Michael, who now leads the field in Comments of the Day, picks up another with his commentary on my post about AIG’s continuing habit of living large on taxpayer funds. Here are his reflections on the post Dear AIG: I’m Not Going To Be Able To Keep Criticizing “Occupy Wall Street” For Destructive Class Warfare If You Act Like This:
“A company can allow any expenses they want. That being said, since they are now majority owned by the US government, we need to ask who is giving the go ahead to things like this? Why haven’t they been fired? The Wall Street culture is so entitled and so out of touch with the reality of the common Americans that it is almost beyond belief.
“The Occupy Wall Street group could have a lot of legitimate gripes, but they don’t seem to have anyone with half a brain in the group. Instead of hearing “I want them to take the money from rich people and give it to me” form a college aged girl wearing $500 worth of clothes or “I have gone to every protest I can find for the last 40 years” from the aging hippies, why not try one of the following angles:
“(1) Wall Street is just a group of tax farmers. The government has given them the right to tax stock trades (while giving almost nothing back in return) and this gives them a vast amount of unearned wealth (~5% of the GDP is consumed in stock commissions compared to 17% for the federal government). This is outdated and outrageous. The federal government should abolish their monopoly on the buying and selling of stocks, set up a website that takes care of it in exchange, collect the commissions as taxes, and solve the Social Security problem with the extra money. Tell Wall Street to make their money the old fashioned way, “earn it”.
“(2) Wall Street and the investment banks are destroying America through legal and illegal fraud. With their numerous “creative” investment schemes, many of which resemble betting on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, the American people have been defrauded. The investment community has marketed numerous investment devices as “investment grade” when in fact they had no more substance than Paris Hilton’s credentials as a neurosurgeon. Combine this with the overtly destructive practice of short selling that has destabilized Wall Street and the economy for the last 6 months and you can see how much misery is created in their unbridled pursuit of profits. Prosecute the fraudsters under RICO (seize Wyoming under imminent domain to house them all, if necessary), disallow all ‘creative investments’ outside of stocks, bonds, loans, and commodities.
“Drastic approaches like these will be necessary to change the AIG situation. The culture is too ingrained, they are too addicted to the easy money, and they have too much money to use ‘influencing’ our elected leaders (5% of the GDP, look at it. 5%!).”