by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
It no longer enforces the law.
It now allows any large company to simply pay the direct costs of any felony misconduct, if caught, and walk off. We have seen this thousands of times. It is an unbroken string of conduct. During the financial blow up they did it with every bank that had ripped off the people, and in fact paid them in the form of below-market loans (in some cases basically free!) to further enable them to operate after their fraud-laced schemes blew up in their faces. They have done the same with pharma, and they don’t even bother indicting medical providers and hospitals.
“The non-prosecution agreement requires Waste Management to continue its substantial remedial measures to address all past immigration violations and forfeit more than $5.5 million in proceeds gained from hiring an illegal workforce at the Afton location,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, U.S. Southern District of Texas. “In considering whether to enter into such agreements, we must take into account the collateral consequences that a criminal prosecution would have on the company’s contracts with many municipalities across the country and the thousands of employees for the conduct of three managers at one operating unit in Houston.”
The entire point of criminal prosecution is collateral consequences!
If you or I did the same thing our business would be destroyed. On purpose. What this statement says is that it is policy of our government to never impose said consequences on large companies — at worst they pay for the direct costs of their criminal conduct, but never more, and never are they closed.
Of course criminals are not always caught, which means if you break the law five times and get caught twice you screw people successfully three out of five times and only have to pay back the direct theft the other two times.
No ordinary person ever gets such deference.
How many anchor babies were pooped out and then collected welfare as a result of this? How many of them (all) have consumed public resources — schooling, medical care, etc — while they would have never existed and such spending would not have happened but for the illegal conduct of this company.
Criminal prosecution is supposed to impose a wildly disparate punishment on purpose so it’s not worth it. If I can hold up a bank and if caught only have to pay back what I stole, with no other penalty, I will hold up a bank right now, I will do it again tomorrow, and I will do it again every single damn day because I never go to prison and I never have to fork up more than I stole. If I get away with it then the money is mine and if not I simply give it back.
Our government is no longer legitimate; it has declared itself illegitimate with that above paragraph. You no longer have any obligation to obey any law and you have every right to demand the same deference Waste Management got here and enforce that through whatever means are necessary.