Mar
27
2009

NYT: Home of the 'Insanely Selfish and Greed-Addled'

The New York Times editorial page's lending of space to former AIG financial vice president Jake DeSantis' plea for "us all to reconsider our anger toward the poor overworked employees of his unit" has incurred some of Matt Taibbi's trademark wrath (Alternet, 3/26/09):

He acts like he's a victim because he didn't get to keep his after-tax bonus of $742,006.40 in the middle of a global depression. And he really loses his fucking mind when he writes:

None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

First of all, Jake, you asshole, no plumber in the world gets paid a $740,000 bonus, over and above his salary, just to keep plumbing. Second, try living on a plumber's salary before you even think about comparing yourself to one; you're inviting a pitchfork in the gut by even thinking along those lines. Third, Jake, if you were a plumber, and the electrician burned the house down–well, guess what? If you and that electrician worked for the same company, you actually wouldn't get paid for that job.

Schooling DeSantis on life "in the real world," Taibbi tells him that "when your company burns a house down, you're not getting paid by that client": "It's only on Wall Street, where the every-man-for-himself ethos is built into an insanely selfish and greed-addled compensation system, that people like you expect to get paid in a bubble–only there do people expect their performance bonuses no matter how much money the shareholders lose overall, no matter how many people get laid off."