Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just Burn the Bankers Already

The Obama administration has decided to weigh in on what banks can pay their executives. This doesn't matter if the bank is a TARP recipient or not. I didn't know banks had been nationalized. It never occurred to me that a U.S. president, rather than the company board with some input from major shareholders, had any say whatsoever.

The term "socialism" has been thrown around a lot lately. The reason for the visceral reaction to it is that there is something inherently emasculating about it. I don't want the government to take care of my every need, to make promises that it can't possibly keep, to offer me shallow hope rather than substantive opportunity. This constant demonization of bankers doesn't stop with bankers. Eventually, the ugliness of being demonized because of your profession, may be directed towards you. We shouldn't have a president and government picking and choosing heroes and villains. Everyone has a role to play from the banker to the mechanic to the doctor to the plumber. While a capitalist system may not lead to a world of holding hands, where people love one another while chanting folk songs, it's worked pretty decently. At least as best as anything can in an imperfect world.

Having the government set pay for non-government, private companies is wrong whether it's for executives, plumbers, musicians, or anybody else. Mr. Obama: Where are you going with this?

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