Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Front page of the business section in today's New York Times:

Stories: your salary here, the fat cats' ongoing windfall here.

The point of the fat-cat story seems to be that nothing ever really slows executive pay -- even the increased tax burden imposed by the bailout bill on banks that take government money and then pay executives lavishly will probably be accepted as just another cost of doing business.

Your income, however, will be subject to the laws of economics -- we're heading into a downturn, so what you make will go down. Er, even though we just went through an upturn and what you made didn't go up.

If I believed in elves and pixies, I might also believe that those two mavericky despisers of Wall Street greed, John McCain and Sarah Palin, would start a genuine crackdown on executive pay if we elected them -- or that Maverick McCain, who also tells us on a regular basis how much he enjoys "reaching across the aisle," might offer GOP backup to President Obama for such a crackdown, while Palin rallied her Joe Sixpack base. But McCain and Palin are actually going to spend the next four years denouncing any Democratic attempt to curtail plutocrat greed, while Sean Hannity nods sagely in agreement, and the rich are going to keep getting richer.

I'm no Dan Riehl, so I'm not advocating violence, but I tend to believe that it would take pitchforked mobs in the streets -- literal class warfare -- to reverse this situation. But I'd love to be proved wrong on that.

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