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The Truth about Executive Compensation

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Am I still living in America? It seems that everyone believes that the government must "do something" about executive pay. I have a suggestion, let's do nothing at all!

Executive compensation, and leaving such matters to the shareholders, is NOT, I repeat not, what got us into this mess. Deregulation wasn't the problem either. Let's not forget what caused the financial crisis — borrowers who never cared about the consequences of their loans first and foremost, and secondly, the institutions that relaxed standards (sometimes at the behest of government) in order to give out these loans. This was the problem. Everything else we are seeing is a result of that. You could cap an executives pay at 1 dollar a year and that wouldn't change the mess we are in.

But there is a deeper point here that people are missing. Obama isn't just talking about bailed out companies:

"This is America. We don't disparage wealth. We don't begrudge anybody for achieving success. And we believe that success should be rewarded. But what gets people upset – and rightfully so – are executives being rewarded for failure. Especially when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers."

Especially, meaning not only those companies subsidized by taxpayers, but any company that has failed should not be rewarding executives.

As part of Obama's executive compensation "plan" is "A Treasury-sponsored conference on a long-term overhaul of executive compensation" which is not limited to companies that are getting government bailouts. We aren't just talking about the short term here, not just talking about companies bailed out by tax payers. This is extremely serious business.

Carly Fiorina wrote a great article on CNN today saying that caps aren't needed — transparency is. And I agree with her. Shareholders should be involved in these decisions. Not President Obama. Of course, looking at the comments below the article, Carly is roundly criticized and her performance at HP brought out as a counterpoint to her argument. Of course, there is the messenger and the message. This type of character attack, ignoring the argument and focusing on the person making the argument, is something I have come to expect from a certain half of this country for the last eight years.

Let's make this personal. Companies don't just work on one thing. Citibank and BOA may have had some pretty terrible quaters recently. As a stock holder in Citi, I was not thrilled to hear about their new company jet. But Citibank has many divisions. While the idiots in the mortgage division of Citibank may deserve to be fired (and I am sure they have been by now), there are undoubtedly other divisions in the bank that have been profitable. Is it really fair to punish executives that actually returned a profit within the organization because others didn't? Forget fairness, will doing this do anything to help the economy improve?

Mind you, this cap won't just impact executives. This is the beginning of a downward adjustment in pay for everyone down the line. After all, we know what rolls downhill. If the treasury is recommending limits on pay for executives, boards will take that as a guideline, and the media will point to companies that don't fall in line. Additionally, people who aren't executives and make less, will be forced to take a cut as well, after all if the CEO is making $500,000 a year, a mere director shouldn't be earning $250,000, and so on, and so on, down to the guys in the mailroom.

When I was young, my Grandfather told me why our family came to America. "The streets are paved in gold," he said, adding that you could come from nothing and rise to the highest levels if you work hard and smart enough. Now I am no executive, I won't be directly impacted by this. But maybe I'd like to become an executive one day. Better yet, I want my children to have the same opportunities I have (had). Yet, it seems that we are leaving future generations an America whose streets are paved, not in gold but rather government cheese.

Am I the only one that sees this for what it is? Namely the end of America as a land of opportunity?

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About The Obnoxious American

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Many good points here, OA, but you left out the biggest one.

    If we cap executive salaries, how can we expect to attract the best talent to these companies.

    When a company is in trouble it needs the smartest executive it can get. If we cap salaries at below market rates for the best executives, why would they take those jobs. They can go work at a non-failing company where less will be expected of them and earn much more money, so why help out the failing company?

    Is the plan to fill these jobs with dewey-eyed Wharton graduates and to hope we get lucky?

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Good to see you back writing, Obnox. Where’ve you been?

    I think Obama’s point was not that all failing companies’ CEOs should have their salaries capped. He has no power to do that, obviously. But he does if the companies come cap in hand to the government. It’s not so much that he thinks it will make a difference to the companies’ performance, but that there should be seen to be consequences for incompetence. Plus it doesn’t look good for the President to criticize struggling corporations for going on spending junkets and then happily continuing to pay them mega-salaries out of the taxpayer’s purse.

    Dave’s assertion that capping salaries will turn off the most talented executives sounds a bit shaky to me. If someone’s more interested in earning better money elsewhere doing less work, I’m not sure that’s the sort of person you’re looking for to turn around a struggling company.

    You want someone with talent, energy and integrity, and for such a person monetary remuneration wouldn’t necessarily be the prime motivation.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And as a Citi shareholder, Obnox, what think you of the fuss du jour, which involves Citigroup’s planned sponsorship of the Mets’ new stadium?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You want someone with talent, energy and integrity, and for such a person monetary remuneration wouldn’t necessarily be the prime motivation.

    Is the thrill of rescuing a failing company outweighed by the possibility of getting a permanent black mark on your record for presiding over its failure even when backed by government funds?

    Dave

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc,

    I’ve been working really hard at my job, etc etc. Won’t bore you with the boring details. Thanks for asking though, hope all is well with you.

    One of the points you raised, about companies with cap in hand is fine, if that is what this would be limited to, and an agreed part of a bailout. But it’s not limited to just failing companies given Obama’s own rhetoric.

    Dave’s absolutely right about losing the best and brightest. It won’t be a migration from bad companies to profitable ones. It will be a migration from American companies with pay caps to companies overseas where there are no caps. Think about that one for a minute. Mediocrity here we come!

    To answer your question, my thoughts on the new Mets stadium are, it’s a shareholder concern.

    I was never a big believer in these types of marketing opportunities. I actually think most marketing people are totally full of it. And I’ve been to Shea, and Yankees stadium, and Giants stadium. Why are we rebuilding these wonderful, historic landmarks of sports legacy exactly?

    But it’s a shareholder concern, nothing more.

  • Cindy D

    Hi O.A.,

    Am I the only one that sees this for what it is? Namely the end of America as a land of opportunity?

    Of course not! Just buy a lottery ticket like everyone else.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I think you’re reading a lot into a single use of the word “especially.”

    This president has not thus far been one to use populism cheaply. From his campaign right through to today, he chooses carefully when and how to align his statements with public outrage about an issue. This was one of those instances, and his well-rehearsed anger was superbly effective. But it did seem to me to be aimed entirely and solely at companies receiving big federal assistance.

    And yet…there is a part of Wall St culture that encourages risk by rewarding it.

    Michael Thomas spewed forth his own very effective anger in this week’s New York Observer:

    Unfortunately, Mr. Obama missed the point. He emphasized “How much?” instead of “What for?” — which is the big, dirty truth about Wall Street. A truth that needs to be universally acknowledged: namely, that the size of a bonus in the finance trades (considered broadly) will invariably be in direct inverse proportion to the moral, ethical and economic utility of the work performed. Write that down, students.

    This is the great and true “asymmetry” — a word much in current use — of Wall Street, a disconnect that is as much philosophical as financial. The big “performance-based” payouts went to the people on the trading-banking frontline who broke their banks and ours: the animals who generated the subprime/Alt A mortgages and the mortgage-backed CDOs, or built up the “naked” swap positions and the fat private-equity and hedge fund loans and fees and the SIVs in which the crap could be hidden.

    These are the people who deserve to get it in the neck—along with their complaisant chums in Washington.

  • Baronius

    OA – I’m glad to see this article. I just replied to an article that takes the other side of the issue. I don’t want to make parallel threads, so let me just say that you make some really good points here.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Handyguy,

    Quoting from my article:

    “As part of Obama’s executive compensation “plan” is “A Treasury-sponsored conference on a long-term overhaul of executive compensation” which is not limited to companies that are getting government bailouts. We aren’t just talking about the short term here, not just talking about companies bailed out by tax payers. This is extremely serious business.”

    Am I really reading into it, or just reading it.

    “The administration also will propose long-term compensation restrictions even for companies that don’t receive government assistance, Obama said.
    Those proposals include:
    Requiring top executives at financial institutions to hold stock for several years before they can cash out.
    Requiring nonbinding “say on pay” resolutions – that is, giving shareholders more say on executive compensation.
    A Treasury-sponsored conference on a long-term overhaul of executive compensation.”

    For realz

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    None of the three specifics bulleted in that news article from AOL you quote are nearly as scary as your rhetoric would imply. Not one of them would prevent America from continuing to be the land of opportunity. And the middle one parrots you and your beloved Carly.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And I’ve been to Shea, and Yankees stadium, and Giants stadium. Why are we rebuilding these wonderful, historic landmarks of sports legacy exactly?

    Interesting question and one that has (for once) not entirely to do with money. New stadiums are certainly a fad right now, but there are also practical factors, if the experience in British soccer is in any way comparable.

    Of the 20 teams currently in the English Premier League, eight play in brand new stadiums, at least two others have advanced plans to move to new homes, and all of the rest have rebuilt and/or refurbished their grounds extensively. A lot of the old stadiums were built in an era before widespread car ownership and when little was thought of cramming 50,000-80,000 people into a cramped arrangement of rickety grandstands every week. Because of the fan base, teams were originally based in working-class, industrial areas, and such neighborhoods struggle to cope with the influx of modern traffic on game day. In the face of that, new brownfield sites on the outskirts of town where better transport links can be incorporated into the construction seem very enticing.

    Then there are safety considerations: after the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster, new laws were brought in mandating that all top-level stadia be all-seater (previously most spectators stood on open terraces). In order to comply, stadium capacities got drastically reduced and clubs could no longer accommodate all of their fans. In many cases it came down to a choice between rebuilding to increase capacity, moving if there was no room to rebuild, or going under.

    Of course, as with US pro sports teams, there are clubs with powerful historical ties to their stadia. It’s difficult to imagine Manchester United not playing at Old Trafford or Newcastle no longer at St James’ Park. In the same way, the Cubs leaving Wrigley Field or the Red Sox tearing down Fenway Park would be almost unthinkable. There’s been much opposition from English fans to the new stadium boom. But in most cases, they seem to come around when confronted with their team’s nice shiny new (and in most cases corporate-branded… that’s where the money comes from to do all this building!) home.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    There have been numerous examples of top executives getting either huge bonuses or gigantic golden parachutes at the end of bad years for their companies. Does this make sense? Yes, shareholders should have a say. In many cases, however, they do not.

    If an exec lays off 10,000 underlings, should his own bonus be preserved? You might find that there would be far more than 10,000 saying, No Way.

    Here’s a quote from another obnoxious American who makes more sense to me:

    “But you know what? In 2006 when the Democrats were in the minority, I had a bill to try to [curb executive pay]. I didn’t get much attention from the media.

    In 2007 the House passed a bill that I sponsored in the Financial Services Committee called “say on pay,” which required a referendum by shareholders on any executive compensation. Once again, we were kind of ignored. So, frankly, the House and the committee I chair have been ahead of a lot of other people on this.

    I welcome the fact that people now are joining us, and yes, in 2009 we will pass, at the very least I believe, legislation that says you have to have a [shareholder] referendum on all forms of compensation: bonuses, golden parachutes, stock incentives, as well as salaries.”
    — Barney Frank in Business Week, Dec 2008

  • Hope and Change?

    Oh nooooo….another one of Barry’s nominees who didnt pay their taxes…

    Solis Senate Session Postponed in Wake of Husband’s Tax Lien Revelations

    A Senate committee today abruptly canceled a session to consider President Obama’s nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis to be labor secretary in the wake of a report saying that her husband yesterday paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business — liens that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years.

    Oh the humanity!!

  • Baronius

    OA – You used the word “shareholders”. That reminds me of recent bit of Orwellian rhetoric, which I barely even noticed as it came into fad – the word “stakeholders”. Anyone can be a stakeholder; all he needs is an interest in the company’s results. That includes shareholders, executives, employees, government regulators, and public interest groups. By shifting attention from shareholders to stakeholders, we devalue the meaning of ownership, putting the owner of a company at an equal footing with people who are often his adversaries.

  • Hope and Change?

    Baronius…thats true. My experince even working with large corporations there is this trend to involve all internal and external stakholders.

    So the people putting in their money and risk many times have to share with people who have no skin or risk in the game…

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “And I’ve been to Shea, and Yankees stadium, and Giants stadium. Why are we rebuilding these wonderful, historic landmarks of sports legacy exactly?”

