Chapter 1 of The Common Good
As I read this piece, I felt sickened at the thought that we have become complacent in these awful crimes. I feel as if most people just go about their lives - working, taking care of family, and not breaking any laws. It has become very hard for the middle class and the poor to just stay alive. I don't mean that in an apocalyptic way, I just mean it has become increasingly hard for all of us 'regular' folk. To refer to the broken windows theory, Mr. Trump came into office breaking windows left and right and it seems to me that we are trying to put in new windows by holding Mr. Trump accountable for some of those broken windows. Many Americans, myself included, question why have laws if the upper income elite are never being made to abide by them? I know it is not all black and white but it seems the gray area only applies to these elite. They have broken a lot of windows and are not being made to fix them. I don't know, I am disillusioned and scared. Nobody is going to have to worry about any broken windows when the climate change kills us all.
Nixon was pardoned, we got Reagan. Reagan was never held to account for Iran/Contra or treason with Iran to throw the 1980 election, we got W. W was never held to account for illegal wars, war crimes or a financial collapse, we got Trump. If Trump is not held to account what do we get? We get Hitler Trump, Dicktator for Life.
Since Guiliani admitted he lied about those two election workers in Georgia, I hope they sue in civil court for damages. That would be a slam dunk winner. They suffered fear, due to his lies, and threats of violence. They deserve to gain financially for what they were put through because of him.
Quite a litany of political and economic fraud here! It is however worth pointing out that corruption in politics isn't only a US phenomenon eg in Britain possibly the largest fraud in politics was the exit from the EU which was sold to ordinary voters as a financial benefit but was bankrolled by free marketeers from the US as well as the UK who wanted to omit or water down EU Labour and environmental standards that interfered with profits making opportunities.
A limited but more tragic episode was Grenfell Tower where over 60 people (mainly poorer immigrants) died in a fire caused by fire resistant cladding being substuted for by cheaper materials as a result of weak building regulation enforcement attributable to cuts in local authorities budgets that in turn funded tax cuts to tge wealthy.The slow drip of erosion in public trust in its leaders is akin to a steady stream or brook that eventually bursts its banks with catastrophic consequences but unless we can find a meaningful way to counteract the vested interests that pollute our political waters public disengagement with politics will continue.
The original asbestos regulation from ODHA was maybe 5 pages long. It got thicker and thicker. Now asbestos regulations exist from the OSHA agencies and also the EPA (which issued a huge asbestos regulation), state and local agencies, and consensus standards and trade association standard that fill big three-ring binders (plural). The search for loopholes makes regulation grow like weeds.
People in positions of trust, such as college athletic coaches, have been found wanting. We now have the shareholder value theory that places profit over everything every time. Everything has been monetized. Lewis Powell recommended hiring scholars to develop credible arguments for what big business wants and monitoring the press and academia to present the business side. We lost the free press when news became a profit center instead of a service in the 70s, probably an early implementation of Powell. We have some news, infotainment, and feel good stories. Harvest of Shame and Silent Spring are in the distant past.
This is the third time I have read this information and it still disturbs me. A couple of things I have noticed, nearly everyone involved in these scandals is a white male. For me it displays the arrogance of white maldedom and its believe it can do anything and if a certain white male does it, it can't really be a crime. (This is an implied part of Trump's defense.) I also noticed how many banks were and are involved and how easily our government rushes in to help those institutions with no penalties applied to them and their behavior. In 2007-9 or so, our government could have forgiven masses of mortgages and that money could have gone to the banks while families, neighborhoods, and communities could have been saved devastation. Creative thinking is certainly not valued unless it allows some other guy or corporation to cheat someone with impunity. Trump is a result, but a carefully crafted result. Republicans/conservatives/rich guys want the people to not only be ignorant of what is going on, but also resentful, angry, and distrustful. Those are the ingredients of a rich guy victory over regulation, civility, caring, and the rest of the positive feelings that might cause us all to stop them in their tracks. Since Citizens United 13 years ago, our mostly white male Supreme court told the greedy white men in charge it is OK to spend whatever you want to buy candidates because money is speech and our first amendment says we have free speech. They also lied that corporations are persons. When even the Supreme Court lies easily and with impunity, what hope is there for the rest of us to stop the rich guy lying, cheating, bullying, and committing vast crimes against humanity and in particular, against the American people. I am grateful the book gets better.
