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Hullabaloo


Monday, November 08, 2010

 
The Rich Are Different From You and Me

by digby

Years ago I heard a caller on Limbaugh say that he wanted his boss to get a tax cut so that he (the caller) could make more money some day. The multi-millionaire Limbaugh, of course, patted him on the head and told him that's the kind of thinking that made America great.

That was just the beginning:

A Morgan Stanley wealth manager will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because Colorado prosecutors don't want him to lose his job.

Martin Joel Erzinger, who manages more than $1 billion in assets for Morgan Stanley in Denver, is being accused only of a misdemeanor for allegedly driving his Mercedes into a cyclist and then fleeing the scene, Colorado's Vail Daily reports. The victim, Dr. Steven Milo, whom Erzinger allegedly hit in July, suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and, according to his lawyer Harold Haddon, "lifetime pain."

But District Attorney Mark Hurlbert says it wouldn't be wise to prosecute Erzinger -- doing so might hurt his source of income. Here's Vail Daily:

"Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it," Hurlbert said. "When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay."

"We have talked with Mr. Haddon and we had their objections, but ultimately it's our call," Hurlbert said.


Of course. These Master of the Universe are the producers, the people who make this nation's wealth so that parasites won't starve. They can't be held to the same silly standards of behavior to which the rest of us are held -- if they have to take something as prosaic as "risk" into account, the whole system will break down. And if these Very Superior People (also known as "Gods") are kept down by some bourgeois notions of "personal responsibility" it will be the poor who end up paying the price because there won't be any small change available to help the unfortunates they runs over with their Bentleys.

Unfortunately the liver transplant surgeon he ran over seems less concerned with getting some fast cash than with justice:

"Mr. Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway," Milo wrote. "Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case."


We have known for quite some time now that the wealthy have different rules. Every once in a while they throw one of their own into the maw of the legal system in order to keep the rubes from rising up in anger but for the most part they have always bought themselves expensive lawyers and make political deals on the QT. Lately, however, they are just outright arguing that they are too important to the world to be subject to the US system of justice --- and they seem to have convinced the people of just that. This is what refusing to look into the rear view mirror gets you.


h/t to JJ