    [dies laughing]

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    Dave’s absolutely right about losing the best and brightest. It won’t be a migration from bad companies to profitable ones. It will be a migration from American companies with pay caps to companies overseas where there are no caps. Think about that one for a minute. Mediocrity here we come!

    Of course, of course! THAT’s why our economy was SO horrible before 1980!

    Our economy was so WONDERFUL when the top marginal tax rate was 25% until 1931, wasn’t it? And then that EVIL FDR raised it to 63% the next year – that really made things worse, didn’t it…since our economy turned around and began growing once more – it grew 7.7 in 1934!

    And our economy TANKED for nearly a half century, didn’t it? Especially when it was over NINETY PERCENT from 1951 to 1963 – yeah, HORRIBLE economy we had then, huh?

    Yeah, our nation’s economy was HORRIBLE indeed until Reagan came along, slashed tax rates (which the TRUE Goldwater Republicans did NOT do), and introduced America to the golden wonder of deficit spending! And look how WONDERFUL our economy is now!!!!!

    “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”
    Dick Cheney

    P.S. The top marginal tax rate from ’17 to ’21 ranged from 77% to 73%. The next three presidents – all Republicans – took that down to 25% by 1925 and kept it there…and what happened? Depression. And FDR comes along and jacks the top marginal rate back up to 63%…and what happened? Recovery and progress.

  • Clavos

    I deplore the administration’s plans to move beyond interfering in the business decisions of private corporations which receive government “bailouts” to those that don’t. Such decisions as executive compensation are internal matters and should not be subject to government regulation.

    If an exec lays off 10,000 underlings, should his own bonus be preserved?

    Depending on the outcome of the layoff, and its effect on the firm’s bottom line, shareholder dividends, etc., it’s possible he could be receiving the bonus for the layoff.

    In a private corporation, executive (or anyone’s) bonuses are internal matters; no one outside the corporation should have any say in them.

  • Clavos

    P.S. The top marginal tax rate from ’17 to ’21 ranged from 77% to 73%. The next three presidents – all Republicans – took that down to 25% by 1925 and kept it there…and what happened? Depression. And FDR comes along and jacks the top marginal rate back up to 63%…and what happened? Recovery and progress.

    That is such a total misinterpretation of events as to be staggering in its wrongheadedness.

    Just one point — there was NO “recovery and progress” under the New Deal until WW II pulled Roosevelt’s jackass “recovery” out of the fire for him. The war ended the Depression, not Roosevelt’s mismanagement.

  • CT conservative

    If the government is permitted to cap CEO salaries, this will take away the initiative and the will power to rebound and become over-zealously successful. Just because a business has one bad year; how can you deny the fact that many of these CEOs have propelled their companies to past glories in prior years? Just because they take a hit for one year, they should not be penalized.
    There is no need for the government to install a glass ceiling. This pork-bill was not designed to stimulate the economy and create new job opportunities…it was to promote the liberal agenda as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I hope it rots.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Matthew,

    You got me there buddy. I was referring to 1986, as well as all those subway series where the yanks beat the mets. Also trying to be somewhat politicially correct – as embarrased as I am to say it, there are some mets fans in my family…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    At least I presented some proof of what I posted, that the RECOVERY from the Depression was already well underway in 1934. I can also provide other proof in terms of overall GDP, lessening unemployment…and frankly, I’m not sure what standards you want to go by when determining just how long the Depression actually lasted.

    If you’re going to claim that the Depression lasted until the war, don’t just CLAIM it, and don’t just give this or that nebulous reference…PROVE it with the NUMBERS.

    And it’s pretty hard for you to refute how the track of the top marginal rate seems to give a very good indication of the performance of the economy after the delayed effect of the tax increases and decreases is taken into account.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    CT con –

    “just because of ONE year”?

    Dude…you haven’t been paying attention, have you? And you sure as heck ain’t one of those who had their jobs shipped overseas while your CEO took in FOUR HUNDRED TIMES your salary (which disparity in salaries was matched only at the beginning of the Depression).

  • Brunelleschi Oil Ltd

    Leave it to a bunch of conservatives to argue that someone making many times what they do isn’t making enough!

    I have a hard time weeping for the poor soul that can only make $500K….

    If you coming begging for government help, you have no room to bitch if government caps ridiculus expenditures.

  • Baronius

    What would a cap on bonuses really mean? It would take the lawyers and accountants about an hour to get around it. Executives would have a $100k salary, a $500k bonus, and a $20 million “entertainment, housing, and investment stipend” or something. That’s how employers started paying for medical insurance, during the 1940’s salary caps.

    Of course, 60 years later, we’ll have people calling for mandatory employee housing stipends, and you’ll see “A Home Is a Right” bumper stickers.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I don’t think a compensation cap for companies receiving bailout funds should be even mildly controversial.

    I agree that a government mandated cap under other circumstances is too much. But mandating that shareholders should have a stronger voice in executive pay is a no-brainer. Yet many/most companies resist it. Shareholders might get to complain, occasionally, but they don’t get to vote on salaries in very many large companies. And the board is usually controlled by the CEO.

    Clavos’s defense of a CEO laying off 10,000 people, then getting a bonus for it, requires twisted logic as well as morality. Who got the company into dire straits, requiring downsizing, if not management?

    And private companies are not at issue here…but publicly traded companies certainly are.

    For all of you defending these poor, persecuted CEOs, where is your compassion for those who’ve lost their jobs? [Full disclosure: I’m one of ‘em.]

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn Contrarian,

    Your revisionist history doesn’t prove anything. Only people who believe in large government think the new deal and not the massive increase in spending as a result of WWII caused the recovery. But the WPA didn’t make America great and neither did prohibitive taxes.

    Handyguy,

    Sorry about your job situation. I’m not saying what happened to you is a happy situation and that you should be focusing your energy on ensuring the CEOs get paid. But, at the same time, you have to agree that getting laid off might not be the “fault” of every executive, but rather a reflection of the business environment. While we’d all love to keep our jobs regardless of the economic situation, reality takes precidence.

    If your position in a company is not profitable for the company as a whole, you should be let go. And if your position in the company is very profitable, you should recieve the appropriate compensation. This is the reality of the situation. Once we start meddling, telling companies to make choices that they wouldn’t normally make in their best interest, that’s the day that America is no longer the great country it has been. This is the point of my article, and this is the direction I see Obama taking us, given his own comments on the matter.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    What really kills me is that the Cons are not only defending the salary caps, but NOW they’re against the “Buy American” provision in the stimulus bill! All it’s saying is that to help the AMERICAN economy back on track, that AMERICAN taxpayer dollars should be spent on AMERICAN projects in AMERICA, thus getting people back to work where they can EARN money (instead of Bush’s “Let them eat tax refunds!”) to put food on the table and pay their bills.

    How times have changed from back in the 80’s when it was considered PATRIOTIC to encourage people to buy American….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    I’m showing you NUMBERS, hard PROOF. All you – and Clavos – have shown in return is empty rhetoric. If you really think what you’re saying is true, then PROVE IT with the NUMBERS.

    After the Depression hit in earnest:

    WHEN did the economy begin growing – and how fast did it grow?

    WHEN did unemployment start falling significantly?

    WHEN did the GDP meet or surpass the level it was at before the Depression hit?

    C’MON, OA – and Clavos – let’s see who really ‘revised history’….

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Glenn, a more recent set of examples might be as effective, or more so:

    Bush I and Clinton both increased taxes, to balance the budget; the 90s nonetheless was a very prosperous period.

    Bush II lowered taxes [and spent like crazy, thus blowing the budget surplus]. The 2003-2007 period was also prosperous.

    All the screaming and yelling about tax cuts/increases may be much ado about nothing, in terms of the economic results.

    But both recent prosperous periods were based at least in part on bubbles: the Internet in the 90s and housing in the last several years.

    And the unbridled urge to make money fast blinded companies to side-effects and consequences. Thus the post-Enron accounting rules, and the call now for a return to regulating derivatives and other aspects of finance. [And maybe raising taxes, but not in 2009, while we’re going downhill so faaaast!]

    And these intended ‘fixes’ may also have unintended consequences: the Enron accounting rules are a big factor now in paralyzing the banking system.

    Making sweeping statements about either taxes or regulation, as writers on here are wont to do, is not useful.

  • Memelleschi

    If the CEOs don’t like the cap, they can opt out of government assistance, or go get paid more somewhere else and crash that company too.

    Maybe this is a wise stimulus-in-reverse. A CEO will work harder to keep the company off the welfare line to get paid more.

    The Messiah is a smart guy!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Is there any links to the plan? Considering the author can’t even get out of his first paragraph without contradicting himself, I need a little more proof then the use of bold.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Handy –

    Careful with the details there…they might reset and go into the default “Democrats are all ugly” mode….

  • Clavos

    WHEN did unemployment start falling significantly?

    Not until America entered WWII, at which point, unemployment was approaching 20%.

    Though Roosevelt had some modest successes with his New Deal programs at first, unemployment, the best indicator of a depression, plagued the country right up until 1937, when the Roosevelt Recession (considered to be part of the Depression) wiped out all his advances and strongly increasing unemployment. Only entry in WWII saved the country from total devastation at that point.

    And it’s pretty hard for you to refute how the track of the top marginal rate seems to give a very good indication of the performance of the economy after the delayed effect of the tax increases and decreases is taken into account.

    As I’m sure you know, Glenn, correlation does NOT imply causation.

  • Brunelleschi

    What is it about a war economy that causes people to say “we need a war to get things going again?”

    Wars motivate people and prompt the government into taking a central role in planning industry, the very thing Americans hate.

    hmmmmm

  • Clavos

    If you coming begging for government help, you have no room to bitch if government caps ridiculus expenditures.

    Absolutely true, and a good reason for any CEO to think long and hard about asking for “bailouts” from the government.

    There’s plenty of money available in China, and they’re eager to lend it.

  • Franco

    A trillion dollars is 1000 billion. So check out my numbers on the following for me as they seem strange. If the government bypassed all banks, corporations, and all other intermediaries and sent the bailout funds (our own future tax dollors) directly into the hands of the American people, ever man, woman and child, hear is how that works out.

    1,000,000,000,000 trillion dollars / 300,000,000 million Americans = $3,333 for each of us.

    30% of the bail out is pork. So take that off, that leaves each of us $2,333 each.
    Remember that we have to pay that back, with interest because we are borrowing on your “further” takes dollars.

    Is this going to get the economy going?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Perhaps you should have read my references, wherein you would have clearly seen that unemployment had risen as high as 24.9% in 1933 and it fell every successive year until 1937 when it reached 14.3 percent.

    That’s still high…but it’s not much more than than unemployment was in the double-digit unemployment in 1982 (before the government started using the ‘new formula’ for unemployment that doesn’t count those who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits).

    In fact, let’s check that against the total unemployed NOW, after eight years of Bush. In November 2008 – in the OLD system of determining the unemployment rate (which is how the 14.3% was determined) – the unemployment rate is 12.2 percent!

    And that’s as of NOVEMBER…and we’ve lost over a million jobs since then!

    So let’s compare that 14.3% – bad, but not THAT bad – to a quote from YOUR reference: “By 1936, all the main economic indicators had regained the levels of the late 1920s, except for unemployment, which remained high.”

    So go back to the drawing board, Clavos. By 1936 we were NO LONGER IN A DEPRESSION. Your own reference states that there was a recession – NOT a ‘continuation’ of the Depression – in 1937. In fact, your reference states the 1937 recession was short-lived. Here’s more: “It began to get better in mid-1938, and every month it was better.” MID-1938 WAS AN ENTIRE YEAR BEFORE WWII!

    Yeah, unemployment really dropped when WWII came about…but the rest of the economy had ALREADY recovered by the beginning of 1937.

    So will you conservatives PLEASE let the facts determine your belief, rather than insisting that your beliefs must determine the facts?

  • Clavos

    Clavos’s defense of a CEO laying off 10,000 people, then getting a bonus for it, requires twisted logic as well as morality. Who got the company into dire straits, requiring downsizing, if not management?

    Assumes facts not in evidence. MANY factors can result in a company’s running into hard times, including government interference, a general recession (sound familiar?), new subsidized foreign competition, etc. Also, handy, your comment assumes that the CEO getting the bonus after laying people off is the executive who got the company in trouble in the first place.

