Goldman Sachs vs. Aaron Swartz
Goldman Sachs has been fined over $600 million dollars for their illegal behavior from 2003-2012, and even though Senator Carl Levin showed evidence that Goldman Sachs "used net short positions to benefit from the downturn in the mortgage market, and designed, marketed, and sold CDOs (an investment grade security) in ways that created conflicts of interest with the firm's clients and at times led to the bank's profiting from the same products that caused substantial losses for its clients" - Goldman Sachs still has not been brought before a court of law.
Those illegal business practices of Goldman Sachs have cost investors and municipalities billions of dollars, while enriching Goldman exponentially. Our "Justice" Department remains hesitant in actually bringing charges against Goldman Sachs, they stated "the department' ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case (against Goldman Sachs) could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time".
Aaron Swartz, computer programmer, activist, political organizer, and the founder of Reddit, who appeared to take his own life, in wake of facing decades behind bars for committing a victimless crime, somehow fit the Justice Department's burden of proof.
Aaron committed the "crime" of returning once public knowledge currently held for ransom by privatized corporate thieves, back into the public domain. Even though, Aaron never committed any real crime, he merely took advantage of legal loopholes, the Justice Department pursued his case vigorously.
Goldman Sachs was misleading investors by paying for ratings they knew were not accurate, while actively betting against those same investments that they were marketing and soliciting to investors and municipalities.
At the core, both crimes could be considered financial crimes, as money was the key issue of contention, but Goldman Sachs, a corporation made up of both domestic and international partners, merely received a financial slap on the hand for their repeated violations. The fines Goldman has to pay for these repeated violations of the law do not even represent a significant percentage of the money Goldman earned through their criminal behavior.
When our government is handing out more sever punishments to a citizen committed of disseminating once public information, and letting multi-national corporations repeatedly commit crimes that will cost significant amounts of U.S. citizens to suffer financially, and suffer real losses that will span generations, we as citizens may be screwed.
Since when does crime committed under the guise of a corporation turn into merely fineable offences, not offered to everyday citizens?
I struggle to find any laws that state corporations have this power, and that our government is powerless to act against these incorporated thieves. Which only leaves the reality that government must be beholden to this group they so feverishly protect.
Which leaves us the people out in the cold, suffering the wrath of an authoritarian government no longer for the people, but for the corporation's vested interests, and that's a sad reality.
And this reality can only be quelled but an educated electorate, who desperately need to work in unison to disband this corruption. If we fail to reshape politics here in America, good people will continue to be victimized, while known proven thieves like Goldman Sachs are invited to dinner at the White House on your dime, literally.