Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Three guys at a table

Apropos Tuesday's posting, a friend sent this joke:

A Wall Street executive, a Tea Party member and a union rep were sitting around a table when someone brings them a dozen cookies. The Wall Street executive immediately takes 11 of them, turns to the Tea Party guy and says, "Hey, that union thug wants your cookie!"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Remembering the Fraud

The crash, the lost jobs and the exposure of fraud and greed on Wall Street barely rate a mention anymore.

It's reached the point that Charles Ferguson, the filmmaker who won an Oscar for Best Documentary on Sunday, felt obligated to apologize when accepting his Oscar before pointing out that no executive has yet been imprisoned for the financial calamity caused by Wall Street's enormous greed.

Even as we limp along on unemployment, as our homes are in foreclosure and our dreams are dashed, we shrug it off. It's like watching Monta Ellis get hacked repeatedly, with no foul called, and chalk it up to the innate corruption of the NBA. The big guys always get the benefit of the doubt. Lots of harm, no foul. Oh well.

Our attention these days seems to be directed at Wisconsin, where greedy public employees want to hold on to what they've got.

That's not entirely true. The public servants in Wisconsin are willing to give up some of their pay, some of their benefits. They're just not willing to give up their right to collective bargaining.

There is no doubt that government entities everywhere must make painful choices about the services they provide. Every city, county and state is forced to reduce and I don't feel too sorry for them. The private sector — businesses big and small — is reeling in their lines; government shouldn't be immune.

On the other hand, the tea party makes a lot of untoward growling noises about the ingrates who feed at the public trough. They'd have a lot more credibility had they expressed similar outrage about the crooks on Wall Street who pulled the rest of us down with their greed.