Mmm, guess I'm a Socialist!
By Number Six
Monday, February 02, 2009 at 06:51 AM
Chutzpah. Yiddish word, loosely? Big, brass balls. Insolence, audacity, impertinence. Doing or saying something that makes others stand back and gasp at how we just cannot believe anyone can do or say something of that calibre.
I guess, too, it helps to be lost on another planet....
Getting between a broker and his bonus is like getting between a schnauzer and his lunch bowl. He may not bite you, but you are going to smell his breath.Measured in light-years at that, yes.
“People come here because they want to work hard and get paid a lot for working hard,” one investment banker said Friday as he wended his way, lunch bag in hand, through the World Financial Center. “I think there’s a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.”
That certainly was the case this week when Main Street learned that, despite the craters of a down economy, Wall Street bonuses were more than $18 billion last year — roughly what they were in the fatty, solvent days of 2004. The media hollered, the president scolded, and ordinary people checked their wallets. But downtown, in the caverns of finance, the moneymakers shrugged and took it on the chin.More, chuckled and extended the middle finger at we, the peons, mmm?
What can be told, however, is that President Obama is substantially less popular on Wall Street this week than he was last week. Words like “outrageous,” “shameful” and “the height of irresponsibility” — especially when applied to a man’s paycheck — tend not to make you many friends.Oh, I get it now! If I oppose the assholes getting their "precious", I'm a socialist!....despite the obvious? Record unemployment? Jobs gone overseas so these fuckers can have their goddamned cash flow? People losing their homes? And we're in debt, all of us, in trillions now?
“I think President Obama painted everyone with a broad stroke,” said Brian McCaffrey, 55, a Wall Street lawyer who was on his way to see a client. “The way we pay our taxes is bonuses. The only way that we’ll get any of our bailout money back is from taxes on bonuses. I think bonuses should be looked at on a case by case basis, or you turn into a socialist.”
That, indeed, was a recurring equation: Broad strokes + bonuses = socialist.
No, they don't get it.
Meanwhile, around the corner, Larry Meyers and Gerard Novello, who work for an Italian securities firm, ducked into a Mexican cantina for a drink. It was Mr. Meyers’s 43rd birthday, and he ordered the tequila.I'd prefer theft, myself. Or, rape. Or, looting. Sacking and pillaging do come to mind.
“On Main Street, ‘bonus’ sounds like a gift,” he said. “But it’s part of the compensation structure of Wall Street. Say I’m a banker and I created $30 million. I should get a part of that.”
“There’s got to be a better term for it,” he added, turning to Mr. Novello.
“Earned income credit?” he wondered aloud.
As strategies go, this one ain't gonna fly. The idea, of course, is that if we, the workers, we, the people get angry at they, the elite for pocketing billions, why, we're jealous little socialists. That's the idea, make us look anti-whatever.
Uh-huh. Pure Rush Limbaugh, of course, we protest, oh, we're commies, Marxists, under our breath..Workers Of The World Unite!.
Cheap. Really cheap. Small problem. It ain't gonna work.
Attention Wall Street: You ain't see shit.
You can then expect that our president and our congress are going to tax the living hell out of your "precious". How you like them apples? You assholes got away with murder for eight years, well, the wolf's down the mountain boys, so, guess what!
The suit crowd doesn't get it. It is not socialism. It's a human reaction.
"Why should I sweat, ache, hurt, put up with collection idiots, live like a peasant, lose my home or my job or both so you motherfuckers can live like King Louis?"
The comments offered by these goons are tantamount to the infamous comments attributed to Marie Antoinette. "Let them eat cake!"....and we all know how Marie discovered a whole new meaning to the word topless.
The president's point is correct: It shameful. We're out here, we're the ones betting our retirements, we're the ones working our asses off, and we're the ones with credit card companies chewing up our paychecks, our homes about to go into default, and you can't fucking get it???
If I were a Wall Street person, I'd keep in mind the riots in Greece, and the recent incidents in Iceland: The peasants are revolting.
There is anger everywhere. And I'd not want to be on the wrong side of such. Me? I'd take my bonus and keep my mouth shut, because, bragging to the world, or worse, offering such a cheap refrain to our plight....just might piss off some.
Socialism? Comrade, mind what you wish for.
You might see it.
Sorry, I must be anti-socialist. I agree with the fellow for a case-by-case basis.
And each case of bonus should be taken in the light of follow-on experience, such as places, like Memphis, which are suing business when their 'products' cause grief outside of their industry.
If a bonus is given for service that proves as full of air and, dare I say it, fraudulent, that they have the bonus taken back, and applied to the damage done.
On a "case-by-case" approach, who determines if the bonus is reasonable, appropriate, etc? When is the determination made? And how do you propose to "have the bonus taken back?" Litigation? Another layer of lawsuits and all the delaying tactics that go with it?
Sorry, but I see no case for the kinds of bonuses that have been handed out to hacks by hacks, all on the theory that the payee hacks have somehow "earned it" by making billions for the payor hacks.
How did they "earn it?" By doing the very job they were hired to do?
If the bonuses are, indeed, rewards for creating billions for the employer, where is the offsetting penalty for losing billions for the employer?
The whole bonus shtick is a crock. People at the top of the food chain always find a way to claim that their work is invaluable, and always find a way to claim that the work of the peons is valueless. It's a crock now, it was a crock when the outlandish bonuses began, and it will be a crock the next time that the white collar criminals adopt the sane system.
I used to run a cutting press in a asbestos filter factory. I was fast, faster than anyone else that worked there. When their best customers submitted rush orders for thousands of filters needed in 2 or 3 days, who do you think cut the filters to order?
Yet when I proposed a piecework system that would have paid me roughly the same amount per filter that slower cutters were getting, the management freaked out. Why? Because even though I'd have made the same amount of money per filter as all the other cutters, the total amount per week would have more than doubled my salary. They both turned me down and laughed aloud at the idea of a cutter making that much per week.
Management, investment traders, salesman--they're all deemed entitled to a "piece of what they make." The people who actually do make things? No, they aren't important enough for anyone to view their efforts as worthy of sharing in the profits. The people who made and cut filters and breathed asbestos dust while doing it could never be viewed as having "made money" for the employer. Only the people who sold the filters, who were "smart enough" to see the need for a filter factory, who put up the money for the cutting press--only they "made money."
If a salesman sold 2,000,000 filters, why, he could make enough in commissions to invest in the factory or the market. Same for the guy who "ran the factory" (from his office in the back, where the porno magazines helped pass the inactive day).
If someone cut 2,000,000 filters, preventing the customer from switching to a different supplier, well, that was just his job and he'd already been paid for it. If he didn't like it, he could leave and the boss could hire another, interchangeable cutter. Except that 10 years after I left, the boss still asked any of my friends he ran into whether I'd like to come back. Peons are simply defined as interchangeable, whether they actually are or not.
Wonder why unions arose, and why those unions eventually adopted work rules that limited any worker's daily production?
It's a class thing, folks, and I don't give a crap what infammatory label they try to stick on me or anyone else who declines to sleep through their own torture and deprivation. It always was a class thing, it always will be a class thing. The only way that the powerful class can get away with this nonsense is to keep the majority of people occupied with distractions that don't mean a damn. That's why Rush Blimp-paw and Ann Colder and Sean Vannity & their sick ilk are worth their weight in gold to the really rich and powerful.
No dumb war, no jobs offshore, no Milt Friedman anymore.
No dumb war, no jobs offshore, no fat bonuses anymore.
No dumb war, no jobs offshore, no propaganda anymore.
No dumb war, no jobs offshore, no stealing billions anymore.
And so on.