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The Adrenaline Runs Quick When The Queen Enters

Oh Obama sunshine...

Oh Obama sunshine...

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my girl
Usually when you read about huge companies using bailout cash to give executives multi-million dollar bonuses the only thing you can do is watch your blood pressure rise. Well well Obama said No frigging way and spoke up and came down and AIG says they will listen to the president.

the only thing is many of these bonuses were contractually agreed to last year. So USA taxpayers are still going to have to pay up. However the 165 million in bonuses is just a fraction of the 170 billion fed rescue. I thought capitalism was supposed to weed out the incompetent. How can an insurance group be so broke and yet so necessary???

idk must be some sort of new crazy math kiss,


XX
  • Capitalism does weed out the incompetent. If you bail out the incompetent with tax monies, that’s socialism, which rewards kowtowing before government agencies and personalities more than serving the bottom line through the customer. Guess which one Obama’s bailout promotes?

    Thanks, Democrats! [jaunty thumbs up]

    • I approve of some socialism, I think capitalism is greedy and exploitive. However I approve of some capitalism. but rewarding greedy and exploitive with socialistic bailouts makes me think YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!!!
      • Oooh, this is a fine opportunity to go grab my favourite Friedman video!

        Milton Friedman, my personal economics hero. And this is from back when daytime TV could exhibit a higher IQ than needed to live in Urbania and draw a public check.

        Only the greedy and exploitive are likely to do anything for other folk. That’s the way life goes. Capitalism generally makes sure the greedy and too exploitive fail. Not letting them fail? That’s worse than greedy and exploitive; that’s harmful.

        Short version: Greedy capitalism == good. Socialism == eats babies.

        • the idea that the greedy and wealthy are the only ones prompted to help others is ridiculous.

          "Capitalism generally makes sure the greedy and too exploitive fail." Occassionally this is true and who defines "too exploitive"?

          "Not letting them fail? That’s worse than greedy and exploitive; that’s harmful."

          I tend to agree as long as there is a safety net and re employment strategies for the workers.


          • the idea that the greedy and wealthy are the only ones prompted to help others is ridiculous

            I never said they were the only ones prompted. I will say they’re the only ones really in a position to do so. What, you think the poor are big contributers to helping the poor? What do they have to give, and who are they going to give it too, the even-more-poor? That’s just shoveling the shit from stall to stall; you want the stable cleaned up, you have to have a flow from somewhere up higher, Augeas. People get wealthy because they’re self-interested. They don’t generally get wealthy because they’re utter altruists; in fact, complete altruism is complete poverty, as the complete altruist gives away material wealth before they can accrue enough to get more.

            Rich people are in a position to help others. Others? They want to be helped. Anything else is magical thinking.

            “Capitalism generally makes sure the greedy and too exploitive fail.” Occassionally this is true and who defines “too exploitive”?

            It’s not occasionally true, it’s always true. Invariably. Maybe not on the timespan that you (or I) feel comfortable with, but it’s as inevitable as the turning of the tides or the decay of an isotope.

            As for who defines “too exploitive,” the market does. Just like nature emergently weeds out diseases and parasites which are too exploitive of their hosts. The hosts die, the parasites fail to reproduce, so sorry, too bad. Or they get out-competed in the market/environment because their hosts are unable to maintain enough resource flow to sustain their place, and get out-competed in their niche. Successful symbiotic relationships, in biology or ecology, involve both parties, host and cyte, exploiting the other just enough. The very definition of a functioning, thriving ecology, in fact.

            AIG, the Big Three auto-makers, Freddie May and Frannie Mac? Failed micro-ecologies. And do you know what happens when you artificially sustain a failing micro-ecology or cyte in a wider largely-functioning ecology? It begins spurting entropy everywhere, it disrupts the wider network of relationships into a meta-parasitic structure. The fragility of the whole increases because of a decrease in degrees-of-freedom across the network.

            It sickens and heads toward death.

