THE SIMPLICITY OF THE ENRON PROBLEM - Permission To Steal

(02/08/2002)

Bob Weaver

I try to reduce tons of posturing, claims and rhetoric to something simple I can understand. Sometimes I can't, but in the Enron mess, here is my simplicity:

Big business supporters in the United States government, showered with political contributions (mostly to Republicans), decided that many of the usual and customary regulations and laws covering multi-national corporations would be a hindrance to Enron's "fast track" growth and progress, and they changed some rules and turned some heads, while human greed overtook honest pursuit and trust.

In this case, they took Americans to the cleaners, with billions of dollars to be suffered by taxpayers. Voraciously feeding at the trough, they plowed over tens of thousands of "little guys," workers, investors, small businessmen and producers, who believed in them. It is unlike anything, at least in magnitude, we have seen in the history of our country.

It would be curious to find out, although we never will, where that $61 billion went, plus the billions more given to Enron in one form or other by the United States government. It has made many people wealthy.

It tore my heart out watching Ken Lay's wife cry over being broke, when the Lay's still have millions in real estate, and "God only knows" how much cash.

If would be safe to say, those who profited most will not become the fall guys.

Historically, if the color of the collar is white, the crime pays very well.

Or as Mark Twain put it "Suppose you were and idiot...or suppose you were a member of Congress...but, ahh, I repeat myself."


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