It’s not about classism or about contract law, even though it’s amazing how many of you hypocrites though it was OK for the government to throw out UAW contracts but just awful to even talk about touching AIG’s.
It’s not even too small of an issue to worry about. It’s a pretty damn big issue, by my reckoning, because at its fundamentals, it’s about not letting capitalism destroy itself, as Karl Marx predicted it would do.
As odograph puts it:
There have been a number of articles which make the argument “we must pay the AIG bonuses so that businessmen keep their trust in the system.”
I heard that a few times yesterday before it occurred to me how exactly backwards it was.
At this point in time, business needs to earn our trust. They need to convince us that they are not playing the game laid out by Taleb (and probably others) before this blew up. They need to convince us that they aren’t making long-term risky bets in exchange for short-term bonuses.
Until they convince us of that, I am not going to trust them with an unregulated, too big to fail, investment bank and bonus structure.
You want people to support free markets? Make damn sure this kind of crap doesn’t keep happening – call corporate cronyism what it is, and stop defending it because you think ‘financial services’ is somehow more worthwhile than actually making things that have some inherent value. If you lose a guy like me or a guy like odograph, you lost more than enough of the electorate to make socialism (the real kind; not the pejorative applied to mildly progressive taxation) inevitable.
Oh, and while you’re at it? Stop blaming all this crap on too much regulation. Ayn Rand’s corpse has suffered enough indignities by now, hasn’t it?