I don’t usually start my blogposts with video, but William K. Black seems to me right on the money about a number of issues: capitalism, regulation, the economy and how the world should move forward. The reason I’m posting it here is mostly because of the end of it. He talks there about what can and should be done now, and about how the ideology of Wall street has pervaded US society and law enforcement. The basic idea is this one: if you give people freedom, they will prosper. But the fact is: that just gives frauds the opportunity to prosper. So the most important idea of liberalism (in the European sense) has always been to punish the bad guys. That’s the one duty of government that everybody always used to agree on.
Apparently even that basic idea was let go in the Bush administration and to some extent before that by the Clinton administration as well. Because what capitalism should do is to allow honest business men and women to prosper. Let me repeat that and stress it: capitalism should allow honest business men and women to prosper. That’s the reason pyramid schemes (and gifting programs etc.) are punishable by law. Guess what: this current economic collapse is one big pyramid scheme that has collapsed. Why has it collapsed? Because it wasn’t punished for fraud before it collapsed. Pyramid schemes are inherently unstable: they WILL collapse at some point. Calling them on fraud just makes sure less people fall for the scheme before it does collapse.
Alright: back to morality. In the savings and loans crisis only about 10% of the bank bosses were fraudulent, even though there was no one to punish the bad guys. Why? They had ethics. They had integrity. It’s sad to see that right now at the top of the banks the good guys seem to be totally absent.
I guess it comes down to this: if the frauds aren’t punished, the good guys loose. And the worrisome thing is that Barack Obama seems so intent on only stressing the positive, that he has refused to punish the bad guys – not just in this, but also where they were using torture methods (that don’t even work) to get confessions out of prisoners. I mean – the managers who sanctioned that should at least be fired if not prosecuted by law.
To get this back to my usual topics a bit: do you all think that the bad guys should be punished, or should even the government just turn the other cheek and move on?