    As to morality: again, you’re assuming ALL layoffs are somehow immoral. What if laying off the 10,000 most recently hired saves the jobs of the other 40,000 who have been working for the company all their lives?

    Also in regard to morality: a CEO’s FIRST responsibility is to the owners of the company.

  • The Obnoxious American

    What many here are missing is that this isn’t just about companies getting the bailout. My article talks about Obama’s plan for ALL companies, not just companies taking bailout from the government. If Obama’s plan were limited to just bailout companies, I would be disgusted, but perhaps not so disgusted to write this piece about it.

    For those too lazy to actually learn about the new direction this country by way of google search, here is a link to an article that talks about Obama’s plan.

    Handyguy said that I read too much into the single use of the word “especially”. Presidents are supposed to pick their words carefully, and I am reading this exactly as it was spoken by the president himself. If he was only talking bailout companies, he would have said something like:

    “But what gets people upset – and rightfully so – are executives being rewarded for failure when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.”

    He didn’t say that. Instead, he used the word Especially, which means both types of companies.

    That said, I’d like to focus on another word in that same sentence:

    “Especially when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.”

    Can anyone define for me what subsidized means? Is it limited to just getting the bailout, or does using the US Postal Service, relying on the protection of the police, military, sanitation, etc count as a sort of subsidizing by taxpayers? What about if a company does work for the government, or gets customers via the government? Is there any large scale business that can truly claim no benefit from the government? This very vague language.

    If you really think this is the direction the USA should go, then you may be in the wrong country. And to those that think higher taxes is good for the economy or worship at the alter of the New Deal, no one is arguing with you because you’re wrong. History does not back up your story. You’re somewhere in between moon landing deniers and scientologists on the crackpot scale.

  • Franco

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators worked into the night to slash as much as $100 billion from a Democratic economic stimulus package with hopes of fashioning a compromise bill that could win enough Republican votes for passage.

    Well, there is 13% of pork out. Go Republicans go!

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    You selectively quote my source: “By 1936, all the main economic indicators had regained the levels of the late 1920s, except for unemployment, which remained high.”

    Ignoring what follows:

    In 1937, the American economy took an unexpected downturn, lasting through most of 1938. Production declined sharply, as did profits and employment. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938. In two months, unemployment rose from 5 million to over 9 million, reaching almost 12 million in early 1938. Manufacturing output fell off by 40% from the 1937 peak; it was back to 1934 levels. (emphasis added)

    And a little further on:

    However, employment did not regain the 1937 level until the war boom began in late 1940. Productivity steadily increased, and output in 1940 was well above the levels of both 1929 and 1937. Personal income in 1939 was almost at 1919 levels in aggregate, but not per capita.

    This is exactly why Roosevelt pushed so hard for America to enter the war, even though many Americans wanted no part of it. As you know, there are those who say, even today, that he had foreknowledge of the Japs’ attack on Pearl Harbor, and did nothing, in the hope it would turn the tide of public sentiment, which, of course, it did.

    You say:

    By 1936 we were NO LONGER IN A DEPRESSION.

    Not only was the Depression ongoing, but, as I noted above, Roosevelt’s Recession is considered to be part of it. From my same reference (in fact, the opening sentence):

    The Recession of 1937, often called the Roosevelt Recession, was a sharp economic downturn in the United States in 1937-38. It was part of the Great Depression in the United States… (emphasis added)

  • The Obnoxious American

    “So will you conservatives PLEASE let the facts determine your belief, rather than insisting that your beliefs must determine the facts?”

    Has Obama done the same with regards to this plan? I mean, what facts back up the need for this? What facts back up the need for the 8-900 billion “stimulus” plan? Isn’t Obama merely insisting that his beliefs determine facts, after all, “he won.”

  • Brunelleschi

    Hey Obnoxious!

    I hope Obama slaps that cap on those beotch’s and kicks their out of shape their asses in basketball!

    He won!

    I like Obama more every day.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The president has explained in detail why the stimulus is necessary. You just weren’t listening.

    You decided several months before the election that you were going to stop listening, and that you were going to disagree with his every proposal, period.

    The Republican talking points about the stimulus [echoed and parroted by Franco and OA] are predictable, and they’re entirely about wresting political advantage from the situation — nothing at all to do with what’s best for the country.

    But their strategy is going to bite them in the ass. Obama’s forceful speech tonight was electrifying. More to come.

    And OA’s hysterical, hyperbolic thesis in this article remains unfounded, unproven, untrue.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Clavos on my complaint about his heroic-CEO thesis:
    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    And yours doesn’t? Of course it does. And your version is also cold-blooded and unfeeling. Do you have a heart at all?

  • Brunelleschi

    Clavos-

    It appears you are making a case for going to war (again) to turn things around? Or are you just saying that the entry into WW2 was a plus?

    Either way, sounds socialist.

    :)

  • Cindy D

    I wish the president would explain this.

    Raid in Afghanistan prompts dispute

    The U.S. denies claims that the American-led attack resulted in the deaths of 22 civilians.

  • Clavos

    Clavos on my complaint about his heroic-CEO thesis:
    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    And yours doesn’t? Of course it does.

    First, I never used (or implied) the word “heroic” in reference to any CEO.

    Second, I assumed nothing. I did postulate the possibility that your hypothetical CEO could be (not is) receiving the bonus for outstanding performance (including the layoff) which improved the company’s bottom line; which is, after all, his job.

    And your version is also cold-blooded and unfeeling.

    Nope. We’re discussing business. Sometimes, the proper operation of a business requires actions such as layoffs; for example, some industries are cyclical. When I was a teenager, my father worked in the airline business here in Florida. In those days, Florida tourism was cyclical, falling off to almost nothing in the summers. This meant my dad was furloughed every summer, and had to scramble to find work until the airline recalled him the following winter; sometimes he didn’t find any, and things got tough (even to the point of there being less food on the table), but we always pulled through it, and no one, especially not my father, thought the airline’s management was “cold-blooded and unfeeling,” it was just the reality of my dad’s kind of work, which he loved — so much so he inspired me to go into the same industry after college.

    So, handy, you can call me cold-blooded and unfeeling, but I’m a realist: businesses are engaged in making a profit by providing goods and services which are demanded by the consumer; sometimes management has to make tough decisions involving people’s livelihoods, that’s part of being the top dog and taking responsibility.

    I’m now self-employed, but I spent 30 years in aviation, the last 20 in administrative positions in which I often had to both hire and fire personnel. Laying people off was never easy, but was always under circumstances which dictated that some had to go for the business to continue to be viable, and always resulted in more jobs being saved than were laid off.

    And, at least in this country, we call it what it is, a “layoff.” I’ve heard that in the UK, they call them “redundancies.”

  • Clavos

    It appears you are making a case for going to war (again) to turn things around? Or are you just saying that the entry into WW2 was a plus?

    Not at all. I’m merely pointing out that the Rooseveltian “New Deal” did not pull us out of the depression nearly as much as did the US entering the fray in WW II.

    I’m a combat veteran of a war. I would never advocate entering into war for that purpose.

  • Clavos

    Sorry, Bru, I neglected to answer your second question above.

    Yes, US participation in WW II, along with the participation of all the other allies, was definitely a “plus.”

    Otherwise, we might all be speaking German or Japanese and there wouldn’t be any Jews.

    The fact that gearing up for it finally got US out of the Depression was also a plus, but hardly the reason US entered it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    Sorry, guy, but I’m going to refer you back to your reference: “By 1936, all the main economic indicators had regained the levels of the late 1920s, except for unemployment, which remained high.”

    You’re predicating the continuance of the Depression on ONE statistic – unemployment…which unemployment is not much higher than our own is right now, TODAY…and there is EVERY likelihood we will reach that same level of unemployment later this year!

    So are you going to officially declare that America is in a depression? No? Then why not? Because if all you’re basing it on is the unemployment stat, then you must also state that America has officially entered another Depression.

    NOW, if you were a bit more objective and not so hide-bound to conservative dogma – the SAME dogma I was raised on and believed in until I started digging deeper – you would understand that the Depression of the early ’30’s and the 1937 recession were TWO SEPARATE EVENTS – related, yes, but still separate.

    AND THE FINAL NAIL in the coffin of your argument is that if FDR’s efforts had indeed been so misguided, the fact that Truman AND Eisenhower even INCREASED the top tax rate to nearly thirty points higher than FDR did in 1933…then America would surely have gone the way of the Weimar Republic and modern-day Zimbabwe.

    But we didn’t. With the exceptions of a few not-so-notable bumps in the road, our economy remained strong THROUGHOUT the postwar period, through the fifties, the sixties, and the early seventies until the Arab Oil Embargo and the recession that peaked in 1982…

    …FORTY YEARS of prosperity, even counting the recovery from the monstrous debt after WWII – all from the policies began by FDR, and continued by every president through LBJ.

  • Hope and Change?

    Well its official….The US has elected as president the biggest moron in the history of the US….heres what the CBO is saying and he goes running around like chicke little….

    President Obama’s economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

    CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.

    Lets remember this guys biggest job was a part-time professor with a no-show job…he doesnt know squat…there is yer hope and change!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Well its official….The US has elected as president the biggest moron in the history of the US”

    How’s that possible? You weren’t even on the ballot.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    H&C’s foolish and pernicious distortion of the CBO analysis is way off base. And this is probably the first time in his life he has ever quoted a CBO analysis approvingly.

    What the report actually says is that the changes the Senate added to the bill will make it work better in the short term [creating 1.3 to 3.9 million jobs by the end of 2010 and increase GDP in 2010 by 1.2 to 3.6 points] with diminishing returns in the long term [10 years!].

    But the bill won’t exist in a vacuum. The long-term figures apply only if the economy doesn’t turn around at all within ten years, if there were no other changes in taxes or spending in ten years, and if the estimates in the report are accurate. A lot of if’s.

    Even if your favorite target serves two full terms [I of course dearly hope he does], another president will have been in office for two years by 2019, the end of the forecast period.

    Did you ever consider trying to make a point with facts rather than nonsense?

    I thought not.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Clavos, I do find your attitude cold indeed. These are people’s lives you’re talking about. “Saving more jobs than there were layoffs” is a pretty low threshold for feeling OK about it.

    Of course businesses expand and contract. But believe it or not, not all managers’ motives are pure like you say yours were, and many companies make terrible mistakes in both hiring and firing. The result is human suffering, which is in the long run a lot more important than a balance sheet.

    Pardon me if I’m a little bitter. I suspect I have company…there are now 11 million unemployed in the US, and more people are collecting unemployment benefits than at any time since record keeping started in 1967.

  • Doug Hunter

    Alot of free marketeers hold very strange positions on these things. CEO’s layoff people and shift jobs becuase they ‘cost too much’ all the time and they support it with relish. When it is pointed out that CEO’s are making too much they strangely become upset.

    There is a problem with the free market in the face of limited supply or the perception thereof.

    Look at CEO pay the same way CEO’s look at employee pay. If the CEO knows that he can get machinists for $10/hour he will cut people making $30/hour down to increase profits. That’s what board’s and stockholders need to do to CEO’s.

    The question you should be asking is that if CEO pay for all executives were cut 50% would people still do the job and the answer is a resounding yes. A few spoiled wealthy ones would throw a tantrum and go into retirement but the majority would stay on with $10 million bonus instead of the $20 million. They’d work just as hard and no, the vast majority wouldn’t uproot their family and leave for China where they don’t know the market or speak the language despite what my comrades might suggest.

    Unfortunately, CEO’s and boardmembers are interconnected like an Arkansas family tree and collude to keep pay artificially high. Allowing stockholders a say is a start but probably won’t solve the problem completely.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The federal government is not going to reduce the pay of any executive by fiat [except for the companies receiving the largest bailouts]. They may try to give shareholders more power – a very different thing, which OA claims he supports. Well, so does Obama, chum.

    Another reason for the timing of Obama’s announcement was that next week, Tim Geithner will reveal what will probably be nicknamed TARP II. There has to be some assurance to the public that the money will be more carefully spent and managed than the bizarre free-for-all that was TARP I.

