Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor

Short answer, Dr. Krugman: No, it is not possible:

...how is it possible, at this late date, for Obama to be this clueless?

The lead story on Bloomberg right now contains excerpts from an interview with Business Week which tells us:

President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.

The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”

“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”

Obama sought to combat perceptions that his administration is anti-business and trumpeted the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies. He plans to reiterate that message when he speaks to the Business Roundtable, which represents the heads of many of the biggest U.S. companies, on Feb. 24 in Washington.

Oh. My. God.

First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses.

And more specifically, not only has the financial industry has been bailed out with taxpayer commitments; it continues to rely on a taxpayer backstop for its stability. Don’t take it from me, take it from the rating agencies:

The planned overhaul of US financial rules prompted Standard & Poor’s to warn on Tuesday it might downgrade the credit ratings of Citigroup and Bank of America on concerns that the shake-up would make it less likely that the banks would be bailed out by US taxpayers if they ran into trouble again.

The point is that these bank executives are not free agents who are earning big bucks in fair competition; they run companies that are essentially wards of the state. There’s good reason to feel outraged at the growing appearance that we’re running a system of lemon socialism, in which losses are public but gains are private. And at the very least, you would think that Obama would understand the importance of acknowledging public anger over what’s happening.

But no. If the Bloomberg story is to be believed, Obama thinks his key to electoral success is to trumpet “the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies.”

The main$tream dialog has it, however, that the nation is pissed because Obama is too liberal. In reality, everyone from the left-wing people teh Rahmmer so charmingly calls "retarded" to the right wing Tea Party is pissed. But, it is because Obama is continuing the Bu$hCo policy of giving the bank$ters the keys to the Treasury and the Pentagon everything else.

But being on the outside of beltway liberals and conservatives does give perspective to those that can see:

That's Noam Chomsky saying the Tea Party has legitimate grievances.

The Democratic apparatchik who admire Wall Street and flush their supporters down the toilet are just like Republican operatives banning Tea Partiers who slam the bank$ters for stealing the wealth of the nation.

The wisest on either side see what we all have in common: victimization and polarization by those who would rule everyone.

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