Saturday, November 27, 2004

Getting Rich in Jail

For de little stealin' dey gits you in jail soon or late. For de big stealin' dey makes you emperor and put you in de Hall o' Fame when you croaks.
Eugene O'Neill, playwright, “The Emperor Jones”

The Misanthrope thought there was a law that stopped convicts from profiting from their crimes. Martha Stewart made almost $33 million this week while behind bars. The Sears-Kmart merger means that Stewart’s goods receive additional shelf space in more than 2,300 Sears stores, and her company stock price jumped 6 percent on the news.

It is hard to forget how Stewart lorded over that fact that she was entitled to insider information because of who she was. Her greed and her haughty attitude caused her problems. This mean queen of clean could have received a misdemeanor violation if she had pleaded guilty before going to trial, but she believed no one would convict her. The Misanthrope has no sympathy. Yet, the media is already talking about forgiveness and Stewart’s second act. Act II should require a demonstration of the ability to be humble – and honest.

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