  • Clavos

    Clavos, I do find your attitude cold indeed. These are people’s lives you’re talking about. “Saving more jobs than there were layoffs” is a pretty low threshold for feeling OK about it.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, handy, as am I. I don’t think I said, or even implied, that laying people off was something to “feel OK” about. I DID say that sometimes it’s a necessary part of any executive’s duties; though I’ve never felt good about laying people off, I’ve never felt guilty about it, either.

    If my attitude is cold, I’m not hypocritical about it. I’ve been laid off a couple of times myself. I’ve never looked at it as a “cold” event, just as another part of working life, a setback to overcome and then move on.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Handyguy,

    I respect your sensitive, people first position on layoffs. But even you have to admit that what you are espousing isn’t capitalism, and what would result would be an economy not based on economics.

    From my view, that would be a very bad thing, especially when competing with other countries that allow their private sector to operate based on profit.

    Work isn’t welfare, it’s an exchange of service for compensation. If the employee isn’t providing a service, or if that service could be fulfilled cheaper elsewhere, then should that employee continue to be in that arrangement? I wish more workers looked at their jobs this way, rather than believing in some sort of “right to a job” which doesn’t exist.

    People’s lives are important. So important, that every person need to seriously consider the value proposition they offer to society, not the other way around. Every person owes this sober analysis, and corrective action if necessary, to themselves, their families, their communities. Yet, this ethic seems lost on most Americans today.

    The the tax and spend crowd who believes in the revisionist history of new dealers (Glenn Contrar, this means you – read on), I’d like to end with some quotes from a very popular democratic president, who is looking rather conservative by today’s standards. His words are as true today as when they were spoken nearly a half century ago:

    “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference

    ——————————————————————————–

    “Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 17, 1963, annual budget message to the Congress, fiscal year 1964

    “In today’s economy, fiscal prudence and responsibility call for tax reduction even if it temporarily enlarges the federal deficit – why reducing taxes is the best way open to us to increase revenues.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: “The Economic Report Of The President”

    ——————————————————————————–

    “It is no contradiction – the most important single thing we can do to stimulate investment in today’s economy is to raise consumption by major reduction of individual income tax rates.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: “The Economic Report Of The President”

    ——————————————————————————–

    “Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, message to Congress on tax reduction and reform, House Doc. 43, 88th Congress, 1st Session.

    ——————————————————————————–

    “A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Sept. 18, 1963, radio and television address to the nation on tax-reduction bill

    ——————————————————————————–

    “I have asked the secretary of the treasury to report by April 1 on whether present tax laws may be stimulating in undue amounts the flow of American capital to the industrial countries abroad through special preferential treatment.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Feb. 6, 1961, message to Congress on gold and the balalnce of payments deficit

    ——————————————————————————–

    “In those countries where income taxes are lower than in the United States, the ability to defer the payment of U.S. tax by retaining income in the subsidiary companies provides a tax advantage for companies operating through overseas subsidiaries that is not available to companies operating solely in the United States. Many American investors properly made use of this deferral in the conduct of their foreign investment.”

    – John F. Kennedy, April 20, 1961, message to Congress on taxation

    ——————————————————————————–

    “Our present tax system … exerts too heavy a drag on growth … It reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment, and risk-taking … The present tax load … distorts economic judgments and channels an undue amount of energy into efforts to avoid tax liabilities.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, press conference

    ——————————————————————————–

    “The present tax codes … inhibit the mobility and formation of capital, add complexities and inequities which undermine the morale of the taxpayer, and make tax avoidance rather than market factors a prime consideration in too many economic decisions.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 23, 1963, special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform

    ——————————————————————————–

    “In short, it is a paradoxical truth that … the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan have borne this out. This country’s own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, news conference

    ——————————————————————————–

    “The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources and to a higher rate of economic growth is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform

    ——————————————————————————–

    “Expansion and modernization of the nation’s productive plant is essential to accelerate economic growth and to improve the international competitive position of American industry … An early stimulus to business investment will promote recovery and increase employment.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Feb. 2, 1961, message on economic recovery

    ——————————————————————————–

    “We must start now to provide additional stimulus to the modernization of American industrial plants … I shall propose to the Congress a new tax incentive for businesses to expand their normal investment in plant and equipment.”

    – John F. Kennedy, Feb. 13, 1961, National Industrial Conference Board

  • Brunelleschi

    “I won.”

    Barack H Obama, 2009

    :)

    So STFU, Obnoxious Beotch

  • Cindy D

    (looks all around at the economy and the whole world and wonders why these people are still defending this failed bullshit–yooohooo, is anybody home in there?)

  • Hope and Change?

    Ohhhhh so based upon DrDread…I mean Brunelleschi… Kennedy was an ignorant fool and didnt know any better….so…um….er….you know if King Barry is the NEW KENNEDY…he must be evena bigger ignorant fool!

    As each day passes and people see what an incompetent fool our President is…I still cant belive that King Barrys supporter are that stupid!

  • Hope and Change?

    Cindy….if you would take the time to read the papers, listen to people other than Rachel MADcow you would realize the those responsible for regulation and oversight of all of these failed insitutions where…um…er….you know DEMOCRATS!

    These DEMOCRATS are the same morons who crafted this trillion dollar spending bill….

    As each day passes and people see what an incompetent fool our President is…I still cant belive that King Barrys supporters are that stupid!

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I hate to break up your fun guys, but there you go.

    Brunelleschi – changing other commenters usernames in the way you did is one of the easiest ways to get on my very short list of commenters who might get banned if they don’t watch it.

    H&C, you’re already on that list. Making unfounded accusations as to commenter identity and endless repetition of the same meme are both pushing you to the top of that list on a daily basis, so please take care not to make me act.

    This has been a public service announcement from the Comments Editor!

  • Hope and Change?

    CindY I think your statement outs you as a possible fraud! Any small business owner who took the time to read this bill will see that there is not one sigle stimulus for small business owner…..85% of the US employers!

    So where is the job stimulation? The only thing small businesses will get is more regulation and the bill to pay for it!

  • Cindy D

    H&C,

    My comments have nothing to do with any bill. They were about O.A.’s (and others’) continued belief in the same failed system. It doesn’t work anymore. It worked for awhile, now it has been shown to be a big dud. Get over it. Move on. Think of something new.

  • Cindy D

    And H&C,

    My business is highly regulated. In fact, there is no break for us just because we are small. When we get a $4500 fine because a cap was left off an empty drum, it’s the same $4500 that Eastman Kodak would get.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    Gotta agree with you. The fact that Reaganomics has failed miserably is there for all to see…but some are so filled with hatred at those ‘unpatriotic, Godless liberals’ that no matter how bad it gets, even if McCain had won and we had sunk into a worldwide depression, even if we had sunk to the depths of the Weimar Republic and modern-day Zimbabwe…they’d still blame the liberals and the Democrats.

    Why?

    In a conversation with a strongly conservative friend of mine I found the answer. He was SO sure that Hillary did everything she did in the name of power…and then I remembered the old saying that a man is most likely to suspect others of doing what he would do himself in their place.

    In other words, he suspected Hillary of doing what he would do in her place…and it never occurred to him that power for the sake of power was NOT her primary motive.

    And I suspect that this might be the case with most conservatives – for many (but not all) their primary motive is power for the sake of power. Many conservatives do not truly believe in democracy. Here’s a quote by Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation:

    “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

    This was from a speech given before 15,000 Baptist ministers, Jerry Falwell, and Ronald Reagan.

    To conservatives…it’s about power, not democracy.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    I have quoted that quote before. So, I understand what you are saying. But, I don’t like any of them. Hillary Clinton voted for the war. Hillary Clinton is a horse’s ass.

    It’s not just Reaganomics that failed. It’s the whole thing that has failed.

  • Hope and Change?

    To liberals…it’s about more government control in our daily lives and income redistribution, not democracy.

  • Cindy D

    To liberals [and to conservatives]…it’s about more government control [just different kinds] in our daily lives and income redistribution [each preferring it to go to a different class], not democracy [and not freedom].

    There you go H&C, that works better now.

  • Clavos

    To conservatives…it’s about power, not democracy.

    To paraphrase an individual on these threads:

    Where’s your PROOF, GC? Where are your NUMBERS?

    Where are your SOURCES for this bullshit?

    You are right about one point: for me at least it definitely is NOT about “democracy.” I’m not at all in favor of democracy. Democracy is mob rule, tyranny of the majority.

    And the Founders weren’t “about democracy” either:

    Ben Franklin, responding to a woman who asks, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

    “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

  • Brunelleschi

    Rose-
    When you have people who sign up with the first name “Obnoxious,” I think they are asking for it. I think you have better things to worry about.
    :)

    Respectfully submitted of course, beotch!

  • Cindy D

    RE #64

    H&C,

    They are all morans.

  • Brunelleschi

    To all the constitutional scholars out there that keep trying to see today’s situation only in terms of what the founding farters thought and wrote about checks and balances, remember their meme did not include knowledge of the rise of corporate power, and a lot of other things.

  • Hope and Change?

    CindyD…AGREED!!!

    The only way there will ever be hope and change if we return to Part-Time and or one term politicians…ALL even include KING Barry have a vested interest in our dispair…

    So for now we are doomed until people just simply vote to through out ALL incumbents and full time politcos

  • Hope and Change?

    Um…er….duh…..corporations are OWNED by….er…um…you know…PEOPLE!

    “corporate power” Left wing King Barry bull shit!

  • Brunelleschi

    Big deal. I don’t trust any of them. They are controlled by boards so they have no personal responsibility for their selfish actions.

  • The Obnoxious American

    (looks all around at the economy and the whole world and wonders why these people are still defending this failed bullshit–yooohooo, is anybody home in there?)

    Cindy D,

    Yes, we are in a recession, a serious one. But that doesn’t prove that cutting taxes and reducing government spending, is a failed tactic.

    See, this goes to basic reasoning. It’s true we are in a recession. It’s true we’ve cut taxes before. But A + B doesn’t equal C – cutting taxes, reducing government spending didn’t cause the recession. You have yet to provide one iota of evidence, aside from typical ad hominem postulating about our intellect.

    JFK disagrees with you. There have been over 20 recessions since 1900, with an average length of 14 months. And we’ve recovered out of every one without government intervention. The one depression, where we went hog wild with government spending, resulted in the “lost decade.” Mere coincidence?

    I’m chuckling right now that I even have to type this when were are a number of democrats who don’t even buy this tub of lard passing as stimulus and “change.”

  • Cindy D

    liberals (D)——–The Government——–conservatives (R)
    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

    What’s the difference?

  • Cindy D

    Yes, we are in a recession, a serious one. But that doesn’t prove that cutting taxes and reducing government spending, is a failed tactic.

    O.A.’s dad talks to him about The Free Market.

  • Hope and Change?

    “They are controlled by boards so they have no personal responsibility for their selfish actions”

    You need to enroll in a business course or read a high school buisness 101 test book . For illegal activities individuals cannot hide behind a corporation and for larger public companies Sarbanes-Oxley applies…

    In other words stop cutting and pasting talking points from King barrys website—

  • Cindy D

    “Why is this happening to me?” Don’t worry kid, everyone learns to accept the dogma. You’ll get over it like everyone else.

  • Clavos

    remember their meme did not include knowledge of the rise of corporate power, and a lot of other things.

    Thankfully, the Founders didn’t even have a “meme.”

    What they did have grew into a prosperous nation peopled by citizens whose rights were protected by the documents they left us; documents so replete with basic universal truths and principles that the fact they didn’t (actually couldn’t) foresee the details of the modern USA, is irrelevant; their truths and principles still work — if we let them.

  • Brunelleschi

    Don’t look to 18th century writing to solve 21rst century problems, unless you want to go hide in a log cabin somewhere.

    What did the farters have to say about energy policy, “Don’t fly a kite in the rain?”

    :)

  • The Obnoxious American

    Cindy,

    Once again, I try to engage in a real discussion with you, and your response is to post a youtube link to a kid high on anesthesia. Typical discourse I’d expect from a liberal.

    I’ll answer your initial question about the different between the GOP and the Dems:

    RIGHT NOW, the GOP is acting like proper financial stewards. I agree that they didn’t do this for the last few years, which is why they were rewarded with poor election results, rightfully so. But it seems they are now wising up.

