May 22, 2013
‘Get Rich Cheating’
Posted on Jun 2, 2009
What’s the number one thing you want to have your regulatory regime do? Deregulate. Especially electricity. Deregulation led to Enron’s profits (and the California energy crisis, boo-hoo) and in Illinois it will probably generate a huge windfall for companies like Ameren and Exelon. MBNA and other credit card companies are huge campaign contributors. In the past thirty years or so, they’ve eliminated personal bankruptcy and had most of their questionable practices— like hidden fees, deceptive advertising, arbitrary high penalties, and usurious rates—legalized through deregulation.
You can use influence over regulators in other ways:
The rule-making possibilities are endless: Red rover, red rover, send cheating right over. Simon says . . . cheat! No givebacks, no cooties—if I can’t have shotgun then I call “cheating”!
1. Eric Lipton, “Insider’s Projects Drained Missile-Defense Millions,” The New York Times, October 11, 2008.
2. Charlie Cray, “No Bid and No Problem,” TomPaine.com. http://www.tompaine .com/articles/no_bid_and_no_problem.php. There was more planning for the rebuilding contracts than for the rebuilding itself. Nice!
3. Jane Corbin, “BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions,” BBCNews.com. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7444083.stm.
4. James Glanz, “Iraq Spending Ignored Rules, Pentagon Says,” The New York Times,May 23, 2008.
5. Ted Stevens got the most ($94.1 million) because Alaska has so many needy caribou.
6. Ron Nixon, “Not All Earmarks Are Paid in Full, and a Senator Wants to Know Why,” The New York Times, May 20, 2008.
7. “Pork barrel spending” is using a pig to lure monkeys out of a barrel in order to fill that barrel with ill-gotten booty. Less fun, but more rich.
8. Karl Rove, “How to Win in a Knife Fight,” Newsweek, April 7, 2008.
9. Jeffrey Toobin, “Fraud Alert,” The New Yorker, January 14, 2008.
“Get Rich Cheating” Excerpt 2 will be available next week.
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