Talk about Old White Guys (OWGs) – when I read Gary’s blog yesterday I had to look up what a Prius was, which I guess is emblematic of a problem for a lot of us OWGs – the rules have changed and we can’t learn the new language.
Here’s an example: The other night driving home I was listening to the Chairman of General Motors on the radio, testifying before Congress. Now, there’s one of Gary’s Masters of the Universe who doesn’t know his world has changed. He sounded outraged those Lilliputian Congressmen had the chutzpah to haul him down to Washington to ask why he thought taxpayers should give him $25 billion. They gave him his first lesson in the new rules right quick, demanding to know if he’d flown to the hearing in his private corporate jet.
After that, every time the poor fellow opened his mouth he dug his grave deeper. When one Congressman explained his own idea for saving GM (which didn’t include the $25 billion subsidy) the exasperated OWG growled, Anyone who believes that is living in a fantasy world.
But you want to know the most amazing thing of all? It looks to me like our new crowd of anti-millionaire, anti-insider, anti-lobbyist agents of change are going to give him what he wants.
Barney Frank, who qualifies for Gary’s new majority because he’s a GOWG (Gay Old White Guy) said he didn’t want to see GM file for bankruptcy because if it did it could void all its union contracts – so paying out $25 billion was just fine with him, which, for one moment, must have sounded to the tycoon like the world had righted itself – until Frank gave him another dose of the new rules: First, before he gets the money, the GM Master of the Universe has to agree he’ll give no more bonuses to anyone making over $200,000, pay no dividends and, oh yes, that he is going to be reporting to Barney Frank on how he runs his company for a long time.
Two hundred years ago, John Adams said the problem with majority rule was that anyone with 51% could plunder everyone else. He called that the tyranny of the majority and said what it meant was simple: American government could become a vehicle for anyone with enough votes to use to enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense.
Back during the Old Order everyone from pharmaceutical companies to New York banks proved Adams was a prophet. Now, under the New Order, a different set of folks are proving it.
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