            Welcome to the Obama “stimulus” package. Specifically designed to take resources from the people who use it best, successful businesses and individuals, and give it to those who used them worst. That’s no way to manage any kind of ecology.

            • I will say they’re the only ones really in a position to do so. What, you think the poor are big contributers to helping the poor?

              There are a lot of degrees between super-wealthy and poverty stricken. I've been covering about a half dozen missions (for my newspaper) ordinary folks have been going on in order to do things like build schools, orphanages and medical facilities. They aren't wealthy but they are making a huge difference.

              The trickle down effect doesn't always happen. The kings of poverty striken countries who have private jets are an example of this.

              "It’s not occasionally true, it’s always true. Invariably. Maybe not on the timespan that you (or I) feel comfortable with"

              See, this is irritating, you're talking of an empire falling, I'm talking about someone losing their house or being hungry. Excuse me for not giving a crap that eventually capitalist pigs willlie in ruins. Many live their entire lifetimes without any financial difficulty whatsoever. why the people exploitedlive in misery. That is what i care about.

              "As for who defines “too exploitive,” the market does."

              lolol oh okay. tell that to the starving folks in the dominican who farm sugarcane from sunup to sundown and end up in debt to redpath at end of season. OH OK.

              yeah I think the stimulus packages are ridiculous in the main.
              • There are a lot of degrees between super-wealthy and poverty stricken. I’ve been covering about a half dozen missions (for my newspaper) ordinary folks have been going on in order to do things like build schools, orphanages and medical facilities. They aren’t wealthy but they are making a huge difference.

                Pity Obama recently endorsed a bill which caps the tax benefits of charitable donations then, right? Ordinary folks give what they can. The wealthy give what they want to. I’m all for the wealthy keeping more of their money in general, since:

                • One day I hope to be one of them, and,
                • People who have more money tend to give more of it to people they think are worthy of it, be it charity or starting businesses.

                The trickle down effect doesn’t always happen. The kings of poverty striken countries who have private jets are an example of this.

                Untrue. The kings of poverty-stricken nations don’t buy their airplanes in their home countries, but who tend to be the richest people after them? Their cronies and body-guards. The people they buy off. Government officials, who bribe each other for the pleasure of their power. And the people who are less rich than them? Their families, their organizations, their businesses (if businesses are even allowed there).

                Trickle-down is as inevitable as any other market event; in the case of most kings of impoverished nations, they don’t spend the bulk of their income in their country for goods. They don’t have any. But billions wash around in the service economies of cronies and hangers-on. It’s just there’s not much to spend it on beyond that circle, so it ends up trickling down to people who are non-local who provide what’s wanted.

    • See, this is irritating, you’re talking of an empire falling, I’m talking about someone losing their house or being hungry. Excuse me for not giving a crap that eventually capitalist pigs willlie in ruins. Many live their entire lifetimes without any financial difficulty whatsoever. why the people exploitedlive in misery. That is what i care about.

      I’m talking about a household falling as much as anything. It’s just on such a micro-scale, there are a thousand other forces which apply pressures external. The biggest ones, however, live in the house. People go hungry. People lose houses. People suck. People are stupid. Good people die in fire while bad ones live off the fat of the land.

      In short, shit happens.

      Nothing you, I, or any government on Earth could do will change these things. They occur. Faeces occurebat. Any government that usurped for itself the power to even attempt to do so would have to throw off the shackles of Democracy for utter dictat — and still fail. The nature of the world is not worth railing against.

      Eventually, hyper-exploitive systems crash and burn. On the way, a lot of people who had little to do with it get burned, die screaming, and have their rendered fat mingled with the malefactors. Your choice, at heart, is between letting the fire rage and consume, take out the weedy undergrowth, burn the grasslands down but have everything regrow stronger and more healthy and resilient in a few years … or stop the fires that burn some off, until there comes a time the whole thing is ready to go up, and it takes you out as well as burns everything to the subsoil, leaving a salted, dead wasteland.

      lolol oh okay. tell that to the starving folks in the dominican who farm sugarcane from sunup to sundown and end up in debt to redpath at end of season. OH OK.

