Assuming recent news accounts of his immense wealth are accurate, Hosni Mubarak, boss of Egypt, Bela Lugosi look-alike, and perhaps the richest man in the world, leaves political office after 30 years of looting as much as $70 billion from his countrymen.
That treasure is also probably the reason why it took him so long to leave; he needed some time to take care of his spoils while he still had power. Now he’ll probably go off to somewhere like Saudi Arabia or the South of France with glad tidings and good will from the U.S.A., and all the world’s governments, to live out the rest of his life as a respected former head of state in magnificent extravagant splendor.
How does a common soldier, without any particular money making talent, business acumen, or other real life value creation experience manage that?
Why, by stealing it of course; but not like your average burglar or thief steals things. Unchecked political power allows politicians to steal values legitimately; the law is on their side. The force is on their side. They see to that. History presents a long list of these political opportunist creeps, some from the right, some from the left, and many more in between -- Authority!
In Mubarak’s case, he came to power after the political assassination of his predecessor, suspended the nation’s constitution, and then ensconced himself at the top as a blood sucking parasite for the next 30 years. As boss, he took a cut in everything that was anything happening in Egypt, all the while answering essentially to no one. The biggest development projects, monopolies, and business deals, together with all manner of political corruption, kickbacks, bribery, and graft, rendered the economy of Egypt Mubarak’s private piggy bank – pure profit with no overhead.
Bernie Madoff got 155 years in stir for his multi-billion dollar thievery. Mubarak, equally guilty and twice as despicable, will probably keep most of his ill-gotten gains to enjoy in golden retirement.
That’s the difference between thieves and politicians.