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I spoke today with a former government official who was appalled by Obama’s suggested emergency aid to the auto industry and by the Bush administration’s bail-out of the financial industry. Here’s what he had to say:
I’m against these bailouts on principle but if you’re going to give these firms money, it certainly should be predicated on firing the CEOs, the CFOs and the whole corporate command structure. Management always has an excuse – it was the unions or the economy was bad or something else. But you were the guys in charge and now you want us to throw $25 billion into your failed company?
If it’s decided that a bailout is in the country’s strategic national interest, fine, then do it. But the taxpayers should not be asked to turn the money over to the people who fucked up the companies and ran them into the ground. But that’s the way it is across the board, there’s no accountability. The government didn’t fire anyone after 9/11 either. How do you even talk about generating innovation and creativity when you reward failure with staggering amounts of money? It violates every tenet of leadership and management.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”