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View Diary: Crumbs much too small for the other Whos' mouses (199 comments)

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  •  Unfortunately, those fines have been factored (2+ / 0-)
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    NoMoreLies, No Exit

    in as part of the cost of doing business. It's the time-value of money. If I know not paying for something lets me keep the money a little longer, and I can make more doing with it what I want, and pay the fine later, and the fine is less than I can make using the money, then I have still made a profit.

    Forty years ago, when I finally went back to school and finished my college education, I switched majors from liberal arts to business. I had to take entry level accounting and economics courses. It was right when the Chicago School style economics and Enron accounting was in its nacent phase. I distinctly remember the economics professor praising the head of a large company for the tactic of slippery accounting to avoid taxes, because the interest on the unpaid taxes was going to be 3%. And he knew that he could use that same money and earn 6% on it, thus making a profit of 3%. Is that legal? Yes. But legality is often the lowest hurdle.

    Left completely out of consideration is whether this was ethical, professional and/or moral. This mindset often dismisses the spirit of the law, and deals only with the letter of the law. When there is no effective penalty, there is only more profit, the behavior has only 'positive' consequences. There is no incentive to change.

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