T Nation

Should Politicians Be Charged With Fraud?


#1

I was pondering over this earlier today in light of the news of the UBS trader who is being charged with fraud for losing billions and trying to cover it up

What about politicians, in particular public finance ministers and world leaders?

Surely the Greek president (or prime minister?) and the head of finance should be charged with fraud?

I looked up the specific definition of 'fraud' and these came up:

fraud Noun
1. Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
2. A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities

Have they not deceived their electorate through spending money the country does not have and unjustifiably claimed the benefits of popularity and thus success in elections? The Greeks have lived beyond their means (all be-it unknown by your standard Greek I guess, with retirement ages of 56 and a massive public service) and who now are protesting against any austerity measures.

As an economist I know that everyone responds to incentives, just like bankers' bonuses which encouraged them to act in the short term, politicians clearly operate the exact same way and are only looking our for their best interest during their term to get re-elected, I see a lot of this present in Obamas campaigning of late...

What are your opinions?


#2

No, charge the people. They got exactly what they wanted, but now the party is over. And heck, many of them still don't want their programs touched.


#3

I can see where your coming from, but not all of "the people" got what they wanted.

I mean that on two levels. There were people who disagreed with those policies long before now. And then there were people who weren't even born yet. So when you say charge them, and simultaneously say that the party is over, then you are basically enslaving everyone under a certain age.

I believe that is fraudulent in America. It goes directly against everything. Inheriting massive debt does not = freedom.


#4

Surely the over-leveraging of world economies by central planners in a misguided effort to enjoy growth without consequence should make them accountable rather than the people themselves?


#5

Yes this comment sounds like ht government you protest.

Punish the responsible because of others inabilities.