    Liberals on the other hand think that Obama has a mandate, and are going whole hog on their spend and tax spree. (What Obama really had was a wave of anti bush sentiment. That McCain even came close says a lot.)

    That’s the difference. I’ll take the GOP in their current, lower tax, less spending incarnation thanks. After all, wasn’t this exactly what the dems were complaining about the GOP in the run up to the election? Politics of fear regarding our balooning deficits. Then, within weeks of taking office, he proposes the largest spending bill ever in the history of mankind, and it’s full of pork.

    I can admit when my side is wrong. Most democrats, aside from the most partisan, agree that this bill isn’t good legislation, and the CBO echoes that view today. Why can’t you?

  • Cindy D

    O.A.

    This is my real discussion. I am making points. They are loud and clear. Don’t you see any of them at all?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    To conservatives…it’s about power, not democracy.

    To conservatives it’s about freedom, not democracy.

    Dave

  • Franco

    #60 — The Obnoxious American

    “Work isn’t welfare. I wish more workers looked at their jobs this way, rather than believing in some sort of “right to a job” which doesn’t exist.

    People’s lives are important. So important, that every person needs to seriously consider the value proposition they offer to society, not the other way around.”

    Powerful OA, very powerful statements spoken for truth.

    Individual responsablity and accountablity. What a concept. Could this have anything to do with “Land of the free home of the brave? I think is speaks volumes.

  • Cindy D

    Okay, O.A. I’ll explain the point. In that video the dad is talking calmly to the kid. The kid protests, he even screams briefly, he thinks his dad has 4 eyes, he can’t discern truth from fiction. He asks, “Is this the real world?” and “What is happening to me?

    That video is a metaphor. Don’t you remember when you were young? Didn’t you ever get the feeling that all the bullshit you were being fed didn’t make sense?

    I mean before you forgot about that and became “sensible”.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Cindy,

    If that’s true, then you need to work on your discussion skills. Posting a bunch of nonsense youtube videos (silly ones at that), chastizing people you don’t agree with rather than actually back up the things you say (calling us stupid doesn’t quite do it).

    I hadn’t planned on responding to any of the comments to this article, precisely because of the types of comments you post (but I like Doc Dread and couldn’t leave him hanging). I said what I said in my article, and it speaks for itself. You’ve not countered it, but rather poked fun at me or the GOP in general. Your anti-conversation drags us all down.

  • Cindy D

    RE #90

    But, wait! Hey! What about all those tax cuts? Aren’t they supposed to trickle down into things that resemble jobs maybe?

    Look I’m sorry the world spiked your punch and then brainwashed you, fellas. You’re not making any sense though.

  • Cindy D

    O.A.

    You don’t have to like my discussion skills. I consider them art. Stick that in your book of “discussion rules”.

  • Cindy D

    O.A. I think you were the first person whose article I ever replied to when I found this site. I wrote you 42 volumes of back-up. I did that a lot. It didn’t usually accomplish much in the way of changing anything.

    So, if this method does not work, at least it is more fun for me.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “But, wait! Hey! What about all those tax cuts? Aren’t they supposed to trickle down into things that resemble jobs maybe?”

    Yes they do, and they resemble jobs much more accurately than putting people to work on the tax payers dime, to resod the national mall.

    Sure, pumping billions into fuzzy government projects will create jobs. Artificial jobs. Jobs that aren’t really needed. There might be a slight improvement in the short term as a result, but eventually someone has to pay the piper (China).

    Cutting taxes, stimulating private sector investment in business, THIS creates real jobs. Jobs based on a real economy, that earns money. Jobs that actually serve a purpose, generate money rather than transfer it, reward not just the employee, but the company, the community, and society as a whole. Government jobs do none of this.

    Re-read the many quotes I posted from the Democratic hero, John F Kennedy. People love to compare Obama to Kennedy (a joke considering the lack of a track record for Obama), but any real analysis of Kennedy shows he was much closer to Bush than any modern day Democrat.

    “Didn’t you ever get the feeling that all the bullshit you were being fed didn’t make sense?”

    Yes, back when I was a Democrat. You may want to look at some of the dung you are being fed, and subsequently regurgitating on this thread.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    Can you point out a single instance in American history where cutting taxes has had a positive effect on the American economy, particularly in unemployment?

  • Baronius

    Clavos, from what I’ve read (and I’m no economist) you’re giving a far more accurate account of the Great Depression than Glenn is. Would a new world war help us out of our current economic slump? Sometimes it can. A guaranteed buyer can stimulate an economy that’s lacking in purchasing power. But how does it work? In previous times, it worked by tapping into the hidden labor pool of women, and taking on federal debt. Unless I’m missing something, neither of those mechanisms are going to work this time.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    This is a funny conversation.

    Conservative trickle-down supply siders are telling me that tax cuts are the solution, when 83 out of the top 100 corporations pay little or no federal taxes at all due to off-shore accounts, shelters and subsidiaries RIGHT NOW.

    Conservative trickle-down supply siders are telling me that if you give the Haves MORE, they’re going to use that gain to build more factories and/or hire more people, when the track record suggests from PREVIOUS tax cuts/corporate welfare,that they STILL outsource labor, use the money to buy back more of their own stock, artificially inflating the value, and lavish themselves with more bonuses, private jets and guilded four-legged toilets.

    Conservative trickle-down supply siders are telling me that high CEO compensation is some sort of biblical commandment, when the truth is, absent xenophobia and racism, their talents can easily be replaced by Southeast Asians at a fraction of the salary. This old-boy, back-slapping, daisy-chain of interlocking directorates is easily corrupted.

    I’ve personally had enough of the deification of the modern day robber barron. America has too, IMHO.

    So let the talk radio, college-dropout millionaires cry. I’m not hearing them.

    Change has come to America.

    –Cobra

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Conservative trickle-down supply siders are telling me that tax cuts are the solution, when 83 out of the top 100 corporations pay little or no federal taxes at all due to off-shore accounts, shelters and subsidiaries RIGHT NOW.

    Why do you think they are seeking those off-shore accounts and shelters? It’s because they have no other way to reduce the burden of taxation and remain competitive in a market which is international. If we eliminated corporate taxation altogether then they would bring their business here instead of offshoring it, and we would benefit enormously.

    Conservative trickle-down supply siders are telling me that if you give the Haves MORE,

    You’re tempting me to use the term “meme” by repeating these old saws. The idea of the “Haves and Have Nots” is ridiculously antiquated. Policies which benefit producers benefit everyone as do policies which benefit consumers. Supply side and trickle-down have just become meaningless catch-phrases for those who can’t deal with the reality that both supply and consumption have to be addressed.

    they’re going to use that gain to build more factories and/or hire more people, when the track record suggests from PREVIOUS tax cuts/corporate welfare,that they STILL outsource labor, use the money to buy back more of their own stock, artificially inflating the value, and lavish themselves with more bonuses, private jets and guilded four-legged toilets.

    Assertions unsupported by fact. You have not established a relationship between the benefits received by corporate management and tax cuts. And the truth is that the vast majority of the tax cutting done in the last 50 years has been on the consumer side of the equation, which does benefit business, but not directly.

    Change has come to America.

    Deliciously ironic statement when you repeat it from your shack in an Obamaville eating government cheese.

    Dave

  • The Obnoxious American

    Cobra,

    What did Mark Twain say about statistics? 83 of the top 100 companies don’t hire the majority of people in this country. Most Americans work for small business which cannot offshore it’s banking.

    But, here’s another important point you’ve helped me tease out. Why do these “top” companies use these tax shelters, relocate outside of the country, or hire cheaper labor in other countries? Could it be that our corporate tax is among the highest and most punitive? Perhaps we’d take more corp taxes in if they weren’t so prohibitive to business?

    As we continue to demonize free markets and business, we push them away to other countries who will eventually move ahead of us in terms of wealth as a result. Once that happens, ask yourself how we are going to support all of these government programs, which are paid for by all of these evil corporations and the evil people that work for them. The answer is we won’t be able to. Nor will we be in a position to do any of the other high minded things such as ensuring Iran doesn’t get nukes, or that Russia doesn’t invade every neighbor in a move to go back to the USSR. Or try to stop various genocides in Darfur and elsewhere. And ask yourself, who then will fight for freedom in this world? The French? China? Not a pretty vision of the future world.

    Glenn,

    Is that a serious question? Lowering taxes, allowing people to keep more of what they earn, has obvious benefits in terms of ensuring less individual dependency on credit (which got us here), greater individual consumption, etc. Not to mention part of being free is getting to keep what you earn.

    I don’t believe that the democratic party even believes that raising taxes is good for business. Have they ever made such a claim (the inverse of your question)? The point is, they don’t care, because raising taxes is good for government which they see as the solution to every problem. Yet in my experience, Government doesn’t do anything well.

    I’m not against all taxes, but 900 billion for a lot of pork isn’t only bad for those of us trying to provide for our families for the next ten years, it ensures a lesser America for our children. This false choice you present is a new direction for the newly marxist democrats. Even Bill Clinton didn’t want to go this far.

    And back to the article, NONE of the economic issues we are facing are impacted by reducing executive compensation.

  • Clavos

    83 out of the top 100 corporations pay little or no federal taxes at all due to off-shore accounts, shelters and subsidiaries RIGHT NOW.

    First of all, it’s a myth that ANY corporations pay taxes. Corporations don’t pay taxes, they collect them for the government, passing any taxes thus sent to Washington on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for their goods and services. For a corporation, taxes are part of their overhead; if they are not included in their pricing, the corporation fails to make a profit, and soon goes out of business.

    Secondly, according to The New York Times, the total figure of ALL US corporations “not paying taxes” is closer to 66%. Out of those:

    …the nearly 1,000 largest United States corporations were more likely than smaller ones to pay taxes.

    In 2005, one in four large United States corporations paid no taxes on revenue of $1.1 trillion, compared with 66 percent in the overall pool. Large corporations are those with at least $250 million in assets or annual sales of at least $50 million.

    Joshua Barro, a staff economist at the Tax Foundation, a conservative research group, said that the largest corporations represented only 1 percent of the total number of corporations but more than 90 percent of all corporate assets.

    The vast majority of the large corporations that did not pay taxes had net losses, he said, and thus no income on which to pay taxes. “The notion that there is a large pool of untaxed corporate profits is incorrect.”

    In any industrial society such as ours, the only source of taxes is the wage earner; one way or another, we pay all the taxes.

  • Baronius

    “Conservative trickle-down supply siders are telling me that high CEO compensation is some sort of biblical commandment”

    Well, there are commandments against coveting and stealing your neighbor’s goods.

    “I’ve personally had enough of the deification of the modern day robber barron. America has too, IMHO.”

    Rights are rights. The guy with an unpopular religion has the right to practice it. The guy with an unpopular opinion has the right to voice it. The guy with an unpopular salary has the right to earn it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos and Dave –

    Clavos wants PROOF (since he wasn’t able to come up with proof of his own to refute what I showed him about the top marginal tax rate)…and Dave says it’s about freedom, not democracy.

    Gee – THERE’s a thought! Real democracy does NOT equal freedom! One wonders what country Dave would like to live in….

    But what about PROOF that conservatives care far more about power than about democracy?

    1 – I’ll repeat the quote from the founder of the Heritage Foundation: “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

    2 – Anyone remember Rove’s plan for a “permanent Republican majority”? Does anyone know what ‘permanent’ means?

    3 – Hugh Hewitt (a one-time member of the Reagan administration who wanted to refuse admission to Bob Woodward from the Nixon library because he wasn’t a “responsible journalist”) wrote a book called, “Painting the Map Red – The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority”.

    4 – Tom DeLay: “”If 1994 was the year we stopped thinking like a permanent minority, 2004 is the year we start thinking like a permanent majority: unified, aggressive, rightfully confident of victory.”

    5 – John Dean – after a series of conversations with BARRY GOLDWATER: “Goldwater was also mystified (when not miffed) by the direction of today’s professed conservatives — their growing incivility, pugnacious attitudes, and arrogant and antagonistic style, along with a narrow outlook intolerant of those who challenge their thinking. He worried that the Republican Party had sold its soul to Christian fundamentalists, whose divisive social values would polarize the nation. ”

    6 – Barry Goldwater, in 1998 after being asked by John Dean what was wrong with the Republican leadership: “It’s those so-called social or cultural conservatives. And I don’t know what in hell possesses them. I’d like to find out.”

