As the digital information highway continues to mature, we keep getting news about government officials who are seemingly immune to responsibility.
The mainstream media is also having its complicity exposed by the new media. The information age is exposing the part below the tip of the iceberg we all knew was there but were afraid to confront.
Obviously, the main reason so many cases of official malfeasance go unreported is due to the size and scope of the government bureaucracies. In government circles, CYA is more than an acronym, it is policy. If you want to advance within the department, you don’t make waves.
What really bothers me though, is the clear lack of moral values and character that the actions of these blue-collar public employee criminals exhibit. They are not just bad guys, but they are really bad at being bad guys!
For example, a DMV manager, who had worked his way up from an entry level position in just a few years, is caught selling drivers licenses for cash, sporting event tickets or other considerations. It appears there has been as much as several hundred thousand dollars of state revenues lost and a similar amount redirected into his pocket. When interviewed by investigators, his reaction was, “Hey, it’s just the DMV, it’s not hurting anybody!”
This is just an example of selfishness and stupidity, but the question it raises is how do these people get into positions of public trust in the first place? Beyond that, when they are caught committing crimes against the state, our justice system reacts timidly, almost indifferent.
The DMV guy got six months in jail because he had no priors! Wasn’t that a given? Is it possible to get a state management job with priors? So stuffing your pockets with hundreds of thousands of stolen public dollars results in a six month stint in the slammer? How much of that will he get off for good behaviour?
Oh, by the way, he can't pay it back because it has all been spent on entertainment and gambling in Vegas.
Sure, private industry has crooks too, but the ability of government employees to gain access to or have control over valuable commodities with little or no oversight is astonishing. In the private sector, there is a gauntlet of checks and balances, resume vetting, training and testing, and close supervision to avoid conflicts of interest, misappropriations and embezzlement.
Big business doesn’t like to be embarrassed or held responsible for huge fines and awards for malfeasance. Most importantly, big business hates to lose money! It goes overboard to make sure they have done everything in their power to prevent such occurrences.
Government, on the other hand, has a relationship with money that is way too casual.
Because the money seems to come from out of nowhere. “Hey, it’s just the DMV, it’s not hurting anybody!”
Time and time again, when caught with their hand in the cookie jar, civil servant crooks act like they are surprised that anyone cares that they are pilfering the public.
Government corruption is as old as dust. What is new is the sense of entitlement shown by the perps. Bonnie and Clyde never claimed to be anything other than brazen criminals. They played up their poor upbringing, and they called out corruption in law enforcement, but they didn’t act naive about the law. They didn’t excuse themselves from responsibility for the hardships they inflicted on others, the callousness of their murders of innocent guards and bystanders. They knew what they were doing was horrible, and they bragged about being the worst of the worst. They made it clear that they would not allow the justice system to put them on trial. There was a price to pay for being a bad guy, and they accepted that at face value. It was do or die, period.
Though the legend plays it down, they did have a conscience, they just ignored it because the rush they got from their crimes was addictive and overwhelmed their remorse, as little as they had. They were from an era where criminals were honest to goodness criminals.
No pretense or excuses, just plain and simple ‘bad guys.’
Today criminals tremble and cry, sobbing about how they made poor decisions, and claim they were drunk or under the influence of drugs when they gave illegal immigrants driver's licenses in return for cash they then spent getting high and gambling.
Today's public employee crooks have no self respect.