Recent news programs have reported that some people and companies on Wall Street have openly admitted they cheated in order to stay competitive. When interviewed, an FBI investigator stated that not much could be done, mainly because companies came out and said, for the record, that the cheating fell under "investment risks," and that's why things happened the way they did.
Many entertainers (i.e. Lindsey Lohan, et al.) and professional athletes have violated laws, and/or the policies (steroids, PEDs) of the league in which they play. Yet often times (much more often than not), they're not punished because of a "loophole," or if punished, it's for a much less severe sentence or punishment that "John Q. Public" would receive for the same offense, be it from the legal system or their employer.
A recent example found the reigning Major League Baseball's National League MVP allegedly having some kind of illegal substance in his system. (He happens to play for the team that the current commissioner of baseball used to own coincidence?) He was possibly facing a 50-game suspension. He was neither found guilty nor innocent of the alleged offense, but was exonerated because of a question in how the sample taken from said player was mailed to the laboratory for analysis.
J. Paul Lombardo
We've also seen rule or policy violations and reduced or dropped punishments filter down from professional ranks, to colleges, high schools, and youth leagues. How many times do college or high school athletes violate team, or school rules (for grades or behavior, be they immoral, or unethical), or for violations within the legal system, then maybe receive a punishment, which often is reduced or dismissed because of the talent of said athlete, or the position of the team with regard to wins/losses and/or playoffs?
How many times do we see the same athlete violate team/school policy more than once and have reduced consequences imposed because of his/her impact on the team? What does that say to the rest of the team/group? Or how many times do coaches and school personnel know that athletes/coaches are in violation and just turn their heads because of the talent of the athlete or the reputation of the program?
It happens in more than one institution every season. Sadly, if actions were taken sooner, the tragic happenings at Penn State, which have flooded news and sports pages, may not have escalated to the magnitude which they have. And no, this situation wasn't cheating to gain an advantage regarding wins/losses, but it was violating laws of humanity, decency, and legality and appeared to be hushed because of the reputation of the football program. And what does it say for those college coaches, who minutes after the announced Penn State punishments, called the better athletes on scholarship at Penn State to recruit them for their programs?
Kids, and adults, make mistakes, and in cases, people deserve second chances, but there have to be consequences serious enough to teach young people, or adults, that for actions that violate the school/team/legal system, there will be tough ramifications, and they'll be imposed equally. It's imperative these consequences be there to send messages to other members of the team/group, and there must be consistency in implementation and administration of the policies/disciplines of the school/team.
There have been reports of politicians who have been found to have cheated constituents in their administration and maybe received a slap on the hand, if that. Some have even been questioned about the possibility cheating to get elected to office. There have been reports of government officials who have violated legal/moral practices, and who have maybe resigned from office, yet still received some of their pension, and then signed book/periodical/television appearance deals that brought them unbelievable amounts of money. Some even get hired as television analysts, also bringing them windfalls of money.
How many people on public assistance make it look like they're trying to find a job (some blatantly ignore that requirement of their benefits), who abuse the benefits they receive, yet eat, drink, and live better than some working people, but are not being punished for their violation of what is required to receive and keep their benefits?
How many renege on agreements regarding the payment of rents, mortgages, credit card purchases, college loans, etc., and little or nothing is done in the form of punishments; yet those who pay their rent, mortgage, and credit card purchases and repay college loans end up paying more to cover losses from those who don't live up to their responsibilities, facing higher premiums because companies have raised their rates to cover losses from those who renege on those agreements?
And what about those who openly violate "little" laws like smoking in public buildings or on school or other public properties, or violate noise ordinances, or parking laws, and if they're punished, scream about officials who are doing their job serving the public?
It seems like this piece could be retitled "Some Cheaters Never Prosper, but Many Cheaters Do." It appears, in many situations, rules, laws, and consequences are imposed in very select and convenient situations. Maybe this happens because the person(s) imposing them don't want to be the "bad guy"/"bad gal" for having to impose them. Possibly it happens because those in charge might not want the hassle of facing backlash from those upon whom they've imposed said consequences, or from family or friends of alleged transgressors of the violated policies. Maybe it's because some place winning/getting above integrity.
Regardless of the reason(s) for why it's happening, bottom line is that the statement, "Cheaters never prosper" isn't entirely true. Maybe it's time to make it true again.