    7 – John Dean (who knows something of being a Goldwater conservative) also wrote: “Authoritarian conservatives are, as a researcher told me, “enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian and amoral.””

    8 – John Dean, on Newt Gingrich: “When Gingrich took charge of the House in 1995 as Speaker, he imposed authoritarian rule unlike that of any Speaker before him. His bullying, demanding style provoked antagonism and incivility, and made demonizing one’s opponents standard operating procedure. Gingrich eliminated the seniority rights of Republicans in the House, and he personally selected committee chairs who would be loyal to him – and who could help raise money, using their posts for the good of the GOP. Gingrich lorded over the House, telling members not to bring their families back to Washington, and even suggesting which books they should be reading.”

    9 – John Dean, on Republican presidencies: “Nixon created the “imperial presidency.” After the public rejected that concentration of power, in the aftermath of Watergate, Reagan restored the imperial presidency in another guise. Now, Bush and Cheney have created the post-imperial presidency. Using the threat of terrorism as their justification, Bush and Cheney have embraced the so-called “unitary executive theory” – which, in truth, is merely another term for an authoritarian presidency.”

    10 – John Dean, on the authoritarianism of Bush/Cheney: “…these people simply do not care what others think of their performance. What is important, in their eyes, is simply that these leaders and their compliant followers are doing things the way they believe they must be done, and enforcing their will upon any who dare to dissent or disagree.”

    11 – John Dean: “For more than 40 years I have considered myself a ‘Goldwater conservative,’ and am thoroughly familiar with the movement’s canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon “imperial presidency” on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.”

    12 – Sen. Kit Bond (R-Missouri): “I’m not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I’m sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do.”

    13 – John Dean: “Republicans rule, rather than govern, when they are in power by imposing their authoritarian conservative philosophy on everyone, as their answer for everything. This works for them because their interest is in power, and in what it can do for those who think as they do.”

    Do I really need to go on?

    Dave, Clavos, et al – you already KNOW all this. You KNOW that to conservatives, power is more important than real democracy…and therefore justifies any and all actions taken to discredit anyone who gets in the conservatives’ way…and conservatives have little respect for those who do not share their desire for power. You KNOW this…but you don’t dare to admit it publicly.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    You didn’t answer the question. Can you provide even a SINGLE example where tax cuts helped the American economy?

    FYI, I provided you PROOF of two instances where massive tax cuts preceded huge economic downturns – the tax cuts under the Republican presidents of the 1920’s, and the current economic meltdown.

    Just one example of a significant tax cut that helped the American economy. Just one – that’s all I ask.

  • Franco

    #97 — Glenn Contrarian

    “Can you point out a single instance in American history where cutting taxes has had a positive effect on the American economy, particularly in unemployment?”

    When people are allowed to keep more of their own money (lower taxes) and spend it as they see fit, where dose that money go?

  • The Obnoxious American

    You provided anecdotes, nothing more. It may have rained before the depression as well, but that doesn’t mean rain caused the depression. Can you explain how tax cuts caused the run on banks resulting in the great depression?

    Reagan cut taxes, which had a major impact on the economy. Here come the revisionists!

  • Baronius

    OA – You might want to try 1961, 1981, and 2001. There was a lag each time, but the data should satisfy Glenn’s request.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “For those too lazy to actually learn about the new direction this country by way of google search, here is a link to an article that talks about Obama’s plan.”

    Thanks for the link, and the laugh considering you were the one to lazy to include it in your article. Hypocritical much?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, Glenn. You sure like John Dean. Most people would try to go to a broader range of sources than a disgruntled ex-party member with an axe to grind.

    And Goldwater is right in his criticisms. As always, I agree 100%.

    But the stuff Dean describes isn’t characteristic of the Republican party, it’s characteristic of politicians in positions of power. Gingrich acted the way that the Democrats are acting now. No different.

    The actions of individuals at the political extreme or the extreme of power-lust cannot be used as the measure of the character of a party as a whole. Do you want us to use Truman and his loyalty oaths and anti-communist witch hunt as our example of what all Democrats in power are like? Do you want us to apply the political ideas of Naomi Wolff or Cynthia McKinney or Louis Farrakhan as the standard for what all Democrats believe?

    Dave

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Thanks for the link, and the laugh considering you were the one to lazy to include it in your article. Hypocritical much?”

    Uh, you mean the article that I wasn’t too lazy to write in the first place ABOUT Obama’s own statements? Make sense much?

    Baronius,

    Thanks for that. But as I said, here come the revisionists. They will tell us how each one of these was actually a bad thing. Especially 2001, which as per the Dems, “just made the rich richer… ”

    Because after all, the dem mantra is that the financial mess we are in is a result of Bush. After all, look at what Larry Summers continues to say about the “Bush tax cuts.” It’s all liberal hogwash of course, there is no logic behind the idea that raising taxes helps the economy. It only helps the Government’s economy. But try explaining it to a guy like Glenn who actually thinks the new deal was great.

    The only problem with Bush’s tax cuts, was that he didn’t also have spending cuts, and thus the deficit grew. But with all the problems we were facing at the time, running a deficit while cutting taxes was a reasonable action – for a little while at least.

    Dem’s have selective memory and 20/20 hindsight, which in combination makes for some pretty ignorant discussions.

  • Clavos

    FYI, I provided you PROOF of two instances where massive tax cuts preceded huge economic downturns – the tax cuts under the Republican presidents of the 1920’s, and the current economic meltdown.

    You didn’t provide proof, you provided evidence of a temporal congruence, nothing more.

    It is a logical fallacy to think that correlation implies causation.

  • Franco

    #91 — Cindy D

    “Don’t you remember when you were young? Didn’t you ever get the feeling that all the bullshit you were being fed didn’t make sense?”

    Yes, until I started growing up and understood that what appeared to a chiid as bullshit about the free market was in fact mans best hope for bettering his life, including all free men! The minute I understood that in elimentry school my life did get better and has been doing so ever sence.

    “I mean before you forgot about that and became “sensible”.”

    Forgetting about what you didn’t understand makes you sensible? If you say so.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Whoo Hoo!

    For OA – ‘temporal congruence’. Hm. The worst two economic crises of the past century BOTH came after several years of greatly diminished taxes. Gee…must it happen AGAIN before you agree that there’s a pattern?

    And were there ANY significant tax INCREASES before either of those economic crises? No? But wait! Higher taxes – like the 90%-plus that we had throughout the 1950’s – should have caused incredible damage!

    But did it? No.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oops – that was Clavos and not OA on the ‘temporal congruence’…but my statement still stands.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For Dave –

    Dean wasn’t the only one I quoted, was it? There were at least four others IIRC.

    And are the Dems really acting as the Republicans did when they were in power? Did Bush EVER go to Capitol Hill with the specific intention of working with the Dems? Did the Dems EVER totally exclude the Republicans from the legislative process?

    Truman was pressured by McCarthyism as you well know…and such claptrap went away the moment McCarthy was exposed.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius and Franco –

    When people are allowed to keep more of their own money (lower taxes) and spend it as they see fit, where dose that money go?

    These days, it goes to China.

    FYI, despite all the conservative rhetoric to the contrary, the government wastes FAR less money than they say. Yes, there IS fraud and waste in the government…but there is FAR MORE in the private sector. Name an industry – ANY industry – and I’ll gladly point out the corruption therein. With the American government, the transparency and oversight is MUCH greater than in the private sector…but only when the government strives to be transparent – which it has striven to resist during the Bush years.

    Baronius – Know what happens when you give big tax cuts without the spending cuts necessary to afford those tax cuts? It’s the same thing as deciding to live on credit. Things get better temporarily…and then the sticker shock comes back to bite you.

    Again, how WAS the economy during the fifties under those 90%-plus top marginal tax rates? Hm?

  • Baronius

    The 1920’s and the early 2000’s had one more thing in common: wild speculation outside the top 1% of the wealthiest, financed through debt. This was a direct cause of the financial crisis that ended both booms. An economy can survive the speculation of junk bond dealers and Trumps, because their failure doesn’t affect consumption. It’s when the middle class loses a fortune in tulip money or real estate that you see the ripple.

  • Baronius

    That last comment was a reply to, I guess, #112. As to #117, tax cuts usually result in increased governmental revenue. But if you want to cut spending too, please feel free.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Know what happens when you give big tax cuts without the spending cuts necessary to afford those tax cuts? It’s the same thing as deciding to live on credit. Things get better temporarily…and then the sticker shock comes back to bite you.”

    So given this logic, you are against Obama’s stimulus plan right?

    “The worst two economic crises of the past century BOTH came after several years of greatly diminished taxes. Gee…must it happen AGAIN before you agree that there’s a pattern?”

    Again, coincidence. You never responded to my question, asking you to explain how lowering taxes in the 20’s caused the run on the banks and the great depression. By that same logic, can you prove that ANY recession was caused by low taxes? I’d love to hear you try.

    This recession was certainly not caused by low taxes, it was caused by loose credit and irresponsible borrowers, no matter how much the left wants to demonize wall street.

    Only tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists actually think that Reagan’s tax cuts in the early 80s were a bad thing. But they weren’t.

    I will agree with you on one thing, that we spend too much money on crap that is made in China. But raising taxes won’t address that either. To fix the trade deficit, we need to start producing items at a lower cost, and the quality needs to be higher. Unfortunately, unions drove down american quality while raising costs. And it sure does look like our new administration wants more and more unions. Card check anyone?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    No one really listens to anyone else on here. They just say, “Oh yeah?” and then repeat their argument.

    The author of this article is perhaps the worst offender – he simply ignores the comments – ahem, like several of my own – which make valid, supported points for which he has no answer.

    Then he either claims that
    [1] No one ever tries to have a real discussion with him, or
    [2] he said everything he meant to say in the original article anyway, so he doesn’t have to answer, or
    [3]Democrats stink! And so do liberals! So there!

    But he’s far from the only one: there are numerous commenters on here, left, right and Other, who don’t even try to answer thoughtfully and try to actually respond to someone else’s point.

    I refer you to my #’s 7, 10, 30, and 55 as examples of points worth discussing:

    – Michael Thomas’s claim that Wall Streeters getting the biggest payoffs have often done the least moral, least productive work [i.e. derivatives-based houses of cards];

    – Real questions about the economic consequences of tax cuts and increases;

    – What the CBO report on the stimulus package really said;

    – And of course the fact that the whole thesis of this article is hot air and conservative paranoia, nothing else.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Handy,

    Why do you think I quit commenting, Handy? It’s a waste of time.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Handyguy,

    I am sensing that you are feeling left out. I don’t respond to points so obviously wrong, I did respond to #7. But since you’ve insisted, I will try to get to the others:

    “None of the three specifics bulleted in that news article from AOL you quote are nearly as scary as your rhetoric would imply. Not one of them would prevent America from continuing to be the land of opportunity. And the middle one parrots you and your beloved Carly.”

    Actually, I didn’t write about the three bullets. I wrote about the one bullet. And I said in the article I am all for greater transparency.

    Fact is though, that the one bullet is scary. I am not that great of a writer to truly express how wrongheaded this idea of government capping salaries is. And taken together, it all just seems like government overreach. At the end of the day, if a company does not want to be transparent, shareholders can choose not to invest in them. That’s called a free market. I believe in the free market more than I do Obama.

    I’ve seen first hand the waste of SarbOx. I’ve seen what it delivers – a big fat nothing. Well, thats not entirely true. It costs a lot of money to implement and is a barrier to IPOs. Notice how few IPOs there have been since the signing of Sarb Ox. The economy was fine for several years before the current imbroglio. Companies didn’t not go public because of the economy, but rather because of Sarb Ox.

    The law of unintended consequences went into full effect, and instead of all of these companies funded by venture capitalists looking for an IPO payday, they instead went looking for a merger payday, selling their business to another company that is already public.

    Net effect has been a consolidation of business to fewer and fewer, large companies. Not quite the result we were looking for is it? Had Sarb Ox been around 20 years earlier, Microsoft would never have been. Think about that.

    Comment 30 – hasn’t the question of whether tax increases or cuts been the main discussion for the last 40 or so replies?

