Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Corporate Policing

Human beings are complicated, conflicted creatures. We spend our lives wrestling with ourselves trying to choose the "right thing to do." To help us make the right choices, we establish government with laws to guide us. We fill every city with police officers to ensure that citizens behave properly. Even with this level of oversight, many citizens still make bad choices and sometimes have to be removed from society.

Interestingly, there is a bizarre disconnect when we are dealing with "corporate citizens." While few take exception to the regulations designed to enforce appropriate individual behavior, voices rise up in anger when we regulate the behaviors of corporate citizens. Some even suggest that corporate citizens should police themselves!

So my question is, if individual citizens are so bad at regulating their own behaviors that they require law enforcement on every street corner, how could we expect people who are operating under the anonymity of a corporation to behave appropriately with so little enforcement of such very weak regulations?

If you con someone out of their money and then you lose that money gambling, you have committed a crime. You may be prosecuted, fined far more than you lost gambling, and sent to jail. If Citibank cons someone out of their money and then loses that money gambling on risky investments, Citibank is reimbursed with tax subsidies while their victims lose their homes.

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