      I’d happily tell them that. With a smile on my face. Because obviously the system is working well enough there for them to still have jobs, feed their families, and not be dead. That’s a win, compared to a lot of the planet.

      I’m all for individuals having the choice of what to do with their own money. You want to give 80% of your income to bums downtown? You go, girl. The problem I have is when you involve government to take my money and do things with it. The belief that government is smarter than the individual is toxic.

      • "Your choice, at heart, is between letting the fire rage and consume, take out the weedy undergrowth, burn the grasslands down but have everything regrow stronger and more healthy and resilient in a few years … or stop the fires that burn some off, until there comes a time the whole thing is ready to go up, and it takes you out as well as burns everything to the subsoil, leaving a salted, dead wasteland."

        What about the fact I do not support giving funds to fat cat companies do you not comprehend?

        "Eventually, hyper-exploitive systems crash and burn."
        like unregulated capitalism



        "In short, shit happens."

        "The nature of the world is not worth railing against."

        "I’d happily tell them that. With a smile on my face. Because obviously the system is working well enough there for them to still have jobs, feed their families, and not be dead."

        They do die, they dies young, they can't feed their families, the kids don't have clothes while executives live in multimillion dollar apartments on 5th ave. you're too gross for me to talk to.

        //end.
    • do you know any rich people? I know a fair amount of moderate rich, folks worth ten million or more and they give shit.

      what I am saying is the trickle down is too slow to be of any use to the people who need it the most. lol instead of buying themselves stuff they should invest in infastructure, manufacture, education but they don't. they don't. they go shopping. fuck. that is gross. fuck the trickledown.
  • How come they're contractually obligated to hand out those bonuses, but not to preserve the jobs of people who work for their company but make much less than those executives? The shit always lands on the little guy, no matter who's throwing it this time. :(
    • You should stop that thinking, young lady. THERE ARE MINDLESS ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU CONQUER YOUR ADDICTION! I suggest you find some.
    • Not to natter the obvious, but …

      Because they hired those people with the stipulation they’d get those bonuses in the contract? And because the people at lower positions are not, in general, contract workers who negotiated the same terms and thus aren’t guaranteed anything beyond the scope of their job content?

      Unless, of course, you’re just suggesting that contract law doesn’t apply to people making more money than you, in which case you’re making a sufficiently extreme claim you’re going to have to actually support it with fact and not just emotion.

      • right, the stimulus plan is promoted as helping companies keep active and keep people working, not to pad the pockets of the wealthy executives.

        your third para is innane.
        • right, the stimulus plan is promoted as helping companies keep active and keep people working, not to pad the pockets of the wealthy executives.

          Which pretty much actually aware of economics and how systems interact could tell you was a complete fabrication from the get go. “We’re going to give money to failing companies” was the entire premise they sold it with. Did you not think about why those companies were failing? I mean, aside from government intervention in the first place, which made it profitable to trade in derivatives wildly past any sane valuation.

          The whole thing was transparently “to pad the pockets of executives running failing companies.” How could you even marginally think it wasn’t?

          My third para is only inane if you don’t actually read what I’m replying to. To wit:

          How come they’re contractually obligated to hand out those bonuses, but not to preserve the jobs of people who work for their company but make much less than those executives?

          The inanity is that the answer is right there in the question. They’re contractually obligated in many cases. It’s certainly defensible to say it’s a dumb contract for the company to enter into. It’s defensible to say that the contracts made on such a basis are probably responsible for AIG being in a bad place managerially. But they’re signed and accepted. Do you seriously think it’d preserve jobs for AIG to violate contractual terms and then be sued for breech of contract in a clearly, obviously losing case? No?

          Thinking it would is inane. I’m merely pointing out the painfully obvious.

          • "Did you not think about why those companies were failing?"

            I don't know why you are under the impression I don't already know what you think you are enlightening me about.

