[picapp src=”f/3/f/6/Kenneth_R_Feinberg_1c88.jpg?adImageId=6469843&imageId=6403592″ width=”234″ height=”330″ /] This week, the Obama “pay czar”, Kenneth Feinberg announced that he would be cutting the cash salaries of TARP company executives by 90% and total compensation by 50%. My first reaction to this was utter elation. The part of me that is fed up with arrogant corporate CEO’s who are oblivious to the economic suffering of this country, and their contribution to it, raised his fist in a defiant “screw the fat cats!” It’s about damn time!
Then I paused a moment and thought, wow, I’m no expert on socialism but isn’t this the government controlling the detailed operations of what used to be free enterprise? Well, yes it is. So should we all be wringing our hands saying that Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin were all correct? Is it socialism today and communism tomorrow?
No, I don’t think so. What we’ve got here is an odd mix of socialism and capitalism tossed together and only for the time being. The government doesn’t own a huge stake in these TARP companies, we do! We, the taxpayers own a large chunk of these companies and we should be very pleased that the government, our proxy, is making these companies accountable for their behavior. Once these companies (AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, GM, Chrysler and the two car company financing divisions) pay us back our money, then we will get out of their business. Until then, they should at least partially answer to us.
I call this socialist capitalism. It’s a free market system which when it breaks down based on abuses, stops being totally free and gets a good government slap on the wrist. It’s the answer to capitalism on steroids, which is what I believe got us into our current mess. As long as the government knows when to back off, I see no problem with this approach.
Let’s see what you think:
Republican Schism and the Palin Factor (or How Sarah Parted the Red Sea)
In a recent post, I warned of the imminent demise of the Republican party but I was wrong about how Sarah Palin could be instrumental in it. I’ve always seen Palin as pulling the party so far to the right that they fall off the edge of the Earth. What I didn’t count on was that our darling maverick would go completely rogue on the GOP and back a candidate opposing the Republican Party. But yes friends, that is indeed what has happened. In the 23rd congressional district House race in New York, Sarah Palin has endorsed Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman over Republican Party candidate Deirde “Dede” Scozzafava. By helping to dilute the conservative vote, Sarah may hand the traditionally Republican district over to Democrat Bill Owens on a silver platter.
Wonder how much the GOP loves Sarah now?