Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Trickle down justice
Tanya McDowell is a homeless woman in Norwalk, CT and for her, life has been tough. After being laid off from her job and evicted from her home, she’s now been arrested and charged with first degree larceny for stealing a kindergarten education for her 5 year old son. She’s facing up to 20 years in prison and having to repay the town of Norwalk more than $15K because she lied about where she lived in order to enroll her boy in school.
Justice today seems to be trickling down just as ineffectively as wealth. Because of the large and monstrous crimes perpetrated on all of us by unscrupulous hedge fund hucksters and derivatives con men our towns are hemorrhaging red ink and have to crack down wherever possible. And while we don’t seem capable of arresting, indicting, fining, or imprisoning those irresponsible frauds at the top, we’re left rendering justice on those at the bottom.
I’m not suggesting that what McDowell did is right, but stealing bread for your starving family, or an education for your child is a little more defensible, and a lot less damaging than screwing everyone so that you can earn a few more million in your bonus.
The greediest among us figured out a way to scam everyone else , and the richer they get, the less likely it is they’ll ever have to pay for their wrongs. Let’s focus our energy and the righteous arm of the law at those who really warrant it, recoup a little of the money they owe us from their outsized bonus payouts, and then maybe our towns and schools can afford to look the other way when a mother bends the law in order to give her child the benefit of a good education – something that benefits us all.