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03/12/2006 Archived Entry: "Furious assault on business"

Last week's jingoistic, racist attack on the Dubai ports deal was bad enough. The coprolites who infest congress claim that those people pose such a huge threat that they musn't spend the dollars we gave them. Which is the bigger threat to American security, a container crane or the oil spigot?

As always, the real dirty work was going on behind the scenes. In a breathtaking act of cowardice and arrogance, the backroom "conference committee" supposedly reconciling differences between house and senate versions of the newly engorged patriot act, instead inserted provisions making violations of the Sherman anti-trust act "predicate offenses" for federal wiretaps.

S.M. Oliva has the full story in Another Government WMD. Following Oliva's link to Marie Leone's article at CFO.com reveals this delicately phrased request: "Perhaps Congress could do that (clarify legislative intent) by staging floor debates that would enter the Congressional Recordů"

The anti-trust acts are so vaguely worded that nearly any legitimate business activity can be criminalized. The lawyer quoted in CFO realizes that courts often turn to records of Congressional debates and hearings when trying to apply a vague law. In this case there is nothing to turn to, as there are no house debates, for the new law was inserted without notice of any kind.

My supply of outrage has been depleted, so I won't be able to produce a proper rant.

All business people are now suspected terrorists, just like all airline travelers. Unlike passengers, the laws used to hammer businesses are so vague and self-contradictory that no one can tell what actions are illegal.

This law will inevitably be used to persecute Wal-Mart, the American success story that everyone loves to hate. Millions of morons will salivate at the sight of seeing people who had the audacity to sell them inexpensive goods subjected to the perp walk. Executives of big companies will be jailed, they will spend millions of dollars on legal fees defending themselves, and will ultimately plea bargain for millions of dollars in fines rather than risk criminal prosecution as terrorists.

These actions will drive up the price of goods and services, reduce competition, and convince still more people that the risks of doing business in the US are simply too high. It will be hard to attribute these changes to the persecutions, as rampant price inflation brought about by government manipulation of the credit and currency markets will mask the additional price increases.

Posted by Silver @ 06:25 AM CST

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