What's supposed to be so horrible about CEO's getting big bonuses?
- "They just don't get it."
- "They're idiots."
- "They don't understand that people are hurting and angry."
- "They're insensitive to public perceptions."
- "They don't deserve it."
- "It's rewarding failure."
On the other hand, suppose that a private company that has taken no bailout money decides to give a reckless and irresponsible exectutive a multi-million dollar bonus that he doesn't deserve. This might be a bad idea for many reasons. It will probably be bad for the company, and in turn, bad for everyone who depends on that company. But, hey, if they want to shoot themselves in the foot, that's more or less their problem. Investors and other people who depend on this company should be aware and take caution. If such practices are harmful to companies, companies that are determined to engage in them should fail.
Bonuses for well-meaning, "deserving" executives for bailed out companies -- Grrr!
Bonuses for reckless, undeserving executives for private (un-bailed-out) companies -- Oh well.
Ergo: The executives' being undeserving is irrelevant to how bad an idea the bonuses are!
So why are the bonuses so horrible? In my opinion, it's because they constitute the transfer of vast sums of wealth from millions of Americans who can't afford it to a privileged few, which serves no other purpose than the interests of the few (who also happen to have been a lot better off in the first place).
Who cares what they do or don't understand, what their motives are, or what they do or do not deserve? I don't.
This has got to be the biggest rip-off perpetrated against the American people in the history of our country. And all people can complain about is that the beneficiaries of this scam are insensitive and undeserving?!
But if we stop talking about the character flaws of CEO's, we'll have to start talking about the people who just handed them billions of dollars that we don't even have. I mean, it's not as if they broke into Fort Knox and stole it.
- "This is a red herring. It's such a small percentage of the bailout (or TARP or whatever) money. Complaining about it is great political theater, but in the big picture, the bonuses are irrelevant."
The sums of money here are just beyond my comprehension. But I'm not supposed to worry about amounts that are far more than I could earn in 10 lifetimes, because it's a drop in the bucket of what the U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for. And this is supposed to make me feel better why?