But when considering crime and social class, we run into difficulties of definition with respect to crime. If the underlying principle of the common law is "do no harm", then whether by incompetence or callous negligence, far greater crimes have been committed by financial manipulators than by common criminals - and the former are not only unpunished, but continue to be unbelievably well-rewarded for it. Indeed during the emergency bailouts, some bankers got bumper bonuses because they included the bailout money as part of the turnover on which their payouts were based.
Looking at conventional crime, a Home Office study issued in 2000 estimated the total economic cost to the UK at £59.9 billion p.a (about £1,000 per head of population).:
Compare that with the IMF's 2009 estimate of the cost to the UK of the 2008 banking crisis: £1,227 billion; the equivalent of some £20,500 per man, woman and child in this country - in one year! Not to mention the £375 billion p.a. "quantitative easing" still ongoing.
We can also ask, how do we define cost? John Mortimer's fictional barrister Horace Rumpole points out that criminals make a good living for professionals like himself. GDP, employment and tax revenues (though not real net wealth) are increased by all this economic "activity". But how much prosperity and employment did the financial rescue create? Not that it is actually a rescue: I suspect that disaster has merely been deferred, and possibly exacerbated to boot.
I do not support abortion; but if I did, I should rather be looking to terminate potential bankers than potential burglars.
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