Although Ayn Rand's epic "Atlas Shrugged" is completely irreconcilable with my Catholic Christian values, there is still enough truth in her philosophy to send me running around these days like Chicken Little.
I'm sure Dear Dead Ayn herself would admit the sky is indeed falling. Her book, always frighteningly prophetic, has bridged the world between fiction and fact.
This article from the Washington Post today is the single most alarming news story I've read since the Obamarama Circus started its four-year run.
I know the question of caps on executive salaries has been simmering since the first bailout/bonus scandal. Common sense dictates that corporations poised on the brink of the abyss are foolish to perpetuate high-flying compensation packages. Those who have gone begging to the Fed for billions while still paying bonuses are even more foolish and deserve to be bitch slapped for their bad judgment.
Executive salaries and perks have been the guys in the black hats for a few years -- since compensation has become public knowledge and their companies' performances not so hot. Still... in a market-driven economy (which we had until we became a Federally-funded economy), the Big Cheeses make the big decisions, bear the big responsibilities and are ultimately accountable to their stockholders and governing boards. I've always felt that if performances (personal and bottom line) warrant the big bucks, let the Big Cheeses have them. No matter the reward, the job is tough.
I even felt this way when I was a Democrat, because I had enough experience running on the corporate hamster wheel to appreciate the expertise and chutzpah it takes to steer any large company.
Only in Barbie's Fairytopia would lower executive compensation mean anything to me personally -- it's not like they're going to be calculating the differential and sending us all checks, nor are they about to skew the pay scale by sharing it with their employees.
This legislation that the members of the House (those paragons of virtue, intelligence, character and effectiveness) passed will "empower financial regulators to limit pay that they deem inappropriate." That sentence doesn't say who these "financial regulators" will be, but the rest of the article implies they will be government employees. So... a civil servant sucking on the public teat will help determine compensation for an employee presumably high on the corporate food chain -- who steers the corporation that fuels the economy by providing jobs, goods, services AND TAXES --- taxes that pay that same civil servant's salary and the rest of the porkulus.
Atlas Shrugged is too damn long to analyze -- or even summarize -- in a blog posting, but, very briefly, in the story the world's economies -- all of 'em, most spectacularly, ours -- teeter on collapse under the burden of regulations, nationalization of industries, government involvement and the politics of manipulation.
Of course, just as in real life, the evil capitalists are blamed -- after all, they're RICH. The real and total collapse occurs when those evil ones (the actual producers of wealth -- genius industrialists) go "on strike" and refuse to participate in the smarmy world of the bottom-feeders who have been nominally in charge. Rand calls the centuries-long success of this warped system "the sanction of the victim" and the book ends when the victim withholds that sanction and, oh yes, saves the world.
Yeah, Atlas Shrugged is fiction -- but can you say "government bailouts" -- "socialized health care" (and it is - don't kid yourself) -- "cap & trade" -- and now "controls on compensation" ?
Here's an article posted yesterday on Obama's 32 czars who are "in control" in his administration without any kind of vetting, congressional confirmation or oversight.
And here's a link to Amazon.com for Atlas Shrugged. If you're a friend or a family member, buy the book and send me the bill. My treat -- I'm not kidding.
The Obamarama Circus was funny for awhile -- now it's just plain damn scary.