"Tough on crime" claims the politician, and what he really means is more cops on the beat to stop the street crimes of auto theft, burglaries, vandalism, etc. He says little about the white collar crimes for which the losses far, far exceed the losses from street crimes. The losses from fraud and embezzlement alone average more than $800 billion per year.
White collar crime is conducted primarily by the rich and powerful as they have the opportunity, the penalties are minor, and the profits are huge. The rich are mostly the top executives of the large corporations and the wealthy elite, while the powerful are the members of Congress and the elected/appointed officials of our government who write and adopt the rules and regulations which control our activities.
White collar crime has been responsible for most of the disasters we have experienced as a nation including the Great Depression, the Great Recession of 2008, the Savings and Loan scandal, the Enron mess and the list goes on. For more details, read "Big Dirty Money" by J. Taub. An example is our unfair tax codes with the provisions of "carried interest." Former President Trump promised to get rid of this when campaigning but did nothing. The loophole causes our government to lose $2 billion in tax receipts from just the top 25 hedge fund managers. There are 3,000-5,000 such managers in the U.S. Other examples include capital gains, home mortgage interest deduction and Social Security cap, all of which favor the wealthy.
Then we have the IRS for which Congress has continued to cut their budget, causing an 80% decline in the number of audits of the wealthy. This means a loss of about $750 billion in taxes.
We, the people, are in desperate need of a Congress and administration which will correct this situation. It is said that Democrats in North Dakota are in need of a platform in order to get elected. What better platform than an all-out effort on getting "tough on white collar crime"?
Monroe Pederson lives in Hatton, N.D.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.