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.
Also, fuck them:
But it’s not clear to me why a couple, both of whom work in the financial services industry [for a company which the taxpayers are bailing out -ed.], and make $150,000 each should essentially have their entire bonuses taken back in taxes.
Are you on acid?
Because they didn’t earn it, maybe? Because if they were working for any other industry where they’d fucked the collective dog to the extent the financial services industry has, they wouldn’t even have a job? Because while 40-odd million Americans have no health care, these folks get $300,000/year plus bennies plus a bonus? Because fuck them?