    Comment 55 – Regardless of how you parse it, the CBO’s comments aren’t a good thing for the bill. They point to the same thing many economists are saying. And many politicians on both sides. This isn’t a stimulus bill.

    If this crisis is as important as our President says, then why wouldn’t we want to pass the best bill possible? We rushed to pass the bailout, and look where that got us? Now we got this pork laden mess of a bill that turns our economy into a government program. It’s crazyness.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    tax cuts usually result in increased governmental revenue.

    Can you give me an example?

    This has been the conservative mantra forever, that decreased tax rates equals greater economic opportunity which results in increased tax income.

    So…care to give me an example?

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    “Why do you think they are seeking those off-shore accounts and shelters? It’s because they have no other way to reduce the burden of taxation and remain competitive in a market which is international. If we eliminated corporate taxation altogether then they would bring their business here instead of offshoring it, and we would benefit enormously.”

    Where do you get this notion from? Under the law as it currently exists, a corporation is considered a “person”. What we have here in America today are little more than tax cheats. Yeah. I said it. Unless, that is, you’re claiming that there’s this max exodus of American citizens going on because of taxes…

    “Assertions unsupported by fact. You have not established a relationship between the benefits received by corporate management and tax cuts. And the truth is that the vast majority of the tax cutting done in the last 50 years has been on the consumer side of the equation, which does benefit business, but not directly.”

    Well, here’s a report from when times were GREAT economically:

    The GAO report showed that 61 percent of US corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1996 through 2000, a period of rapid economic growth and rising corporate profits.

    An estimated 94 percent of US corporations reported tax liabilities amounting to less than 5 percent of their total income in 2000. The corporate income tax rate is ostensibly 35 percent, but companies are able to reduce their effective burden by claiming various deductions and credits.

    US companies paid an average of $11.88 in corporate taxes for every $1,000 in gross receipts, the study said.

    Small corporations were more likely to avoid taxation than large ones, it showed. About 38 percent of big companies (those with more than $250 million in assets or $50 million in revenues) paid no taxes during the five-year period.”

    And same report, supporting my claim and refuting your assertation:

    The percentage of federal tax collections paid by corporations has tumbled from a high of 39.8 percent in 1943 to a low of 7.4 percent last year. It ranged from 10 percent to 11 percent in 1996-2000, the period studied by the GAO. But since World War II, the share paid by individual income tax filers has remained relatively stable, bouncing between 40 percent and 50 percent. Most of the difference is explained by higher payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.”

    Let’s only go back 30 years to 1980, where the average CEO made 45 times the salary of the average worker. Today? It’s over 364 times the salary. The minimum wage certain hasn’t increased eight-fold since 1980, so my question is– have CEO’s become eight times BETTER in the past thirty years to justify that ratio?

    This is about world view, IMHO. America, in 2009 can’t be a cheerleader for capitalism, freedom and democracy when our own very existance is now dependant upon us borrowing money from Socialists, getting manufacturing from Communists, and acquiring energy from Dictators and totalitarian states.

    That these robber barron ingrates would have their hat in hand asking for bail-outs is disgraceful enough. That they want the American people to borrow money from Socialist governments to line their pockets with unwarranted bonuses is beyond the pale.

    –Cobra

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Uh, you mean the article that I wasn’t too lazy to write in the first place ABOUT Obama’s own statements?”

    Yeah, unless there are other articles that you don’t properly provide sources to what you are referring to. And there may well be if this article is any indication, so I am not discounting the possibility.

    Know what you are doing much?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn,

    Read recent history. Bush’s tax cuts increased revenue. This isn’t a fable, there are many examples in our recent history. And it’s logical too!

    Ever heard of the economic cycle? Money in the private sector changes hands, each time there are taxes paid. Same isn’t true when the government spends the money.

    Cobra,

    I can agree with one part of what you said, slightly edited:

    “That these robber barron ingrates would have their hat in hand asking for bail-outs is disgraceful enough. That they want the American people to borrow money from Socialist governments to line their pockets with unwarranted bonuses is beyond the pale. “

    To Handyguy’s point, try reading the article. Some people, even in a failing institution, deserve bonuses – if they are turning a profit.

    But yes, it is disgusting that any company would come hat in hand to the government asking for a bailout. Especially considering where we’d get that money. 100% agreed. They should have never done it, and the American people should never have agreed. And as a result, we paid way too much for assets that were toxic to begin with.

    If you hated the bailout, then certainly you also agree that we should not rush to pass, or perhaps even pass at all this pork laden stim package.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Whoooo…

    I think Cobra struck pretty hard with that one. Good on ya!

  • Brunelleschi

    If tax cuts increase government revenue, that is awesome news!

    I’m going to give myself a 100% tax cut, for America.

    Everyone needs to do their part in these difficult times.

  • The Obnoxious American

    And if you did, your entire salary would be available for you to spend. And you would consume. And your increased consumption would drive business and you’d pay sales tax, which would necessitate the need for biz to hire people (for real jobs) who would also get paid, and consume, and pay taxes on what they are consuming, driving more businesses, and so on.

    This is how paying less income taxes improves tax income for the government. It works especially well, when the people who are getting the tax cut have more money – i.e. the rich. It works less well when you cut taxes for people who have no money, and terribly when “tax cuts” are actually a transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor, such as the majority of the tax cuts in Obama’s plan.

    By contrast, increase taxes, we spend less. We consume less, companies scale back their business as a result because there is less demand, and people lose their jobs, and those people consume less, and so on and so on.

    This is basic econ 101. I would advise anyone here who doesn’t understand these basics of economics to take a course or two at the local community college. You can even pay for it with bush era student aid.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    But OA —

    Both the Dems and your side say the same thing:
    “Reread Econ 101 – it supports our side.”

    Instead of just stubbornly restating your position — basically, all spending is pork, all taxes are bad — try to actually understand the other point of view.

    A lot of what is in the bill that is incorrectly labeled ‘pork’ is actually aid to state governments. Without it, they will have to lay off state employees [including teachers and cops] and cut or eliminate Medicaid and unemployment benefits. Is that a good thing, something you want to see happen?

    There is a point of view that all government spending is, de facto, stimulative. [It pumps money into the economy, which businesses and consumers are currently not doing.] You don’t address this point of view, held by many economists. You just reject it.

    You call that a discussion? You don’t listen to the other point of view. At all. One bit. How come?

  • The Obnoxious American

    My side? What is that pray tell? Please don’t think the GOP represents me. I tend to find more in common with them, when they act as they should. But if I am not in lockstep with some so called republicans in the congress, the very ones that performed so badly as to be evicted en-masse in 2006 and 2008, what do I care? Not one bit.

    And oh, government workers might lose their jobs? Oh well then hell yeah lets tax the heck out of the private sector (who IS cutting jobs) and demonize the rich, cap salaries of actual hard working Americans, borrow from our enemies till our credit is junk status and nationalize. That’s clearly the answer – you’ve opened my eyes.

    What a joke. Government isn’t an end to itself. It’s a service to the American people. If the American public can’t afford government services due to a downturn, then governmnet should cut back. Is that really such an alien concept? Are you really suggesting that government runs such a tight ship that each employee is productive? Out in my neck of the woods, I’ve yet to meet a government worker that wasn’t completely lazy, demanding, power drunk and high on themselves. the antithesis of what’s made this country great.

    Handyguy, instead of throwing around the bs about how us neocons don’t listen to anything, maybe you could acknowledge that I have listened to you, and I just disagree.

    Have a great weekend ladies and gents.

  • Brunelleschi

    #130

    Would you support a law to ban all income tax and pay the military budget out of sales tax, and if enough is not raised, the military has to operate with less?

    :)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I can’t speak for OA, but I’d like to disband the federal military and replace it with a combination of the national guard and private contractors.

    Dave

  • The Obnoxious American

    I would support a consumption tax, which is sort of what you are saying. Doing so would make a lot more sense, and would naturally result in Americans saving more money, which would reduce our reliance on credit. Credit is poison and we need to stop smoking the credit crack. Reliance on credit is our current way of life, and is a large part of what got us here.

    Problem with increasing income taxes, including on the so called rich, it does not address this fundamental issue. Higher taxes does not incentivize personal savings, and personal savings is what would really make this country rich. Higher taxes means a likely greater reliance on credit. And high government spending is done on credit too. The stim bill features BOTH of these crappy ideas at a time when people are making less, jobs are scarce and we have a large enough deficit already.

    You do provide a false choice in your question. there are a myriad of ways to reduce income taxes and still be able to fund important services. Maybe a combination of a low FLAT income tax (i.e. 7 percent across the board) and a consumption tax.

    But before we start cutting the military, can we cut out the nonsense spending? Like 300 mil on condoms, 6 billion on greenifying fed buildings? Oh wait, Obama is already cutting the military and calling for higher taxes…wait, WHAT?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Dave,

    Actually, you can speak for me, I might not always totally agree, but you make some great points. That said, Obama is making a national military of some sort. I’m hoping that means we can finally get CCW in the tri-state :>

  • The Obnoxious American

    “I’ve yet to meet a government worker that wasn’t completely lazy, demanding, power drunk and high on themselves. the antithesis of what’s made this country great.”

    Just wanted to adjust this statement – excluding the Police, Fire Departments and our Military.

  • Franco

    #117 — Glenn Contrarian

    “These days, it goes to China.”

    That is a sweeping generation to fit your premise. You now dame well it dose not all go to China nor did years ago. Now cut the crap and answer the question. When people are allowed to keep more of their own money and spend it as they see fit, where dose that money go?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    What a worthless non-discussion. Everyone is so pigheaded and self-absorbed.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Your idea that money equals smartest is wrong on too many levels.

    Without addressing the fallacy of your thinking, its too delicious and multi layered and you would miss it anyway, I’ll make a simple point.

    If your thinking was accurate, the President of the United States would be the highest paid person in the world. Think about it a little. You probably wont (adequately).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Zedd,

    That is thinking exported from Ayn Rand novels, forgetting all the while the highly idealistic context and characterization of her heroes and heroines. If only our illustrious business leaders were anywhere near close to possessing the kind of integrity attributed to John Galt, et al – I’d definitely go for it. But it’s such a far cry from the present parasites, that it doesn’t warrant any serious discussion.

  • Zedd

    Abnox,

    The failure of the financial industry should be blamed on industry heads.

    If I loan most of my worldly goods to a crackhead at a massive interest rate and expect that he will pay me back and I will get rich off of it, IT IS MY FAULT when I loose out in the end. I made a foolish decision. Yes the crackhead is culpable but as far as my family goes, it’s all of my fault for risking their livelihood on a stupid arrangement. I would have horribly mismanaged our assets.

    Now if I ask for a loan from my brother, who is struggling to make ends meet himself but goes and gets another job just so he can help me out because my family is struggling, then I use the money he gave me to buy flat screens, a fancy car and throw parties, he would have every right to be livid at me.

    Does that help you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    They were all in it thick and thin because of the bubbles and the opportunity to make easy money. They’ve long abandoned the cherished tradition that financial institutions ought to be the most conservative of all.

  • Zedd

    Roger,

    It’s such a far cry from the characteristics that we have displayed as a species for as long as can be remembered.

    The wealthy and the powerful have always attempted to justify their position by claiming some sort of right to it. It was often a divine right of sorts and later after the spread of the idea of evolution, social darwinian notions were used to rubber stamp their right to power; a genetic superiority. Off course claiming that money buys intelligence also suggests that the wealthy ARE more intelligent. Meaning that they deserve more because they are superior intellectually.

    What we know about ourselves whether from working in the corporate world or from the play ground is that the top dog is not always the smartest guy. Heck just watching the rise of politicians should teach us about “chance” and success/power. George W. Bush was a former CEO and later President of the United States.

    –the goober

  • lumpy

    “Obama is making a national military of some sort.”

