So we left Bob with a closed business, out-of-work employees, and wondering what’s going to happen next; John, on the other hand, is whistling Dixie all the way to the bank, as are his workers.
Bob, of course, has been background-checked, drug-tested, his credit report run a few times, but John was merely asked if he’d paid his taxes and if his accounting was in order. To which he answered “yep!”
Naturally, that was untrue. Much like the recent spate of government appointees-in-waiting who, it seems, “forgot” to pay their own taxes – you know, the ones who are now running the show? The ones who are now going to provide oversight for this financial mess?
Seems like bankers tell regular folks, well, sorry, if you can’t manage to pay your bills, in full and on time, we’re going to tank your credit and not loan you one dime. However, all those so-called high-rollers, the ones with plenty of change to spare, the ones who are likely skimming off the top, the ones who ensure that their own bonuses are paid, pronto – those folks are just absolutely stellar money managers. They must be, because they have so much of that money!
Oh, Bob will be stimulating the economy in his own way, he and his unemployed staff: they’ll be taking advantage of those payday loan companies, the ones which charge 200% interest, or thereabouts.
John’s employees will be worrying about their retirement accounts, their investment funds; they’ll be wondering how much longer they’ll have to keep working to make up for the stock market losses, but they’ll still be drawing a salary, paying their bills, protecting their credit rating, and covering their mortgages. How nice for them.
The sad truth is that most Americans are a lot more like Bob than John; they aren’t concerned nearly so much with what will happen to them in ten or twenty years, they have things right this very minute to deal with: foreclosure, plummeting credit rating, putting food on the table, and so forth.
There are a number of things that could or should be done:
Stop financing big business – sure, they may employ hundreds, and these folks no doubt need to keep their jobs, but until these big corporations stop paying the top brass to do very damn little, they deserve to fail. It’s not because the average American is struggling that these same Americans wish for others to join them in the sinking boat – it’s simply that CEO’s, and their ilk, are “takers”. They take, they make bad decisions, they fail – yet they’re still rewarded. Let the average American miss a couple too many days of work due to illness – or more likely stress – and they’re gone, they’re history.
How about, instead of a retroactive taxation on bonuses, the government put a cap on CEO salaries? Say, no more than 10 times the salary of the average middle-manager? I know the CEO of my husband’s company pulls in several million a year, plus has all his insurance premiums and deductibles paid by the company, plus who-knows-what. Wonder if he could “manage” on say, $500K? Surely he could do that.
Or, instead of giving every worker a “stimulus” of an extra, what, $50 a month at the most – how about taking some of those billions that are bailing out the big guys and giving every worker who earns under $50K, or whatever figure you choose, an extra $5K or $10K? That would certainly stimulate the economy.
Hand over, for example, an extra $5K to every homeowner who is having mortgage difficulties – save the homes, reduce homelessness, give someone a hand up and take off some pressure.
I don’t have a great solution – there might not be one at all. But there has to be something better than throwing away obscene amounts of cash on failing businesses, while middle America continues to falter and flounder and may still be waiting on that so-called trickle-down affect several years from now.