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I Sold You And You Sold Me
Sep 21, 2010
Let me say again that I am not one who believes in an ethics of “no snitching.” Quite the contrary. I believe with Thomas Jefferson that: “A prejudice prevails too extensively among the young that it is dishonorable to bear witness against one another.” I believe that citizens should report to the authorities actions of genuine wrongdoing--actions that are malum in se (wrong in themself), such as subversion, murder, rape, and theft.
But what our present government has done is, first, to restrict economic activity by means of 10,000 commandments that range from the merely arbitrary to the absolutely insane. And it now proposes to entice people’s colleagues into becoming bounty hunters by offering them huge sums of money to report any violation of those 10,000 commandments.
This is indeed the informer state come to fruition.
Here is a quotation on the matter by Michael E. Clark of Duane Morris:
“Under the [Dodd-Frank] Act, a whistleblower who provides 'original information' to the SEC or CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] which results in a successful enforcement action in which monetary sanctions over $1 million are imposed is eligible for a reward of between 10 percent and 30 percent of the funds collected as sanctions. This threshold dollar limit for bounty eligibility should not be hard to meet in light of the magnitude of fines and penalties the Commission has imposed in recent years in enforcement actions."