The Criminalization of Business Activity image

The Criminalization of Business Activity

Both federal and state governments have significantly expanded the number of rules and regulations which now constitute criminal activity. Whereas it used to be that knowledge of a crime was required, our government has taken short cuts to prove a crime, with the result being that more and more business owners are being ensnared in the criminal justice system.

As well, as America seemingly devolves into narrow self-interests and as companies actively engage in crony capitalism to the exclusion of their less well funded competitors, government becomes a crass tool for the politically connected. The money flows to politicians who use the levers of government to deny and harass the disconnected for the benefit of their campaign contributing patrons.

Our transition from a free-wheeling, open economy to one dominated by focused special interests is being noticed around the world.

America’s standing on the World Corruption Index has steadily declined to 24th out of 178 nations. In the top three spots are New Zealand, Denmark and Finland. Also ahead of the United States are countries such as Barbados, the Bahamas, Qatar and Chile. The group advancing the index is Transparency International. They define corruption as "the abuse of entrusted power for private gain." Are you pleased by all the Wall Street bailouts?

By including this information we are not trying to discourage you from starting and/or running a business. Quite the contrary, the country needs entrepreneurs like you to pursue great opportunities and employ others along the way. So please do not be deterred. But please also be realistic. Government investigations and raids are on the rise. Some are brought against bad people who deserve to go to prison. However, a certain percentage of these government actions are brought against innocent actors, who had no intent to violate any law. But as the government now writes the laws, intent is not a factor.

Original publish date: June 12, 2013

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