frankly, and she seems to have gotten the business end of a relatively easy case to prosecute against a big old celebrity name, and insider trading isn't what I'm after anyway.
No, what I'm talking about are the shysters like WorldCom's Ebbers and Tyco' Kozlowski and Skilling and Kenny Boy over at Enron. Ebbers was intimately involved in a fraud of $11 billion. Enron's flimflammery resulted in thousands of employees being conned out of their retirements, and power customers in California no doubt died due to a falsified power outage (This is not hard to believe, as people die due to power outages all the time from lost A/C, traffic accidents, etc.). These are real lives lost due to corporate actions, undertaken in the most extreme of bad faith. Can you name one reason why these folks who engineered these bad faith policies, upon being convicted of crimes, deserve anything besides the Christian wrath of a governor or, if it's the Feds, the president himself? Using the arguments of the pro-death penalty crowd (this is payback for harming people, and, besides, it will act to deter followers from purusing the same bad actions), quite simply, I can see none.