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Recession 101: How Goldman Got Away with Murder

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Message Jason Palmer

Reason #1

Izzard's first point that mass murderers get away with their crimes because they kill their own people is a sad reality. Similarly, Wall Street villains have benefitted from America's apathy when it comes to billion-dollar corporate fraud, and the reason is simple: banks like Goldman Sachs directly robbed wealthy investors and multimillion-dollar companies--in other words, they killed their own kind.

Of course, many of the hoodwinked investors represented the collective pensions and retirement savings of millions of average Americans, but the investment agencies themselves--the middlemen--do not receive public sympathy. Most average Americans do not understand how companies like Goldman Sachs killed their individual retirement funds, but they do understand that multimillion-dollar companies make and lose huge sums all the time. When a large company loses money--even if by the dishonest practice of another large company--most Americans just do not care.

The absence of appropriate public outrage makes it much easier for the Justice Department to quietly close the case on Goldman--four years later.

Reason #2

The other point that Izzard makes about mass murderers also applies to Wall Street's worst white-collar criminals. People just cannot fathom the atrocity of murder (or in this case, larceny) on such a large scale. There is a tendency for some people to simply stand in awe of Wall Street's illicit "success." This especially applies to the staunch believers in the invisible guiding hand of the free market (i.e. pure capitalism).

Such blind admiration for monetary gain is at the root of the evils carried out on Wall Street, and this kind of amoral outlook from many Americans helps to ensure that Goldman's executives will never have to face the consequences of their actions, at least not in this lifetime.

Jason Palmer is the editor of

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Jason Palmer is the editor of and a full time instructor of composition and American literature at a small college in North Georgia.
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Recession 101: How Goldman Got Away with Murder

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