March 19, 2009

Public Outrage Has Its Uses

Outbreaks of schadenfruede occur now and then, for I have to admit to greatly enjoying the latest spectacle, that which involved Sen. Chris Dodd inserting a line in the original legislation involving the bank bailout requiring that AIG bonuses be paid.

On Tuesday he denied he did it.

On Wednesday he admitted it, but said Treasury made him do it.

The only way this expose happened is via populist outrage. Be nice if it happened more often on the social cultural front.

This particular outrage might've been helpfully directed at Fannie & Freddie, although that's likely too complicated. This, however, is an understandable story: we bail out a large corporation while Dodd makes sure they provide themselves bonuses. It's tailor made for a soundbyte age though admittedly my summary of it sounds suspiciously soundbyte-y. Normally Dodd would easily get away with sticking that bonus clause in there. But maybe now the public is beginning to perceive a big part of the problem in this mess - politicians like Chris "Countrywide" Dodd and our sorry ass'd SEC. While the investment banks have rightfully been crucified in public opinion, politicians like Barney Frank appear to pay no cost whatsoever. (Although Frank only has to please his tiny district in Leftzombia, MA and Dodd has used mass-hypnosis on CT.)

I have mixed emotions about the government freely dispensing with private contracts. Government, it is said, is the only entity big enough to "create justice". But I see it as the only entity big enough to enforce massive injustice as well.

1 comment:

dylan said...

Leftzombia, Mass.! I like!

You know, it's worn as a badge of pride around here. There's even a bar in Cambridge called The People's Republik.