Wednesday, January 28, 2009

guillotine time

Yeah! Let's keep score. Let's count heads!

I wish more people would take my suggestion seriously. We need to set up guillotines on Wall Street and maybe in Washington D.C.

The French found out 200 years ago that you cannot just expect the privileged class of the rich and arrogant to share with the rest of us. They will grab everything they can and let everyone else go to hell. In America, we have developed a class of business people, "educated" in the business schools of our best universities to be obsessed with the concept of acquiring wealth, not because unbounded wealth is needed by anyone, but because it's a "way to keep score." Any sense of decency or shame is erased and the person becomes a new person, an American Businessman (ta-da!) - one unencumbered by a sense of proportionality or humility.

The only thing to do is what the French did. Cut off their heads. Run them out of their lavish bathrooms and boardrooms on Wall Street, drive them from their expensive corporate jets, take away their secret bank accounts in the Bahamas, and escort them down to the guillotines on the pavement. Televise the whole thing on ESPN and, fittingly, LIFE television. It is much more educational to watch the heads roll than to see some horse-faced John Thain explain why he needs a $35,000 toilet paid for by the taxpayers of the country. Shitting in a gold-rimmed toilet may be proper for the Duke of Duckwad or the Viscount of Vichyssoise, but there's no reason we should pay for it so that some dedicated do-bad can feel satisfied at the bowels. (Go here to read about it: CLICK )

I see that Richard Fuld, who presided with such flair over the destruction of Lehman Brothers, has deeded his $13 million house to his wife. So, you see, it will be protected against lawsuits just in case anyone has the temerity or the resources to try to bring him to answer for his leadership of a failing corporation. (Go here to read about this rip-off CLICK )

I see that Rush Limbaugh, whose disdain for us ordinary folks is classic, has just signed a contract for hundreds of millions of dollars. This is for the privilege of using free American airways to disparage the sort of democratic society that gave him his millions. (Go here to read about Rush and his fortune: CLICK )

My friend Bill tells me that it used to be that if a guy invested in a business scheme and it failed, he failed with it. If you take an entrepreneurial risk, the possibility of failure means you may lose your job or your wealth. No longer, though. This is not the entrepreneurial spirit that guides Wall Street businesses. It's all ups-ups-ups and no downs for the capitalist who works for our big corporations. If your business enterprise fails, let the taxpayers bail you out and you go on to a new job at a place where your cronies sit on the Board of Directors.

I'm telling you friends, the answer is GUILLOTINES.

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