Thursday, September 23, 2004

BUSTING CORPORATE CRIME

It certainly pays to be a corporate criminal these days—so many different ways to inflict misery and suffering on the public at large, while at the same time serving your craven lust for the accumulation of wealth! Sure, you're a criminal, but it's not as if the Department of Justice is breathing down your neck. Luckily for you, the FBI doesn't take the trouble to collect data on "suite" crime like they do for "street" crime. The DoJ's corporate crime division is so under-funded that it's unlikely they'll ever get around to you, unless you really slip up. Should things spiral out of control and a couple of plainclothes federal agents appear on your porch, rest assured that you'll have the wherewithal to retain the choicest legal counsel. Worst case scenario, you spend a little time in a minimum-security facility, catching up on all the reading you meant to do while you were ruining the lives of unsuspecting consumers, employees, and shareholders. After all, you're a white-collar criminal in a country that's run by corporate white-collar money.

Of course, the outlook's not as rosy if you're among the Americans currently trapped in the underbelly of the US criminal in-justice system—in which "three strikes" legislation runs rampant, and the threat of illegal search and seizure, harassment, and detainment without due process looms large for the poor and minorities. Two million men and women, whose numbers are increasing in lockstep with the expansion of the prison-industrial complex, constitute the largest prison population among industrialized nations and one-quarter of the world's prisoners. Nader/Camejo 2004 supports the achievement of a criminal justice system with impartial, humane standards.

The label criminal , as it is reserved for use by the mainstream media and the courts, has ceased to be synonymous with the concept of justice. The Nader/Camejo campaign wants to see more corporate criminals brought to account for their crimes, as they are sadly under-represented in the American prison population. This is no accident—corporate criminals have long been in the practice of papering government walls with money, for the purpose of currying favor with legislators and regulatory bodies. The fruits of their labor can be seen on the front pages with frightening regularity, whether in the form of another corporate swindle or the invasion of a sovereign nation for the oily satisfaction of corporate interests. The trend must be reversed by a galvanized effort from informed citizens—no one should be fooled into believing that either major-party candidate is capable of lifting a finger in the service of such an effort.

Check Ralph Nader's 12 Steps to Cracking Down on Corporate Crime for more information.

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