July 16, 2007

Unspeakable Wealth, Unspeakable Injustice

I suppose not everyone would think the following two stories have much to do with each other.

America's wealthiest people celebrate Gilded Age prosperity.

An innocent man is scheduled for execution tomorrow in Georgia.

Me, I think those are exactly the sorts of headlines you should expect when the only recognizable public virtue is making a profit, while a regard for justice is considered sentimental and perhaps quaint. When the first question about a public policy is always whether it will hurt business, you get these headlines. It means that our entire government has been bent towards the service of one narrow constituency to the detriment of non-corporate citizens.

They say they have to make a profit. Which means today that value has been squeezed out of every last link in the chain to be pulled into the hands of investors and senior managers. That value is taken from employees and customers alike. It's taken from the government necessary to administer large groups of people so that some minimum standards of civility, fairness and order are kept.

There's no penal system in the entire US that could get away with the wrongful execution of one of America's wealthiest class of people. And that's fine, because wrongful executions shouldn't happen. But they shouldn't happen to other people, either.

People can blame video games for desensitization to violence all day long. But if you don't complain about the stone cold brutality of killing a man you know isn't guilty, because he's poor and so nobody who matters gives a damn about him, that rings pretty hollow.

Posted by natasha at July 16, 2007 05:22 PM | Law/Justice | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |