Here's a lovely and heartwarming tell straight out of the 1930s so it's best imagined in black and white with slightly scratchy sound. Some evil bankers lose so much money through scamming their custormers that they nearly go bankrupt. The federal government steps in with a $170 billion bailout with taxpayer money arguing they're "too big to fail." The fat cat bankers rub their fat cat hands together, laughing maniacally, as they quickly skim $165 million off the top for "bonuses" (bonuses that are in addition to their alreadly inflated fat cat salaries).Congress is outraged. The President angry. They send the Secretary of the Treasury to intervene. But the fat cat bankers say "sorry, there's nothing we can do, our hands are tied by previous agreements. And besides, we can't get the best and the brightest unless we pay them obscene amounts of money." The Fat Cat bankers have their hands in the People's pockets. Again they laugh maniacally. What or who will save the People from such a crime? Superman? Perhaps little Shirley Temple with her curls and big eyes tugging on the fat cat banker's sleeve with a "Pweeze Mr. Fat Kat, I will dance and sing a song for you if you just don't steal all this money from the People?". Switch back to color. It's reality check time. It's 2009. There are no super heroes or adorable child stars to save us. Instead, AIG will pay themselves the $165 million in bonuses because Congress, the President, and the Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner are as feckless in the face of greed as the Bushies were enamored of it (remember the neoliberal mantra of "greed is good"?). A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout - NYTimes.com What can we, the people, do in the face of such fecklessness? We could take to the streets and demand that it not happen, but I doubt we will. It's difficult to rally people around the slogan "If you made your fortune off of toxic assets, then you cannot use taxpayer money for a bonus!" The situation involves numbers and weird terms like "credit default swaps." Still, it's enough to drive the People to despair. The Chair of AIG, Edward M. Liddy, actually said, apparently with a straight face, that these bonuses were necessary to keep the "best and the brightest." Now call me naive, but exactly where are the best and brightest going to go in this economy for a better job? And aren't these the best and the brightest that brought the economy down in the first place with their trades in debt and human misery? And aren't these the same executives who now earn several hundred times what an average worker earns when in 1979 that number was 29 times? Liddy, who was appointed by the Federal government after the bailout, should THROW THE BUMS OUT. And then they can hire people who are not motivated by greed, but some sort of satisfaction in what they do or even a sense of higher purpose of earning some money back for the People. But Liddy's not going to save us either because, despite not taking a bonus himself, he's a fat cat. And so the People are alone in a world that looks increasingly black and white with slightly scratchy sound. Perhaps we should comfort ourselves with the metaphysical? God will surely smite them" Or karma will surely bite the greedy bankers in their fat cat asses? I'm going to look up in the sky all day. Maybe Superman is on his way?