Saturday, March 21, 2009

Anger Management



Somehow, I missed out on the herd instinct. I don’t know if it’s a good trait or a bad trait but I know that it is. No Sunday-football sessions with the boys for me. I’d rather watch Fareed on GPS. As a matter of fact, I don’t do the sports thing at all. The Colts are still in Baltimore, Hank Aaron is still the home run king and Dr. J is still the best there ever was -- at least in my world. Whatever.

Accordingly, I’ve been slightly amused with the week’s outburst of anger over the AIG bonuses. I think people are right to be angry. I’m just surprised that it took them so long. We’ve known for almost a year that “Wall Street got drunk” --acting like a bunch of frat boys with their daddy’s credit card on a binge in Las Vegas. With our money.

As usual, the powers that be are trying to channel that anger and keep it under control. That’s understandable. We don’t need any angry-mob scenes. As a matter of fact, we don’t need any theatrics at all. We just need Congress to do their jobs.

First, get off of AIG. It’s just a distraction. They aren’t the only ones to blame in this mess. Most of the smart ones have already bailed out long before now anyway. Second, put the regulations back in place that kept this kind of greed under control. Third, go get our money back.

It’s the last part that is simple. I mean really simple. You don’t need any trials, investigations, recriminations or anything. Manage your anger. It’s as simple as “Sutton's Law”. Go where the money is. I don’t have any problem at all with the idea of taxing AIG’s bonuses at 90%. But why stop there ?

If you want your money back, start with these guys. Even a 90% tax on a billion leaves them with $100,000,000. I think I could manage on a $100 million for a lifetime -- much less a year. Speaking of which, reinstate the estate taxes while you’re at it. The next thing you know, we’ll be paying off our debts and living well. 1945 to 1963 were pretty good years, right ?

Don Brown
March 21, 2009

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