“Wall St.’s $90 Billion Bonuses: Putting ‘croutons on a cow pie’,” Mickey Glantz. January 18, 2010

Written by M. Glantz. Posted in All Fragilecologies

Published on January 18, 2010 with No Comments

Ever since I was a little kid, I was told that I had to make choices and that I would either be happy or sad depending on the choice I made. You can’t have that model plane AND keep your money to buy it with: you had to choose. At 70 I learned that, had I become a broker on Wall St (or an executive in a major bank or in an insurance corporation for that matter), I actually could have had my cake and eaten it too.

Charging bull statue on Wall St signifying a 'bull' market

Charging bull statue on Wall St signifying a 'bull' market

Wall St, banks and insurance companies essentially bankrupted America. We don’t want to say that. It is bad for public morale and for business as well. Using smoke and mirrors and large infusions of cash, the bad choices of all the above were compensated with public money, money from American taxpayers at the same time the US in involved in a two-front war (Iraq and Afghanistan).

Wall St.'s bull in the eyes of the public

Wall St.'s bull in the eyes of the public

These guys, with the help of the US Congresses of Bush and Obama have ravaged the country, been caught, lectured to and sent home … but apparently not empty handed. They have given themselves bonuses ($90,000,000,000*) at a time America has high unemployment rates and high underemployment rates. So, what lessons have they learned? It pays whether you screw up or not. Or perhaps “greed is good”. Or perhaps, “let’s make sure we stay too big for the government to let us fail.” Or “if the public has no bread, let them eat cake.”

I guess I am most surprised by the lack of public outcry, demonstrations on Wall St. or any other collective action to tell the government, the congress and these ravenous corporation that “We are mad as Hell and are not going to take it any more” from industries and corporations that gouge the public because the public seems to have no collective voice. We, the public, seem to have become immune to the bad news we see or hear in the media each day. This is how we have reacted during the minute-by-minute coverage of the Vietnam War, and now with the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan. As individuals, we are feeling powerless (or apathetic). For many the Internet highway has replaced the streets for voicing our collective anger but that means expressions of our displeasure and anger have become atomized and that is favorable for those toward whom our anger is directed. internet

I was in a bookstore but a few minutes ago where I saw the title of a book that brought to the surface my anger and frustration about bailouts and bonuses. Oddly, it was a book on cowboy poetry, something I had never thought about. But the title caught my eye and it should have been the title of these comments: “Croutons on a Cow Pie” (by Baxter Black). croutonsoncowpie

The cow pie** represents the bailouts, and now Wall St and other Corporations are asking the public for croutons to top off their pig-out at the expense of me (still working) and the millions unable to find work. To the government and to Wall St I guess all is OK. The stock market is doing well, even though no jobs are around.
* $90 Billion is the official amount but what is the real unofficial total amount?
** cow pie is defined as a “a dropping of cow dung.”

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