Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Old Idea

guest posted by Armadillo Joe

I believe very few things are wrong with this current economic situation that can't be solved by installing a guillotine at the corner of Wall Street and Broad.

Because I'm sick of hearing that we're all just supposed to take it. That these overblown payments may be unseemly, but we have to pay them because.... um...

The ugly, unvarnished truth is that we have to pay them because our corporate overlords have said that we have to pay them. We have to pay them because if we don't pay them, the current financial & economic structure will crash to a close because some rich fuck will have to sell one of his houses and maybe his yacht while his bitch of a wife won't get her vacation to the French Riviera this summer and his sociopathic kids might have to hold on to the old Ferrari for an extra year. And the threat of that means that the world's economy must grind to a halt to prevent it.

Especially considering that for many people, the economy has already ground to a halt, that seems like an OK outcome to this dirty fucking hippie. But I find that The Editors have put it rather succinctly, as well:

The problem with close-reading back-and-forths about the fine points of the AIG bonuses is that, however well-intentioned, the AIG bonuses are not The Point. These bonuses, Dubya’s speaking fees, Paris Hilton’s diamond-encrusted dashboard are rounding errors on the $10+ trillion economic clusterfuck, and poor Paris really didn’t help cause it. The Point is that these situations exemplify, for a great many regular people, a fundamental unfairness in American life, which is that the rich get over on everybody else. When times are good, the rich benefit disproportionally. When times are bad, and it’s entirely their fault, they get bailed out by the rest of us. So it goes.

I’m a liberal. I don’t believe in Fairness. Some people are luckier than others, the powerful will get what they want (that’s a fair definition of “power”), none of these asymmetries ever seem to work out in my favor, and I’m pretty sure I’m getting a cold sore. That said, there are degrees of economic inequality, and the last ten years has seen this inequality deliberately exacerbated. It is past time for a pushback. If the AIG outrage is where it starts, then I guess it can start there. I’m not getting bogged down in the details.
We can't make those people be nice or generous or even vaguely human -- no matter how many whiny, self-absorbed editorials they write for the New York Times -- but we don't have to give them our money. Any of it. I would think 80% ownership of AIG would give us some say in who gets paid and who doesn't and, besides, we wouldn't be having this conversation is these assholes were just some low-down, greasy, blue-collar unionized autoworkers. They'd be on their asses, no matter what they'd been promised. Like all the people who no longer have a life's savings because of these guys and guys like these guys. Hey, dudes. Shit happens. "Creative destruction" and "It'll all work out in the long run" and all that other business school claptrap you've been shoveling down our throats for decades. Welcome to the other end of the equation, motherfuckers.

Somebody needs to be made an example of here.

The overlords need to once again become afraid of the people they exploit.


Matt Osborne said...

Let the tumbrils commence!

Fraulein said...

This is brilliant, Joe. I can't think of a thing to add except "hear, hear."