Among the deadliest and cruelest corporate cover-ups in American history is the decades-long effort by the asbestos industry to conceal what it knew about the health impacts of the "magical mineral." There is no small irony, then, in insurers and asbestos-using companies spinning a tale in which they are victimized by powerful lawyers representing asbestos victims.
You know the statistic. We incarcerate a higher proportion of the population than any other country does. Hundreds of thousands of young, now aging, men, are doing hard time for possession of small amounts of drugs. More and more people find themselves in jail because they got caught with bench warrants for their arrest for exorbitant fines they could not afford to pay. More than a century after debtors prisons were abolished, thousands are again behind bars because of debts. But one category of felon is free on the street. I refer, of course, to corporate criminals. Consider the case of a checkout clerk at Walmart who puts her hands in the till and walks off with a couple of hundred bucks of the company's money. That clerk could expect to face prosecution and jail. Now consider her boss, who cheats her of hundreds of dollars of pay by failing to accurately record the time she clocked in, or the overtime she worked.
Wall Street is the epicenter of our environmental crisis. To ignore that fact is to risk dooming our other climate efforts to failure, or to use them merely as palliatives for troubled consciences. There's no other way to say this: Capitalism, as practiced on Wall Street today, is an existential threat to humanity.