Stop, thief! | VailDaily.com
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Stop, thief!

When I was a kid, I stole some comic books from a store in Denver.Seized by guilt these many years, I have decided to unburden my soul (also, I think the statute of limitations just expired).I now realize how woefully puny my thievery was. Compared to the (alleged) crooks filling our pages these days, I was a criminal infant. My parents never pushed me to expand on my skills, go to an Ivy League school and become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Bastards.Having written several stories this summer about captains of industry who bilked stockholders of millions and allegedly used some of their ill-gotten booty to buy Vail-area castles, I don’t mean to make light of some smaller-scale cases of embezzlement that have crippled local companies.Just because the dollar amounts can be measured in hundreds of thousands instead of hundreds of millions doesn’t lessen the impacts on local business owners, victims whom many of us know by name.But the greed of the alleged local pilferers and their corporate cousins nationally is so astounding to me that all I can do is laugh.How absurd is it that some of this purloined money was spent on things like $6,000 shower curtains and thousands of dollars worth of fresh-cut flowers to adorn a ski-in/ski-out home that sometimes sat empty when the owner didn’t show for the weekend?It makes me feel like a sucker for wanting a few extra bucks to throw into my kid’s college fund or put a new floor in an aging bathroom. I should be dreaming of a 16-room beach villa, then stealing my employer blind to get it.That, apparently, is the American way.So is it any wonder that starving citizens of third-world countries want to fly planes into our centers of high finance?We have redefined gluttony in this country, and greed has replaced the American Dream.I take it back; I can’t laugh anymore.I just want to cry. And I’d give the comic books back if I still had them.


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