The item on white-collar crime in Bill Ritter's Aug. 27 "Bottom Line" column in the Business pages deserves a more descriptive title and much wider readership. Our preoccupation with violent crime makes us disregard or minimize the devastating effect of the much larger white-collar segment of lawlessness.
It's understandable. People who commit white-collar crimes are part of The Establishment, often staunch pillars of it. The cost of white-collar crime is often spread thinly over many people. And physical harm rarely ensues.
Yet white-collar crime, growing ever more prevalent, gnaws away at the moral and economic fiber of our nation in a way violent crime cannot. White-collar criminals are seldom detected, rarely serve jail sentences, often retain their loot and frequently suffer no loss of reputation. In short, white-collar crime pays the perpetrator--and pays handsomely.
Only greater public awareness can reverse this trend toward national immorality.