Great point about Broken Windows never applying to white collar crime.
Crime rates plunged at that time all over America and the Western world at roughly the same rates as NYC - from Seattle to Paris to Prague, Minneapolis to New Orleans. Everywhere. The sane thing happened with booming economies at that time. All boats really did rise.
There are many theories why - end of the crack epidemic, even lead gasoline regulations rolling out twenty years before, creating a less aggressive group of young people.
I like to think it was fueled at least in part by by the Bill Clinton economic boom, which also helped economic conditions in other countries. It’s still not settled. One thing is clear though - Guiliani did not invent Broken Windows nor did he implement it in New York, as he always claimed. Commissioner Bill Britton did, which is why he was eventually pushed out by the petty mayor - Britton got too much positive press.
It’s skis clear that a Guiliani had little to do with falling crime rates or economic conditions in New York. The only decisions he made as Mayor - to put the emergency center inside the World Trade Center after it had already been bombed and to incite racial animus between New Yorkers - were disastrous.
His one skill was in peddling a heroic storyline about himself to a credulous media. Those of us who lived through his awful reign as mayor know the truth about him.
No consequences = chaos and the fomenting of amorality. I’m looking forward to THE COMMON GOOD.
"Being caught" repeated studies show. That costs money and the GOP refuses to make that happen. Why? Their super-rich buddies DON'T WANT TO BE CAUGHT, and they are very very expensive to convict. Thus the GOP wants to defund the IRS.
THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH AMERICA TODAY IS THE GOP DESPERATE TO GRAB POWER USING CRIMINAL MEANS.
A brilliant synopsis of post-modern US history, a history that has defined my adulthood in this old world, that I saw as it came to pass. Each item Dr Reich lists could serve as a chapter title in such a text. I seldom suffer awe these days, but I've just had the vague memory of what it's like in reading today's offering! Bravo, Dr Reich!
Giuliani signalled his disregard for the law very early in his tenure as mayor. There was a woman who was going topless in the subways. Not surprisingly, the transit police arrested her. She fought it in court. The head of the subway system opined that it "could lead to a mis-adventure in a subterranean passageway." The courts held in her favor, that she did, in fact, have the legal right to go topless in the subway. Giuliani ordered the transit police to arrest her anyway. Apparently when people talk about "law and order" that doesn't actually mean that they respect the law.
The Party of Law and Order! Not
In a Democracy, Law is the foundation for the country. And NO ONE should be above the law. Take it away and everything falls apart. And instead of civilization you get, anarchy, chaos and destruction. The law must always function and apply to everyone equally! In recent times, we have seen how certain people have been above the law.
When the American people see this they start losing confidence in their government and they start questioning whether they are being manipulated by their government!
The completely unhinged FORMER White House occupant who’s shown no respect for the rule of law and a deep craving to lie, steal, and promote conflict and carnage, needs to be convicted for his crimes!
Trust is something that has to be earned and it takes a lot longer to get people to trust you than it takes to lose that trust. Lie to them one time and it’s usually lost. However today because so many politicians lie to their constituents a big division has been created! The American people don’t know who they can trust.
If we are to ever get our country back together our elected officials and appointed officials have got to STOP LYING!! You are the leaders Starting with the President and the SCOTUS.
Excellent list of criminal activity of our leaders and "models." My passion is to write about the #ClimateEmergency. As corporations and politicians jump on the technology bandwagon, the necessary leap is ignored, behavioral. If we don't change our behavior, our time on Earth will have been needlessly short.
Ayn Rand - the root of all evil today
Denny Hastert's pedophilia & Ted Stevens' corruption should also have gotten mention (even if the latter's conviction was later overturned): Hastert was the highest-ranking elected official in U.S. history to serve a prison sentence & Stevens was the longest-serving U.S. Senator to have ever lost a bid for re-election.
Lying lies & the lying liars who tell them - and worse ("family values" != ethics).
Thank you, Robert.
Sadly I think everyone knows that MOBSTERS, PRIESTS and POLITICIANS exploit rules to the disadvantage of society for the last 10,000 years or more.
THE ONLY SOLUTION, shown by years of studies, IS THAT PREVENTION ONLY COMES WHEN CRIMINALS KNOW THEY WILL BE CAUGHT. (not convicted, just caught)
You should include this #1 important fact in all articles on criminality and rule-breaking