Tuesday, March 27

Two terrible stories

Ohhhhh, these stories are heartbreaking.

  1. A U.S. attorney
    • didn't prosecute men who sexually abused teenagers under their guard and who
    • let his employees say on behalf of his department that the department wasn't prosecuting because the teenagers didn't speak out against the very people guarding them at the time and therefore it couldn't have been sexual abuse & because the teenagers didn't get hurt enough for it to have possibly been sexual abuse
    and nevertheless wasn't fired by people higher up in our federal government.

    (The TX Atty. Gen. also refused to prosecute the case, as did the relevant department of the US Dept. of Justice. I don't know if their justifications for not prosecuting were quite as fire-worthy.)

  2. Our federal government and various state governments haven't been prosecuting corrupt companies at the level we've come to expect them to. These two articles should've been about state or federal investigations and punitive actions years ago, not just coming out now.

    Based on my reading the past few months (and NPR reports on Sarbanes-Oxley repeal efforts), it seems the main reason for the rare and slow uncovering of these horrible business practices is that our federal government (and to a lesser extent certain state governments) has an overall policy of allowing more corruption than previously tolerated--in the belief that it'll be good for the economy overall.

    Anyway, that's the most forgiving way of looking at it. Of course, the least forgiving way of looking at it is to believe that the whole economic theory was a deliberate lie meant to convince people throughout the country and the federal government to give these policies a try, but that the developers and top-level proponents of the economic theory actually knew it would never help the United States population as a whole and that it would merely put wealth into the hands of their friends and the hands of people they could relate to by class & lifestyle. Tough call which it really is. Will I ever know?

    And, if it turns out that I'll never again be able to count on the government prosecuting this kind of corruption at the level it used to, what can I do to investigate on my own and make sure that my mom, who was going to start putting money into a long-term care policy, will actually be able to make claims on her policy when the time comes? Obviously, "Don't buy Conseco!" is one answer, but beyond that...what do we do?

    And after my mom comes me. How do I assure that if I need surgery, my health insurance provider won't suddenly say, "You lied by omitting the fact that you had a toothache in 1993! You had a previously existing condition you didn't tell us about! We're kicking you off and not covering your surgery!" like BCBS did to people in California?

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