the widespread system of influence peddling and kickbacks within the Housing And Urban Development Department (HUD), to name just a few. According to the Office of Management and Budget, their work has saved taxpayers about $100 billion!!

The problem is that many of their pending cases threaten to uncover plenty more government corruption. It appears to have the administration so worried that the Justice Department, through the Justice's Office of Legal Counsel has issued a ruling that will substantially diminish the scope of authority originally given to the Inspectors General, and may curtail or scuttle altogether some of their work in progress. And so the Justice Department is once again putting the brakes on the what remains of entities set up to uncover corruption and abuse in the system. {B173}

Breeding Contempt for the Law

In short, the more money one has, and the more social connections one has to people in power, the more immunity one enjoys. Ivan Boesky's plea bargaining and subsequent token punishment for his extensive profiteering from insider trading provides as good an example of preferential justice as the slap on the wrist given the Hunt family who tried to monopolize the silver market. This sort of judicial kid glove treatment for friends of the establishment perpetuates the impression that ethical business behavior is only for wimps.

Is it not significant that nearly every recent president and attorney general has been caught out with involvement in highly unethical and often illegal behavior. As regular as clockwork, and with the same sort of precision, the media and legal communities have swung into action to whitewash or defuse the issues, and if possible allow them to continue on as if nothing had ever happened. Richard Nixon, John Mitchell, William Casey, Spiro Agnew, John Poindexter, Ronald Reagan, Edwin Meese, Oliver North, etc., etc., are but a few of the latest pack of notables to have benefited from protective string pulling, by the elite minority they so faithfully served.

In the old days, before Feudalism had its democratic facelift, such immunity from the law was excused using the Divine Right of Kings. Today, clever lawyers, corrupt judges, carefully conceived legislation, long drawn out investigations and court cases, and use of the contempt of court silencer, achieves much the same result. The use of illegal methods and tricks by our political and social hierarchy promotes the spread of lawlessness, while their immunity from justice breeds a contempt for the law especially among the criminal element.

It is therefore not surprising that those most affected by the inequities of wealth distribution and social opportunity, have openly regressed back to survival of the fittest tactics in order to survive the poverty, unemployment, and frustration of their social class. In desperation, and lacking hope for a better future, members of some minorities have begun to create their own social structures in the form of street gangs, and make their own job opportunities using the drug trade.
In reality many are using entrepreneurial skills that society could well benefit from, but without legitimate opportunity, they resort to illegitimate opportunity. They disobey the laws and hope to evade punishment in no less a fashion than our country's leading businessmen and political leaders, who consistently broadcast a contempt for law that all can see.

The benefits of civilized society are sadly missing at this class level, and the youth survive as best they can. The instincts that demand survival at any cost are as old as life itself, and still motivate many within our society. While we can all agree that this latest social trend sadly detracts from the quality of life for society as a whole, let us not too hastily allow the drug running street gangs to become the focus for social blame without carefully considering to what extent the social, political, and economic actions of the elite have left them with such desperate social alternatives, and such contempt for existing social authority.

Possible Corrective Actions

We need radical changes to the justice system; the courts are hopelessly clogged. The Fifth Amendment does not make any sense at all, outside of assisting the elite to secure immunity from the law. Why should we discourage criminals from admitting to their crime once clues have uncovered the guilty party.

Once a preliminary investigation has turned up a suspect, that suspect ought to be formally questioned as to his guilt, if he confesses, no further investigation would be necessary. His lawyer would only be required to assist in helping the court decide a fair sentence.

On the other hand, if the suspect denies his guilt when formally questioned, then a normal investigation to prove guilt, followed by a trial, would become necessary. If a further investigation proves conclusively that he had deliberately lied about his guilt, ...which in turn necessitated the further costly investigation and court trial, then he should be forced through public work to pay back the cost of the entire proceedings. This may provide incentive to reduce the number of long drawn out investigations and court trials which often increase the use of failure of memory defenses.

Ensure that a criminal does not regain freedom until the victims have been compensated.

{B173} "A shorter leash for the Attorneys General" BusinessWeek (Oct 9 1989): p86