            "The whole thing was transparently “to pad the pockets of executives running failing companies.” How could you even marginally think it wasn’t?"

            I never thought it wasn't I wrote a post about pigs when it first went down. Which is why it is good that obama is at least pointing out funding fleeing executives is a problem and he will try to stop it from happening. a little too late for my taste, but I was trying to spread obama happiness!

            I think what she was saying is that legalities aren't always just. That is makes her mad that a dumbass move like awarding bonus before the year is out shouldn't be rewarded. That crooks are crooks and use the law to protect themselves.
            • Which is why it is good that obama is at least pointing out funding fleeing executives is a problem and he will try to stop it from happening. a little too late for my taste, but I was trying to spread obama happiness!

              There’s no Obama happiness to be had if you think that anything other than top-down government intervention is a successful game-plan. In contravention of all the reasonably observable laws of economics, he’s mandated and the Democratic Congress has put it’s stamp of approval on a plan that guts markets, that rewards the maleficent, that puts the folks most responsible for the situation in the driver’s seats of what comes out the other side. That’s not an occasion for rooting and cheering; it might be more reason to arrange Tea Parties.

              Oh, wait, occuring.

              Funding fleeing executives is just a verbal distraction, regardless. It’s an act of oral chicanery. The problem is giving those companies monies. Period, end of line. The companies are failing for solid reasons. What did he think occurs when you feed money into a money-spew? It gets spewed. Some would say it’s a mistake; I go farther. It’s dumb. Obama’s publicly stated and privately supported economic policies are dumb, and they worsen the problems by multiplying them. They’re actively and stupidly harmful.

              My opinion of his foreign policy decisions makes my statements regarding his domestic policy look positively tame.

              I think what she was saying is that legalities aren’t always just.

              Legalities have always had at best an accidental relationship with justice. But we’re not talking about justice, because in a just system, successful people are rewarded, not called out for more particular burden, and the unsuccessful fail and disappear. We’ve already specified up front that that’s not what’s occurring; justice be damned, then. We’re talking about legal permissibility … and once we go there, we have to get into what we think it should be legal for the Executive and Legislative branches of government to have power over. Micro-managing corporations is not on that list. That way madness / Venezuela lies.

              • Look dude, if you think I'm an obama/stimulus pkg supporter you are wrong.I do not support free-for all capitalism either. However, he spoke up about it and I think that is an ok step to have made.

                I was spreading obama sunshine and that was the best I could come up with.

                "It’s an act of oral chicanery. The problem is giving those companies monies."

                Look Dude, again, I know that. I posted on that. I wrote "However the 165 million in bonuses is just a fraction of the 170 billion fed rescue."

                "But we’re not talking about justice,"

                Um, me and inkdot were talking injustice.

                "because in a just system, successful people are rewarded, not called out for more particular burden, and the unsuccessful fail and disappear."

                A-hahaha that's not my idea of justice. My idea of justice is the workers get a share in the profit. My idea of justice is people aren't exploited in order to make a company successful. My idea of justice includes bailouts forcompanies that have been doing the right things but need alittle help to get through.

                "We’ve already specified up front that that’s not what’s occurring; justice be damned, then. We’re talking about legal permissibility"

                Uh no, you don't get to decide what we were talking about. I know this may shock you but you don't get to decide what we were talking about. WE KNOW THE CONTRACTS ARE BINDING. Although I bet some high-priced lawyers could find a loophole or something. What we were saying is it sucks. Her "I don't get" wasn't a genuine notation of incomprehension, it was frustration with the injustice of the system that almost always rewards the rich.
                • A-hahaha that’s not my idea of justice. My idea of justice is the workers get a share in the profit. My idea of justice is people aren’t exploited in order to make a company successful. My idea of justice includes bailouts forcompanies that have been doing the right things but need alittle help to get through.

                  The workers for AIG are getting a share of the profit, such as it is; they get a paycheck. The thing is they’re not getting the cut you think they should be getting. Which is fine for you to think, but the question of whether you should be able to enforce your idea of fairness through government intervention is at stake.