    Would that be his army of draftee dole slaves doing makework jobs so he can pretend he didn’t cause unemployment to skyrocket to double digits?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Of course, Zedd, but I don’t want to start any class warfare. Being rich doesn’t disqualify you automatically from being smart either. Both of us know that. There are good and bad on both sides of the divide.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    And I am checking out until next time. Nice talking to you.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    I sincerely don’t believe that privatizing the Military is a great idea. For one thing, let’s look at where the loyalties are:

    Oath of Military Service

    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    Compare that to the accountability statement listed on the Blackwater USA website:

    Accountability:
    We act ethically and legally as we work to meet our contractual commitments. We take responsibility for our behavior and our performance. We are accountable everyday. We support quality assurance and personal discipline in all our endeavors.

    Far be it from me to nit-pick, or criticize a career path, but I think defending this nation, including waging war over air, land and sea should have a little more explicit duty and loyalty factor involved than simply “meeting contractual commitments.”

    Mercenaries have such a bad historical reputation that their very name has become a perjorative. If the only loyalty is to money, then what’s to say that the enemy won’t be able to offer a better deal? Many of the hot zones we’re engaged in are awash in cash, and run by drug lords, tribal chiefs and oil sheiks.

    How many dangerous missions would fall under the category, “Not in my contract”, or “I’ll need more money to do that”. How much would a mercenary have charged to be the first guy to hit the beach at Normandy? As we learned in Iraq, exactly who does a mercenary answer to? What are the rules of engagement?

    Answering to CEO’s instead of the Joint Chiefs, or the Commander in Chief? We’ve just learned how many CEO’s act during a financial crisis. Now we’re going to put weapons of mass destruction in their hands?

    This thread is getting really scary now.

    –Cobra

  • http://strongmountain.blogspot.com/ Strong Mountain

    I think the reason why we’re in this mess is far more complex than simply saying that people borrowed carelessly. Borrowing money is essential today due to the rising costs of concumer goods rapidly outpacing individual earnings. Inflation is the real culprit.

  • bliffle

    Inflation? What a strange idea. Inflation has been the main target of suppression by economists (self-styled as conservatives) for 30 years. Inflation is the Big Villain to the rich and powerful because it helps the middleclass endure their debts and diminish them just by hanging in there.

    Inflation is the little guys friend because he is a net debtor.

  • bliffle

    Unreasonable executive salaries is just a symptom of a greater problem, corporation reform.

    We need to radically reform the charters of corporation. What we have now is a license to create Frankenstein monsters that can rove around the countryside ruining peoples lives and society in general.

    This has come to a crisis since the Executives of corps wrested Board power away for themselves so that they could exaggerate their personal benefits.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    -limit the charter to a few years, as the original corps were, with a max of 25 years.

    -limit the business area that they may operate within.

    -provide rules for Board membership. Try to restore some of the balance that previously existed in Boards, with representation by stakeholders other than simply the execs. More shareholder reps, vendor reps, employee reps, etc.

    -formally and clearly define the laws of Corporate Personhood. Right now this is a hodge-podge of incomplete and arbitrary notions that has mostly been determined by out-of-court statements by justcices (cf. Southern Pacific vs. Santa Clara, where it all started).

    -better define the difference between Limited Liabilty Corps vs. Corps.

    -better define the Rule of Privity in liability.

    etc.

    YMMV

  • bliffle

    “The Truth about Executive Compensation”

    The truth is that all this high dollar compensation is pretty new.

    When I was a lad, say 50 years ago, execs didn’t get very much pay. They got better pay than clerks, machinists, engineers, salesmen, etc. But the Board kept them on short rations, which grated with guys who saw themselves as the next Captains Of Industry.

    At that time the leader of the corp was the “President”, who was typically either a founder or a bigtime investor/capitalist or a guy who spent 30 years working his way up thru all the divisions, manufacturing, sales, marketing, shipping, procuring, etc. A plebian converted to an aristocrat.

    The President appeared on the Board because of his history and capital.

    But this rankled with senior executives who aspired to have ownership and a bigger voice. They had no voice in the Board, the President was more of a slavemaster, administering over these, the highest of the slaves.

    But then the Presidents started allocating division tasks to specialists, CEO, CFO, CTO, CIO, etc. And they eventually got invites to the Board meetings, mostly to provide detail tech info on demand.

    The execs became keepers of the operation, which gave them power.

    Before that they had really just been high level slaves, kept away from the Big Money at the capital end of the corp.

    Eventually presidents retired to inactive advisory roles on the Board and in private life and that’s when the execs took over.

    Make no mistake: this was a revolution in corp management.

    Next: the character and qualifications of execs.

  • Zedd

    Roger,

    We are in full agreement. I think that we have fallen prey to simplistic explanations for how we arrange ourselves as a society. I think that the folks in the economic sectors have made some claims about human nature that may not be substantiated. I am not an ideologue by any meas and so I am not against capitalist notions and don’t support a completely socialistic arrangement as well. I do however think that the wide spread unequivocal faith in the market forces could be a bit naive and much too simplistic.

    I support pragmatism; solutions for specific problems and not blanket theories that simply sound catchy or smart.

  • Zedd

    Biffle,

    I can’t wait for your next installment.

    Hurry up!

  • Cindy D

    I am with you Zedd.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    When I was a lad, say 50 years ago, execs didn’t get very much pay. They got better pay than clerks, machinists, engineers, salesmen, etc.

    The truth is that the average salary of CEOs in the US is $96K a year, which is hardly outrageous. The super-high compensation CEOs are a tiny group, largely overseeing multinational corporations with hundreds of thousands of employees, and in that context their salaries are proportionally appropriate.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Ayn Rand’s ideas make sense from her vantage point. We are fortunate in that we have a wide view of human nature and as history unfolds, we can draw inferences based on a broad view.

    As much progress as we have made as a species in understanding ourselves, we still rely on simplistic “hard and fast” solutions or descriptions for what works for us. It many ways those broadly applied quickly accepted notions reveal just how archaic our ideas still are.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Zedd,

    “I do however think that the wide spread unequivocal faith in the market forces could be a bit naive and much too simplistic.”

    This has never been my position, Zed. Where did you pull that from?

  • Cindy D

    ummm, maybe she was just expressing her opinion

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Inflation is the little guys friend because he is a net debtor.

    Except that it raises prices for essential goods while his earning ability fails to keep pace, which is much worse for the little guy than for someone who has excess income.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop

    Inflation is the little guys friend because he is a net debtor.

    BULL SHIT. Inflation makes my wages and my attempts to save worth LESS, which in turn enslaves my peers to Banks and Lenders with no-way-out.

    Thinking like the above statement is similar to “well, let’s lighten the yoke a little bit to get more work out of the serfs” instead of “Hey, let’s take the damn thing off and let ‘em be Freemen.”

    Inflationary practices simply help to further enslave the “Little guy” to his creditors, it’s a company-store/share-cropper situation with no way out.

  • Baronius

    Cannon, I might be wrong on this but I think we could handle a little inflation. We’ve had excessive credit available for the last decade or so, making money essentially free. The last few months have seen the credit markets seize up. There’s also been some deflationary pressure (sales, falling oil and housing prices). A bit of inflation will devalue our national debt and lubricate the markets.

  • Zedd

    Roger,

    I wasn’t saying that you expressed those views either. As Cindy said, I was just expressing my own views.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Got you!

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    To be fair, we have to determine if the number of CEO’s or execs has remained relatively the same in order to make a comparison between then (when Biffle was a lad) and now. We also have to determine what type of exec Biffle was talking about. Was he talking about folks who ran large companies or any head of an organization?

    I get the sense that every Tom, Dick and Harry is calling themselves a CEO these days. I’ve encountered people who haven’t reached the Ma and Pa Shop level yet, who call themselves CEOs. The average pay for a CEO would be smaller in that case.

  • Clavos

    Good points all, Zedd.

    Likely there were few CEOs back then (I don’t think they even used the term in the Stone Age, when bliff was a youngster), and in any case there were certainly fewer companies of any size back then.

    Size is important too, despite what every guy you meet says. :>)

    You’re right, everybody calls themselves a “CEO” these days.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yeah, a Korean running a liquor store is a CEO.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Hell, I’m a CEO and I’m still waiting for my golden parachute to arrive. I hold meetings with my two dogs at the table and a couple of font designers who work on royalties conferenced in on my cell phone.

    The point that bliffle doesn’t get and refuses to get after multiple explanations is that rules which are designed to limit the excesses of the very small number of top executives often end up crippling smaller businesses and forcing them out of business.

    It is more cost effective and less harmful to just let those multinational CEOs do whatever the hell they want and ignore them. As I’ve pointed out many times before, if you lined them up and shot them and then redistributed their salaries to their employees, each worker would get about a dollar added to his weekly paycheck.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Roger, I’m surprised that you, as a good liberal chose to couch your comment #167 in those terms; specifying the nationality of your mythical liquor store operator makes you sound like a racist.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Whatever you say, Clavos!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave,

    “rules which are designed to limit the excesses of the very small number of top executives often end up crippling smaller businesses and forcing them out of business.”

    You’ve got to prove that connection. Asserting it won’t do.

  • lumpy

    you know I have no idea what the ceo of my company earns and only a rough idea what my immediate boss earns and I never really thought to care. I took my job because it paid about 5 percent more than comparable jobs in this area. the relationship between my salary here and what I could earn at a similar enployer is what matters, not what my ceo earns.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    But you’re just disproving, Lumpy, Dave’s claim on the other thread that everyone, by nature, is motivated by greed.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    How so, Roger. Didn’t he just say that he picked the job that paid more out of the selection of similar jobs available to him?

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    That’s not greed, just common sense. But to look at what your CEO makes with envy – that’s greed (or potential greed, yet to be actualized if and when the opportunity presents itself). So in a way, Lumpy is an honorable human being not to be begrudging others the fact that – in one particular area of life, and only in that area, I must repeat – they’re better off that he is.

    Good for him.

    Roger

  • Zedd

    Lumpy,

    What your CEO makes matters if there is a possibility that you and a number of your top performing colleagues will loose their jobs because he has made poor decisions. If he continues to draw in millions a year when your management level salary would not hurt the company all that much if you were kept on, it would matter.

  • Maurice

    Executive pay is a favorite punching bag for many. My CEO went unpaid for 1.5 years. It didn’t help. We are still moving all our manufacturing overseas.

    Would it help the entertainment industry if we capped their salaries?

    How about sports figures? In particular it is annoying that college football coaches make more money than college presidents.

  • Zedd

    Maurice,

    Your CEO did the honorable thing despite the end result. That makes a difference in society in general. We all have to play a role. From parents saying “no you can’t have it” to their kids, to CEOs foregoing the bonus when they have under performed.

  • bliffle

    I get the distinct impression that Dave and Cannon are net savers, not debtors, which makes them the rarest of rare breeds in American civil life.

    Yes, inflation is bad for net savers, such as Dave/Cannon presumably are.

    But for MOST US citizens, who are net debtors, inflation is a Good Thing. And they know it! So does everyone else. Even Dave/Cannon know that inflation is the best cure for MOST people, they just don’t like it for themselves.

  • bliffle

    Dave says: “…rules which are designed to limit the excesses of the very small number of top executives often end up crippling smaller businesses and forcing them out of business.”

    This is possible, but I don’t see where you have demonstrated it, or fleshed out the argument.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    The athlete example is not a good one. Athletes who are sponsored and perform for the U.S. Government, i.e. Olympians, don’t get outlandish taxpayer funded compensation.

    The actor example is also not a good one. Actors and actresses who perform in productions sponsored by grants from the National Endowment of the Arts get nowhere NEAR the compensation that a Hollywood mega-star would receive. It’s not the nature of that business. The same applies to actors who perform in films for the US Government.

    Bottom line, if you want the AMERICAN PEOPLE’S MONEY to bail your business out, you’d better recognize that the American People have a right to dictate how much of THEIR money you can pocket for yourself.

    –Cobra

  • Clavos

    Bottom line, if you want the AMERICAN PEOPLE’S MONEY to bail your business out, you’d better recognize that the American People have a right to dictate how much of THEIR money you can pocket for yourself.

    Good point. CEOs should therefore refuse the American people’s generous offer and turn to other countries for loans.

  • bliffle

    The article notes:

    “Carly Fiorina wrote a great article on CNN today saying that caps aren’t needed — transparency is.”

    Fiorina is a poor example to quote since she is just a pirate, a corporate climber, who was vigorously fired from HP. She knows how to finagle to get the job, but she doesn’t know how to do it. Sort of a white Condi Rice.