Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
3 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Pocket Change Punishment

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 7/18/10

opednews.com

Approximately a year ago, a jury fined a college student, Joel Tenenbaum, $675,000 for sharing some 30 songs over a popular file sharing network.1 He could have been fined up to $5.4 million, or $150,000 per infringement. Just weeks before, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was fined $1.92 million, or $80,000 per song, for sharing just 24 songs. It is too bad the SEC doesn't have the ruthless and blood thirsty lawyers who work for the RIAA. Because if it did, they would definitely have obtained a settlement much more worthy of the word "punishment".

Just days ago, Goldmans Sachs agreed to settle their securities fraud case against the SEC for $550 million, less than 50 cents on the dollar of the overall infringement.2 Being that Goldman made $12.1 billion in 2009, I'd hardly call that a punishment. It's more like pocket change. Goldman's payout amounts to only 3.4% of their bonus pool. Executives will pay more to the IRS in taxes than defrauded investors will receive in compensation.

Meanwhile, AIG, the company who was bailed out to the tune of $180 billion, had been shelling out some of that money to pay off their allegations of fraud. As it turns out, while hard-working Americans were losing their jobs, houses, and retirement, while at the same time being essentially robbed by the government to bail out AIG, the good-boy network had been filing incorrect accounting records, manipulating stock prices, and participating in anti-competitive practices since as far back as 1999.3 At the end of the day, AIG had to pay back a mere 1/2% of their take in a government issued bailout for some 6 years of illegal behavior.

In spite of the flood of lies coming from the main-stream media about the improving economy, the feds closed another 6 banks, increasing the number for the year to 96, or roughly 13 per month. So far, 2010 closures are 71% more than the 57 that had been closed this same time last year.4

The government seems to be doing a little something to pacify the people, but does anyone think that the actions of the government will make things better for the people? Get ready for the banks to start behaving much like the airlines are now. They're going to have fees for everything from writing checks to not using your debit card enough, or for not keeping your balance high enough. Some suggest they'll even charge you a fee for simply getting at your money.5 It might be time to start dusting off the mason jars.

Though the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as individuals,6 companies do not seem to receive the same treatment under the law when it comes to their crimes. Was Tenenbaum allowed to "pay off" his misdeeds with just a fraction of a percent of the assessment of his crime? Even though a judge cut his fine to 10% of the original award7, if he were treated the same as corporations, they should have allowed him to settle for just $2,700. But in a fascist society, the only true citizens are the constituents of the lawmakers, which are corporations, while the people are just pawns to play in the continuing game of greed, fraud, and corruption.

  1. Torrent Freak - Student Hit With $675,000 Fine in RIAA File-Sharing Case
  2. Huffington Post - Goldman Sachs SEC SETTLEMENT Reached -- And Stock SOARS
  3. Fortune - AIG settles longstanding fraud cases for $1 billion
  4. USA Today - Regulators shut 6 more banks, making 96 failures for the year
  5. USA Today - Banks eye higher fees to boost declining revenue
  6. AllLaw.com - Supreme Court Ruled Corporations Have Same 1st Amendment Rights as Individuals in Landmark Campaign Finance Case
  7. The Guardian - Filesharer Joel Tenenbaum has fine reduced by 90%

 

Steven Saw is an activist educating the public about the depth of government and corporate corruption in America. Steven runs a blog, has been published in a number of sites, and was a featured guest on FreedomFighterRadio.
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Five for One - H1-B Program Fails to Benefit American Economy

And For Other Purposes

Generation O - The End of Privacy

Awash In Greed

Playing Bank

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

We all must take a stand against the current Socio... by Steven Saw on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 2:53:36 AM
what's a minnow to do?... by Margaret Bassett on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 2:55:13 AM
Do you really consider yourself a minnow? That may... by Steven Saw on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 8:12:01 AM