Well not anymore, Neal. In fact that’s what got us into this mess to begin with. Isn’t that right Mr. Blow?
“The recent unpleasantness of our economic unraveling has caused me headaches. Not so much because I was losing my shirt, but because I thought I was losing my mind. Credit-default swaps, derivative products, securitized mortgages. Say what? It feels as though I’ve stumbled into a Mensa meeting.”
“All the tumult is couched in a jumble of jargon that is confusing and infuriating. In laymen’s terms, the financial industry gambled and lost. This damaged the economy. And if we don’t save Wall Street, the world will implode.
Meanwhile, the worlds of many Americans are already imploding. People are being forced to seek modifications for their underwater mortgages, watch retirement savings wither and choose between medicine and meals. It’s a mess.
Still, we have to give multibillion-dollar bailouts in return for multitrillion-dollar deficits. Argh!”
That George Bailey has a LOT of ‘splanin to do!
“Then came the opprobrium of the A.I.G. bonus imbroglio. Employees in the division of the American International Group that caused much of the problem were paid $165 million in bonuses. This I fully understand. And me no likey. “
Well what we need are are smoother criminals — like we had in the good old days.
“The very idea of these bonuses has an acerbic affect on my American psyche. It is an insult to the basic rule of fairness. So my simmering anger finally has a target. I’m unapologetically, deliriously, cathartically belligerent about it.
I know that there are bigger, more pressing concerns. I know that these bonuses are a mere pittance relative to the bailouts that A.I.G. has received. In fact, if A.I.G.’s bailouts totaled $100, these bonuses would amount to less than a dime. I know all this, yet I don’t care. I want that dime back to restore my faith in fair play.”
Oh we know all about “fair” – don;t we Yip?
“I’m not alone. According to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday, 59 percent of Americans said that they were outraged over the bonuses (26 percent more said that they were bothered), and 76 percent said that they believed that the government should try to block or recover the bonuses.
And, could we please forgo the cacophonous symphony of political recriminations? Everyone’s complicit: Republicans have never liked limiting executive pay. The Obama administration stepped in to strip a provision from the stimulus bill that would have blocked these bonuses. And the Democratic Congress passed it.
Just fix it.”
I’m sure some butter will do the trick!
“Congress is now seeking to “claw back” the bonuses by taxing them into oblivion. Nice try. I don’t know if it’ll work or hold up in court, but anything involving clawing sounds good.
Keep working on a solution, but stop trying to manage and manipulate our anger. Stop trying to squelch, mollify and exploit it. Just let it run its course. America needs this moment.
We don’t expect you to understand Main Street anger, but we do need to register it. After all, we know that there’s no Main Street in Washington.”
Hell — Channel it!