A Fall From Greatness

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A FALL FROM GREATNESS….As American manufacturing prowess continues its long decline, even American crime is being affected. Secret Service agent Charles Green explains to the Kansas City Star:

More counterfeiters are using today’s ink-jet printers, computers and copiers to make money that’s just good enough to pass, he said, even though their product is awful.

In the past, he said, the best American counterfeiters were skilled printers who used heavy offset presses to turn out decent 20s, 50s and 100s. Now that kind of work is rare and almost all comes from abroad.

….Green pointed to a picture hanging in his downtown conference room. It’s a photo from a 1980s Lenexa case that involved heavy printing presses and about 2 million fake dollars. “That’s what we used to see,” he boomed. “That’s the kind of case we used to make.”

….Green’s voice sank as he described today’s sad-sack counterfeiters. These people call up pictures of bills on their computers, buy paper at an office supply store and print out a few bills. They cut the bills apart, go into a store or bar and pass one or two.

That is just a sad state of affairs, my friends. Whatever happened to taking pride in your work? I guess all the real crooks have decided that identify theft and computer fraud are the hot tickets these days.

As an aside, though, I have my doubts that the good stuff all “comes from abroad.” My guess is that it comes from right here in the U. S. of A. Just not from counterfeiters.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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