Sunday, March 15, 2009

Getting P.O.'ed at the News

I’m convinced that our intrepid media are more than marginally responsible for the economy’s continuing downward spiral. They delight in imparting everything, down to the tiniest, goriest detail; confident that we, the sensation-starved public, will gobble down every poisonous morsel and beg for more. And we do.

With that in mind, I’ve had to limit my exposure to those tainted offerings, lest I simply give up, lock the doors of the café, walk away and go live in my car—the one that has been paid for since 1985. Business is down, but we haven’t gone broke yet. Customers come in, food goes out, and the bills get paid on time. So it’s no good for me to start obsessing about all the gloom and doom the media are spreading around. Not yet, anyway.

And yet, despite my best efforts, one of those deadly stories will get to me every couple of days. And my best defense…is a good offense. I refuse to get scared. I choose to get pissed instead.

So, what did I choose to get pissed at this time? Well, I read the news about AIG using the second infusion of federal bailout money to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars in “bonuses.” I came upon this information via a long, involved story in the New York Times. Wherein I learned that AIG claims, and independent lawyers seem to confirm, that they “have no choice” but to pay out these bonuses.

Have no choice? Excuse me? On how many levels is this absolute horse puckey?

“We promised these bonuses back in 2008, before the economy tanked.” First of all, it has always been my understanding that bonuses are paid for good performance. Bonuses are paid to employees who have contributed above and beyond the call to increase a company’s profits. It can’t be news to you that not only has your company tanked, but it has taken a good portion of the American economy with it. Exactly what, then, have these guys done to rate a “bonus?” To the tune of several hundred million dollars? The very fact that the government has HAD to pump billions into AIG’s coffers should summarily disqualify any employee from receiving a “bonus.”

And if that federal bailout money did not have some kind of clear directives attached to it as to how it could be used, somebody REALLY screwed the pooch.

“We need to pay out these bonuses in order to retain our best employees.” Hello! Your “best” employees are responsible for one of the biggest economic disasters in the history of…economy. I personally would be telling them not to let the door hit them in the ass… And, by the by, where are they going to go? There’s a recession on, dipshits. No one is hiring. Bonuses or not, you’re very likely stuck with them. FIRE their butts. Or let them sue. DON’T GIVE THEM THE MONEY.

All I could think when I read that stupid article was, if someone is so convinced that this money HAS to go out, and they, in turn, have convinced the government that there is nothing they can do to stop it, we have bigger problems than just a broken economy. The rich (and don't insult me by claiming that someone who receives a million dollar bonus is not rich) WILL have their money, if they have to snatch the last dollar out of the hands of a starving family to get it. Something is so fundamentally broken here that it’s going to take generations to fix. If it can be fixed at all.

And that…

THAT scares me.


Bridgett said...

Me too, Lisa. Me too.
The whole AIG fiasco pisses me off beyond belief. My jaw dropped when I heard about the bonuses.


JACKIE said...

Amen sister, amen. The contract excuse is such a piece of utter B***S***! Auto workers, teachers, local, county, and state workers under union contracts are being asked to take furloughs, pay freezes or pay cuts. Somehow the "we have a contract" doesn't cut any ice for them.

We've limited our news exposure mostly to newspapers and news magazines for the same reasons. Hype, hype, hype with the same stories over and over and over........

sunflowerkat321 said...

Fortunately, it looks like Washington is as pissed as we are. It's time for them to act as the 80% shareholders and deny the bonuses. As if it isn't outrageous enough...did you see today that eleven of the bonus recipients NO LONGER WORK FOR AIG?!?!? So much for the retention argument.

Debbi said...

The sheer audacity and lack of ...ethics, morals, human decency... (words fail) was beyond belief. I read that Elie Wiesel and his foundation lost a lot in the Ponzi scheme and called Bernie Madoff 'evil.' This from a Holocaust survivor who KNOWS evil. Personally I'm not sure if Madoff and the AIG execs rank up there with Nazis, but I agree with you that something is basically broken. *debbi*

Kathy said...

Call me silly, but dammit, I've been waiting for news just such as this. Makes me a tad angry.

So here's my plan ... you got your bonuses, now go spend it ALL on Main Street, USA.

Bunch of asses ...

Lisa :-] said...

Oh, Kathy...that's almost painfully funny--"go spend it all on Main Street, USA." Do you think these guys would think of going anywhere near the Great Unwashed?

I'm sure that money is already out of the country. At the very least, in Swiss bank accounts or somewhere else where it will never see our shores or benefit our economy ever again.

TJ said...

Take a bow!! You nailed it!!
i am sooooooo waiting to see what is coming for small business. We have cut until we almost bleed, but we are still alive and gainning a bit of new ground this spring [ I think]

Kathy said...

Lisa, you do get my humor!

Like TJ, our small business has cut back here and there on expenses and we are still alive and in business but we worry how long we can last.

Fingers crossed and hoping.

Somedays I wish the media would all go away. Somewhere.

I don't watch much news just now. I read what I can tolerate and try to tune out the drone.