Friday, September 25, 2009
Michael, Plaxico, and Bubba
One of the interesting aspects of a shifting mass social mood relates to criminality. While the mood is "positive" and economies are expanding, the masses tend to be more lenient when it comes to punishment. As that mood tips the other direction, the masses emulate the mob and seek out a lynching. The mood began to tip in 2000. In 2004, the SEC comically convicted Martha Stewart of securities crimes. We couldn't seem to find a really bad guy instead. In 2006, we convicted the Enron boys. In 2007, Michael Vick received a two year sentence. This week Plaxico Burress starts his two year sentence. With all of this in perspective, we must look back to 1998 when our president, the most powerful man in the world, partook in an affair with a young intern. While it made for great TV, the mob wasn't angry enough to take serious, extreme action. Imagine today, if our current president did the same thing. The mood and the mob are in a different mindset which results in very different outcomes.