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Re: Congress' reaction to AIG bonuses -- am I the only one concerned?
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 13:56:53 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk () gsp org>
Date: March 20, 2009 1:36:50 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: Re: [IP] Re: Congress' reaction to AIG bonuses -- am I the only one concerned?

There is a larger and more long-term issue here.

Is anybody actually worth a million dollars (to pick an arbitrary
and round number) a year -- to society-at-large?

Dr. Ben Carson, maybe.  Stephen Hawking, certainly.  And similar.

But some doofus who merely shuffles money around?  I think not.
(Doubly so, some doofus who does it *very badly* and manages to
lose most of it.)

Neither any movie star, nor athlete, nor celebrity, nor CEO.  NONE of
these people are actually doing anything which provides value to society
in a quantity sufficient to justify such an enormous wage.

On the other hand, it's not difficult to think of any number of professions
where undercompensation is severe and chronic: "teaching" is merely one
of the more obvious examples.  And yet, the teachers working away today
in schools across the country are doing vastly most valuable work than
anyone on Wall Street.  How many teachers could we give a 25% raise to
just using the money handed out in bonuses by AIG?

We, as a society, really need to readjust our concept of the value
of work.  We have lavishly rewarded the selfish while nearly ignoring
those who sacrifice much for the common good.  And those selfish few
have "rewarded" us by destroying our economy, costing millions of people
their jobs and their homes and their peace of mind, and diverting our
national attention and resources from our many other pressing problems.

We should return the favor -- showing them exactly the same respect,
mercy, generosity and compassion that they've shown us...and no more.


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