We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Because of the way the world is made, this means that some people will receive a lot more money than others.
But is there truly any injustice in this? Consider the alternative. If we say that a baseball pitcher, or a top movie star, a great trader, a gifted entrepreneur, or even a well-motivated and hard-working local beer distributor should submit to an arbitrary salary cap, then what happens? The extra value created by that individual will go to other people, who are quite likely to be politically favored. The inevitable outcome is pervasive corruption.
Iíve said from the beginning of the current bailout mess that government-assisted companies are necessarily to be deemed as failures. This includes everyone from Bear Stearns to General Motors to AIG to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac to Citigroup. Itís simply not just to expend public dollars to prop up failed enterprises. Iíve said many times that we simply canít let them fail in an unordered way, because the collateral damage is too great. But neither can we let them continue to operate indefinitely.
Common shareholders of assisted companies need to be wiped out, and the operations should be sold off or liquidated in an orderly fashion. Thatís what I had hoped would happen to AIG, Fannie/Freddie, and GM. Instead, our current government acts as if it can run these businesses indefinitely, even as it says with its lips that it canít and shouldnít.
Thatís a true injustice, and that does amount to rewarding failure with taxpayer dollars. That makes me mad as hell, mad enough to take up a pitchfork and march. But I wonít be marching to the neighborhoods where CEOs reside. Iíll be marching up Capitol Hill and the White House.