Can governments truly prosecute crime?
The biggest crimes are committed by people working within the law. This is a big statement, but it can be intellectually supported.
Crime has several definitions, such as:
- An act or omission prohibited and punished by law
- Unlawful acts in general
- An evil act
- Something to be regretted
Under two of these definitions many crimes are not against the law. Whether you are breaking any laws also depends on several variables, so nothing is fixed and certain.
Even when an act is against the written laws, it depends on who chooses which law to apply, it depends on who makes the laws, it depends on which interpretation of a law is applied, and it depends on which country you are working in.
If paid enough, a good lawyer can get the most guilty of people acquitted and equally, if paid enough, a skilled lawyer can get the most innocent of people convicted.
If we take the definition of a crime as an evil act and we define evil as anything which is morally wrong or bad or which causes harm or injury, then we open up a whole range of crimes that are within the law.
The built-in weakness of a capitalist economy is the freedom for speculators to act within the law. Capital should be an investment in an enterprise, the people working, from directors to cleaners, in that enterprises are also investing, they are investing their time and energy. They are investing their lives. The benefits coming from a successful enterprise should be shared between the capital and the labor.
Speculators who seek personal profit without being committed to long term investment are the “unacceptable face of capitalism” and should be eradicated. The actions of speculators and asset strippers certainly come under the “something to be regretted” heading, even if only by the victims and their families. In order to curb speculators, we should ensure they can not not resell stock, equity, shares, land, metals (including gold, Lithium, etc.), or commodities, such as coffee, grain, oil, etc. that are unused, until five years after their purchase. An enterprise may buy materials and keep until they wish to use them but reselling, without alteration or use, cannot be done until five years after purchase.
The currency market was established so that large scale producers who used materials imported from another currency nation could forward buy that currency and so have some certainty about exchange rates and their costs. Currency speculators should not be able to buy a currency simply to trade in it. Forward purchase of another nation's currency should be for the purpose of spending in that nation only.
Speculative action by major financial institutions should also be a crime; often they knowingly and consciously undermine the security of large work forces, even undermine whole nations through currency speculation and this should be a crime and viewed as an act of financial terrorism.
Not all crimes are against existing laws because many of these laws are made by people in the pay of those who know their actions cause harm but they do not want to be held to account for that harm. The main reason speculators keep out of jail is their international scope. What one country, one industry, or one section of a community regards as being harmful is not viewed the same way by other nations or parts of nations.
The financial speculators who profit by ruination of businesses and put honest, hard working people out of their jobs must be near the top of any list of criminals. The currency speculators, who weaken a whole nation's financial stability and in so doing affecting the cost of living for millions of people, all just to allow the speculator to become richer than before, should also be classified as criminals. The directors of huge businesses who deliberately act to eliminate competition, the financial directors of large companies that deliberately delay due payment to smaller suppliers, all these are crimes that are committed every day and some on huge scales, yet they are not prosecuted because they are within the law. The banks that lend money and encouragement to individuals who have a good commercial idea (and then when the enterprise needs further money to fulfill the delivery of that idea, the bank refuses) collapses the business and bankrupts the idea creator. How often is it that, a year later, a new enterprise financed by the same bank profits from the original idea? Again this is not against the law but it is morally wrong and causes harm and so it is a crime.
The biggest crimes are committed by financial institutions working within the law.
How many vast international organizations avoid payment of taxation in some countries by claiming the work done in another one? Do not get me wrong, I know that governments all around the planet waste so much of tax payers money that no sane person would want to pay more tax than they need, but to practice deceit to reduce the amount of tax must come under some definition of a crime.
How about politicians who knowingly make false promises during election campaigns and, even if elected, they avoid keeping their promises? As evil is anything morally wrong which causes harm and since harm is done, if people voted because they believed in a lie, causing the wrong team to win the election, then this is also defined as a crime. Some huge crimes that do not end up in court happen in every democracy around the world.
How about the giant pharmaceutical companies who select which bits of their own research to use when selling their products? They have a legal right to keep secret commercial information as long as they do not actually and deliberately poison their customers. This secret commercial information may be that the drug does very little good or that they simply do not know what is the long term effect, but keeping these things secret while they sell their products is not actually illegal.
Many crimes are not prosecuted by the law.