RICO Laws and Regulation

Last Thursday on The Daily Show, Jason Jones did a very funny segment about the over-regulation of the Mob via the RICO laws:

I really like this and I think it gets at the heart of what is wrong with the economy: it is largely controlled by thieves. But as usual with The Daily Show, I’m not really sure that they get it. Too often, such segments are only about making the interviewees look stupid. And there was a lot of that in here, although in general, Jason Jones tends to play the fool in his segments. And no one came off looking particularly bad except (maybe) Lou Ferantte, who is just trying to sell his book Mob Rules: What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman.

But I still think the middle right of the middle right of the middle right philosophy[1] that dominates at The Daily Show probably sees this feature as an attack on getting rid of all regulation. It is still a highly corporate-friendly philosophy that believes (without knowing it) that regulation must be kept as low as possible so those in power can have as much as they can get away with without having their heads end up on a bunch of pikes.

[1] Most people in the US think that institutions like MSNBC and The Daily Show are liberal because they frequently go after the Republicans. This misses the grand scope of political debate and the profound change that has taken place in America over the last 40 years. President Nixon’s policies were slightly to the right of current “Socialist” Barry Sanders. What used to be center-right in America is now what conservatives call “Socialist!” or “Communist!” or “Nazi!” (Because, as Glenn Beck will tell you, the Nazis were socialists because “Nazi” is just short for “National Socialism.” Of course, for the ignorant Atlas Shrugged quoter, this is true because socialism—collectivism—is any form of government that requires any form of taxation—or much else—from the governed.)

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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