It is impossible not to link moral values to criminal behavior. There seems to be a clear progression in society of falling away from values such as respect for one another. Morality and integrity don’t seem to have a place in twenty first century living. Is there a place for a Good Samaritan in our society if you want to help someone and live to tell it? Clearly, the sense of “right and wrong” is being challenged and our value system denigrated; we more willingly accept criminal behavior if it comes from the rich and the famous. We will need to re-evaluate “values” if we continue on this line of thinking. Values are at the core of a civilized society and values are centered on the Ten Commandments.
A large number of us have lived under the assumption that a moral code of conduct is expected from everyone in this country. There was a time when a person’s word was a thing of value. When respect for values, the accepted principles of a society, are no longer observed by leading citizens in the marketplace, the question must be asked, how much do we value-“values”?
Bernard Madoff was the Chairman of the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LCC firm was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with fraud. He was the picture of success by everyone’s standard. That was then and this now. Deception can come from any arena of life. He was arrested for a multimillion-dollar worldwide ponzi scheme. How was he able to be dishonest for so long is a legitimate question?
Kathy M. Kristof, columnist for Los Angeles Times wrote this in her column.
“The moral of the Madoff scandal is that you need to give any financial adviser you hire a proper vetting and monitor your investments regularly.”
Question: “Is a thief less a thief if he is wearing a white shirt and a designer tie? There should not be a double standard for justice or moral application. Do we have to wonder how Mr. Madoff will communicate with the “average run-of-the-mill thief” in prison?
When poor people steal, they go to jail. What is the difference between financial fraud thief and jewelry store thief? Would you say location?
What about the victims of these “white collar” crimes? There are probably some heart-felt people who entrusted their money to a man or men they thought had integrity. They didn’t look like the “criminal type.” Should we ask the question- how does a criminal look?
In conclusion, one would have to assume values are intrinsically linked to a society and therefore they are linked to how society uses its’ values among the people. It is not moral to steal, whether you are rich or poor. Crime and values are linked.