Mr Trashcan Calls for Show Trials…

Mr Trashcan really misses the old-style Russian Communists. Commies! One thing they were really good at was putting on those big, boisterous show trials. It was a form of theater as stylized and traditional as the Kabuki, and maybe it hinted at reality TV long before there was even, well, TV. You had your humiliated loser, some poor scapegoat caught up in some state dragnet, with the hollow-eyed look of someone whose treatment has been really bad, and who is just ready to get everything over with, long past expecting or even wanting justice. They never looked up the whole time, never made any eye contact, as some government stooge of a prosecutor harangued them, denounced them, offered them up to the viewing audience as weaklings, cowards, sub-human degenerates. The audience would put their hands up to their mouths, shake their heads, probably making little clucking noises with their tongues; they loved it.
That’s what America needs right now, show trials. We need to round up all the senior people who were near ground zero in 2008 when the whole western economic system was thrown into a state of disrepair that it may never really recover from. Since Mr. T. is a sophisticated modern trash-person, he knows all the rational arguments against this. It would be very difficult to conduct a traditional prosecution of these people; they were very careful to keep everything they did just barely legal. So Mr. T says, OK, well, then we need to keep everything just barely judicial when we prosecute them. They stretched the law, so maybe we should stretch justice to meet them half way.
How about we define a new crime, make it retroactive, call it “Reckless Endangerment of the Economy” or some such. To knowingly create and sell financial instruments, of such a type and value as to put at risk the very health of the banking system. To supply ratings for such financial instruments based on any algorithm that you do not understand. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget the regulatory side of things: “failure to respond when financial transactions within your regulatory authority threaten the health etc…”
Let the show trials begin! We need such trials before anything can be done to take this country forward. When people think that some of their fellow citizens have gotten away with murder, with the brazen theft of their tax dollars and jobs, they are in no mood to compromise or to serve any but the narrowest self-interest. America has been deferring a lot of the investments that it needs to make in order to have a decent future, unless we want to just keep stumbling along toward our default future as some kind of Dickensian third-world rabble. The only way we can make these investments is for everyone to give back some of the gains they have made over the past few decades. A lot of them have been hollow gains anyway, like the big stupid houses and big stupid cars that so many of us seem to have. And Mr Trashcan can guarantee that nobody is going to give back anything, or to ever trust government again, until the scoundrels have been hauled before the cameras and made to confess their sins.

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