Why I Don't Care About AIG's Bonuses

According to the mainstream media, I'm supposed to be outraged.

Evidently, a large corporation that received a whole bunch of money used some of that money to give their executives large bonuses.

Also, the Earth revolved around the sun today.

Obama came to California yesterday and had a town hall session with an unscreened crowd. Not a single person asked about the AIG bonuses, most likely for the same exact reason why I don't particularly care. Because the AIG bonuses are who we are right now. It's not surprising and, because of that, not particularly outrageous. At this point, if AIG hadn't given their executives large bonuses, I'd be shocked.

Is it awful? Yes. Should the American public be mad? Sure. Does it really matter? Not in the grand scheme of things. For that matter, it's become so common place that most of us are desensitized to it.

I hate to sound like an ass kisser on this, but President Obama rather nicely got to the point the other night on the Tonight Show. The issue isn't that this large company that we bailed out is using our money for bonuses, it's that, even if we pass really hardcore laws to get that money back, we still haven't fixed the main problem. Not to be entirely geeky, but as they say on Battlestar Galactica, "this has all happened before and will all happen again."

The main problem is that AIG, as President Obama put it, grew large enough to hold the country hostage. Credit where it's due, it was Dave Lindorff who first introduced me to this reality -- I might have known what it was in general, but not specifically. Basically, over the last ten years we allowed companies such as AIG and Citi to spread into realms like insurance and banking, twisting their tentacles into so many things that if they die, they take multiple industries down with them.

There's plenty of blame to go around here. Since the Great Depression, corporations weren't allowed to stick their fingers into these areas at one time. But that changed with the passage of the Graham Leach Blyly Act of 1999. That would be three Republicans who put together that act...but it was President Clinton who signed it.

In other words, we need to get back to regulating our free market.

I find it incredibly poetic that the failure of a free market run amok has allowed certain people to play the socialism card.

So, yes, I think the AIG bonuses thing is pathetic. But I also think focusing on those bonuses, becoming "enraged," as the main stream media wants us to be (I'm still waiting for the "populist backlash" the Huffington Post keeps touting), takes our eyes off the prize.

I think we know it. I think our President knows it. But I don't think the majority of our Congress and anyone in the press knows it.