Yesterday, the news of the day was Chief Economic Advisor Larry Summers declaring that AIG’s donations bonuses to it’s executives was, while outrageous!, unavoidable because they were based on contracts, and being a nation of law, we cannot just abrogate such contracts. Uh huh. Ok then. It was only a matter of time before some journalist uncovered the heinous and callous dismississiveness of Summers’ words. Glenn Greenwald poses an example of the government coming between a company and it’s contracts, unearthed from the Associated Press archives from oh-so-long-ago as February 18, 2009:
The United Auto Workers’ deal with Detroit’s three automakers limits overtime, changes work rules, cuts lump-sum cash bonuses and gets rid of cost-of-living pay raises to help reduce the companies’ labor costs, people briefed on the agreement said today.
The UAW announced Tuesday that it reached the tentative agreement with General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co. over contract concessions, as GM and Chrysler sent plans to the Treasury Department asking for a total of $39 billion in government financing to help them survive.
Concessions with the union are a condition of the $17.4 billion in government loans that the automakers have received so far.
As he says further:
Apparently, the supreme sanctity of employment contracts applies only to some types of employees but not others. Either way, the Obama administration’s claim that nothing could be done about the AIG bonuses because AIG has solid, sacred contractual commitments to pay them is, for so many reasons, absurd on its face.
Everyone who was shivering in horror at the prospect of President Obama being a socialist and redistributing wealth, have no fear. The only way wealth will be redistributed is upwards. Socialism for the wealthy, if you will. Pay attention, America. This is our vote at work.