Restricting Wall Street Pay
On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to restrict the kind of pay that Wall Street executives get. The vote was 237 – 185.
Most of these people probably voted for this bill because their constituents at home feel that the fat cats on Wall Street don’t deserve to get that kind of money, especially after what happened with the stock market this year, and the bad behavior of enough companies to warrant this stimulus package and bailout of some of the top financial corporations in America.
If there’s anything I hate more than a bully, it’s an opportunistic coward, and that’s what this bill was. I’m not anyone who has any gripes against Barney Frank in any way, as I’m pretty liberal, but there’s a point at which I believe the federal government can overstep its bounds, and this is one of those bills.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I support the money that some of these guys got for doing a bad job. However, I’ve always gone off the principle that people will be able to earn the money the market is willing to pay them for, no matter what it is, and that it’s no one’s business except for those people who hire them. Well, other than government employees, all of whom have their salaries posted all over the internet, including the president of the United States. And that’s because their job is to serve the public interest, not their own; at least that’s what it’s supposed to do.
Now, if this bill was only aimed at companies that got the bailout, which are now pretty much under government control, that’s one thing. That’s not what the bill says, so if I’m interpreting it incorrectly, that’s because the news hasn’t been communicated properly. And they added something else that states those corporations also can’t offer pay incentives to encourage employees to take financial risks that could threaten the economy or viability of the corporation. Of course, that’s a direct hit at AIG, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and those bonuses they said they had to pay out, which caused all that consternation and grief earlier in the year to everyone except me.
I think it’s time for Congress to calm down a little bit and get back to the really important things, instead of hitting at things that get a lot of press, but don’t really affect anyone. This will discourage real talent from working at these companies, especially if they can make big money elsewhere, which they can. Maybe it will bring in some unknown talent that wants to make its bones by working for less money, but I doubt it. Let companies pay people what they want to pay them, and then let them survive or fail on their own if that’s the case. I think the days of the corporate bailout are gone anyway.