Right Thinking From The Left Coast
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life - Albert Camus

Your Bonus Is My Bonus

Stuff like this really irritates me:

President Barack Obama said on Sunday he told the chiefs of the biggest U.S. banks that bonuses are not acceptable while many Americans struggle to meet basic expenses in the midst of a severe recession.

Referring to a meeting Friday at the White House with the chief executives of banks that have received U.S. government bailout funds, Obama said bankers need to show some restraint from big bonuses during the financial crisis.

“That’s just not acceptable,” Obama said during an interview on CBS television’s “Face the Nation.”

He said he told the chief executives: “Show some restraint. Show that you get that this is a crisis and everybody has to make sacrifices.”

Everybody except government, apparently.

I realize that there is no law—yet—following on his declaration.  But that just reduces it to shameless pandering to wealth envy.

It’s worth noting again—some of the sacrifices that have to be made may be paying big bonuses to acquire and retain people who can fix the fiscal mess.  Or maybe not.  Maybe they’ll get their big boni and still screw things up.  Who the hell is President Obama—he of absolutely zero business experience—to tell banks what they should and should not be paying their employees?  These declarations are not the result of some careful consideration—they’re an appeal to wealth envy.

Are the bonuses morally right?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t seem so.  But there’s certainly a lot worse behavior going on out there—much of it government circles.  Whatever the execs at AIG might be doing, they aren’t imprisoning innocent men for decades for crimes they didn’t commit.  They aren’t getting us involved in dubious wars so they can appear tough.  They aren’t spending hundreds of billions of deficit-funded dollars and risking inflation to make it look they’re doing something about the economy.

I will probably not make as much money in my entire life as some of these bankers are going to collect in bonuses.  You know what?  It doesn’t bother me at all.  Even if they are just sitting around playing Mousebreaker all day, it doesn’t bother me.  And if those bonuses mean a slightly better chance of the banking system not imploding, I’m all in favor of it.

Mr. President, mind your own business.  When you submit a budget to Congress that isn’t a complete and utter mathematical joke, then I might be prepared to listen to your opinion on how much certain people should be paid.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/30/09 at 12:39 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 03/30/09 at 03:33 PM from United States

Is there are doubt at this time that Obama is a Marxist at heart?

Posted by on 03/30/09 at 03:50 PM from United States

As someone that has a far better than average insight into the banking industry, I’d like to point out that the person typically running your average bank branch, or credit union really isn’t making all that much.  Most of them are in the low six figures, and their bonus won’t actually be all that significant.

The stress level these people labor under is significant: they are constantly audited at a federal and state level, they answer to a board of directors, they are heavily regulated, and to top it all off they are expected to account for every penny that passes through their accounts.

These people typically have, at a minimum, a 4-year degree in Business (many have an MBA)and 20+ years experience directly in the business.  The hours worked tend to 50+ hours per week, and the business is highly competitive (loan rates, interest rates, credit cards, etc).

So, how much does the commie-in-chief think they should get paid?  Because, quite frankly, most people can’t do the job.

Posted by on 03/30/09 at 03:54 PM from United States

while many Americans struggle to meet basic expenses in the midst of a severe recession.

I’d like to see these sweeping statements backed up, because I smell a load of rhetoric and BS.  Unemployment is still lower than it was at the beginning of the Clinton and Reagan administrations, wages haven’t dropped, and prices are actually coming down.  Who is having trouble meeting basic expenses at this time?  I don’t know anyone, even those that are between jobs.

I know people that are having a crappy time selling real estate, but quite obviously that isn’t the same thing as “meeting basic expenses”.

Posted by InsipiD on 03/30/09 at 04:32 PM from United States

while many Americans struggle to meet basic expenses in the midst of a severe recession.

The people who have jobs are generally doing about as well as they were any other time.  It’s the increase in unemployment that makes some people not do well.

Posted by on 03/30/09 at 04:50 PM from Germany

Who the hell is President Obama—he of absolutely zero business experience—to tell banks

...or the auto industry for that matter.

Hal, your arguments and thoughts, as valid as they seem, are kind of missing the point, or the mark, or some spot or other.  Once the government is involved - stealing money from THIS American and giving it to THAT American, then since there’s no moral foundation upon which any argument rests, then they can argue and justify anything they want.

It’s like if you (anyone) start with a falsehood, you can prove anything you want.  That’s where we are now - living in a big logical fallacy.

Posted by HARLEY on 03/30/09 at 04:51 PM from United States

The people who have jobs are generally doing about as well as they were any other time.  It’s the increase in unemployment that makes some people not do well.

Its the fact that so many were living beyond their means, paycheck to paycheck.

Posted by Miguelito on 03/30/09 at 06:44 PM from United States

Its the fact that so many were living beyond their means, paycheck to paycheck.

Yep, for the most part at least.  Of the houses in my neighborhood that have been put up for sale lately, almost all of them are very recently renovated a lot.  Likely via a HELOC or something similar.. and those same ones tend to have a fairly new (and expensive of course) car (or a few) out front as well.  They’re so stereotypical it’s funny.

I’d really love to see one of these execs, in a very public place (congressional hearing perhaps) say something to the effect of the post.. basically “You don’t know what you’re talking about, and we’ll follow suit as soon as you (gov’t) leads the way in cutting back.” It’ll never happen though.

Posted by on 03/31/09 at 05:23 AM from United States

Obama and his Fascist union !

Obama is removing competence and replacing it with mediocre ignorance. Everyone paints CEO’s as evil lords who sit back and smoke cigars and laugh at their minions. In reality most of them busted their asses off in schooling and spent 12-16 hours a day for years earning excellence. They are mostly accomplished in their fields and deserve a substantial pay when they are expanding their company, creating jobs, creating revenue and creating economic growth. Yes, bad apples do exist as well, but in general, no. So why would these “competent” people want to work for only $500,000 a year, according to “The Obama Plan”? They are going to go work for foreign companies that recognize their abilities.

One thing that makes me sick is when I talk to liberals bleeding hearts, they HATE CEO’s and agree with Obama’s cap on executive workers, but have no problem when some idiot can put a ball in a hoop and make over $55 MILLION for 4 years. WTF. America is giving more value to some athlete than a educated executive. WTF

We should be capping salaries for athletes before we cap them for industry.

Posted by on 03/31/09 at 10:08 AM from United States

We should be capping salaries for athletes before we cap them for industry.

We should not cap salaries, EVER.  It is unconstitutional and a bad idea.  Government imposed rpice limits (whether for goods or labor) ALWAYS screw things up in ways not intended.

Posted by on 03/31/09 at 12:20 PM from United States

They’re so stereotypical it’s funny.

Are you slamming them on their taste, lack of “originality”, or that they just all happen to fit into the same demographic (age, income, education, etc) and end up buying similar lifestyles?

Seriously, is there something wrong with people generally wanting the same things?

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