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AIG VP resigns, donates bonus to charity - Mark's Journal
mhaithaca
mhaithaca
AIG VP resigns, donates bonus to charity
Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of A.I.G., has been working for a $1 a year salary, and is not in the group that's responsible for the company's disastrous current situation. He and other coworkers feel hung out to dry by their CEO, who's not defending them from the unfair ranting in the media and in political circles.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/opinion/25desantis.html
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Comments
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: March 25th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but if the house had burned down and NOT been insured (read: bailed out) whould the plumber have been paid?

I'm still against the bailout and believe those companies should have kicked it. The market would have tanked but stabilized in time. And the healthier companies that remained (and ran their businesses well) would have moved in to fill the vacuum.
perisoft From: perisoft Date: March 25th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that policy worked really well in 1930.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: March 26th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
For some reason, I never imagined you as a flag-waiving bailout fan! But meh. I respect your opinion and observations. I suppose we’ll all see how taxing the poor to keep the invested rich … well rich … works out in the end. Something about it doesn’t taste well to me.
perisoft From: perisoft Date: March 26th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is beyond the point of fairness or "taxing the poor to help the rich" or "Why should we reward people who fucked up". Yes, it sucks. But the alternative is far, far, far worse - for the poor, the middle class, and, to a lesser extent, the rich.

When the economy collapses utterly due to the failure of the entire financial system - which is what an AIG collapse would do - do you think the poor will somehow magically be better off than they would be each paying an extra hundred bucks in taxes? Which they won't be under Obama's plan, but hell, let's pretend it's as bad as you say. How does another great depression help the poor? You're willing to bring that on the country because you're pissed off at some stock brokers? Give me a break.

Let me give you an example of a bailout in action - specifically, the car makers. Everyone says, 'Oh, don't reward incompetence. Just let 'em fail!"

OK. Let's say GM fails. When GM fails, Chrysler fails, and Ford fails too (even though it's doing well), because all their parts suppliers fail.

I just did two hundred grand plus of business with Ford, and I may do more. That goes away. And a lot of my business is with motorsport and promotion - where do you think motorsport promotion goes when Ford and GM are gone? NASCAR bites the dust immediately. We're working on a deal with Australia - and in their national series, Ford and its GM counterpart are the big draw.

Scratch another hundred grand.

And when I go out of business, what happens to the local powdercoat place in Perry City? What happens to the metal forming place in Ithaca? What happens to the guy who works for us and rents videos at the pick-a-flick?

But you oppose a bailout because it rewards failure. Fine. Be angry. But don't cut off every nose in the United States because you're pissed at somebody else's face.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: March 26th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
>As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not
>a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12
>long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid
>as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments
>any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed
>the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that
>burns down the house.


And when plumbers start making $25,000/hour then I'll start buying that argument. Until then, you folks are part of a problem far bigger and far more insidious than anything that the 9/11 terrorists could hope to have come up with, and you should be hunted down and destroyed like we want to destroy them.

Not that I have any real opinions on the matter, of course.
sethrates From: sethrates Date: March 26th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Out of curiosity, do you believe that, ethically, there's a difference between deliberately hurting other people and doing it as the consequence of some other action? Or between murder and making people poor?
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: March 26th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read this as my very first email this morning, Seth, and my first reaction was to give a pat, snide answer. But I started really thinking about it.

Certainly there is a difference eithically between deliberately hurting other people and doing it as a consequence of some other action. But there may not be as much of a difference as you might think.

The evil of deliberately hurting other people is simple and straightfoward. It's easy to see. However, the evil of hurting other people as a consequence of another action may very well be the same evil, just not as easy to see because its removed by a step, or steps. However, whether you're doing it deliberately, or doing it as a consequence of another action, the result is the same, and your actions are a trigger.

There may not be that much difference.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: March 26th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
*CACKLE!*
perisoft From: perisoft Date: March 26th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seriously, Doc? You're a fucking dick. You want to go around physically harming people who make too much money? Maybe you should go back to Maoist china and enjoy their fucking policies, because the next guys to go are the intellectuals.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: March 26th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seriously? You're a blind, kool-aid guzzler.

Due to their unrestrained greed and hubris these folks have greviously harmed this nation worse than any war or terrorist act has ever done in our history (with the possible exception of the Civil War). Did they mean to do it? No, probably not. But they are responsible. And they need to learn the meaning of payment!

I very much agree with you that, as horrible as it is, the bailout that we're doing with various industries is needed, for the exact reasons that you told Aaron. Absolutely. But that bailout does not mean paying the very people responsible for this horrendous situation, that class of people "earning" far, far, far more than they need, or can even use. They need their assets confiscated, and at the least, they need to be jailed for the rest of their miserable lives as a warning to people, perhaps like yourself, who think that the trough is all theirs and are selfish enough and stupid enough to believe that capitalism means you can make as much money as you can at the expense of those around you.

We need to return to the much regulated environment of the late 60s and 70s. Reaganomics and deregulation, we now know, don't work, and large businesses, left to themselves, have the ethics of infants.
perisoft From: perisoft Date: March 26th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
You apparently don't realize it, but you're an extremist. Or maybe you do, and don't give a shit - but every time you open your mouth, you do nothing but prove further how utterly foolish and disconnected from reality you are.

Why the hell should the world pay YOU far more than you need (and trust me, if you have internet access and shelves full of books, you are getting paid FAR more than you need) to gaze at the fucking stars, when people are living in cardboard boxes? Your words cut both ways, you know.

You're a hypocrite as well as an extremist. And I doubt you'll ever be able to see how incredibly idiotic you look to pretty much everyone around you.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: March 26th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
You may have a point, but if so, that point is also a very nice reflection right back at you.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 26th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're painting all the people in the finance industry with the same broad brush, and it's not only grossly unfair to them, but unfair to what little remains of your point that might be valid. In other words, you make your argument evaporate into irrelevancy because it's so beyond reality.

These people aren't responsible for any of the crisis. These people are in a different division of a company whose efforts include keeping people's pensions and retirement plans safe, and providing insurance to families. Blaming these people is like blaming my friend Stephen, whom I believe you've met, who's out of work because he had the misfortune to be doing IT work for a company that didn't survive. I know you'd like to blame him for maliciously choosing an evil company to work for, but that just drives your rant farther underground.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: March 26th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not that broad a brush, Mark, thankfully.

I only blame them if they are a corporate executive whose income is greater than $500k/yr.

I certainly don't blame Stephen. Indeed, I invite him to be with me when I push the plunger on the folks that are responsible for him losing his job.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 26th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

There are words for what you're advocating. Oppression. Pogrom. Holocaust.

Do it somewhere else if you must, but get your discriminatory, classist filth out of my journal.
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