                  Your idea of justice seems to have little in common with the actual reality of the world we live in. Which is OK, since it’s a pretty common malady. But you seem to confuse the media and the message, the map and the territory. You want the AIG employees to get more of a cut? Start a new company, hire them all on, buy up AIG’s toxic assets, and make it work.

                  Easy-peasy.

                  Her “I don’t get” wasn’t a genuine notation of incomprehension, it was frustration with the injustice of the system that almost always rewards the rich.

                  The thing is, there’s no injustice here. There’s inaesthetics. You were kind enough to bring up the folks working the sugar cane fields in the Dominican republic. Ask them if they’d trade their place with an AIG employee in the US. They’d be all up in that shit. You wouldn’t catch a peep of complaint out of them … until they finally get deluged with the victimization rhetoric of the new class-warfare line. Which is what you’re pushing.

      • It's not that I don't think the contracts should be honoured - they're contracts. Naturally they should be honoured, and I don't see how there's a legal way of getting around that. Rather, my point was that it's unfortunate that instead of the appointed bailout money going to, you know, bailing the company out by padding their losses and lessening the need for cutbacks and layoffs (which was presumably the point of the bailout money in the first place,) the funds will be used as obligatory bonuses for people who already make enough money that they're not at a significant risk of losing their homes, for example. I'm not taking any particular stance here - just commenting that it's shitty.

        As for having to support my thoughts with facts, um, no I don't. I was merely commenting on a friend's journal entry, and I don't know you from Adam. No offense intended.
        • Rather, my point was that it’s unfortunate that instead of the appointed bailout money going to, you know, bailing the company out by padding their losses and lessening the need for cutbacks and layoffs (which was presumably the point of the bailout money in the first place,) the funds will be used as obligatory bonuses for people who already make enough money that they’re not at a significant risk of losing their homes, for example.

          To be fair, the vast bulk of AIG employees are far outside that umbrella of protection. Even the janitors working in financial sector buildings make a pretty comfortable wad by dint of being secured assets.

          I’ll reiterate, it’s inaesthetic that the money is going to such contractual obligations. But it’s not unjust. It is even, I think well-arguedly, harmful for the economy as a whole for that money to be allocated … even though not doing so would have put a lot of AIG employees out on their asses and the obligated bonii would still have been paid. The money itself is acting to protect and cushion the folks responsible for the mismanagement from the consequences of their actions. Better they fail, even though a lot of smaller actors get hurt in the rubble.

          As for having to support my thoughts with facts, um, no I don’t. I was merely commenting on a friend’s journal entry, and I don’t know you from Adam. No offense intended.

          I just don’t get this. Is it normal where you come from to make a public statement without having to actually stand behind your words? Maybe I’m a relic of the wild-west (UseNet) where you can make any statement you like but you better be willing to be responsible for it if someone challenges it. Crazy, I know. A long-lost, cruder Age, no doubt.

          • The money itself is acting to protect and cushion the folks responsible for the mismanagement from the consequences of their actions. Better they fail, even though a lot of smaller actors get hurt in the rubble.

            That right there is what frustrates me about the entire situation, although I understand completely that my frustration is futile. It doesn't seem to me that those responsible will suffer the consequences of their actions, bailout or no bailout. But other people will suffer.

            I just don’t get this. Is it normal where you come from to make a public statement without having to actually stand behind your words?

            I guess this comes down to a difference in opinion as to what constitutes a public space. If I was sharing my thoughts in a classroom, or a column in a newspaper, you're absolutely right I'd have an obligation to back myself up. But to me, a friend's journal is a semi-private space (more like their living room than the office water cooler) and, strictly speaking, I was addressing dans_la_reine. I certainly have no problem with you jumping in to share your opinion (that's your prerogative, naturally) but I'm not really under an obligation to cite citations to your satisfaction. If that makes me abnormal, well, okay. Again - I didn't intend to offend.
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