Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shouldn't Tough on Crime Measures Include Being Tough on Corporate Crime?

The Conservative government is determined to forge ahead with their tough on crime agenda at a time when citizen crime is at it's lowest in our history.

As Edward Greenspan and Anthony Doob write in the Globe:
Everyone wants to reduce crime and use resources effectively. But the Conservative government’s “tough on crime” agenda would have you believe that crime is increasing and can only be reduced by using tougher penalties. This assertion is wrong, as is a study by an Ottawa-based think tank that reviewed the 2009 Statistics Canada report on crime.
Harper insider Scott Newark and the bogus MacDonald-Laurier think tank tried to suggest otherwise, but we're not buying it.

However, crime rates in another sector of the population is definitely on the rise. Corporate crime is the highest it's been in my memory, and yet instead of cracking down on it, the Harper government has put measures in place to make it easier for corporations to defraud the average taxpayer.

The new accounting laws that allow corporations to fudge their income statements, is not just about defrauding the wealthy, but also investments on our behalf through company pension funds and even CPP.

In his book Corporateering, Jamie Court asks why there are not "three strikes" laws and even the death penalty for big business when they commit criminal acts. Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street players spent no time in jail for creating the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Three strikes should apply to corporations, too. If a person can get jail for life for three criminal convictions, why shouldn't corporations face a similar standard? A corporate death penalty for any corporation convicted of three separate criminal offenses would set a new bar corporate responsibility and deter the corporate crime waves of tomorrow ... The first strike requires a full-page advertisement be taken out in major newspapers; the second necessitates a fine to the state treasury; the third results in the loss of the right to do business. Laws could be enacted at the state and federal level revoking the charter of any corporation that proved through its conduct that it was beyond rehabilitation. Trusteeships to take over of laid-off workers could be created. Mostly, however, such laws provide a deterrent to wrongdoing. (1)
Is that why all the hoopla about being tough on crime? They want to hide the fact that the corporate sector is being given a free pass? Something to think about.


1. Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom and What You Can do About it, by: Jamie Court, Penguin Books, 2003, ISBN: 1-58542-228-2, Pg. 256

1 comment:

  1. That is such a good idea, the three strikes for the corporations. Of course, that's in the US, but it's a good idea for Canada, too. Of course, it won't happen, but it's nice to think about, especially "loss of the right to do business"!
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel