I’ve talked before how the passage of Prop 8 here in California was a double edged sword for gay rights. Yeah, it was a setback, but I believe that was only momentary. The passage created so much publicity that the topic of gay marriage and dicussions on nearly every news program brought the conversation out in the open. And I think everyone knows what can happen when a little light is turned on an ugly little secret like discrimination. Anyway – this isn’t about that, but more about the point of how people have become more aware of it. I am pretty certain that taking the same vote today would bring much different results – perhaps even tipping the scales thanks to all the talk.
Meanwhile, we have the bailouts of big companies during these economically trying times. With multiple examples across industries of companies doing incredibly stupid things AFTER receiving govt bail out money. Spa weekends. Super Bowl parties. Bonuses. Yes, bonuses. Um..may I ask please, a bonus for WHAT? Superior performance? A share of company (non existant) profits? No, AIG claims they are contractually obligated. Yeah well, auto manufacturers are contractually obligated to their union workers too – yet those union workers were told they had to reduce demands on their companies or else the govt would not help. So auto workers who do not make *nearly* the salaries of these financial company employees were told to tighten their belts as a condition for funding, but no one else? Sorry folks, but that is just bullshit. Oh, and those contracts? Wouldn’t they have been violated had AIG gone under? Which is what we were told would happen if they were not bailed out. Collapse of company. Kaput. Jobs gone. Uh, that would have meant no bonuses! Seems to me the fair compromise in exchange for being allowed to KEEP their jobs and salaries would have been to forgo those contractually obligated bonuses. Why was THAT set up as a condition for money like the conditions put upon the auto companies? Why the double standard people??? I know this was all originally set up under the prior administration, but I am also quite disappointed that Obama’s admin has not clamped down on these inequities sooner. There have been rumblings and complaints amongst progressives from the start about his choice of Geitner and Sumners as economic advisers. For sure even my layman eyes can see the problems with Geitner given his earlier role in the marketplace. I fear he is much too loyal to these financial executives to see clearly how their business practices are so wrong.
In the long run, what does encourage me is that the media is shining a light on these excesses. The public is more aware now. I hope that translates into demands on Congress for more accountability.
If all else fails – I say we just sic Jon Stewart on them :-)