Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Madoff Made Off (but he won't make it out)

After all these years Darwin is once again proven right.

It was the survival of the fittest - not the financially secure - the fittest. The good guys won. The fit to be free, the honest, diligent, we-followed-the-rules, apple pie and baseball folks won. Of course, the win was in the courts, we had already lost financially in our retirement accounts. You might think the 150-year sentence of Bernard Madoff for (what I consider) the most selfish crime against Americans BY an American in the history of our country would ring hollow to the throngs of hard-working middle class Americans who lost their life savings, but it didn't. It was a small victory in the face of huge losses, but it was a loud message to others with whom we trust our finances, it was a slice of vengeance, it was due process, it was really all we could get. And we cheered.

Madoff thought he held all the cards and had the game won, he expresses regret now and at 71 with a future of criminal inmates as his social circle, a wardrobe of orange pantsuits and a cell for a home, I am certain he has regrets. But he chose to play the game, and he cheated and he lost...but only after he lost everything for so many.

Madoff may have made off with an unbelievable amount of money that was earned by the sweat of someone else's back while he was sitting in his extravagant office and private jets and plush homes; Madoff may have made off, but in the end, he didn't make out. He is in jail, stripped of assets and silk suits, and lush surroundings; he is down for the count.

Madoff's locked up, and we can be pretty certain he will die there. His wife has $2.5 Mil to survive on for the rest of her life; a lot more than the people he bilked but not even a % worth citing of what they did have. Of course, it was not really their money, it was your money, and mine, and our neighbor's, and our kids'. Madoff made off with millions, but he won't make it out of jail. Jail is a place for those who are unfit to "fit" within society in a positive, productive, honorable role.

Madoff has proven that his is not fit to hang with all of us. He's being separated from us to protect us and there is no "GET OUT OF JAIL, FREE" card in this phase of the game.

There's no doubt that many were injured in this selfish game, but at least we survived.

Go Darwin. Cards down, Madoff. Game over.

Kenny Rogers "The Gambler"

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