Most of our attention has focused on things like torture, war, abuse of power, and the Big Shitpile.
Not enough has been focused on the smaller crimes, the Little Shitpiles, and what caused them.
What caused them, in a word, was belief. Belief that an unregulated market won't be a shark tank. Belief that those who loudly proclaim their faith actually believe in something outside themselves.
The answer, as Ronald Reagan said most famously, is trust but verify. We didn't do that in this decade. And we have paid a terrible price for that.
Steve Skow came to Atlanta's northern suburbs to skin the rubes. He launched his Integrity Bank in December, 2000, just as democracy was being stolen.
For six years it worked like a charm. Skow prayed with customers
before opening the doors, and made Christianity a requirement for his
employees. Deposits grew eight-fold.
What no one knew, and what the press didn't report, was that Skow was grabbing it with both hands and shipping depositors' money in big chunks to places like South Florida.
None of this would be known, even now, except for the accumulation of crap by other crooks. The directors didn't catch on until a year ago, at which point they canned Skow. But it was too late. The bank was closed last week.
In the 1990s this would have been a big, big story. Today it is just
a footnote. As the Bush schemes unravel, and the collateral damage rises, it
is very important we learn the lessons, that we swear to investigate
and take action, and that we hold our rage until Job One is done.
But that work must be done, at some point. An accounting must be
made. The lesson must be drawn and told to our children and
grandchildren. Don't believe someone just because they proclaim faith.
Don't trust sharks to be dainty.
Make good laws, and enforce them. It's the only way to keep out the Elmer Gantrys.
Eternal vigilance is the price of a free market.