The whole Martha Stewart débacle fiasco pisses me off. That’s the most eloquent way I can put it. The larger macro-trend is that the government has been under pressure to “do something” about corporate malfeasance. So do they do something about people who are really committing heinous crimes and defrauding people of millions of dollars? Well, no. They decide that they will make an example of Martha Stewart who allegedly executes ONE insider trading tip. Was it unethical? Yes. Was it illegal? Yes. Was the time and money spent on this case justified in comparison to all of the other cases that could have been worked on? I highly doubt it.
Humans are funny creatures in that we have no sense of scale or proportion. We will spend $50,000USD to rescue one dog in an emergency, rather than take that money and sponsor the ongoing care of 500 pound dogs. We will spend millions on a trial to put Martha Stewart behind bars for a single sell-order rather so as to be SEEN to be doing something rather than apply those funds to finding and prosecuting real criminals. We go from disillusionment with our government on the one side to throwing them entirely out of power on the other side. (That last item is particularly British Columbian.) As a society, we seem to have no sense of proportion at all. Our irrationality and emotional nature seem to conspire to make us see-saw from one extreme to the other in an instant because that is easier than maintaining focus in the long-term on a particular direction.
We are like a short-sighted, stupid, and temperamental ogre – oblivious to most things and quite unable to plan long term, but once riled, quick to act and extremely out of proportion in its response.