The New York Times reports:

Taking a broad swipe at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s practice of allowing companies to settle cases without admitting that they had done anything wrong, a federal judge on Monday rejected a $285 million settlement between Citigroup and the agency…

The agency contends that it must settle most of the cases it brings because it does not have the money or the staff to battle deep-pocketed Wall Street firms in court. Wall Street firms will rarely admit wrongdoing, the agency says, because that can be used against them in investor lawsuits.

We got into this awful economic mess that is hobbling America because of conservative lies that told us the free market did not need to be regulated. We had millionaires in pin-striped suits, who should be wearing prison stripes, gambling with our money because they knew the rules had changed — making the potential reward of enormous riches greater than the risk of public humiliation and prosecution. The result of gutting regulations has devastated America and much of Europe, which followed our lead.

What did we learn from this? Apparently nothing.

As we can see, the criminals still have the upper hand because the watchdogs are purposely underfunded — making white collar crime a lucrative, if not legal, activity. When I read that the SEC, “does not have the money or the staff to battle deep-pocketed Wall Street firms in court” I know it is only a matter of time before America crashes and burns. And, when it happens this time, we may be too poor to bail ourselves out, propelling us in a downward spiral with no escape hatch.

When criminality is incentivized and the fox has the keys to the hen house, the vast majority of people lose, while the thieves get rich.

I’m a big believer in free markets, but they must be fair markets to succeed. Winner nations reward innovation — not monopoly-fueled stagnation — and risky paper profits over genuine production. It is time that we give the watchdogs the tools they need to do their jobs, unless we want to go down the tubes.

Why does this concern a website that deals with anti-LGBT extremism? Because big, dumb, undereducated, poor countries bursting with angry, disgruntled citizens looking for scapegoats tend not to treat LGBT people very well. It is in our interest to see policies enacted that prevent America from descending into a “Loser Nation.”