“These people are idiots,” said Senator Claire McCaskill. “You can’t use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses.”
I think Senator McCaskill is mistaken. Wall Street bankers are not idiots; they know full well what they do.
Definition of bonus: a sum of money (or an equivalent) given to an employee in addition to the employee’s usual compensation given usually at the year end for a job well done.
If their jobs were so well done, why are billions being spent to fix what they did on the job? If my handyman had made a mess of his job, he would have apologized and repaired the problem himself at his own expense.
I hate to pick on just one individual when there are so many equally culpable, but this one is conveniently visible in the public eye right now. Let’s look at John Thain, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch.
It was clear from the puzzled look on Mr. Thain’s face, when he was asked why he spent so much money on the remodel of his office. He replied with another question, how he could be expected to work in an office that did not meet his standards and requirements?
This is what is meant by entitlement. Naturally, Mr. Thain had to spend $1.2 million to renovate the space. He had no choice. A man in his position needs an appropriate space in which to shine. This individual felt entitled—so much so that now, because so many people have created such a distasteful uproar over the expense, he is going to pay for the work himself. So there!
As a whole, Wall Street bankers feel entitled; therefore, they will continue to feed on taxpayer money until the taxpayers force them to stop. A sense of morality alone is not going to do it.
President Obama called it “shameful” and “the height of irresponsibility.”
What I think is shameful and irresponsibility is that our leaders, whom the taxpayers elected to safeguard the country, have fallen asleep on their posts. Finger pointing will be a favorite exercise for years to come. Meanwhile, we are left holding the bag and last time I looked the bag was getting emptier by the minute.
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